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News > Mexico

Mexico: AMLO Will Recieve Leader's Baton From Indigenous People

  • President-elect AMLO will be sworn-in on Dec.1 and will recieve a baton of leadership from Mexican Indigenous people.

    President-elect AMLO will be sworn-in on Dec.1 and will recieve a baton of leadership from Mexican Indigenous people. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 24 November 2018

Mexican President-elect AMLO will receive a baton of leadership from Indigenous people at his inauguration, vowing to rule by direct democracy, through referendums.

On Dec. 1, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) will be sworn-in as Mexican president. The Investiture Ceremony will happen at 11:00 a.m., and in the afternoon he will attend another ceremony with social movements in which he will receive a baton of leadership, or chieftain's staff, from the Original Peoples of Mexico.

AMLO's Second Consultation Begins in Mexico

The baton is a sign of respect in many Indigenous communities, and when the baton is literally passed to a new leader, the act imbues them with authority. Thus, the ceremony implies a recognition of AMLO as a leader for Indigenous people.

Among the heads of state who have confirmed their attendence at the inauguration ceremony are Nicolas Maduro (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Salvador Sanchez Ceren (El Salvador), Miguel Diaz-Canel (Cuba) and Martin Vizcarra (Peru). Evo Morales, the first Indigenous president in Bolivia's history, will also be present during the display with social movements and Indigenous people in Mexico City.

Even before being invested as president of Mexico, AMLO has been working on his plan and has already fulfilled some of his campaign promises. On Saturday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 25, Mexicans are voting in the second citizen's referendum since he was elected. This time citizens are voting about the future of ten high priority projects for AMLO's government.

After the vote Saturday, AMLO stated during an interview, that these referendums will continue in Mexico. "I celebrate that we are carrying out these citizen referendums. We have to get used to it because this type of consultation strengthens the democratic sphere."

He added that he would try to amend the article 35 of the constitution to make thess kinds of "referendums on transcendent issues without censorship, without obstacles, without padlocks" easier. Adding that he pretends to rule with the help of the citizens, and to make a "government of the people, for the people and with the people."

The first referendum that AMLO organized was regarding the new International Airport of Mexico City, which was a project by current President Enrique Peña Nieto. Mexicans decided in that vote to stop the construction of the project, as it was being built on a large water and biodiversity reserve. AMLO said that his government would adhere to the results of a referendum where voters called for ditching a partly-built US$13 billion new airport for Mexico City.

"It is not just representative democracy — democracy also implies the participation of citizens in all the important decisions that have to be made. That is why we insist on participatory democracy quite a bit, and this is a new exercise," he remarked.


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