Mexico: Amlo’s pretend government

What to do when you lose but can’t let go? Well, if you are Andrés Manuel López Obrador, best known as Amlo, you claim to be the actual government.

No wonder so many Americans, Europeans and Asians think of Latin America as the place where magical realism best describes reality.

Amlo11-12-9Here’s the front-page Wall Street Journal article:

Mexico Has a President Who Runs Things and One Who Doesn’t
Shadow Government of Mr. López Obrador Takes Pretense to New Heights

It all began in 2006 when the former Mexico City mayor almost became Mexico’s real president, losing the election by a hair. He cried fraud, launched street protests, and excoriated the winner, President Felipe Calderón, as a “presidential usurper.” Then, as a culminating gesture of defiance, he held a mock inauguration in the country’s main square, donning a replica of Mexico’s red, white and green presidential sash and took a pretend oath of office.

With this, many assumed they had seen the last of Mr. López Obrador — at least until the next election in 2012.

But while the leftist has faded from international headlines, he never really went away in Mexico. He went on to found a parallel executive branch of government that proposes new laws, issues statements, holds elections, officiates during Mexican Independence Day, and even circulates its own form of identification card for Mexicans (some 2.8 million Mexicans carry them, according to a Legitimate Government spokesman).

Nowadays, Mr. López Obrador tours the country giving presidential speeches where he is introduced as the real McCoy. After three years of this, he will soon have visited all of Mexico’s 2,438 municipalities. That would make him, he says, the first politician — indeed, maybe even the first man — ever to have done that.

Amlo’s fantasy “Legitimate Government” has volunteer functionaries, real journalists assigned to cover him (who at least get paid for their jobs), and lots of rallies.

You would think that all this nonsense would show results. Think again:

Support for the leftist hovers at around 16% of the population — about half what he got in the 2006 election — according to a June poll in the Mexican daily La Reforma.

Perhaps all this effort makes Mexicans more aware that Amlo may be Mexico’s Hugo Chavez, considering Chavez’s support during the electoral campaign, which he lost.

Amlo, however, carries on, pretending.

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8 Responses to “Mexico: Amlo’s pretend government”

  1. Tweets that mention Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Mexico: Amlo’s pretend government -- Says:

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  2. lily Says:

    I am so sorry yo do not have any idea what you talk about. It looks like your only source is the Mexican television when this is so manipulated. Try to read “la jornada” and other internet sources before attempting to form an opinion.

  3. Fausta Says:

    Got any links, Lily?

  4. Kate Says:

    Jajaja AMLO is such a joke. His party fell apart when he tried to usurp the party presidency. Sheesh, if they can’t get their own house in order, how can one expect them to run a country? His scandal-ridden political career continued with the local elections this past summer in DF, filled with bribes — par for the course for this guy.

    He’s more than entitled to form a shadow government; too bad so few people actually take him seriously, because he’s a political non-entity.

  5. Christopher Says:

    I guess with out real opposition, he can now be presidente for life.

  6. Pat Patterson Says:

    Ah, Mexico City has their own version of Emperor Noton now. Has he started to visit his “fleet” in Xochimilco?

  7. Pat Patterson Says:

    The problem is that La Jornada is one of those sources were the facts of an issue are presented according to the needs of the situation. In other words a fairly typical leftist point of view that suggests either self-censorship or manipulation is acceptable as long as some goal is accomplished. I am naturally a little suspicous of any newspaper that enthusiastically supports one particular political viewpoint, here the Zapataistas and the further to the left of the PRI political parties and holds all others as fair game.

    Plus the main problem here is that even using the archives of La Jornada there is nothing there that even addresses the same issue of this alternative universe as La Reforma does in the post above.

  8. Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » The Nov. 16 Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean Says:

    […] week’s posts and podcasts Mexico: Amlo’s pretend government Brazil’s big blackout: 15 Minutes on Latin America Blackout in Venezuela: 15 Minutes on Latin […]