Protesters hit the streets in at least 40 cities across Mexico on Saturday to demand the resignation of President López Obrador.
It was a protest indicative of the times: the demonstrators didn’t march shoulder to shoulder but instead expressed their disapproval of AMLO, as the president is widely known, and the federal government while maintaining a safe distance from each other in their cars and on motorcycles and bicycles.
Organized by several groups including one known as the National Anti-AMLO Front, the protests – dubbed “honk your horn against the federal government” – took place in cities in more than 20 states including Mexico City, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Aguascalientes, Hermosillo, Cuernavaca, Morelia, Oaxaca, Pachuca, San Luis Potosí, Chihuahua, Durango, Tijuana, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Xalapa, Querétaro, Puebla and Mérida.
The Mexico City protest “caravan” set off from the National Auditorium on Saturday morning and headed to the National Palace – the seat of executive power – in the capital’s historic center, where demonstrating motorists sounded their horns in anger and shouted slogans against the president and his government’s “communist” policies.
“AMLO, you’ve devastated Mexico, leave now!” read one placard held up by a protester.
Others read: “We’re not elitists, we’re Mexicans fed up with you!”; “AMLO, you’re toxic, inefficient and inept. You’re killing Mexico day by day, leave now!”; “AMLO out!”; and “Resign now!”
About 1,500 cars formed a long protest caravan that traveled between the Minerva and Niños Héroes roundabouts in Guadalajara, Jalisco, while the occupants of about 300 vehicles protested against AMLO through the streets of Morelia, Michoacán.
In Mérida, the capital of Yucatán state, dozens of motorists participated in a “protest on wheels” against López Obrador’s planned visit to the city on Tuesday.
Dissatisfaction with AMLO and his 18-month-old administration was also evident on social media, with the hashtags #AMLOVeteYa (AMLO leave now) and #MéxicoNoTeQuiereAMLO (Mexico doesn’t love you AMLO) trending on Twitter over the weekend.
Speaking in a video message on Sunday, López Obrador attributed the protests to his “very corrupt, very individualistic and conservative adversaries” who don’t want to lose the privileges they enjoyed under previous governments.
He urged his detractors not to be impatient, telling them that they will have the opportunity to have their say at the 2021 mid-term federal elections and in a 2022 “revocation of mandate” vote at which citizens will have the opportunity to terminate his six-year term before its scheduled conclusion in late 2024.
“Don’t get impatient, I established the rules myself because I’m a man of principles. I won’t be in government if the people don’t support me,” López Obrador said.
“People will vote [in the mid-terms]; if they want a return of conservatism, of corruption, of privileges, the people are free [to vote that way]. I will always respect the people’s mandate,” he said.
López Obrador said that he was unconcerned by the protests against his administration because they are a natural consequence of the “transformation” his government is undertaking.
“I’m attacked a lot now but it’s a badge of pride, … they’re questioning me because of the transformation process that is being carried out.”