Halfway through his term, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is moving from bending democratic norms and laws to breaking them — a slide that the U.S. cannot afford to ignore. This article by Shannon K O’Neil is published by Bloomberg. Here is an excerpt:
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has never had much time or aptitude for democratic niceties and institutional checks and balances. Yet as he enters the second half of his six-year presidential term, he is moving from bending to breaking political norms and even laws, putting Mexico’s democracy in peril. Mexico’s political backsliding shows how hard it is to defend democracy from abroad. But that doesn’t mean that its neighbors and other nations, particularly the U.S., shouldn’t try.
From the start of his presidency, AMLO has displayed little regard for democratic norms. At the podium in hours-long press conferences every morning, he attacks journalists and columnists not toeing his line. He lashes out at non-governmental organizations and civil society movements investigating corruption, supporting women’s rights or defending human rights. And he has questioned the value of independent public agencies such as the national electoral institute (INE), the antitrust commission (COFECE), the freedom of information agency (INAI) and the national commission on human rights (CNDH).
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