As President López Obrador approaches the completion of his first year in office, he took some time Wednesday morning to look back, not at the high points, but the tough ones.
Recounting the five most difficult moments of his first year, he chose the January 18 explosion of a gasoline pipeline in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo, as the worst. The explosion that killed 137 people occurred after the pipeline was tapped by fuel thieves.
López Obrador said the second most difficult episode was the threat by the United States to impose a 5% tariff on Mexican imports. U.S. President Trump made the threat to press Mexico to take action against the wave of undocumented migrants passing through the country to enter the U.S.
The “war” that broke out on the streets of Culiacán, Sinaloa, in October after federal security forces arrested Ovidio Guzmán López, son of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, was difficult moment No. 3.
“[It was] a war, I believe the shortest war in history, a four-hour war. It was complicated, because we made decisions under difficult circumstances,” the president said.
He then reiterated that his administration did the right thing in deciding to release the cartel boss, because the goal was to safeguard innocent lives.
The fourth most complicated moment of his first year in office was the killing of nine members of the LeBarón and Langford families in Sonora earlier this month.
“This terrible tragedy of the LeBarón family, the loss of the lives of three women and six children, was very tough, and we’re taking actions to clarify the facts so there will be justice,” said the president, who will meet with family members on Monday.
Difficult moment No. 5 was the decision to grant asylum to the beleaguered ex-president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, after he resigned under pressure from protests and the military in early November.
“It was an opportune and adequate decision made according to our principles of foreign policy to protect political prisoners,” he said.
The president also took advantage of his morning conference to extend an invitation to his state of the nation address next Sunday.
He said that in addition to reporting on his government’s progress, “we shall gather to demonstrate that the transformation is being carried out among everyone, that there are many Mexican citizens that support us, that we’re pushing to make this change truly real,” he said.
“Of course, the people are the motor for change, the soul of the transformation. I am the leader, but like [former president Benito] Juárez said, ‘everything with the people, nothing without them.’ We are going to show that we’re an organized people, that we’re carrying out this transformation for the benefit of Mexico.”
The president will make his address at 11:00am in the Mexico City zócalo.