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http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/ ... -in-mexicoA New Revolution in Mexico
Sick of corruption and of Trump, voters embrace the maverick leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
By Jon Lee Anderson
The current Mexican government is led by the center-right President Enrique Peña Nieto. His party, the pri, has depicted López Obrador as a radical populist, in the tradition of Hugo Chávez, and warned that he intends to turn Mexico into another Venezuela. The Trump Administration has been similarly concerned. Roberta Jacobson, who until last month was the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, told me that senior American officials often expressed worry: “They catastrophized about amlo, saying things like ‘If he wins, the worst will happen.’ ”
Ironically, his surging popularity can be attributed partly to Donald Trump. Within days of Trump’s election, Mexican political analysts were predicting that his open belligerence toward Mexico would encourage political resistance. Mentor Tijerina, a prominent pollster in Monterrey, told me at the time, “Trump’s arrival signifies a crisis for Mexico, and this will help amlo.” Not long after the Inauguration, López Obrador published a best-selling book called “Oye, Trump” (“Listen Up, Trump”), which contained tough-talking snippets from his speeches. In one, he declared, “Trump and his advisers speak of the Mexicans the way Hitler and the Nazis referred to the Jews, just before undertaking the infamous persecution and the abominable extermination.”
Officials in the Peña Nieto government warned their counterparts in the White House that Trump’s offensive behavior heightened the prospect of a hostile new government—a national-security threat just across the border. If Trump didn’t modulate his behavior, the election would be a referendum on which candidate was the most anti-American. In the U.S., the warnings worked. During a Senate hearing in April, 2017, John McCain said, “If the election were tomorrow in Mexico, you would probably get a left-wing, anti-American President.” John Kelly, who was then the Homeland Security chief, agreed. “It would not be good for America—or for Mexico,” he said.