El American spoke with Mexican Senator Alejandra Reynoso (Guanajuato-PAN) about what is happening in the country, the offensives of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to consolidate his power and what it means to be part of the opposition bloc in the Upper House.
Guanajuato is perceived as a right-wing stronghold. In fact, it was the only state where AMLO did not win in the 2018 elections. That is why the senator highlights the differences between this territory and the federal government, which, she says, “only destroys everything past, but does not finish building; and which treats private initiative as the fundamental enemy.”
“In Guanajuato, the economy is on a very steady course because there has been planning and the projects of one government have been respected in the next, not thinking in handouts, but in generating the conditions for investment and employment, recognizing that jobs are generated by private initiative, which is the fundamental ally.”
Reynoso also spoke to us about the difficulty of facing the centralizing idea of power in the figure of the president and reminded us that AMLO controls a good part of the Legislative — “with his qualified majority in the Chamber of Deputies and the simple majority in the Senate, where he also pressures the opposition by all means to keep his qualified majority” —, which has allowed him to concentrate even more power in the Executive.
When asked what it is like to negotiate with the ruling party in the Senate, the senator answered that the ruling party congressmen “still do not understand what it means to legislate” and that they only repeat what AMLO says every morning in his speeches.
“If there was an officialism that studied, that read, the level of debate would be different”.
To prove her point, Alejandra Reynoso brought up the vote of the transitory article with which “Minister Zaldívar’s term as president of the Supreme Court was extended, in open violation of the constitutional text. Did the senators of the ruling party not realize that Article 97 of the Constitution directly prevents what they were proposing in its transitory article? Did they know and did not care or did they not even realize it?”
In the interview, Reynoso also explains to us what is the logic under which the AMLO regime moves. “On the one hand, it takes up the absolutism of the party-state of the 70s, but combines it with Chavista socialism, and this combination is the model of the Sao Paulo Forum.”
“We see it with the route he is taking in the economic system, we see it in the health issue, in education, in the concentration of purchases. You see it in the discourse of ending national industry. For AMLO the businessman is synonymous with the enemy, he follows the model of Venezuela and this ‘socialism of the 21st century.’ It is the combination of the party-state of the ’70s and the 21st-century socialism of Chavismo.”
Despite the panorama that Alejandra Reynoso describes with AMLO in power, she affirms that every day she finds Mexicans who are willing to confront the government’s agenda “Because what is at stake, beyond party colors or affiliations, is a model of life, an economic model, a development model […] We have to be an opposition to a regime. And this opposition is built with the citizens.”