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Are Mexicans worried about democracy in their country?

by Yucatan Times
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For many Mexicans Democracy is at Risk: There are serious concerns over AMLO’s Authoritarian Slide

As President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) enters the second half of his six-year term, Mexican citizens are growing increasingly concerned about the erosion of democratic norms and institutions. What began as a disregard for democratic niceties has escalated into actions that threaten the very fabric of Mexico’s democracy.

From the outset of his presidency, AMLO displayed little regard for democratic norms. His daily press conferences became platforms for attacking journalists, civil society organizations, and independent agencies. He questioned the value of institutions like the national electoral institute (INE) and the antitrust commission (COFECE), undermining their autonomy. But his assault on democratic checks and balances extended beyond rhetoric.

AMLO wielded his legislative power to slash budgets for technically autonomous agencies, hindering their regulatory functions. He emptied state-controlled trust funds meant to support artists, academics, journalists, and human rights defenders. And he disregarded the separation of powers by appointing his finance minister without proper legislative approval.

Recently, AMLO’s actions have taken a darker turn. In a public dispute over his son’s luxurious accommodations in Houston, he violated constitutional and legal provisions by revealing a journalist’s personal income data. He also flouted electoral laws by campaigning for his party during press conferences ahead of last year’s midterm elections. Now, he is campaigning for himself before an upcoming recall referendum, further violating electoral norms.

Critics draw parallels between AMLO’s approach and that of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. They fear that Mexico could follow Venezuela’s path toward authoritarianism and economic collapse. The opposition, which had long struggled to find common ground, has rallied against AMLO’s proposal to reform the electoral system, labeling it an attack on democracy.

Mexico’s democracy is at a crossroads, and its neighbors, particularly the U.S., cannot afford to ignore the slide toward authoritarianism. Defending democracy from abroad is challenging, but it remains crucial. As AMLO continues to push boundaries, Mexican citizens grapple with the delicate balance between liberty and the preservation of democratic institutions123.

In this critical moment, the world watches, hoping that Mexico’s democratic spirit prevails over the encroaching shadows of autocracy.

TYT Newsroom

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