Category Archives: Politics

Mexico’s 2024 succession battle taking shape

There was a lot at stake for Mexico in the June 6 mid-term election, about which much ink has been spilled here and abroad.  As it happened, the Mexican electorate failed to hand President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the super-majority needed for him to steamroll the opposition and take Mexico all the way back to his beloved 1970s.  Instead, we have now entered part two of the tug-of-war over the nationalization of the energy industry and the concentration of political power in the hands of one party, Mr. López Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena).  For those of us who do not share the president’s nostalgia for the glory days of the Soviet Union, the outcome of the June 6 election was something of a relief after a lengthy run-up of nail-biting, what-if-ing and generally fraught conjecture over a possible Morena landslide.  As our reward, we may now begin handicapping the selection process for Morena’s candidate to succeed the Dear Leader. Continue reading Mexico’s 2024 succession battle taking shape

Mexican mid-terms giveth or taketh away for AMLO

Mexican voters will go to the polls June 6, 2021 for what is being widely touted as the largest election in the country’s history.  Citizens will cast ballots for nearly 21,000 public offices including all 500 seats in the federal Chamber of Deputies and 15 of 32 state governorships, among many local elected positions.  Turnout is expected to be higher than usual for a non-presidential election, due to the polarized political atmosphere currently prevailing in the country, and the media are regularly running pieces arguing that the stakes are high for institutional democracy in Mexico. We agree that the institutions underpinning democracy in Mexico, such as it is, are under attack right now to an alarming degree, but we feel that this is most likely a short-term problem.  The larger challenges to Mexico’s development as a nation-state, alas, are more long term.  Here is a brief summary of how we see the situation: Continue reading Mexican mid-terms giveth or taketh away for AMLO

AMLO to lithium: My precious!

Here in Mexico the big midterm elections coming up in June are absorbing a lot of attention right now, but before we talk about that we just wanted to make some comments on a topic currently flying a bit under the radar: Lithium mines.  The issue is, prior administrations granted a number of concessions to foreign private companies for the exploration and eventual production of lithium in Mexico, and a small number of these companies have been out in the desert scratching around in hopes of finding a viable mining site.  Two things make this more important to Mexico now than it may have seemed a few years ago: First, a massive lithium deposit in the northern state of Sonora is being developed by foreign capital with plans to begin commercial production within two years; and second, Mexico is currently governed by a president who views the private sector — and particularly foreign companies — to be exploiters, thieves and enemies of the nation.   Continue reading AMLO to lithium: My precious!