OPINION: Mexico’s AMLO is popular yes… but can he deliver?

Marcos Martinez collaborator and political analyst for the BBC, says Mexico’s AMLO is still riding high 10 months after election, but some experts are wondering: Can he deliver?

When Mexico’s populist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected by a landslide in July, some analysts warned that he could quickly lose support once in office, especially if he failed to deliver on his ambitious promise of delivering a “radical transformation” of his country.

Five months after his swearing-in, his approval ratings range between 60% and 86% and are the envy of many other leaders in the hemisphere.

But how has the 65 year old commonly referred to as Amlo fared so far and what problems has he been able to tackle?

Just weeks into the top job, Amlo announced that he had launched an operation to fight widespread theft from oil pipelines, a nationwide problem costing the Mexican state about 3 billion USD each year.

Besides deploying thousands of troops in the operation, his government also shut down major oil pipelines that criss-cross the country. Almost immediately, shortages of fuel in major cities were reported, causing massive queues at petrol stations.

Nevertheless, polls showed Mexicans supported the crackdown, and normal fuel supply has since been restored.

Official figures suggest the move has significantly reduced the amount of oil being illegally siphoned off daily, from 81,000 barrels in November of 2018 to 4,000 in the first months of 2019.