Saturday, June 15, 2024

Schools get books celebrating AMLO’s election victory, deriding ‘neoliberal years’

One book that flatters President López Obrador and another that is critical of one of his pet hates – neoliberalism – are to be distributed to primary and middle schools.

México Grandeza y Diversidad (Mexico Greatness and Diversity) celebrates AMLO’s “crushing victory” at the 2018 presidential election in one chapter and describes the president as a leader who inspires the confidence of millions of Mexicans.

Morena, the ruling party founded by López Obrador, is different to other political parties and “committed to the people,” writes author and academic Armando Bartra in the chapter entitled “A new hope.”

Published by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) with public money, the book will be distributed free of charge to primary and middle school libraries as well as history, civics and social studies teachers.

It will also be dispatched to municipal libraries, INAH director Diego Prieto told a press conference. An initial print run will see 120,000 copies of the book produced, he said.

Another book bound for school libraries is Historia del Pueblo Mexicano (History of the Mexican People), which was produced by the federal government and has a foreword by López Obrador.

The book, which is available free as a PDF document, has chapters on events such as the Spanish conquest, independence and the Mexican Revolution.

It is also highly critical of Mexico’s neoliberal period, defined by AMLO as the 36 years between 1982 and 2018. Inequality and discrimination both increased as a result of neoliberalism, contends the book, which will also be sent to teacher training colleges.

“The neoliberal governments affirmed that upon opening up the Mexican economy in order to participate in a trade agreement with the United States and Canada we would have growth, employment and prosperity. What there is is stagnation, unemployment and migration,” the book says.

Ironically, López Obrador is an ardent supporter of the USMCA, the North American free trade pact that succeeded NAFTA.

Still, he frequently rails against neoliberalism, blaming it for all manner of ills that have plagued, and continue to plague, Mexico.

“Neoliberalism … brought with it a very individualistic, very selfish vision,” López Obrador said during an attack on Mexico’s “aspirational” middle class last year.

The publication of México Grandeza y Diversidad and Historia del Pueblo Mexicano comes nine months after the federal government entrusted a group of teachers, teaching students and retired teachers with the task of writing textbooks that are free of “authoritarian discourse.”

Concerns were raised at the time that the new textbooks wouldn’t contain quality educational material and wouldn’t be neutral in a political sense.

With reports from El Universal 

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