Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center Amphitheater 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004

AMLO, MORENA, and the 2018 Mexico Elections

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Please see below for the video with English translation. Translation was provided by Jill Clark and Nancy Cox.

09-05-2017 AMLO, MORENA and the 2018 Mexico Elections

Never before has a Mexican presidential contender received as much international attention as former head of government of Mexico City and three-time candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. With a campaign focused on criticisms of corruption and "neoliberal" policies under the previous three governments, López Obrador and his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party represent the Mexican left's best shot at winning the presidency in recent history. He currently leads the polls in what is sure to be a close race between numerous candidates, to be decided in a single round in July 2018. 

The Woodrow Wilson Center's Mexico Institute and the Inter-American Dialogue were pleased to welcome López Obrador for an open and frank discussion of his policy proposals and his view on domestic and foreign challenges facing Mexico - including a complicated relationship with Washington.

Key Quotes
 

On the upcoming election:
 

Our people do not want any foreign government to meddle in the affairs that are the exclusive business of the Mexican people.” 

“Nuestro pueblo no quiere que se involucre ningún gobierno extranjero en asuntos que solo nos corresponde a los Mexicanos.”

“Politics was invented to avoid confrontations. We have to engage in politics and engage in dialogue.”

“La política se inventó para evitar la confrontación. Hay que hacer política y hay que dialogar y se puede llegar a un acuerdo.”

On corruption:

 

"It is not a matter of laws but rather, political will."

“Que no es asunto de leyes, sino de voluntad política.”

“If the President is honest, then the governors will have to be honest, so it [trickles] down to the last civil servant. We are going to clear corruption out of government from top to bottom – just like sweeping the stairs."

“Si el presidente es honesto, los gobernadores tendrán que ser honestos, y así hasta el último servidor público. Vamos a limpiar el gobierno de corrupción de arriba para abajo, como se barren las escaleras.” 

Honesty should be a way of life and a way of governance.”

Que la honestidad sea forma de vida y forma de gobierno."

On the economic future of Mexico:

 

“We are going to produce what we eat. We will no longer buy from outside the country.”

"Vamos a producir en México lo que consumimos. Ya no compráramos en el extranjero lo que consumimos."

“With the involvement of the public sector, private sector, and civil society, we will be planting one million hectares of timberland in the country [and] we will be promoting cattle ranching, fishing, industrial development, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises. We will build a new passenger train service from the northern border and a high speed train along the Maya route: Tulum, Calakmul, Palenque.”

"Con la participación de los tres sectores: el público, el privado y el social. Vamos a sembrar un millón de hectáreas de árboles maderables y frutales en el sursureste del país. Se promoverá la agricultura, la ganadería y la pesca, habrá una política de fomento industrial y de apoyo a pequeñas y medianas empresas. Se va construir la nueva vía de ferro carril de pasajeros hacia la frontera norte y el tren rápido de la ruta maya—Cancún, Tulum, Calakmul, Palenque."

“Throughout Mexico, there will be internet service.”

"En todo el territorio nacional, habrá señal de internet."
 

On education:

 

“Education is not a privilege – it is a right.”

"La educación no es un privilegio, es un derecho del pueblo, de los ciudadanos". 

“I’m not against private education. If you can afford private education, that is your right, but the state has the obligation to provide quality and free public education at all levels.”

"Yo no estoy en contra de la educación privada. El que tiene para pagar una escuela privada lo puede hacer. Está en su derecho. Pero el estado está obligado garantizar la educación pública, gratuita, de calidad, en todo los niveles escolares.” 

On relations with the United States:

 

“We are not going to fight with the U.S government. What we will do is demand our sovereignty – sovereignty with respect. We will also defend the right of Mexicans to earn a living in any place in the world through honest work. This is something that President Wilson and Roosevelt made part of foreign policy. The two of them defended the right to work, human beings’ right to work and to universal fraternity.” 

"No nos vamos a pelear con el gobierno de Estados Unidos. Haremos valer nuestra soberanía con respeto. En primer término defenderemos, eso sí,  sin condicionamiento, el derecho de nuestros connacionales a ganarse la vida en cualquier lugar del mundo con su trabajo honrado. Esto lo convierto en política de exterior el Presidente Wilson y el Presidente Roosevelt— los dos — defendieron el derecho al trabajo de los seres humanos, derecho a la fraternidad universal.” 

“The 50 Mexican consulates in the U.S., in a short period of time, will fully take on the defense of Mexicans and migrants in the U.S. In practical terms, these consulates will become true centers for the defense of migrants.”

"En poco tiempo, los 50 consulados de México en los Estados Unidos, se ocuparan por completo de la defensa de nuestros paisanos, y de los migrantes. Para efectos prácticos, se convertirán los consulados en auténticas procuradurías para la defensa de migrantes.”

On energy reform:

 

"I do not agree that a lot of investment has come to Mexico, due to the structural reforms and in particular due to the energy reform. That is part of their publicity that millions upon millions of dollars, nor is it completely true, that those investments are responsible for the discovery of new oil deposits.  That is simply the opinion of those who are defending the energy reform. But that reality is different. Such investment has come, and production is falling off."

"Bueno, yo difiero en que haya llegado mucha inversión a México por las reformas estructurales, en particular por la reforma energética. Eso es parte de la publicidad, miles de millones de dólares e incluso tampoco es de todo el cierto que por esas inversiones se descubren nuevos yacimientos de petróleo. Esa es la opinión de quienes defienden las reformas. La realidad es otra. No hay esa inversión y se está cayendo la producción."

"We are going to modernize the six refineries. We have already gone through a reconfiguration and modernization process in Minatitlán, Cadereyta, and Ciudad Madero refineries. This has been done with an investment along the order of 800 million dollars, but thanks to corruption those refineiries are still there and they dont have capacity to produce gasoline. 

“Vamos a modernizar las seis refinerías. Ya se ha hecho en tres, se ha llevado a cabo un proceso de reconfiguración, de modernización, en Minatitlán, en Cadereyta, y la refinería en ciudad madero. Tres de las seis. Fue una inversión en reconfigurar de ocho mil millones de dólares. Pero por la corrupción, siguen las refinerías sin capacidad de producir gasolina.”

“Our plan is to rehabilitate and modernize 63 different hydroelectric plants in the country. None of these are operating at full capacity.” 

“El plan nuestro es rehabilitar y modernizar las sesenta y tres hidroeléctricas que tiene el país que no están operando a toda su capacidad.”

On DACA:

 

“I do not agree and I say so, very respectfully. I have no interest in getting involved. I believe opportunities must be given to youth. We have to encourage and promote talent. Promote it through the development of science and technology. Knowledge. Not close the borders. I am sure in the U.S there is truly a balance. A counter weight amongst the branches of government. I feel very confident that the U.S Congress will make the right decision about this DACA decision.”

“No estoy de acuerdo, y lo digo respetuosamente sin ánimo de parecer injerencista. Creo que hay que dar oportunidades a los jóvenes y fomentar el talento [especialmente] todo lo que tenga que ver con el desarrollo de la ciencia y tecnología. Del conocimiento. No cerrar las fronteras. Yo estoy seguro porque en EE.UU. entre otras cosas admirables existe un verdadero equilibrio, un contra peso en poderes [políticos]. Estoy seguro [de] que el Congreso va a rectificar sobre este planteamiento. El Congreso va a corregir [este planteamiento].” 

“I do hope the DACA decision is amended and resolved."

“Yo espero que se modifique esa propuesta y se resuelva.”

“If the U.S Congress decides to support the closing of the doors to innovators– very soon Mexico’s borders will open to all the young people who want to move forward in science and technology.

“Si el Congreso decide que apoya el cerrar las puertas a los creadores, pronto, muy pronto, se van a abrir las puertas de México. A todos los jóvenes que quieran desarrollarse en ciencia, en tecnología, [y] en conocimiento.” 

“The doors of Mexico are open!”

En México, las puertas estan abiertas!"

 

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This is the second event in a series related to the Mexico Institute's coverage of the 2018 Mexican elections, featuring contenders and presidential candidates. For more on the Mexico Institute's election coverage, visit our 2018 Mexico Elections Guide.

 This event was conducted in Spanish. Simultaneous Interpretation equipment was provided.

Organized by the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, the Inter-American Dialogue & TCMA, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center 

 

  

 

Speakers

Introduction

Moderator

Panelists