MEXICO has suffered along with the rest of the world from the global crisis of recession and inflation, especially since it maintains close ties with the United States.
The surprise is that its economic indices are a little better than those of its hegemonic neighbour, and the Mexican peso has even appreciated slightly against the American dollar (19.59 pesos for the dollar on November 2, when it was a few weeks before of 21 pesos for a dollar).
Santander Banking Group President Ana Botin said Mexico’s anti-inflation strategy was better than that of most European countries.
A key factor in this regard is that Mexico’s energy inflation is the lowest of all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Indeed, over the past four years, President Amlo has restored national control of oil, gas and electricity and prioritized supply, preventing speculation in the market.
Inflation remains a problem, with an overall rate of 8.5%, mainly caused by food prices since the country is still far from agricultural self-sufficiency; 30 years of neoliberalism have undermined the resilience of traditional peasant community agriculture.
Amlo’s programs to promote agroforestry, such as the Sowing Life project, public investments to promote fertilizer production, and subsidized fertilizer distribution for small and medium-sized producers are helpful, but much needs to be done. more.
But overall, public investment in social protection – pensions, apprenticeships, scholarships, housing, education – and infrastructure has sustained demand and employment more effectively than in many countries.
The ban on outsourcing has helped increase formal employment – Mexico’s Social Security Institute recorded an all-time high of 21.5 million registered workers in October. Real minimum wage increases have also helped.
These successes give Mexico leverage with Washington: the stability and growth of its southern neighbor make it difficult for the United States to oppose Amlo’s nationalization of lithium and most of the sector. Energy.
Indeed, a high-level delegation led by John Kerry recently met with Amlo and key members of his cabinet in the northwestern state of Sonora, where a state-owned company (in conjunction with Bolivia, nothing less) will develop lithium batteries for new investment. in the automotive industry; Ford and other companies may be interested.
Mexico also has plans for Latin America’s largest solar power plant in the Sonoran Desert. This, together with new irrigation systems for subsistence farming and commercial farming for indigenous Yaqui communities who have just seen 30,000 hectares of land restored by the Amlo government, is a model of sustainable development in the border area. The Yaqui Justice Plan includes technical assistance, bilingual schools, health clinics and a university.
As always, Amlo has been scathing in recent days in his condemnation of the US blockade of Cuba; he also continues to call for peace and a negotiated settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian war. His joy at Lula’s victory in Brazil was boundless and was expressed immediately in a personal phone call.
On the home front, too, the president is increasingly outspoken against his critics and determined to complete his transformation agenda in the year and 10 months he has left.
He advances plans for constitutional reform of the electoral system, with a sweeping reorganization of the corrupt and bloated electoral institute, and the confirmation of the National Guard as the main instrument of public security under military control.
He is determined to complete the ambitious 1,500km Maya Train, possibly the largest rail project in the world today, serving local communities and Maya culture as well as tourists and businesses in the neglected southeast.
Last but not least, his government is working full-time to develop the public health system throughout the country to create a true “Mexican NHS”, free, universal and of high quality.
Surprising acknowledgment of these advances just came from the Reuters news agency in a tweet: “The most historic legacy of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist resource nationalist who presents his administration as a turning point in the annals of Mexico, could pave the way for the country’s first female leader.
The reference is to Greater Mexico City Metro Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who is indeed one of Morena’s most likely pre-candidates for the 2024 presidential nomination – although Amlo is trying hard to avoid endorsing a candidate.
Analyzing Amlo: Mexico under Lopez Obrador will take place on November 9 at 7 p.m. on Zoom – subscribe on www.alborada.net/events.
David Raby is a retired scholar and independent researcher on Latin America. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @DLRaby.