Since the federal government militarized its counter-narcotics efforts in 2006, more than 200,000 people have been killed on the ever-shifting front lines of Mexico’s drug war. Now the country’s left-leaning President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is proposing a historic overhaul of Mexico’s drug laws, including rolling back decades of prohibition.
Leftist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador is widely expected to win Mexico's July 1st presidential election. If he wins, it will be the first time in generations a leftist will assume the country's highest political office. Here are five ways an Obrador presidency would change US-Mexican relations.
For Nicaraguan university student Rosa, it was the sheer brutality of the police crackdown that left her terrified in her own country. “I never thought it would be like that,” she said, reflecting on the first time she joined a peaceful protest against proposed social security reforms. Like tens of thousands of other Nicaraguan students, she participated in a wave of demonstrations in mid-April against the Ortega administration’s plans to slash pensions and increase employee contributions to the financially troubled Nicaraguan Institute for Social Security.
Natural resource corporations are flocking to the mountainous Sierra Norte of Mexico’s Puebla state. In recent years, this remote area has seen an explosion of investment, and today is considered the next frontier for everything from gold mining to hydraulic fracturing and hydroelectricity. Leftist and environmental activists in this region of Central Mexico say the companies are bringing drugs, crime, and ruining the ancestral lands of indigenous Mexicans.
Obrador's political party is taking on neoliberalism and forging a viable alternative for Mexico. The fact that it’s now within striking distance of the presidency is a massive change of fortune for the Mexican left.
Donald Trump could be the first US president in decades to alienate both sides of Latin America’s political divide. Leaders from the region’s left and right initially welcomed his victory, with some on the right seeing him as a possible bulwark against the Pink Tide. Meanwhile, progressives initially expressed hope Trump would strike a less interventionist stance. Yet as Trump inches closer to the White House, both the left and right are increasingly bracing for disappointment.