Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Anti-Trump, About to Win Mexico's Presidential Election
Mexicans will elect their next President today and it appears that Andrés Manuel López Obrador, better known as Amlo by his supporters, will defeat three other candidates and win a landslide victory. The central issues of the campaign have been the drug wars which have plagued the country for more than a decade, poverty, and rampant corruption, and each of the candidates have laid out plans to address them. Mexicans, however, have flocked to the former Mayor of Mexico City because he is seen as an outsider willing to take on Mexico's powerful business interests and political establishment. They also see him as the candidate most willing to take on President Trump.
Donald Trump's constant criticism of Mexico, his attempts to renegotiate NAFTA to favor US business interests, and his efforts to browbeat Mexico into paying for his wall have all played a role in Amlo's rise in the polls.
Luis Gómez Romero, The Conversation: "López Obrador launched his presidential bid on April 1 with a rally in Ciudad Juárez, the northern Mexico city where thousands of migrants cross into the U.S. each year. In a fiery speech, López Obrador promised that, with him as president, Mexico would reassert itself as a “free, sovereign and independent” nation and would not be the “piñata” of any foreign power."
And he went further recently when he described Trump's family separation policy as “arrogant, racist and inhuman.”
The Guardian: "Some analysts have attributed Amlo’s runaway lead to Donald Trump’s attempts to browbeat Mexico’s leaders over immigration and trade. According to that version, Mexican voters are intent on electing a strongman leader capable of hitting back at Trump’s bullying."
Obrador's election will have numerous consequences for America including how the NAFTA negotiations play out, but Amlo may signal his independence from Washington quickly by changing Mexican policy toward Central American immigrants. He has spoken out forcibly against President Peña Nieto’s harsh policy of deporting most Central American migrants traveling through Mexico and said recently that Mexico would no longer do Trump’s “dirty work" at its southern border. Such a shift in policy would be a direct challenge to President Trump and mean that many more Central Americans would reach America's borders. Trump may only have himself to blame, however.