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News > Mexico

Mexico: Leftist Candidate Calmly Takes on Threats, Sabotage

  • Leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, gives a thumbs up to members of the Labor Party, in Mexico City, Mexico Feb. 19, 2018.

    Leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, gives a thumbs up to members of the Labor Party, in Mexico City, Mexico Feb. 19, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 February 2018

Leftist candidate Lopez Obrador's campaign director Tatiana Clouthier talks about their strategies to face the political establishment. 

Few months ahead of the presidential elections, Mexico's leading leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador continues to be level-headed and calm in the face of intensifying attacks from the political establishment and its agents, his campaign director said in an interview Monday.


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In interview with Sin Embargo, the campaign coordinator for Lopez Obrador, Tatiana Clouthier Carrillo, talked about the difficulties and main issues they've been dealing with in the process, learning from his previous campaigns.

Lopez Obrador, head of the National Renewal Movement, Morena, has been the leading candidate in all polls for the upcoming presidential elections in Mexico, but Clouthier says they need to convince the “doubtful and apathetic,” those who normally don't vote because they're sick of the traditional political parties, so they can have a conclusive victory and avoid an electoral fraud organized by the political establishment.

Recently, renowned priest and human rights activist Alejandro Solalinde expressed his concerns about Lopez Obrador's security. Solalinde is familiar with violence cases, especially regarding social activists and political figures. Clouthier shares his concerns, but says Lopez Obrador is confronting such threats and concerns with calmness. 

His campaign director says she once came early for a meeting in his house and Lopez Obrador wasn't there. He later arrived wearing sports clothes and all by himself, without any kind of security.

During the precampaign period, between September 2017 and February 2018, at least 19 local political authorities and candidates were murdered. “I haven't seen him uneasy about it yet, but he does show some worry, and he has said it more than once, about espionage,” said his campaign's director.

Perhaps the most high-profile murder in the country was that of Luis Donaldo Colosio, the would-be-president who was assassinated in 1994. Many claim his murder was the result of an internal dispute within the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.


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Last month, the right-wing candidate Ricardo Anaya claimed the Mexican intelligence agency was following him. In a video he recorded, Anaya confronts a driver telling him he is an agent from the National Security and Intelligence Center, CISEN, who was commissioned to follow him for his own security.

Lopez Obrador has said the CISEN has investigated all of his family, and declared he would be willing to eliminate the agency to stop the espionage of the opposition.

When asked about the main challenges Lopez Obrador will face before the elections, Clouthier mentioned three main issues: to “unmask” Venezuelan publicist J.J. Rendon, to show they have a better and different program than mainstream parties, and keep leading in public opinion so they don't have any fraud problem during the upcoming elections.

J.J. Rendon has been exposed as possibly responsible for a series of political murals in several Venezuelan cities linking the Mexican candidate to the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, in an attempt to discredit Lopez Obrador.

Rendon claimed he isn't working for any Mexican political party this time, but he also said he would do anything to stop Lopez Obrador from becoming president.

Both Lopez Obrador and Clouthier say it's very likely the elections will be rigged, so they want to take every possible measure to assure the electoral authorities won't be able to commit fraud this time, as they claim they've done in the past.

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