Home Headlines AMLO travels to Colombia and Chile to strengthen ties with the South American Left

AMLO travels to Colombia and Chile to strengthen ties with the South American Left

by Magali Alvarez
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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador began a tour of Colombia and Chile on Friday, September 8th, to strengthen alliances with the South American left, which he has vehemently defended despite the diplomatic costs, such as the current strained relations with Peru, one of his partners in the Pacific Alliance.

López Obrador is undertaking his sixth trip abroad in the last year of his six-year term, in which international policy has not been a priority and which he has always left in the hands of former Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who left the government in the middle of the year to compete for the presidential candidacy of the ruling party, which he lost this week.

The Mexican president arrived on Friday, September 8th, in the Colombian city of Cali to hold a meeting with his Colombian counterpart, Gustavo Petro, to discuss the peace process in the Andean country and the strengthening of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) group, which is made up of 33 countries and was created in 2010.

López Obrador and his entourage, made up of Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena and the Secretaries of National Defense and the Navy, Luis Cresencio Sandoval and José Rafael Ojeda, respectively, will participate on Saturday in the closing of the Latin American and Caribbean Conference on drugs promoted by Petro to initiate a regional dialogue on the structural causes of drug trafficking and explore policies to address this problem. At the end of the event, the president will leave for Santiago de Chile.

During her visit to Colombia, Foreign Minister Bárcena will sign a letter of intent for the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation to implement in Colombia the state programs Sembrando Vida, which supports small farmers, and Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro, which assists low-income youth.

Bárcena will also sign a memorandum of understanding with Colombian Vice President Francia Márquez to strengthen and promote the rights of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples.

Visit to Chile

In the Chilean capital, López Obrador will meet on Sunday with the Chilean president, Gabriel Boric, at the La Moneda Palace, and later will travel with his wife, Beatriz Gutiérrez, to the Mexican ambassador’s residence to lead a commemorative ceremony for the 50th anniversary of the Chilean exile in Mexico.

The Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest distinction awarded to foreigners, will be presented posthumously to President Salvador Allende, who was overthrown and committed suicide after the military coup of September 11, 1973. The decoration will be received by Allende’s daughter, Senator María Isabel Allende Bussi.

On September 11, the Mexican president will attend the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup d’état in Chile and will then return to Mexico.

Frictions with Peru

López Obrador announced this week that on his trip to South America he will avoid passing through Peruvian airspace due to the strained relations he maintains with the government of Dina Boluarte, whom he has described as a “usurper”.

In recent months, ties between Mexico and Peru have been strained after Lopez Obrador announced in May that he did not want to have commercial or economic ties with Lima as long as Boluarte remains in power.

Mexico’s decision came after Peruvian congressmen decided that the president was not welcome in the country due to his constant meddling in Peru’s internal affairs, given López Obrador’s pronouncements after the dismissal of former leftist president Pedro Castillo, whom the Mexican politician has defended on several occasions.

For his part, Boluarte ordered last December the Mexican ambassador in Lima, Pablo Monroy, to leave the country in view of the comments in favor of Castillo and two months later announced that he was withdrawing the Peruvian diplomat in Mexico.

Tensions escalated after López Obrador refused to hand over the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance to Peru, alleging that he did not want to “legitimize a coup d’état”. To ease the friction between the partners of the bloc, which includes Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru, Boric’s government assumed the presidency of the group at the end of June and handed it over to Lima in August.

Carlos Cerda Dueñas, professor at the School of Social Sciences and Government of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, affirmed that this sixth tour has a “very symbolic” charge for López Obrador because he “identifies very much” with the Allende period and the struggle undertaken by the Chilean left after the military coup.

On the possibility that this trip will open a stage of greater participation of the ruler in international politics, Cerda Dueñas expressed doubts and said that it is very possible that López Obrador will continue to concentrate on domestic politics, which is his great passion, especially when the period for the 2024 presidential elections is approaching.

The president plans to travel to San Francisco, United States, in November to meet with his counterpart Joe Biden within the framework of the Pacific Alliance and Asia summit.

In May last year, López Obrador visited Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Cuba, as part of his first international tour to a country other than the United States, where he has traveled four times.

Since taking office in 2018, the 69-year-old Mexican president has rarely traveled abroad. López Obrador has acknowledged that this is due to the fact that his health is “very affected by flights”.

TYT Newsroom

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