A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
By David Gaddis Smith
Populist politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a rally for his Morena movement in Tijuana on Thursday that the PRI and the PAN "are the same" and also said the return of the PRI to the presidency next year would be like the 1836 return of former Mexican dictator Antonio López de Santa Anna, under whose presidency Mexico lost half its territory to the United States.
The rally was attended by more than 2,000 people on Avenida Constitución between 2nd and 3rd streets, but many of those in attendance were bused in from Rosarito, Ensenada and San Quintín.
López Obrador made many promises during his speech, including that all elderly Mexicans would receive a small pension. That promise drew major applause and cheering. When he was mayor of Mexico City, López Obrador started a program to give the elderly in the capital a small monthly pension.
He said he would return Mexico to agricultural self-sufficiency, lamenting the inroads U.S. agricultural products have made into the country. He said Mexico should return to having "agricultural sovereignty." Video of López Obrador calling for agricultural self-sufficiency.
He said what he called the "mafia of power" uses either the PAN or PRI to do their bidding. When he spoke of the possibility of the PRI returning to the presidency next year, members of the crowd shouted, "Not again!" López Obrador said the mafia of power nefariously imposed Calderón on the nation, and now is going to deceive the public again with likely Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, (above right) the governor of Mexico state. Peña Nieto is the frontrunner for next year's election; López Obrador said Calderón's actions have ruined his party's chances to keep the presidency next year. López Obrador said the return of the PRI to the presidency would be like the 1846 return of the presidency of Mexican dictator Antonio López de Santa Anna, (left) after which Mexico lost half its territory to the United States and "which caused the raising of the U.S. flag at the National Palace at Mexico City's Zócalo, one of the saddest moments in the history of our country."
López Obrador lost to Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party by a razor-close margin in 2006 in what López Obrador has called a fraudulent election. López Obrador ran under the banner of the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, but resigned from the party earlier this year due to a dispute with its leadership. Still, he may yet run under the party's banner again next year. There were many banners for the PRD and for the Workers Party, known by its initials PT, in Tijuana on Thursday.
López Obrador clearly is aiming for the presidency again. His appearances are being made, however, for the official purpose of promoting his Morena program, Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional, or National Regeneration Movement. López Obrador said there were now 30,000 Morena groups across the nation. The funding of campaign advertising has become more complex under Mexican electoral law. A complaint from the PAN that López Obrador was using radio spots to advertise his Morena meetings was recently rejected by the Federal Electoral Institute, which said no radio spots had occurred recently. Story that appeared Monday on the IFE decision. This lack of advertising may have contributed to the relatively low local turnout for López Obrador; many Tijuana residents did not know that he was going to be appearing.
He said he would be holding a rally in Los Angeles on June 12. "We are going to defend rights, we are going to defend the migrants.... The migration problem is not going to be solved with ... border fences," he said. Video of López Obrador describing his intent for going to Los Angeles.
He blasted teacher's union leader Elba Esther Gordillo, whom he blamed in part for his defeat, and made a negative remark about her owning a home in Coronado.
Luis Ortiz of Ensenada cheers
López Obrador's pension
promise for the elderly
López Obrador discusses June 12 trip to Los Angeles
López Obrador discusses agricultural sovereignty