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Encyclopedia > Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Andrés Manuel López Obrador (b. 13 November 1953) is a Mexican politician. He was the Head of Government (Jefe de Gobierno) of the Federal District (commonly called the "mayor of Mexico City" in the English-language press) from 2000 to 2005. He was briefly removed from office in April 2005 by the Chamber of Deputies as part of a constitutional process for disobeying a court order. For political reasons, he was reinstated when the Attorney General (called Procuraduría General de la República) refused to issue an arrest warrant on a controversial technicality (see the desafuero section of this article). His arrest would have seriously compromised his presidential aspirations for 2006, and he will quit his post in July 2005 to campaign for the 2006 elections. López Obrador was previously the president of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) in his home state of Tabasco and the president of the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) at the state and national levels. Picture of Andrés Manuel López Obrador taken by Ariel Gutiérrez Vivanco on June 17, 2003 and published at http://www. ... Picture of Andrés Manuel López Obrador taken by Ariel Gutiérrez Vivanco on June 17, 2003 and published at http://www. ... November 13 is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 48 days remaining. ... 1953 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... The United Mexican States or Mexico (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos or México; regarding the use of the variant spelling Méjico, see section The name below) is a country located in North America, bordered by the United States to the north, and Belize and Guatemala to the southeast. ... The Head of Government ( Spanish: Jefe de Gobierno) wields executive power in the Mexican Federal District (the federal district, or D.F., is the seat of national executive, legislative, and judicial power, and is largely contiguous with the core of the sprawling Mexico City conurbation). ... Other Mexican States Capital Mexico City Area 1,479 km² Ranked 32nd Population (2000 census) 8,591,300 Ranked 2nd Head of Govt Andrés Manuel López Obrador PRD Federal Deputies (30) PRD = 27 PAN = 3 Federal Senators PAN = 1 PVEM = 1 PRD = 1 ISO 3166-2 Postal abbr. ... A mayor (from the Latin maīor, meaning larger,greater) is the politician who serves as chief executive official of some types of municipalities. ... Mexico City (Spanish: Ciudad de México) is the federal capital of, and largest city in, Mexico. ... 2000 is a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ... The Institutional Revolutionary Party (Spanish: Partido Revolucionario Institucional or PRI) held power in Mexico for more than 70 years. ... This article refers to Tabasco state; for the condiment see Tabasco sauce Other Mexican States Capital Villahermosa Other major cities List of municipalities Area 25,267 km² Ranked 24th Population (2000 census) 1,889,370 Ranked 20th Governor (2001-07) Manuel Andrade Díaz (PRI) Federal Deputies (6) PRI = 6... The Party of the Democratic Revolution (in Spanish: Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD) is one of the three main political parties in Mexico. ...


In the media, López Obrador is frequently referred to by his initials AMLO and as el Peje an abbreviation of pejelagarto, a species of fish from the Lepisosteidae family, found in Tabasco. Eukaryota > Metazoa > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata > Euteleostomi > Actinopterygii > Neopterygii > Semionotiformes > Lepisosteidae Lepisosteidae is a group of Semionotiformes animals that contains: Lepisosteus Lepisosteus oculatus Lepisosteus osseus Lepisosteus platyrhynchus Lepisosteus spatula ...

Contents

Background

Born in the small town of Tepetitán, Macuspana municipality, in Tabasco, López Obrador became interested in politics at an early age. He studied political science and public administration at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) before joining the PRI and collaborating actively in Carlos Pellicer's campaign for the governorship of Tabasco. This article refers to Tabasco state; for the condiment see Tabasco sauce Other Mexican States Capital Villahermosa Other major cities List of municipalities Area 25,267 km² Ranked 24th Population (2000 census) 1,889,370 Ranked 20th Governor (2001-07) Manuel Andrade Díaz (PRI) Federal Deputies (6) PRI = 6... The National Autonomous University of Mexico (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; abbreviation: UNAM) was founded in 1551, and is now the largest university in Latin America and it is considered the best University of this region based on the Beijing University and the London Times suplemments. ... Carlos Pellicer (January 16, 1897 - February 16, 1977) was born Carlos Pellicer Cámara in Villahermosa, Tabasco. ...


In 1977, he was selected to head the Instituto Indigenista (Indigenous People's Institute) of his state, where he, following the government's program, promoted the publication of Native American literature. In 1984 he relocated to Mexico City to work at the Instituto Nacional del Consumidor (National Consumers' Institute), a government agency. 1977 was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1977 calendar). ... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ... 1984 is a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Although he worked for a time for Tabasco governor Enrique González Pedrero, López Obrador resigned over political differences (namely, not being handpicked as the candidate for the upcoming election for governor) to join the new dissenting wing of the PRI led by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, which would later be transformed into an independent party, the PRD. He ran for office in Tabasco in 1988 under this new banner. Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano (born May 1, 1934) is a prominent Mexican politician. ... The Party of the Democratic Revolution (in Spanish: Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD) is one of the three main political parties in Mexico. ... 1988 is a leap year starting on a Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


After losing that election, López Obrador served as PRD president in Tabasco until 1994, when, after losing, once again,for the Tabasco governorship (to the PRI, in a highly disputed election) he launched a run for the head office of his party. He led the PRD from the 2 August 1996 until 10 April 1999. 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... August 2 is the 214th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (215th in leap years), with 151 days remaining. ... 1996 is a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... 1999 is a common year starting on Friday of the Common Era, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ...


Jefe de Gobierno of Mexico City

On 29 March 2000, he entered the Federal District's Head of Government (Jefe de Gobierno) race. Jefe de Gobierno, a position with a status between that of city mayor and state governor, is arguably the second most important elected office in Mexico. His candidacy was contested by political opponents who claimed he was not really a resident of the capital city (in fact, he was not, livig is Tabasco all of his life, and only moving to Mexico City to serve as teh national head of hsi party, only four years before the election), but the allegations were dismissed on a legal technicality, and López Obrador proved popular amongst the working classes of the city, many of whom are themselves migrants from other parts of Mexico. This, combined with support from social democrats in the middle classes, vitalized by what they saw as the first real left-of-center candidate in Mexican politics for a long time, assured his solid victory in the elections of 2 July 2000, with 38.3% of the popular vote. Running as the "common candidate" of the Alliance for Mexico City, he defeated Santiago Creel of the PAN (33.4%), Jesús Silva Herzog of the PRI (22.8%), and a couple of other minor-party candidates. [1] (http://www.iedf.org.mx/estadistica_electoral/PEL2000/electoral/EJG_RD.html) March 29 is the 88th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (89th in Leap years). ... 2000 is a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A mayor (from the Latin maīor, meaning larger,greater) is the politician who serves as chief executive official of some types of municipalities. ... A governor is an official who heads the government of a colony, state or other sub-national state unit. ... July 2 is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 182 days remaining. ... 2000 is a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Santiago Creel Miranda (b. ...


Public image

López Obrador (center) with Mexican president Vicente Fox (left) and former governor Arturo Montiel (right).

During his time as Head of Government, López Obrador has become one of the most recognizable and popular politicians in Mexico, both lauded and criticized for his populism. His past as a distinguished member of the PRI for many years, and his more recent acts against the government after he joined the PRD, for instance in closing and vandalizing oil ducts to pressure Pemex, the nationally owned oil monopoly, to pay farmers who claimed their land was contaminated, have made him unpopular or controversial in many political circles. Like most left-populist politicians in Latin America, López Obrador appeals to the large lower and lower middle classes, which make up the overwhelming majority of the population, but have considerably less influence in traditional politics, the media and people with higher education and income level Download high resolution version (2000x1312, 147 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (2000x1312, 147 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Vicente Fox Quesada (born July 2, 1942) is the current president of Mexico. ...


He has constructed a public image of frugality and moderation but media revelations have contradicted him on a few ocasions. On May 10, 2005 the Crónica newspaper [2] (http://www.cronica.com.mx/nota.php?idc=180832) revealed he used a Tifanny watch with a price list of USD $7,800. It also reported that according to López own fiscal declaration he spent MXN $25,000 on 2003 on shoes (around USD $2,272). Previously on May 4, the 'Reforma' newspaper had revealed he used a Hugo Boss suit, with prices starting at USD $1,000. These revelations are based on photographs taken with a zoom lens at public events. 'La Revista' reported he used Scapinno clothes in his tours around the country on weekends, as observed by their reporter. While mexican politicians aren't noted for their frugality, López Obrador has stated on several times it is his frugality and moderation which set him apart, and on a few occasions explicitly declared he never bought a suit but had them made by a tailor in downtown Mexico City using cloth from the nearby stores, and only one or two a year as his salary didn't allowed for more. López Obrador denied he used brand suits, and said the watch was a gift worth less than 'Crónica' reported. His salary as Head of Government is around USD $7,000 a month. May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (131st in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... 2003 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... May 4 is the 124th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (125th in leap years). ... Hugo Boss AG is a fashion house based in Germany, which specializes in menswear. ... A Canon 28-300mm modern professional zoom. ... A tailor is a person whose occupation is to sew clothes custom-fit to individuals, and to repair clothes. ... Mexico City (Spanish: Ciudad de México) is the federal capital of, and largest city in, Mexico. ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ...


He owns an old car which he uses for official events, driven by Nicolás Mollinedo Bastar (whose high salary of USD $5,600 a month he justified by explaining he was not only his chauffeur as everyone thought but also his Coordinator of Logistics), has a discreet female-only group of bodyguards in civilian clothes, and insists on maintaining a running dialogue with the media, holding daily morning press conferences about the agenda of the district's government, and current events in the city. Opponents have claimed the press conferences are simply an excuse to get more publicity and media attention, doing politics from a television screen like Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez does in his weekly joint network transmissions, obligatorily carried on all television stations; one crucial difference, however, is that the Mexican broadcast media can choose whether or not to cover López Obrador's press conferences. The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... Hugo Chavez in 1999, as President of Venezuela Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (born July 28, 1954) is the President of Venezuela. ...


He is very popular among citizens of Mexico City, and was voted the second-best mayor in the world by Mexicans at the ATA online poll on www.citymayors.com. Therefore, he is widely seen as the PRD's obvious candidate for the 2006 presidential election, and until 2005 he denied having made up his mind regarding a presidential bid. As it became clear there was the possibility of a legal impediment to run for office (see Desafuero section) he publicly declared he would only support a different candidate for his party if he had a real chance of winning the election and not only a 15% of the votes (this percentage roughly that obtained by runner-up PRD precandidate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas in his previous runs for presidency). Should he run, he is considered one of the favourites, partly because both the two other main Mexican parties have had problems coming up with a viable and popular presidential candidate so far. However, his triumph isn't assured – his personal popularity is great in some parts of the country but his party, the PRD, is notably weak outside a handful of states. 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano (born May 1, 1934) is a prominent Mexican politician. ...


Some of López Obrador's supporters for the presidency consider him to be Mexico's equivalent to the other new left-populist presidents in Latin America, such as Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil), Néstor Kirchner (Argentina), Tabaré Vázquez (Uruguay), and Hugo Chávez (Venezuela); his detractors, however, prefer to compare him with the latter one. The comparison with Chávez is based on the perceived disregard of both for law and institutions coupled with an insistence on the authority of the "People" over established institutions (usually when referring to the desafuero process). Term of office: January 1, 2003 – present Preceded by: Fernando Henrique Cardoso Succeeded by: incumbent Date of birth: October 6, 1950 Place of birth: Vargem Grande (now Caetés), Garanhuns, Pernambuco First Lady: Marisa Letícia Lula da Silva Political party: Workers Party Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (born October 6, 1945... Néstor Carlos Kirchner (born 25 February 1950) is the current President of Argentina. ... Tabaré Vázquez Tabaré Ramón Vázquez Rosas (born 17 January 1940) is the current President of Uruguay. ... Hugo Chavez in 1999, as President of Venezuela Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (born July 28, 1954) is the President of Venezuela. ...


Acts supporting this perception are:

  1. the incident in Tabasco, shortly after leaving the PRI, where he led a group of farmers to close oil ducts by force. The government chose not to press charges despite having a videotape of him leading the farmers.
  2. "El Encino", cause of the lifting of his executive process (see Desafuero section), where his disregard of a federal judicial order could prevent him from running for president in 2006.
  3. Similar to "El Encino" case, he has disobeyed several court resolutions holding as legal and valid the publicity contracts of Eumex, a Spanish company installing publicity stands on some of Mexico's City sidewalks. Eumex employees and executives have been arrested when attempting to install said stands despite the rulings in their favour.
  4. His occasional complaints about media coverage of news important to him, as when he complained on April 2, 2005 that Mexican TV gave more coverage to the dying Pope than to his political fate, which had suffered an especially important blow the previous day.

This background and his trademark insistence on presenting the corruption scandals in his term (e.g. his secretary of finance was caught in corruption acts) as the result of a conspiracy against him by his political enemies (amongst which he names former president Salinas and current president Fox) make his critics believe he might, if he becomes President, take actions like taking to himself the legislative powers of Congress or shutting down TV stations, all in name of the "People", like Chávez, even though he (unlike Chávez) has never been a member of the military or attempted a coup d'état. April 2 is the 92nd day of the year (93rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 273 days remaining. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ... His Holiness Pope John Paul II (Latin: ), born Karol Józef Wojtyła [1] (May 18, 1920 – April 2, 2005), reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City for almost 27 years, from 16 October 1978 until his death. ... A coup détat (pronounced kū dā ta), or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a small group that just replaces the top power figures. ...


Political agenda

His leadership of the city government has been one focused on social issues. Under the slogan First, the poor, he has instituted various social programs to help those living in abject poverty, including various subsidies for senior citizens. He is, in general, against raising taxes and the cost of city services, obtaining funds from debt and austerity plans in spending.


He has also reformed the city's police force, leading to a reduction in corruption. He has succeeded in lowering some crime rates (like car theft) but also saw his law enforcement record stained by the lynching of federal law enforcement officers doing an undercover investigation on 2004. They were observed taking photographs and were seized for several hours after identifying themselves as federal agents; two of them were finally beaten to death and burnt, the other one barely survived and was rescued. Both federal and local authorities refused to send any kind of reinforcements despite the several hours the incident lasted and the officers' pleas for help in live television; AMLO's posture was that he would never send the police against the crowd for any motive, even if they were holding law enforcement agents, as that would inevitably provoke a massacre. For this incident President Fox fired the city's head of police Marcelo Ebrard (a constitutional power) when AMLO made it clear he would support him. AMLO appointed Ebrard as Secretary of Social Development, a post only he can revoke. Lynching is murder (usually by hanging) conceived by its perpetrators as extra-legal execution. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Vicente Fox Quesada (born July 2, 1942) is the current president of Mexico. ...


One highly visible project has been the restoration and modernization of Mexico City's old city center, the Centro Histórico, which has 16th-17th century buildings and a large number of tourist attractions, yet has been badly maintained, overcrowded, and crime-ridden in the last few decades. The Mexico City government entered into a joint venture with Carlos Slim, Latin America's richest man, and a native of the Centro Histórico, to restore and rebuild large parts of the area, creating attractive new shopping and residential areas for the middle to upper classes. Carlos Slim in Brazil. ...


In an effort to improve the city's traffic conditions, a widely cited problem exacerbated by the common blocking of streets and avenues by political activists left undisturbed by police, his government embarked in 2003 on a number of large construction projects, aiming to increase the capacity and speed of the city's main throughfares, by constructing rapid-transit upper levels and extensions. Despite being controversial while in construction, the projects have led to a noticeable improvement in travel times in some parts of the city, and more projects along the same lines are underway, or in planning. An express bus service, the Metrobús, based on the successful Colombian model is being built down Avenida Insurgentes, cutting through the city some 20 km from north to south; improvements to the aging metro system are not expected, however. The Mexico City Metrobús is a new bus rapid transit system that is currently being constructed in the capital of the Mexican Republic. ... A Mexico City metro distinctive orange train on a surface track, on Line 2 The Mexico City Metro provides mass transit transportation to large areas of the Mexican Federal District. ...


Controversy and criticism

In 2004, AMLO's city government was rocked by two major corruption scandals and a few minor ones.


In the first, Gustavo Ponce, Lopez Obrador's finance chief, was filmed gambling at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He had made 37 similar trips in the last year, his hotel bills revealing huge tips and mini-bar room charges. After Ponce was exposed in the media, a probe by the Federal District's attorney general revealed that more than USD $3 million in city funds may have gone missing. López Obrador reacted slowly and unconvingly: having received a phone call warning him of an impending scandal, he watched Ponce's gambling on the nightly news. He immediately called Ponce by telephone, and Ponce reassured AMLO it was only a confusion and he would explain it to the press the following morning. López Obrador arrived next day for his morning conference and waited for Ponce to go together to meet the press; when it was obvious Ponce had fled he signed Ponce's leave in his absence. Ponce disappeared, amid heavy criticism to his government for not placing him in custody immediately. At first AMLO did not judge Ponce, only saying Ponce owed an explanation for his behavior. When a probe revealed missing funds, he said the scandal was part of a conspiracy by his political enemies, as it is incredibly hard to make an unauthorized filming inside a casino and obtain a guest's bills, and the videotapes seemed to be from the security closed circuit. After some time he expressed his concern Ponce was dead, killed so the truth about the scandal would never come to light. When Ponce was caught hiding in Mexico several months later, he expressed his relief at knowing he was still alive. Some time after his capture, and remembering his conspiracy theory, AMLO presented to the press confidential documents of the United States Treasury Department detailing an ongoing investigation of Ponce for possible financial crimes. These documents, obtained from the Mexican government by Federal District Attorney General Bátiz, under the pretext they were needed for the probe, showed, in AMLO's eyes, a conspiracy from the federal government against him, since they knew before the scandal something was wrong with Ponce. Both the Mexican and United States government reacted harshly to this violation of the cooperation agreement among the policies of both countries. The Bellagio hotel and casino at dusk The Bellagio is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip at 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada. ... Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign just to the south of the Las Vegas Strip welcoming visitors to the city Las Vegas from U.S. Highway 93 Las Vegas is the largest city in Nevada, United States, and a major tourist, shopping, vacation and gambling destination. ...


The second scandal came when René Bejarano, previously López Obrador's personal secretary, later elected to the Mexico City legislature, was videotaped accepting USD $320,000 in cash. The video was played at Victor Trujillo's news program (which he hosted as his Brozo character), followed by an studio interview with a completely unsuspecting Bejarano. Bejarano claimed that the money, which was given to him by Carlos Ahumada, a newspaper owner and city contractor, was a cash contribution for the political campaign of Leticia Robles (not to be confused with Rosario Robles), a city borough mayor. Robles denied involvement in any illegal campaign financing. In this case, too, López Obrador failed to quickly distance himself from the scandal, placing the blame on a conspiracy by Carlos Ahumada and his political opponents (like ex-president Carlos Salinas), remaining silent about Bejarano. As more videotapes were released, AMLO found it difficult to not say anything about Bejarano's involvement and after a few months he declared he had done something inappropiate. Carlos Ahumada, who fled to Cuba to avoid prosecution, was captured by the Cuban government and held in custody, incommunicated, for some weeks before being deported to Mexico. Ahumada says he videotaped the encounters for his own safety as he felt threatened by Bejarano's cash requests, and released them as a desperate measure when his contracts with the city government were canceled. He also gave money to PRD's Carlos Ímaz, another borough mayor, who was introduced to Ahumada by Rosario Robles, AMLO's predecessor. Carlos Ahumada was imprisoned in one of Mexico City's prisons, in complete isolation; media requests to interview him have been denied. About a year later, in April 2005, when the possibility of Ahumada being found innocent of all charges and released in the following months became real, AMLO's government pressed a new charge, low quality work in one of Ahumada's contracts. This charge, a civil offense that can't be punished by prison time, will keep Ahumada in jail for one or two more years, since the general attorney refused to receive evidence in his favor in the early stages of this new process, which would have allowed Ahumada to be processed outside jail. Víctor Trujillo is a Mexican host, comedian and political commentator, best known for his character Brozo the Clown, a green-haired, unkempt and aggresive clown (an anti-clown). ... Rosario Robles Berlanga is a left-wing Mexican politician, who was appointed substitute Head of Government of the Federal District ( Mayor of Mexico City) when Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas resigned from the post to run (unsuccessfully) for the presidency in 2000. ... Rosario Robles Berlanga is a left-wing Mexican politician, who was appointed substitute Head of Government of the Federal District ( Mayor of Mexico City) when Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas resigned from the post to run (unsuccessfully) for the presidency in 2000. ...


Despite the involvement of his collaborators, reacting slowly to the scandals and his stubborn insistence on placing the blame on his political enemies only, there's no evidence AMLO participated himself in anything illegal, so he emerged from the scandals with his public image relatively unscathed.


A less damaging scandal ocurred when it was found his chaffeur, Nicolás Mollinedo Bastar, earned USD $5,600 a month. AMLO explained he worked at his Coordinator of Logistics, and as such it was part of his duties to drive his car.


In July 2004, after several months of kidnappings throughout Mexico, some of them including celebrities, (although few of them actually in the city), many non-governmental organizations called for a march in the city to protest the irrefutable high levels of crime in the country (parallel march in some state capitals were also organized). López Obrador criticized the march as nothing but a political attack, part of the conspiracy against him, referring to the somewhat reduced crime statistics in the city during his rule. Estimates place attendance at the march at between 200,000 and one million people; his government announced there wouldn't be an official count to avoid controversy. 2004 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December See also: July 2004 in sports Deaths in July • 31 David B. Haight • 29 Francis Crick • 29 Nafisa Joseph • 23 Joe Cahill • 23 Mehmood • 23 Illinois Jacquet • 23 Carlos Paredes • 22 Sacha Distel • 21 Jerry Goldsmith • 21...


Both before and after the march, the city government has distributed a series of comics, called Tales of the City to combat perceived media attacks on the government and López Obrador. The issue released after the July march hinted to the march being organized and attended mostly by uncaring upper-class citizens, and drew criticism from the march's organizers. The comic has been criticised because it openly promoted López Obrador image, and cost more than MXN $6 million (around USD $550,000) from government funds. Several political analysts and economists considered that this comic is promoting conflict among classes, as it portrays the middle and upper classes taking advantage of the poor and as allies of the "conspirators", that is, Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Vicente Fox, and even ultra-Catholics, who are usually portrayed wearing dreary masks while confabulating against AMLO. The peso is the currency of Mexico. ... Carlos Salinas de Gortari (born April 3, 1948) was President of Mexico from 1988 to 1994. ... Vicente Fox Quesada (born July 2, 1942) is the current president of Mexico. ...


A minor controversy which has the potential to become a bigger problem is his legal fight with Spanish company Eumex. Eumex contracted street publicity with former regent (before AMLO's post existed) Óscar Espinosa Villarreal. The contract has been found to be legal, so far, but AMLO says it is extremely advantageous to Eumex and violates Spanish (not Mexican) laws. A few incidents where Eumex workers and executives were detained when installing publicity stands on the sidewalks caught the media attention. Eumex lawyers claim they have a judicial order preventing AMLO's government to interfere with them, and have insinuated this could become another "El Encino" for López Obrador (see Desafuero process). The Head of Government ( Spanish: Jefe de Gobierno) wields executive power in the Mexican Federal District (the federal district, or D.F., is the seat of national executive, legislative, and judicial power, and is largely contiguous with the core of the sprawling Mexico City conurbation). ...


Mexico City is amongst the least transparent governments in the nation. Altough most states and the federal government have enacted independent organisms to disclose government documents, López Obrador has been headfast in his refusal to open his archives, and most of the data pertaining to expenditures and government work continues to be off limits to the public.


Desafuero process of 2004-2005

This process was originated by a land owner who sued the Federal District's government on the grounds of improper expropiation of a patch of land called El Encino. This case detonated of López Obrador hands on 2005, when a vote by the Chamber of Deputies lifted his constitutional immunity against criminal charges. When he is officially charged, he will lose all his civil rights, including running for Presidency in 2006, unless he is either quickly acquitted of all charges or serves his sentence before the registration deadline. On April 27, 2005, President Fox announced changes in his cabinet, a reevaluation of the legal case against AMLO and legal changes so civil rights are only suspended until a citizen is found guilty. Fox and López will met on the first week of May, 2005, as part of the efforts to heal the political climate. The new General Attorney found a way to avoid prosecuting López, but it depends on the approval on the private company that first sued him. April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 248 days remaining. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ...


Legal Background

The 111th article of the Mexican Constitution states that most high-level elected officials cannot be prosecuted for criminal offenses while in office withouth a simple majority vote of the Chamber of Deputies stating there are grounds for prosecution. This privilege is usually confused with the freedom of speech protection granted to congressmen by the 61st article, known as fuero (from Latin forum), the process to strip it is known as desafuero. Since immunity from criminal prosecution is almost universally confused with the fuero, both terms will be used interchangeably. This article is about the current Political Constitution of the United Mexican States. ... The Chamber of Deputies (Spanish: Cámara de Diputados) is the lower house of Mexicos bicameral legislature, the Congress of the Union. ... Latin is the language that was originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ...


If the Chamber of Deputies votes in the negative, the prosecution can still take place when the official leaves his post, as deputies don't vote on the accusation itself but only on whether there is a reasonable belief that a crime was committed.


If it votes in favor, the official can be prosecuted. A secondary law states in this case the official loses his office inmediately.


The constitution mandates state governors are subject to the state congress; it should be noted the Federal District isn't a state.


An individual facing criminal prosecution has his political rights suspended (38th article) so he can't run for office or hold one, at least temporarily. All candidates for the presidential election in 2006 must register no later than January 15, 2006, although the law does allow a change of candidate until May of the same year. 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The legal system is mostly untested in cases like this, and the special status of the Federal District (it is no state, until recently it was governed by a man chosen by the President, it has a legislative body that is not a state Congress) will lead to appeals and legal controversies before the Supreme Court.


El Encino case

López Obrador runs exactly this risk. On November 9, 2000, Rosario Robles, his predecessor, expropriated a patch of land from a larger property called "El Encino", in Santa Fe, Cuajimalpa, to build an access road for a private hospital. The owner sued the government on March 11, 2001, and was granted a federal judicial order barring further construction until the matter was definitively settled, as it prevented the owner access his own property. According to prosecutors, López Obrador knowingly disregarded this order several times, a minor criminal offense. By August, the judge found the works continued, so he requested the federal attorney general to make an inquiry and take the necessary steps to bring him into compliance. The federal attorney general had no option but to proceed. Several months passed, partly because until recent times the courts usually sided with the government in expropriation cases and therefore the case covers unknown ground, and partly because it was such an extraordinary step. By May 17, 2004, the federal general attorney could not keep procastinating (otherwise he would be prosecuted) and announced he would request the removal of AMLO's immunity, which he did two days later. Many months of mutual accusations later, it became clear 2005 would be a pivotal year for the case. November 9 is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 52 days remaining. ... 2000 is a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Rosario Robles Berlanga is a left-wing Mexican politician, who was appointed substitute Head of Government of the Federal District ( Mayor of Mexico City) when Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas resigned from the post to run (unsuccessfully) for the presidency in 2000. ... Cuajimalpa (formally: Cuajimalpa de Morelos) is one of the 16 delegaciones (boroughs) into which Mexicos Federal District is divided. ... March 11 is the 70th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (71st in Leap year). ... 2001 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ...


He will be formally prosecuted in a matter of days after losing his immunity. When that happens, he will have to be cleared of all charges preferably before January 15, 2006 if he wishes to run for presidency (although law allows candidate changes until May). López Obrador has declared several times he will forgo all legal means available to him to remain free until a verdict is given, going to prison when the prosecution starts and campaigning from there. He also stated he will be his own lawyer at his criminal trial (his studies are in political science and public administration) although he will receive legal advice from two different lawyers. His party is already considering changing its statutes to allow him to become candidate while jailed. Protests are expected, mostly in Mexico City and some of the more rural states, as he and his party are less popular in other parts of the country. January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


As part of his campaign before the Chamber of Deputies' vote, he's organizing mass concentrations in public places to pressure the vote in his favor and doing media interviews comparing his process with those held against mexican revolutionary Madero or civil rights activist Martin Luther King, insisting it is a conspiracy masterminded by ex-President Salinas and President Fox. Term of Office: 6 November 1911 – 18 February 1913 Preceded by: Francisco León de la Barra (interim) Succeeded by: Pedro Lascuráin (interim) Date of birth: 30 October 1873 Place of birth: Parras, Coahuila Date of death: 22 February 1913 Place of death: Mexico City Profession: Businessman First Lady: Sara Pérez... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... Activism, in a general sense, can be described as involvement in action to bring about change, be it social, political, environmental, or other change. ... Martin Luther King Jr. ...


A fact that was lost despite having appeared earlier in official documents was that, apparently, López Obrador refused to follow the judicial order barring further construction of accesses to the ABC Hospital because he was sued by them and would have to pay USD 37 million if accesses weren't finished before the deadline. Apparently his government sold land to construct the hospital but for some reason, in agreement with the hospital, such land was exchanged for another. The new land had no accesses, making it useless; the hospital sued AMLO's government. It is unknown at this moment if AMLO's government committed a financial offense in regard to this. The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ...


The Chamber of Deputies vote

Despite his vigorous defense, the process couldn't be stopped and López Obrador lost the first battle in a restricted vote by a comission of four deputies on April 1, 2005, opening the door for the full Chamber of Deputies to vote six days later to remove his immunity after hearing both his and the prosecution's arguments. This restricted vote by the comission, originally scheduled two days earlier, decided there was a reasonable belief a crime was committed by three votes to one. Media coverage of the preliminary vote was small, because of the impending demise of Pope John Paul II (he died the next day). This prompted López Obrador to express (hours before the Pope died) his concerns about what he saw as minimal coverage of his desafuero process, but "hours and hours" of special coverage on the Pope's health condition. "(The media only said that) López Obrador lost three to one, as if it were a soccer match", he said, expressing his fears of a return to a time where the media, specially television, was subordinated to the government. April 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 274 days remaining. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ... His Holiness Pope John Paul II (Latin: ), born Karol Józef Wojtyła [1] (May 18, 1920 – April 2, 2005), reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City for almost 27 years, from 16 October 1978 until his death. ...


On April 7, 2005 López Obrador went to the Chamber of Deputies to present his case. Attendance when the session began was reported to be 488 out of 500 deputies, but apparently one of the deputies arrived late to vote. After a long session where AMLO accused President Fox of being behind the process, the Chamber of Deputies voted by 360 to 127 (with two abstentions) to lift AMLO's constitutional immunity against prosecution. A secondary law states that in cases like this, he is immediately dismissed from his office. The local assembly of representatives (the Federal District has no Congress as its status is somewhere between a state and a county), with a majority of PRD members (AMLO's party) has refused to acknowledge the validity of this process. This will be relevant to the city's future, as they are the ones legally entitled to name AMLO's successor. April 7 is the 97th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (98th in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ...


Political reactions

There were political reactions both against and in favour of the process from early 2004, climaxing in April 2005 when López Obrador saw his constitutional immunity lifted.


By early 2005 AMLO promoted different forms of protest against the desafuero: posters declaring "No al desafuero" or similar slogans, seen mostly in March, making a census of political and grassroots movements willing to show their support for López Obrador, different political acts by his party, the PRD. The federal government, for its part, reiterated officials can't be exempted from following the law.


A civil society organization, No nos vamos a dejar ("We won't let that happen"), was founded, headed by Alejandro Encinas, his Secretary, and joined by several PRD and government members, making an aggressive funding and media campaign, spending MXN $5 million (USD $440,000) in March 2005 only, with other $5 million more available, as Encinas declared in April 2005. The association funding methods have been questioned, with accusations of reprisal against government employees who didn't participate by either accepting a deduction of their paychecks or providing a "voluntary" donation, and a documented incident of deviation of government funds by local representatives who had to give the money back. The association hasn't detailed the origin of their funds yet. 2005 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December- → Ongoing events • Iraqi legislative election • Bill C-38 (Canada gay marriage) • Tsunami relief • Cedar Revolution in Lebanon • Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan • German Visa Affair 2005 • Expo 2005 in Nagoya, Japan • Terri Schiavo controversy • Pope John Paul II... 2005 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December- → Ongoing events • Iraqi legislative election • Bill C-38 (Canada gay marriage) • Tsunami relief • Cedar Revolution in Lebanon • Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan • German Visa Affair 2005 • Expo 2005 in Nagoya, Japan • Terri Schiavo controversy • Pope John Paul II...


AMLO's party, the PRD, has committed itself to support him, and to some extent, his presidential candidacy.


His media strategy is to compare his prosecution with that of killings attributed to previous governments (1968, 1971) and financial scandals (1994-1995) where almost no convictions were made (but heavy fines applied in most of the later), and emphasizing his status as leader in the polls. He also compared himself with Francisco I. Madero, a political candidate in 1910 who was imprisioned by dictator Porfirio Díaz and eventually became leader of the revolution and the next president. He also has compared himself with international civil rights activists who suffered prison at some moment of their life. Term of Office: 6 November 1911 – 18 February 1913 Preceded by: Francisco León de la Barra (interim) Succeeded by: Pedro Lascuráin (interim) Date of birth: 30 October 1873 Place of birth: Parras, Coahuila Date of death: 22 February 1913 Place of death: Mexico City Profession: Businessman First Lady: Sara Pérez... Term of Office: 29 November 1876 - 30 November 1880 (first term) – 1 December 1884 - 25 May 1911 (second term) Preceded by: Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada (1876), Manuel Gonzalez (1884) Succeeded by: Manuel Gonzalez (1880), Francisco León de la Barra interim (1911) Date of birth: 15 September 1830 Place of birth...


He also claims his process to be a political plot orchestrated by, among other top politicians, former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, current President Fox, and presidential pre-candidate Santiago Creel. Carlos Salinas de Gortari (born April 3, 1948) was President of Mexico from 1988 to 1994. ...


To address fears of his political defense becoming a violent movement, fueled by his violent manifestations and takeover of the Governor's Office when he said he had been victim of fraud in the elections in Tabasco, he has called several times for a "peaceful movement". This article refers to Tabasco state; for the condiment see Tabasco sauce Other Mexican States Capital Villahermosa Other major cities List of municipalities Area 25,267 km² Ranked 24th Population (2000 census) 1,889,370 Ranked 20th Governor (2001-07) Manuel Andrade Díaz (PRI) Federal Deputies (6) PRI = 6...


The Aftermath

The loss of his constitutional immunity proved to be only the beginning of what seems poised to be a long legal and political struggle. Aside from the political power at risk, the untested legal mexican system has shown deficiencies which will further prolong controversies.


After the Deputies' vote, the Asamblea Legislativa del Distrito Federal rose a constitutional controversy against them claiming it was they who should have voted since they are similar to a state Congress. (The Federal District isn't a state). The Deputies' filed their own complaint, and both were accepted by the Supreme Court. Currently both are in effect, so AMLO is and is not Head of Government.


When a judge knew about the charges two local deputies of the PAN official party paid a guarantee to keep AMLO away from jail. The judge rejected later both the charges and the guarantee on technical grounds. AMLO called the guarantee a 'cowardly act', as he wants to be imprisoned.


On April 24 a march called by AMLO was attended by an official estimate of 1.2 million people (as estimated by the Federal District government´s Secretary of Public Security). This figure includes union and government workers. The march culminated on the Zócalo, in the center of the city, attendants either expressing their solidarity to Andrés Manuel or their disapproval to the desafuero process. This was probably the most attended political event in recent times, and comparable to the apolitical march against crime held two years before.


On April 27, 2005, President Fox announced changes in his cabinet, a reevaluation of the legal case against AMLO and legal changes so civil rights are only suspended until a citizen is found guilty. In his eight-minute speech to the Nation, he called AMLO "Head of Government", forgetting controversies about whether he was sacked from office or not, and placed great emphasis on the importance of having suspicion-free elections on 2006. This is an important victory to AMLO, but it is still too early to say the case is closed. April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 248 days remaining. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ...


On May 4, 2005 the Attorney General's office announced they would drop contempt charges against AMLO on a technicality: they declared he was guilty but his unique post as Head of Government (neither governor nor mayor) makes it unclear a penalty for his crime exists due to the wording of the relevant article. This announcement was refuted by penalists, since the Attorney General can't declare guilt nor innocence, even less interpret the law; they can't drop charges due to the nature of the offense and because charges were pressed by a private company, which has stated will follow the suit. Even if López can't be punished for a technicality (a controversial issue in itself) he could still be found guilty and subject to other penalties. Even more, under current law, López would be prevented from running for office for as long as he is subject to process, and when he resigns to run for presidency he will find himself a common citizen which could be subject to process at any moment, losing his political rights. May 4 is the 124th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (125th in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ...


Campaign for Presidency

On May 9, 2005, López Obrador announced that he would resign as head of government on July 31 in order to concentrate on his candidacy for President of Mexico. Thus far he has been running ahead in almost every survey, and his approval rating is as high as ever. May 9 is the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (130th in leap years). ...


Publications

Wikimedia Commons has more media related to:
Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Unless otherwise noted, in Spanish and published in Mexico. File links The following pages link to this file: Abu Dhabi Abraham Lincoln Australia Adolf Hitler Animation Andorra Alaska Anatomy Asia Albert Einstein Asterales Automobile Aircraft Alexander Graham Bell Apple Computer American Civil War Ancient Egypt Asteraceae Alps Arches National Park Aarhus Almond Caesar Augustus Acacia Acropolis Acupuncture Amaranth Alexander... The Wikimedia Commons is (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free images, sound and other multimedia files. ...

  • Los Primeros Pasos (First Steps)
  • Del Esplendor a la Sombra (From Splendor to Darkness)
  • Tabasco, Víctima de un Fraude (Tabasco, Victim of Fraud)
  • Entre la Historia y la Esperanza (Between History and Hope)
  • Un proyecto alternativo de nación (An alternate nation project) ISBN 685956979
  • Contra el desafuero: mi defensa jurídica (Against the lifting of executive immunity: my legal defense) ISBN 9685957908

External links

  • Mexico mayor runs into the buffers (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4425187.stm) (BBC News)
  • Greetings from Mexistan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48138-2005Apr12.html) (Washington Post opinion column)
  • Support site against the desafuero process (http://www.lopez-obrador.com.mx/)
  • Government site with online text of the 1917 Constitution (http://constitucion.presidencia.gob.mx/) (in Spanish)
  • Authors Elena Poniatowska and Paco Ignacio Taibo describe Obrador's magnetism on Democracy Now! program (http://www.archive.org/audio/audio-details-db.php?collection=democracy_now&collectionid=dn2005-0418)
  • 'Crónica' newspaper article (http://www.cronica.com.mx/nota.php?idc=180832) revealing López uses USD7,800 watches and luxury clothes. (In Spanish)

 
 

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