Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Life on Chihuahua Street isn’t quite the same since AMLO’s election

The Mexico City neighborhood of Roma, known for hip bars and trendy restaurants, has a new hot spot: president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s transition headquarters.

Hordes of media have descended on Chihuahua Street in the inner-city neighborhood this week to capture the leftist leader’s every move as he enters or leaves the house in which he meets with members of his prospective cabinet and other political movers and shakers.

Supporters of the leftist leader, who won last Sunday’s election in a landslide, have also flocked to the street in the hope of catching a glimpse of the silver-haired 64-year-old or — if they are really lucky — shaking his hand or seizing a fleeting moment to snap a selfie with Mexico’s next president as he pops his head out of his car window.

Residents of the once comparatively quiet calle have discovered that at least for the time being, they will have to get used to living on the neighborhood’s busiest street.

Some of those who arrive want to congratulate the Morena party leader or give him gifts, while others seem to be happy just being in the vicinity of the president-elect — and telling their friends and family about it.

“You’ll never guess where I am! At the house where peje is,” one AMLO supporter boasted in a telephone conversation, using the nickname López Obrador was given because the pejelagarto, a kind of garfish, is common in his home state of Tabasco.

“I’m here with all the media. Turn on the TV!”

Others, however, have more serious intentions.

One lady explained to the newspaper Milenio that she used to work for the state oil company Pemex but said that she lost her job two years ago and hasn’t been able to find work since.

The woman, identified only as Martha, showed up at AMLO’s transition headquarters with a written petition to hand over to the president-elect and after a long wait, she was finally granted access to the premises.

After 10 minutes inside, she said on her way out: “I put it right into his hands, he was very nice but he looked very serious.”

That seriousness, perhaps, was due to his considering a matter that could go some way to defining his time in office: relations with the United States.

Who is the best person to deal with a United States administration led by a president who has been frequently antagonistic towards Mexico?

At the same time Martha arrived at the Roma address, López Obrador was meeting with former Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard and the man he had proposed to be his secretary of foreign affairs, Héctor Vasconcelos.

Later in the day, AMLO announced that he would propose Ebrard for the job rather than Vasconcelos, who would instead seek to become president of the Senate foreign relations committee.

Ebrard will have the Donald Trump file.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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