Tuesday, June 25, 2024

AMLO on the road to Colima, Sonora and New York: the week at the morning press conferences

President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador has a complicated relationship with petroleum. The energy nationalist has invested in oil refineries and touted petroleum as the best business in town. However, he has also said that Mexico will only extract what it needs for its own consumption, and claimed that lower extraction rates than previous administrations were a sign of a commitment to ecology.

While the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, rattled on, AMLO would speak at another UN meeting on Tuesday, as chair of the Security Council’s meeting on exclusion, inequality and conflict.

Monday 

A congratulations to “Canelo” Álvarez and “Checo” Pérez kicked off the week. The boxer and race car driver, both from Guadalajara, had done their country proud over the weekend.

The same couldn’t be said for anti-corruption czar Santiago Nieto, head of the federal government’s Financial Intelligence Unit, who got married in Guatemala in a lavish ceremony, colored by private jets and confiscated piles of cash. “It’s a scandalous issue … we must recommend that public servants act in moderation, with austerity,” AMLO said. Nieto later tendered resignation

Some personal details about the president came to light. His favorite restaurant, he revealed, was El Cardenal, which has four sites in Mexico City. On Saturday, he reminded viewers, he would celebrate his 68th birthday.

Good spin was on show from the man from Tepetitán later in the conference: “The Financial Times put [me as] the second best president in the world: Andrés Manuel López Obrador,” he exulted, referring to a study on the leaders with the best poll ratings. 

Media censorship came to the fore, and AMLO mentioned a name that’s still sure to make a splash. “I  remember when they cancelled the [social media] account[s] of President Trump. I expressed my disagreement and I continue to express my disagreement. A private corporation, no matter how powerful, cannot silence the president of a country … it is an attack on freedom,” he said. 

Tuesday

On Tuesday it was off to New York, where the president chaired the UN Security Council’s meeting on exclusion, inequality and conflict. If he can make it there — they say — he’ll make it anywhere.

In his speech, he cited President Franklin D. Roosevelt as an inspiration, and pointed to corruption as the world’s most pressing problem: “It would be hypocritical to ignore that the main problem on the planet is corruption in all its dimensions: political, moral, economic, legal, fiscal and financial. It would be foolish to omit that corruption is the main cause of inequality, poverty, frustration, violence, migration and serious social conflicts.

Ana Elizabeth García
Ana Elizabeth García reveals the media’s lies of the week.

“We are in decline because never before in the history of the world has so much wealth been accumulated in so few hands through influence, and at the cost of the suffering of other people … distorting social values ​​to make the abominable seem like acceptable business,” he said.

The president then revealed a US $1 trillion global poverty-alleviation plan for ‘fellowship and well-being.’

Wednesday

To lie “is to say or manifest the opposite of what one knows, believes or thinks, according to the Dictionary of Spanish Language,” fake news finder Ana Elizabeth García Vilchis announced before correcting “media lies.”

She confirmed that the Laguna Verde nuclear power plant in Veracruz did not suffer a red alert; the electricity plant in Petacalco, Guerrero, was working just fine, and the president’s energy reforms had not been stalled due to pressure from the United States.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard took the podium next. He said 47 countries had signed on to the president’s poverty-alleviation proposal at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, and summarized how the cash could be collected: 4% from the world’s richest people, 4% of the profits of the thousand highest earning companies, and 0.2% of the GDP of the G20 countries, which includes Mexico.

The energy reform, AMLO mused, was about making prices fair. Presumably he was also motivated by a traumatic experience in the past, scrambling around in the dark for an bag of potato chips: “The [chain convenience store] Oxxo pays less for electricity than a grocery store … the grocer has to have their shop lights turned off and has to unplug their freezers and their refrigerators so as not to pay so much for electricity. But you go to an Oxxo and even at night it is all lit up,” he said. 

Thursday

Colima city was the venue for Thursday’s conference which — in this writer’s biased opinion — is one of the finest parts of the country.

As gems go it is a relatively undiscovered one: its violence figures may keep it so. Governor Indira Vizcaíno confirmed that the state became the country’s homicide capital during her predecessor’s term. However, it was going it the right direction, with homicides down 13% in 2021 compared to last year.

“Love is paid with love, and Colima has a lot of love for you,” Vizcaíno offered to the president.

AMLO spoke in kind: “Colima is a very beautiful state, it has the mountains, it has the Colima volcano and it has the coast … a unique fertility in this state,” he said, and confirmed that 2 billion pesos (about US $97 million) would be invested in the port of Manzanillo. 

Interior Minister Adán Augusto López Hernández
Interior Minister Adán Augusto López Hernández speaks at Friday’s conference in Hermosillo.

Quizzed on his pick for Santiago Nieto’s replacement at the Financial Intelligence Unit, the president assured viewers that Pablo Gómez was a man of morals and rectitude: I know Pablo Gómez. For those who do not know his history, Pablo Gómez was a leader of the ’68 movement, a student leader, he was in jail in ’68 and he has always been on the left, and has resisted all temptations,” AMLO said. 

Friday

Hermosillo, Sonora, played host for Friday’s conference: “Revolutionary people, dignified people, working people, noble people,” the president said of his hosts.

Governor Alfonso Durazo Montaño was full of optimism for investment in the port of Guaymas, but on security conceded that the state was second worst for femicides.

Later in the conference, AMLO assured that his government “will continue to protect women.”

Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez offered some detail on the government’s strategy: “Peace Construction” task forces were in place to combine federal and local wisdom; the National Guard was doing investigative work, and 16 days of national activism from November 25 were planned to “make the problem more visible.”

Durazo offered some context: “The fundamental problem we have is familial violence … In first place … in calls to 911 is familial violence,” he said. 

The president confirmed it would be an understated 68th birthday celebration on Saturday. “On my return to Mexico City I’ll stay for a family celebration … I could not get on and face problems outside if inside I didn’t have family support …. So, they are my two great passions: the people and my family, and I’ll add one more, which has to do with Sonora: baseball.”

Mexico News Daily

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