Weekly Geopolitical Report – The Rise of AMLO: Part II (March 20, 2017)
by Thomas Wash
In their next general election, Mexicans will cast their vote for the 64th president of the country’s history. The two frontrunners are Margarita Zavala from the National Action Party and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) from the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA). Although the election won’t be held until July 2018, current polls suggest that AMLO would win by a small margin if the election were held today. His recent surge can be partially attributed to growing nationalism in Mexico due to Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States.
AMLO’s core supporters can be broken into two groups, those who are against neo-liberal economic reforms and those who want more social benefits. He derives most of his support from the southern region of Mexico, primarily in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas, where there is a significant indigenous population. To get an idea of how his supporters view him, imagine a politician with Bernie Sanders’s righteousness and Donald Trump’s brashness. AMLO is known for participating in protests, and was once left bloody from an altercation with police. He also hurls insults at his political rivals in the PRI and PAN parties, labelling them as the “mafia elite.” Recently, he held a pep rally in California to criticize Donald Trump’s immigration policies and vowed to take his complaints to the United Nations. If AMLO wins the presidency, it could adversely affect the already tense relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.
This week’s report will be divided into three sections. First, we will offer a brief biography on AMLO. Next, we will analyze his possible policy agendas and discuss the likelihood that he wins the presidency, followed by possible market ramifications.