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Slouching towards AMLO

12 April 2017

Whether for conviction or because they have been rejected by other political parties, more and more politicans are joining Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) National Regeneration Movement (Morena).

While Mexfiles thinks the “anti-American” label is misplaced, with prominent party members of AMLO’s former left-wing party, PRD, and from the conservative, traditionally Catholic and pro-US, PAN parties, at both at the national and local level, openly supporting the National Regeneration Movement, United States Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, may be prescient in warning of “an anti-American leftist” winning the Mexican presidency next year.

Within the Senate, former PRD Senators Miguel Barbosa, Alejandro Encinas and Zoé Robles and nine others have left their party to form a coalition with the small Workers Party caucus to form the third largest force in the upper chamber of the federal legislature.

Recent defections in the State of Nayarit… which is holding elections for both municipal officers and governor in July… include not just PRD deputy (lower house of the federal legistlaure), Eddy Trujillo López, but twenty regents and leaders of the PRD in ten municipalities within the state.

Within Mexico City, former AMLO’s base was always in Mexico City (where Morena now disputes PRD for control of the district… now state… government). Secretary of Tourism Miguel Torruco Marques, and Deputy Mayor for Metropolitan Affairs and Government Liaison, Leticia Quezada, both resigned from office to join the AMLO presidential campaign. Local Assembly leader Lorena Villavicencio Ayala and the leader of the Feminist PRD organization, “Mujeres de Hierro, Verónica Martínez Sentíes — both close to the sitting PRD administration — have also switched their allegiances to Morena.

Coming from the right, the most notable new Morena adherents are Manuel Bartlett Díaz, and Rafael Moreno Valle, the former governor of the state of Puebla. Both head large machines within their former party, and are expected to bring their voters with them into the new movement.

In Queretaro state, the general secretary of the PAN in the municipality of Corregidoras, Jorge Eduardo Patrón, and Jorge Lomeli also have joined Morena.

Unexpectely, Morena is also attracting defectors from both the long-governing PRI, and even the small new “dissident” liberal parties, like the Citizen’s Movement

In Querétaro, which has always ben PRI dominated, the AMLO movement is being supported by Juan Carlos Briz Cabrera, who had been the coordinator of Citizen Networks for the PRI’s State Steering Committee and Juan José Jiménez, former leader of the PRI’s National Confederation of Popular Organizations (CNOP).

PRI Deputies (members of the lower house of the Federal Legislature) who have defected to Morena include Nuevo Leon’s Eugenio Montiel Amoroso, and Puebla’s Alejandro Armenta.

Also noteworthy is the case of the federal deputy Carlos Lomeli Bolaños, who just a few days ago resigned from the Citizen’s Movement to promote AMLO’s presidential campaign.

Even one Green — Paola Felix Diaz — from the party usually dismissed as “PRI for Yuppies” — whose personal record suggest a real interest in ecological and human rights issues beyond that of the usual Green deputy, defected to the AMLO front.

With growing support from politicians from the traditional parties, as well as business leaders like entrepreneur Javier García Calderón and hedge fund manager and banker Alfonso Romo Garza, Mexfiles not only questions Secretary Kelly’s dismissal of Lopez Obrador’s “Unity Pact for Prosperty” as “anti-American” but as particularly “leftist” as well. While Morena started as an unabashed socialist alternative to the increasingly liberal (or neo-liberal) PRD, with socialism and nationalism being intertwined in Mexico since the Revolution, Morena appears to be living up to its name as a Party of National Renewal… returning to the original Obregonista Revolutionary party.

Obregon defined the “Revolutionary Family” as all those who sought to change the pre-existing situation whether their motives were selfish or altruistic, and — while Mexico was still at a stage where power came from the barrel of a gun — largely succeeded in creating a government capable of creatively managing change, and moving the nation forward. Despite the contraditions of a government of both capitalists and socialists, the old “Mexican system” lasted from the 1920s up until the late 1980s . In an eccentric way, at least at the lower levels, where fights between the contradictory ideologies could be settled, it was democratic — “every day but Election Day” as the old saying went. In it’s early phase, it was violently repressive when it came to dissenters (as in the Cristero War), and … as it morphed into the technocratic PRI… its repression became a bit more subtle (at least in public), but no less prone to violence.

What Mexfiles sees as a hopeful sign is that the original Morenaistas are, for the most part, opposed to state oppression and included people like Bernardo Batiz, who defines himself as a “Christian socialist”. With the defectors being, for the most part, politicians who have been working to democratize their own parties, or fed up with the repression built into the existing political framework, and those understanding a better economic system will require radical change, Morena may very well present a genunine threat to the “American Way of Life” as it stands now, and perhaps General Kelly is right to worry.


(Partially based on . Jésus Lemus,  “Crece la ola AMLO“,  Reporte Indigo, 11 April 2017)

One Comment leave one →
  1. JBSK permalink
    12 April 2017 12:40 pm

    We saw AMLO address a Morena rally in central Queretaro last November. It was to encourage the locals and party supporters before campaigning began in earnest. My Spanish is not great but I was impressed by strident anti-corruption message . The small crowd of campesino faithful was ringed by vocal protesters condemning local Morena politicians. He laid into them about not losing sight of the real targets for their fury, PRI, PAN and PRD intensely corrupt officials across all state institutions. Organize and quit sniping.

    We spend time in the fall and winter in different parts of Mexico. This year it was clear from our contact with friends across a spectrum of Mexican society ( a small sample but varied non- the less) that the degree of frustration and mistrust could well propel AMLO to Los Pinos.

    Our Monterrey friend, a solid PANista is naturally worried as are most residents of the industrial north for the same reason the Americans are. In Queretaro and Patzcuaro the educated and energetic millenials, the ex- pat citizens and the working class folks we know in Nayarit generally support the idea of AMLO but fear he is too much of an outsider to get enough leverage to make real change. One friend is certain that he will be assassinated if he gets to close to unsettling the elites comfort.

    Something else we observed lately is the widespread rise of extortion everywhere. In the foreign media this glossed over as part of the narco war but it seems to be more local and two bit thugs but nasty.

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