Mexico in the midst of a deep social rupture. Op-Ed.

The government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the self-proclaimed 4T is starting to get dented by the escalation of social conflicts falling on its project of nation. 

Today, multiple movement protests and diversity of groups affected by its policies are tinged with polarizing rhetoric that intensifies the confrontation with producers over the “water war” in Chihuahua, peasants reluctant to build a thermoelectric plant in Morelos, or the resistance of feminist collectives against gender violence. 

The biggest problem is not only due to the discontent of groups that feel marginalized from government programs, but also to the disavowal of their causes. This discontent is since the President prefers to label them as “defense of privileges” or “manipulation of political adversaries” against his government.

All these social conflicts have little in common except for the lack of dialogue and presidential disqualification. The official position is that they obey an electoral logic that resorts to a kind of low-intensity war to wear down the government towards the 2021 elections and thus limit the presidency’s concentration of power with a new balance in Congress. 

The departure from the National Conference of Governors of almost a third of the Federalist Alliance governors corroborates how bad the situation is for this government. But AMLO, instead of negotiating, prefers to blame. He complains bitterly in his morning conferences and points out that the “rebellion for water” is to beat his 4T. Similarly, he roars against “the conservatives affected by his government project.” He yells again against the occupation of human rights installations by the feminist movement, without seeing that there are real, tangible, and objective situations behind feminist collectives’ complaints.

There is not a day when López Obrador does not presume to have “very good information” about political groups who seek to unbalance his government. Now he blames the PRI and the PAN for manipulating the peasants who have taken over the La Boquilla dam. In his short-sightedness and mediocre leadership, the President fails to see that behind the struggle for water control, there are big landowner interests that require enormous volumes of the vital liquid to maintain water-intensive crops like walnuts in a desert zone, quite more profitable than wheat and beans.  

AMLO does not leave behind his already hackneyed discourse about “privileges, the businessmen who are a rapacious minority who have kidnapped the government” and wonders “what are we going to do with the rich?”. His continuous division and polarization only make the violence escalate, as happened with the National Guard’s expulsion from the dam and the death of one person in a barbaric attack against unarmed producers. 

López Obrador prefers to cover his back and kneel before Trump’s power to avoid confrontation and breach of a 1944 agreement. It is no secret. Everyone in Mexico knows it, and the producers live it. The water fight is not a new issue in Chihuahua.

AMLO and his discontent with feminists.
Lopez Obrador dislikes women. He says he doesn’t… yet his actions say more than his words. Particularly those who talk, express themselves, and fight. It has not been uncommon for the President to hold conflicts with women’s collectives against feminicide. In the face of pressure and social condemnation, he has had no other option but to modulate his discourse of disqualification towards them, despite radical direct actions, such as the occupation of the CNDH in CDMX, Ecatepec, and other headquarters in six states of the country.

The feminist collectives have demonstrated in a convincing way that they are not a priority of the government or the 4th. Femicide is understood as “the violent death of women due to gender reasons.” These have grown exponentially in recent years. From January to June 2020, 489 femicides were registered in the country, representing an increase of 9.2% to registered femicides. in the first six months of 2019. The figure so far in 2020 is also higher than that recorded from January to June 2018 when 432 were recorded, which means an increase of 13.2% in 2020 compared to 2018. 

The Lopezobradorista government prefers “the poor,” as the President exclaims every time he can. However, women occupy the largest percentage of the most disadvantaged population and with fewer opportunities, not to mention other minorities that, like women, also suffer discrimination and violence, as LGBTQ + groups in Mexico.

Nothing works out better for López Obrador than confrontation. His favorite is with the “elites” who “oppose” his project. His speech goes in circles, again and again, like a mule on a waterwheel against the “rich and privileged,” those who are not part of the “good and wise people,” according to him, are against that faceless and genderless mass whom López calls “poor. “

One thing is real. Mexicans, in general, are fed up. Poor, rich, men, women, young and old. Those who voted for a change have realized that not only did it not arrive, but that the “4t” has destroyed everything in its path. The increasingly apparent social altercation with the government is not a question of “privileges or riches,” it is not a question of “damaging AMLO’s fourth transformation” and “wearing down his government.” No. The social rupture comes from the same inability of López Obrador to correct, rectify, and open up to dialogue and negotiation … but then again. What can you ask of a man whose political career has always been based on intolerance, violence, and autocracy?

For Times Media Mexico / The Yucatan Times
Jose E. Urioste
Merida Yucatan Mexico



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