Corruption and family conflicts, a trip to visit Trump, the COVID-19 pandemic, and General Cienfuegos’ alleged links to drug dealers are some of the episodes that marked the López Obrador government in this 2020.
MEXICO CITY (Times Media Mexico) – This was a lousy year in Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s presidency, and these were the most criticized situations.
1. The Coronavirus Pandemic – February 27, 2020, registered the first case of coronavirus in Mexico, and in the last ten months, more than 124,000 deaths and 1 million 400,000 infections of COVID-19 have accumulated in the country. AMLO was in denial for months. He invited people to go out and hug each other. So far, he refuses to use facemasks, and the figures he presented in a “catastrophic scenario” have doubled.
AMLO’s government has had inferior handling of the pandemic.
2. Trip to the US – This year, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who refuses to travel outside the country, made his first trip abroad. On July 7th and 8th, he traveled to Washington, United States, to meet Donald Trump. The decision to travel to the White House generated criticism from Mexico’s opposition, considering it inappropriate to meet with the Republican politician in the middle of the electoral season. In a trip of “praise,” both presidents did not stop praising each other.
3. The “raffle” of the presidential plane – Because it has not been able to sell the presidential plane “José María Morelos y Pavón,” the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador organized a “raffle” for the aircraft on September 15, at the cost of 286,817,590 pesos.
Before taking office as President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that he would sell the plane and clarified that he would not use it as he considered it a “luxury” and an “excess.”
The “special” draw number 235 had 100 prizes of 20 million pesos, but up to now, the plane acquired during the government of Felipe Calderón has not been sold.
4. Detention of General Cienfuegos – The detention of the ex-Secretary of National Defense, Salvador Cienfuegos, was a crucial moment in Mexico and the United States’ bilateral relationship.
The Mexican government expressed its “profound surprise” at the lack of information regarding the investigation carried out by security agencies in the United States against a key man in Enrique Peña Nieto’s security strategy.
The U.S. Department of Justice dropped the charges against El Salvador Cienfuegos, and hours later, he arrived in Mexico where, in the absence of an arrest warrant against him, he was released.
5. Floods in Tabasco. – The passage of Hurricane Eta through the south of the country left 226,608 homes flooded in Chiapas and Tabasco, for which the federal government implemented Plan DNIII to help the population. López Obrador caused a stir in social networks after accepting that to minimize the effects. He had to decide that the city of Villahermosa would not be flooded. Instead, they send the water to the most impoverished Chontal indigenous communities, which damaged Nacajuca and Centla.
This decision generated criticism from the opposition. Even the National Action Party reported its decision to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office against the president for the crime of illegal exercise of public service.
6. From a “Republican Austerity” to a “Franciscan Poverty. – Due to the economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced a series of austerity measures in his government. That included eliminating undersecretaries and the commitment not to spend 75% of the expenditure on chapters 2000 Materials and Supplies and 3000 General Services of the public administration. Due to their austerity policy, some secretariats were asked to retire computers, as in the economy, and to rationalize the use of electric energy, reduce water use, avoid elevators, and were even asked to donate part of their salaries.
7. Family Controversies – Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s promise to end corruption was overshadowed during 2020. In July of this year, videos were released showing his brother, Pío López Obrador, receiving packages of money from a former collaborator of the government of the ex-governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello. He is currently part of his cabinet.
AMLO denied that this was an act of corruption and defended that it was a “contribution” to the National Regeneration Movement in 2015.
Another case that involved family members was the award of some Pemex contracts to the company “Litoral Laboratorios Industriales, owned by Felipa Guadalupe Obrador Olán. The oil company decided to terminate contracts, and the President recognized that they scored “a goal” against the production company of the Mexican State because his cousin’s company managed to obtain other contracts allied with other companies.
8. The Mayan Train and Airport to the Army to manage – In June of this year, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gave the official flag to the Mayan Train, one of his government’s star works, which he said will be ready in 2024. A few days ago, the President informed that an Army company would manage three sections of the Mayan Train and some airports in the South of the country, in addition to the one being built in Santa Lucía, which generated criticism for the power that his administration has given to the Army.
9. Shortage of medicines for children with cancer – Parents reported that the shortage of medicines for children with cancer continues. Even though the Ministry of Health authorities had promised to regularize the supply of medications throughout the country, this has not happened. Parents have taken to the streets of Mexico City on several occasions and even went on a hunger strike in front of the Health Ministry’s facilities to demand that health authorities supply cancer medicines after months of shortages.
10. Violence against women – Feminicide is understood as “the violent death of women for reasons of gender.” Feminicide increased in 2020, while AMLO blames neoliberalism for it. Besides, domestic violence against women increased by 60% in Mexico during the pandemic. Andrés Manuel López Obrador is convinced that the women’s protests are “a conspiracy against them,” since the real reason is the violence that women have suffered not only during this administration but since before. The reality is that this government, the women, neither sees nor hears them. As of December 31, 2020, there have been more than 3,000 murders and disappearances.