President López Obrador has traveled a distance equivalent to four circumnavigations of the world during his first year in office. And he did it without leaving the country.
According to data published by the newspaper Milenio, López Obrador has racked up more than 162,000 kilometers in domestic travel since he was sworn in as president on December 1, 2018. The equatorial circumference of the Earth is about 40,075 kilometers.
Just under three-quarters of López Obrador’s travel – 119,219 kilometers – has been on commercial flights while just over one-quarter, or one circumnavigation of the globe, has been on the nation’s roads and highways.
All told, AMLO, as the president is commonly known, has spent 38 full days (912 hours) in transit between different locations in Mexico, Milenio said.
The president’s relentless travel schedule started the day after his inauguration with a trip to Veracruz and has shown no sign of slowing.
AMLO’s work trips typically take place between Friday and Sunday but he has also fled the National Palace midweek on occasion in order to promote his social programs and speak to citizens in what is generally referred to as provincia (anywhere outside the capital).
The president’s incessant crisscrossing of Mexico is reminiscent of a never-ending political campaign, Milenio noted.
López Obrador’s air travel – 129 flights in total – is exclusively on commercial airlines (the presidential plane is up for sale). Like any other passenger, he lines up to check in and board and is required to go through security.
Car travel is necessary, the president says, because how else will he stay up to date with the condition of the nation’s roads. While on the road, AMLO eats in his chauffeur-driven SUV or stops at roadside eateries to chow down on a local specialty.
His travel at times takes him to parts of the country where there is no mobile coverage and he has thus been incommunicado during critical moments for his government, Milenio said.
López Obrador has spent more time in Oaxaca than any other state during his first 12 months in office.
He has attended 30 official events on 19 different days in the southern state, visited rural hospitals and toured indigenous regions of Oaxaca where his predecessors never set foot.
Veracruz is the president’s second most visited state (15 days in total) followed by México state, Yucatán, Chiapas, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Nayarit, Puebla and San Luis Potosí.
States governed by the conservative National Action Party, including Querétaro, Tamaulipas, Baja California Sur, Guanajuato, Quintana Roo and Tamaulipas, were among the least visited by López Obrador.
The president’s exhausting travel schedule looks set to continue during the second year of his six-year term: now that he has visited 80 rural hospitals across the country, López Obrador plans to tour Mexico’s most marginalized schools, of which there are probably quite a few.
However, the destination and date of the president’s first overseas trip – he decided not to attend both the G20 leaders’ summit and the United Nations General Assembly this year, citing pressing issues at home – remain to be seen.
Source: Milenio (sp)