By Manuel Aguilar Mora
The first hundred days of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and those that followed it so far have already characterized a situation that will be characteristic of a very conflictual period lasting six years. Conflict in terms of domestic policy and foreign policy, as it is traditionally said. In reality, it is a single policy with its internal and external facets. Let’s take a look at some examples. What does the creation and establishment of the National Guard mean? (GN) if not the strengthening of the repressive apparatuses of the Mexican state that the dominant internal and external capitalist groups demand for the stability of their very large companies? The Slim [Carlos Slim Helú, dont la fortune est estimée à 60 milliards de dollars], Salinas Pliego [à la tête du groupe Salinas actif dans les télécommunications, les médias, la finance, la distribution], Azcárraga [dynastrie capitaliste mexicaine], Alberto Bailleres [à la tête du conglomérat Bal, un des personnages les plus riches du Mexique] and German Larrea [PDG du groupe Mexico, un des leaders de la production de cuivre], as well as the powerful transnationals operating in Mexico, applaud the creation of the National Guard so that the violence unleashed in the country for more than a decade is calmed down or at least is better controlled.
For his part, Trump can only recognize that the reinforcement of the repressive apparatuses is also a response to what he demanded from AMLO by displaying his simagre, his outbursts and his scandalous threats. And AMLO was forced to do the dirty work and stop the permanent flow of migrants from Central America who cross Mexican territory to reach the border with the United States.
AMLO confirmed that the GN commander-in-chief will be an active soldier whose identity as well as that of the members of the general staff of the structure (one from the army, another from the navy and one from federal police) will be published in the coming days. This confirmation arouses controversy among parliamentarians who believe that the president does not respect the law establishing the larp, which indicated that his command would be given to civilians (The Day, 06.04.2019). [Le 11 avril, AMLO a nommé le général Luis Rodríguez Bucio à la direction de la GN, un militaire qui avait fait carrière dans les services de renseignement]. Whatever the presidency’s decided statements, it turns out that the GN will be a kind of extension of the armed forces, attached to the Secretariat of National Security but controlled by the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena).
In this way, AMLO is on the verge of realizing the objectives of stability and peace of the constitutional reform promoted by its National Regeneration Movement (Morena), with the support of the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party). This policy “replaces” that of the “national security” of Felipe Calderón [président de 2006 à 2012] et Peña Nieto [président de 2012 à 2018], considered by AMLO to be clumsy and inefficient. However, what is happening is that LARP is in fact a product of Obradorism which follows the stages of the policy of militarizing public safety of previous presidents, surpassing it in many quantitative and qualitative aspects.
The approved constitutional reform is said to be guided by “the attachment to respect for fundamental guarantees”. The GN would participate from today in “the safeguard of the liberty, life, integrity and full rights of persons, by protecting their security, their property, as well as by preserving the order of public peace. , the goods and resources of the Nation ”. For this ambitious government program, only repressive resources, those linked to police and military methods, are clearly defined. To this end, there are today 220,000 members of the army, 40,000 of the navy and will be incorporated, over the next three years, between 50,000 and 60,000 new soldiers who will directly integrate the GN. A considerable increase compared to the 37,000 soldiers that President Calderón incorporated in 2006. This growing militarization corresponds to the accentuated tendency of the participation of the armed forces in public security activities which extends to all of Latin America (the Mexico and Brazil are the two Latin American countries where military participation in governments has increased over the past twenty years).
On the threshold of a new political crisis
The LARP issue is very important because it is AMLO’s flagship project, which constitutes for him the guarantee of the initial success of his government, at the risk of contradicting himself and reneging on many of his electoral promises. During the gestation period of constitutional reform, which passed through the legislative and legal labyrinth constituting the procedures of the Congress of the United States of Mexico, in the face of criticism from the opposition and even from sectors of his own party, AMLO responded angry and sometimes openly angry: “Don’t just criticize, come up with something.” Of course, but today, in the face of the overwhelming support received by AMLO, a delay of time is needed before proposals that contrast with its own can begin to have more resonance and credibility. But it is not the issue of insecurity that will be at the forefront of a critical approach to AMLO policy. So that we understand in the broadest working classes that national security will be built from below, street by street, municipality by municipality, in an independent and democratic social mobilization – obviously without the hegemonic participation of the repressive armed forces – , it will take time to pass.
In the meantime, although AMLO’s unquestionably crushing electoral triumph gives it a very wide margin of maneuver, which is reflected in the high approval percentages in the polls, significant cracks and contradictions have started to appear in this support. social and political. The first relates to the brutal way in which AMLO acted in imposing the Integral Project of Morelos (the thermoelectric power station of Huexca) which encompasses the cities of Puebla, Morelos and the State of Mexico. In his election campaign, he had promised to veto such a project which affects the water supply of the entire region. Today, however, he cynically promotes it by attacking those who oppose it, even as provocateurs. These people voted overwhelmingly for him and yet AMLO showed vulgarity and a total lack of sensitivity when its main leader was assassinated shortly after December 1st.
Something similar is happening with the promotion of a “tailor-made” study that is being prepared to build the Mayan train in Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo and the Transismic project in Veracruz and Oaxaca. The indigenous and mestizo sectors mainly affected by these projects are those grouped around the National Indigenous Congress and the National Peoples and Communities Network, a large coalition deeply influenced by the EZLN. Admittedly, the EZLN’s policy towards AMLO has been characterized by sectarian ultimatism which, instead of helping it weaken the government encirclement by traditional powers, has reinforced its isolation from large urban concentrations. from the center and north of the country. Nevertheless, the enormous prestige that the EZLN continues to enjoy among many popular sectors makes it an indisputable reference to the embryo of a massive anti-capitalist opposition.
This is precisely the message, clearly and unequivocally anti-capitalist, that the old intellectual patriarch of the national left and of traditional socialism, closely linked since 1994 to the EZLN, the sociologist and former rector of UNAM, Pablo González Casanova, launched in his recent manifesto entitled “Where is Mexico going?”. In the last lines of his manifesto, he states:
“It is true that to the surprise of many, the restructuring of power in the same way as its exercise of power […] have more to do with populist neoliberalism in its explanations and in its reforms or institutional reform projects. And it is no exaggeration to assert that these reforms are of a neoliberal nature insofar as they give more importance to corruption than to capitalism as the cause of the immense inequality and the threats of ecocide with their families. deadly projects, both isolated from the needs of the population and whose origin refers to corruption and not to the mode of domination and accumulation driven by the maximization of the power and the wealth of capitalism. The overwhelming majority of executive actions for the development of deadly policies on a micro to macro scale are leading to disaster for life on Earth. ” (The Day, 07.04.2019)
In other circles, more linked to the organized labor movement, that of the independent teachers of the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE), who in their overwhelming majority voted for AMLO, the latter came up against the wall of the ‘intransigence of AMLO, which is more inclined to maintain Peña Nieto’s “educational reform”, designed according to the operating methods of large companies, than to keep its promises to withdraw this reform as he had told them to rebel teachers during the election campaign.
And headwinds are starting to blow from unexpected directions or simply among previously silent areas. Thus, the workers of the maquiladoras [entreprises de montage], owned by American, Japanese, South Korean groups, etc. – which have taken root over the past three decades like mushrooms along the northern border from Tijuana to Matamoros – have started to strike. Some for the first time in their history as overexploited workers (especially women) [voir à ce propos l’article publié sur ce site en date du 9 avril 2019, intitulé «Printemps ouvrier ou Mexique?»].
In February and March, thousands of workers went on strike, mainly in Matamoros, and the new secretaries of state in AMLO’s government were seen as clumsy and ineffective in their approach to these conflicts. A process full of potential is also taking place here because the leader of the metallurgists Napoléon Gómez Urrutia, senator from Morena, is preparing the foundation of a new trade union center, which is already causing controversy and friction with one of the most reactionary sectors and against -revolutionaries inherited from the old PRI empire: the “charrism” [structure syndicale jaune, collaborant avec le gouvernement du PRI] union.
Thus, during the first hundred days and at the height of the AMLO government, lines of fractures and conflicts began to emerge, albeit potential in their scope, given the privileged political situation enjoyed by a president who arrived at the Palace. nationwide with colossal social support. (Mexico City, April 8, 2019; A l’Encontre translation)
Manuel Aguilar is a historian, author of numerous books on contemporary Mexican history.