He always refers to him as “Mr. Peña Nieto” or “President Peña Nieto.” For Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the remaining leaders of the last 30 years are simply Salinas, Zedillo, Fox or Calderón, and they are usually addressed with a derogatory adjective. Not so his immediate predecessor.
He has repeatedly explained the reason: “I must recognize that President Peña, unlike the other two presidents, did not interfere, that is, he did not accept fraud and respected the will of the Mexican people, that is not the case.” “I will forget it,” he said on Thursday amid praise for the PRI governor of the state of Mexico, Alfredo del Mazo.
The problem is that he has decided to forget, at least before the podium or the courts, the crimes of the most frivolous and corrupt government of modern times. The last PRI government was the political version most clearly aimed at plundering the state for the benefit of a clique of businessmen and contractors linked to the rulers.
And to many, it is obvious that the “democratic” attitude that López Obrador recognizes in Peña Nieto was actually a ploy to avoid scrutiny or prosecution in the face of the impending triumph of the opposition. The “heroism” that AMLO attributes to the man now living in Madrid seems more like the result of an opportunistic shame: facilitating the transfer of power in exchange for saving one’s own skin. And, moreover, the fact that he did not participate in the elections is controversial: his government held Ricardo Anaya, López Obrador’s main rival, criminally responsible during the campaign, through a suspiciously revived file.
It is clear to me that Obradorism would have won with or without Peña Nieto’s intervention. I could understand that for a man like López Obrador, who is convinced that he was unjustly removed from office twelve years earlier or lost it six years later in an excessively lopsided election campaign due to the effect of the money and communications machine, that’s It was a relief that the Mexican state didn’t take action against him this time.
In his logic, Peña Nieto’s stance, for whatever reasons, was, among other things, a factor in achieving the enormous achievement that led the National Palace to a government of the people. And in his opinion that is merit enough.
And we don’t have to be unfair either; After the 2006 experience, the Tabasco native understood that the system had to be defeated with its own rules, whether he liked them or not, because deep down there were no others. Therefore, they decided to add everything that could contribute to victory, even if they were the typical opportunists, always ready to jump on the winner’s bandwagon. Alliances with PVEM or PES or with characters like Napito, the leader of the miners or similar were not to be despised. Nor the unexpected complacency of the federal government, which had always taken action against him.
All of this is understandable, even if it sometimes seems that the president goes too far with his recognition. One thing is a kind of tacit forgiveness of past sins, another is praise or, even worse, reward, as in the case of the PRI governors who became ambassadors for their government.
The attitude towards Donald Trump leaves me with the same feeling when President López Obrador, in his speech at the White House, in the middle of the Republican’s re-election campaign or the apparent delay, described him, among other things, as a friend of Mexicans in recognizing his defeat. . He acted as if the country actually owed him something because he hadn’t carried out his absurd threats.
López Obrador’s attitude was extremely circumspect in order to settle the matter peacefully with his angry colleague. He managed to dissuade Trump from taking military action against the cartels, declaring them terrorists, or imposing tariffs on Mexican products to detain migrants from Central America.
Without a doubt something valuable. But that doesn’t mean we should praise the tyrant for his generosity because he didn’t carry out the promised beating. It’s one thing to celebrate mutual respect and another to politically favor Trump’s bonuses, because all of this can lead to his return to the White House. A few days ago he said he had no problem declaring war on Mexico to crack down on the cartels.
In other texts I have highlighted the concerns of many regarding the government-sponsored “strengthening” of the army in public administration. And we should recognize the extraordinary assistance the military has provided to the 4T; A large part of the public works built by López Obrador is thanks to them, and their gratitude is understandable.
But as in the case of Peña Nieto, the PRI governors or Trump, one might question whether such gratitude should have such a reward. Building an airport is a collaboration that would not have to be paid for with the construction of that airport. Was it necessary to irrevocably offer the generals such large public administration quotas and take the associated risks?
In short, the achievements of López Obrador, which have made possible a turnaround in the country’s public life, are obvious; At least for the many of us who agree with their flags, barring the blackmail that inevitably occurs when one aims for such ambitious goals.
Only a man with his will could bring about change for the vulnerable in a country as unequal as ours. By pulling and pulling, he opened up new paths, and the shapes weren’t always smooth or neat. It is impossible to know whether it would have been achieved in any other way, but the truth is that it was achieved in its own way.
However, the immediate advantage for López Obrador and his circumstances is not always the best for the country in the medium term. Forgetting the corruption of the PRI rulers in return for last-minute favors boycotts any genuine attempt to clean up public life; Trump’s possible arrival in Washington will not be good for Mexico, even if he is a friend of AMLO and the army’s burden in communications, tourism, customs and public security gives us sleepless nights.
Nevertheless, it has to be said that, thanks to his approval ratings and the work he has done, he leaves his successor, Claudia Sheinbaum, with more favorable conditions than before. If she actually wins the elections, we hope she can push a progressive agenda with fewer concessions to Mexico, which we want to leave behind. – Mexico City.