Back in 2003 or so, we attended a meeting of local business executives here in Mexico City and listened while they ranted and wrung their hands over the prospect of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) someday becoming president. In our turn to speak we downplayed the alarm level, suggesting that if AMLO were ever to reach the presidency he would turn out to be more pragmatic in pursuing his agenda at the national level. Our opinion was rejected, to say the least, by the meeting attendees. Well, fast forward 18 years or so, and it turns out we were so wrong about AMLO we really ought to be fined and imprisoned for how wrong we were. Since the day he was elected, AMLO burst forth unleashed with the ether bottle in one hand and a scepter in the other, waging unconditional campaigns against the private sector, foreign imperialists, NGOs, science, academia, wind farms, women and a long list of other personal bogeythings. The range of active fronts in his war on sense is vast, and today we would like to offer some comments on the upcoming COP26 climate change conference and how it provides an example of Mexico’s free fall in the opposite direction of sound public policy. Continue reading COP26 and the calvary of Marcelo Ebrard
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
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!