By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Anyone who doubts Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) dictatorial tendencies need only take a look at his authoritarian declarations from Friday, Sept. 23.
Having come up against a senatorial blockade to his devious plan to keep the nation’s military in charge of patrolling the streets through 2028 (part of a bigger plot to militarize the nation), Czar AMLO proclaimed during his daily press conference Friday that he would simply override the impediment of a lack of adequate votes in the upper house by ramming through his proposal via another one of his highly manipulated referendums.
The fact that holding a referendum to pass his plan is unconstitutional, as was immediately duly pointed out by opposition senators, didn’t phase him in the least.
After all, López Obrador is accustomed to getting his own way, regardless of such petty obstacles such as federal law and the Mexican Constitution. (Case in point: When he couldn’t get Congress to approve a constitutional change to incorporate his National Guard into the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena), he created a convoluted series of regulations that essentially accomplished that goal without having to rewrite the constitution.)
So, now, by engineering a fake referendum, AMLO plans to circumvent the Senate, and, as always, get what he wants, be it by hook or by crook (mostly the latter).
But that is not the only dictatorial shenanigan that López Obrador pulled on Friday.
During that very same press conference, the president stated that the country’s judicial system was corrupt and dysfunctional and required a head-to-toe reform, essentially making it subordinate to his office. (So much for justice in Mexico).
And as the icing on the cake, AMLO that very same day issued a list of “enemies,” i.e., opposition politicians who had dared to vote against one or more of his initiatives. (The list included their respective locations and political positions.)
Given the high incidence of political murders in Mexico, the questionable sanity of some of the president’s followers, and the almost-absolute immunity that perpetrators of political violence enjoy in this country, that list essentially constituted a hit list.
Several opposition legislators on the roster immediately tweeted declarations that should they suffer any violence as a result of AMLO’s hate manifest, they would charge him as the responsible party.
And, indeed, responsible he would be.
As U.S. journalist Jorge Ríos astutely pointed out during the president’s press conference on Thursday, Sept. 22, during the first four years of AMLO’s six-year term, more than 126,000 Mexicans have been brutally murdered and over 35,000 have been disappeared, making this Mexico’s most violence presidency in modern history.
And, yes, much of that is due to AMLO’s laissez-faire, hugs-not-bullets approach to criminal activities, preferring to persecute journalists, human rights workers and opposition politicians over bothering to try to curb cartel and organized crime violence.
So if any of the people named on that list are murdered, the guilt will fall clearly on the shoulders of an imperious López Obrador.
Not that AMLO would accept the responsibility of his words and actions.
Dictators never do.