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AMLO’s Winning Strategy: Sacrifice Mexico in Exchange for Power

Morena asfixia a mexico. Imagen: EFE/ Isaac Esquivel

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On Sunday, June 5, six governorships were renewed in Mexico and the advance of the ruling party’s alliance was confirmed. The groups subject to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) are absorbing more and more spaces of power, adding a mixture of political pragmatism, capture of structures, and indiscriminate use of the government structure and even, as denounced by Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, hidden agreements with organized crime.

What happened in the June 5 elections?

  • By hook or by crook, Morena (López Obrador’s party) and its allies managed to capture the governorships of Tamaulipas, Hidalgo, Oaxaca and Quintana Roo, totaling 2.73 million votes.
  • On the other side, the candidates of the opposition alliance “Va Por México” (which integrates PAN, PRI, and PRD) managed to keep only 2 governorships: Aguascalientes and Durango, totaling approximately 1.96 million votes.
  • And, in the third position, the Movimiento Ciudadano party, which flirts with the opposition, but has not been formally integrated into the alliance, added 238 thousand votes.
  • That is to say: adding the 6 states, the ruling party obtained approximately 54% of the votes, Va por México got 39%, and Movimiento Ciudadano 4.7%.

What do these results imply?

The advance of Morena and its allies is evident. Before the 2018 elections, they did not have any governorship, now, the Obradoristas will control a total of 22 states, and will be able to direct their mobilization machinery at will to support the candidate that López Obrador designates as his successor in the Presidency of the Republic.

It is evident that López Obrador is negotiating with the opposition governors, to whom the regime is offering embassies and impunity in exchange for surrendering their states. The effects of this alliance are devastating and were particularly clear in the state of Hidalgo: for almost 100 years it had been one of the PRI’s strongholds, and now Morena won by 2 to 1 against the PRI candidate who represented the opposition alliance.

Next year two more governorships will be renewed: Coahuila and the State of Mexico (which, by the way, has the largest electoral roll in the country), and in both the scenario looks like a victory for Morena, which, in this way, would enter 2024 with control of 75% of the country’s entities.

How do these elections change the political landscape in Mexico?

México: oficialismo avanza asfixiando al país
Mexico’s president’s party continues to gain control of the country’s states. (EFE)

These results give the Mexican president greater political leeway to continue consolidating the victorious image of his regime and to have greater bureaucratic plots that he can then use to hand out favors to his allies. This balancing act is at the core of López Obrador’s strategy, because the success of his succession depends, to a great extent, on his ability to keep the pockets and hopes of his allies full.

At the national level and in the short term, not much will change. However, as the 2024 elections approach, each state in the hands of the new pro-Ortega regime will be a very powerful lever for the presidential machinery.

The opposition is letting Morena kill Mexico

Despite the forcefulness of these blows, the opposition seems determined to cling to the illusion of triumphs that live only in their minds. A couple of examples:

  • On Sunday night, the national leader of the PAN came out to celebrate a supposed victory for his party, despite the fact that it lost half of the governorships that it put at stake in these elections.
  • The next day, former President Vicente Fox went even further, saying that: “Morena lost 9 million of López’s voters. In 2018, Lopez reached the Presidency with 25.1 million votes that he received through his Morena party. In this Sunday’s elections, this organization got just 16.1 million votes BIG VICTORY FOR VA X MX!!!”. A lie, because, as we have already seen, in these elections Morena did not get 16 million votes, but 2.7 million, but with those votes, it was enough and more than enough to clearly defeat the opposition alliance.

Now, it is understandable that in the middle of the battle, commanders try to keep their troops’ spirits up, but to deceive themselves with a non-existent triumph is to condemn themselves to delirium and failure, at a time when Mexico cannot afford to close its eyes to the truth.

That truth, difficult to digest, is that Morena continues to advance, feeding on resentments and ambitions to annul resistance and build an authoritarian regime that repeats and “perfects” the characteristics of the old state party.

To stop that process, the opposition has only one opportunity: the presidential elections of 2024, and if in these months “Va por México” does not build an extraordinarily attractive candidate and proposal, the results of those elections will be very similar to those of last Sunday. Morena will keep the majority, will capture the state and Mexico will be back under the authoritarianism of the 20th century. The consequences of that defeat will be paid by millions of Mexicans, for decades, perhaps.

Gerardo Garibay Camarena, is a doctor of law, writer and political analyst with experience in the public and private sectors. His new book is "How to Play Chess Without Craps: A Guide to Reading Politics and Understanding Politicians" // Gerardo Garibay Camarena es doctor en derecho, escritor y analista político con experiencia en el sector público y privado. Su nuevo libro es “Cómo jugar al ajedrez Sin dados: Una guía para leer la política y entender a los políticos”

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