From a Reuters article on Kamala Harris’ visit to Mexico, where she made a good impression on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO):
Lopez Obrador, a leftist, likened the Trump administration to Nazi Germany for its migration policies while he was in opposition, but acceded to the American president’s demands to tighten the border after taking charge of Mexico in December 2018.
I am by no means an expert on Mexican politics, but I know enough to know that calling AMLO a “leftist” isn’t right. The similarly meaningless term “populist” is probably better since it’s generally used to describe the kind of incoherent moron that AMLO seems to be. For example, his COVID response, which was terrible, was widely thought to be a bit better than Brazil’s, so it didn’t get the same attention as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s self-induced tragedy. Still, in March, Mexico re-adjusted their death toll to about the same as Brazil’s (which was almost certainly an under-report): 321,000, for a country that is a little more than half the size of Brazil.
AMLO and his Morena party held on to power (though with a smaller majority) in Sunday’s mid-term elections because the alternatives are worse.
“He’s leading a very capricious government,” said Pilar Hurtado, 52, who voted in a well-to-do Mexico City neighbourhood and accused Amlo of being “against the middle class”.
Still, she opted for Morena, saying: “All the other parties are trash.”
That last sentence pretty much sums up current Mexican politics. Also, “capricious” is better than “populist” or “leftist”.
In addition to screwing the pooch on COVID, AMLO has been unable to curb cartel violence that has gripped the country: for example, at least 34 of the candidates in the midterm election were killed, with basically a zero solve rate on those killings.
Still, I have to defend the guy from Reuters’ facile gloss on his immigration policies. I can certainly understand why he would compare the Trump Administration’s immigration policies to Nazi Germany, while then agreeing to tighten border restrictions. Much of the immigration is from citizens of Central American countries that impacts Mexico (especially considering the COVID situation) on their way to the US/Mexican border. Plus, as is obvious to anyone studying the situation, border controls don’t work when the alternative is death for you and your family. AMLO’s immigration “restrictions” are the sleeves of a vest, and if you were Mexico and faced with Trump, you’d appease him, too.
Anyway, it’s good to see VP Harris visiting Mexico and treating them like an ally instead of a scapegoat. And, for what it’s worth, even though the international coverage of the Times gets endless fawning hand jobs from the rest of the US media complex, the Guardian is every bit as good or better. Here’s their Mexico feed.