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News > Latin America

AMLO in Oaxaca on Quake Anniversary: We'll Manicure Corrupt With Hatchet

  • Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) shakes hands with supporters in Sept. 19 visit to Oaxaca.

    Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) shakes hands with supporters in Sept. 19 visit to Oaxaca. | Photo: Twitter / @lopezobrador_

Published 20 September 2018

Future Mexican President Lopez Obrador pledged over US$532 million in quake recovery funds to southern states, saying he'll cut the claws of embezzlers. 

President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) was in the state of Oaxaca on Wednesday, on the one year anniversary of the fatal earthquake that shook Mexico City, to announce an over US$532 million recovery plan for the southern states’ 8.2 quake that affected well over 2 million people and killed 78 in Oaxaca alone on Sept 7, 2017.

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Hundreds of thousands of families in Oaxaca and Chiapas are still in need of assistance to rebuild homes damaged or destroyed from both last year’s September tremor, and the Feb. 18 quake that hit Oaxaca’s coast. Dozens of municipalities still need help fixing damaged infrastructure and need support for social programs in Mexico’s two most Indigenous-populated states that have long been neglected of state funds.

Lopez Obrador offered condolences to the families of the victims of the September earthquakes saying they were “our sorrow and sadness, as well as the hope for a more just society.”

Pledges of financial help from the soon-to-be head of state prompted Oaxacan State Governor Alejandro Murat Hinojosa to announce that “AMLO is the president of the southeast.”

Lopez Obrador said that corruption in Mexico was over and that state subsidies will be delivered immediately after his Dec. 1 inauguration, without political middlemen.

The anti-graft AMLO warned those who listened to him in Juchitan, a city hard hit by the September 2017 quake, that the “robberies are done.” He warned: “We are going to manicure with a hatchet” those tempted to steal money from the government.

AMLO said that that teachers who became political prisoner will be released, and the so-called educational reform will be canceled. Current President Enrique Peña Nieto shifted education control from unions to the state in 2013, prompting massive protests over the past three years. Yet the future head of state made a jab at teachers telling them they were required to teach the entire work week, not just from Tuesday until Thursday.

The future military chief said he will not use the armed forces to repress people or act with authoritarianism, referring to the current administration’s continuing use of the military to police the country. Mexico's military has been implicated in the deaths of over 3,900 Mexicans between 2007 and 2014, according to government numbers.

“Let's look for unity, reconciliation. We have already suffered discrimination. This (administration) will not be the same,” AMLO told crowds in rural Oaxaca.

In Mexico City, on the anniversary of the 7.1 magnitude quake that killed over 360 people in the capital on Sept. 19, 2017, thousands of people took to the streets to mourn those who died. They also demanded that the government distribute the recovery money it promised, particularly for the dozens of still-damaged schools, and to prosecute those responsible for allowing for the faulty building construction that led to so many deaths.  

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