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  • Leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA).

    Leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA). | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 April 2018

The poll-leading candidate addressed a crowd in Juarez, Mexico's northern border town and one of the country's most violent cities.

The poll-leading leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promised that “Mexico won't be any foreign government's piñata” and reaffirmed his promise to end corruption and impunity in the country.

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As the campaign period for the presidential elections kicked off in Mexico, Lopez Obrador, the head of the “Together We'll Make History” coalition, addressed a 15,000-people crowd in Juarez City, one of the most violent cities in Mexico affected by the bless and curse that is bordering with the United States.

“No threat, no wall, no arrogant attitude from any foreign government will prevent us from being better and happier in our fatherland,” said Lopez Obrador, promising he will convince President Donald Trump of his wrongful security policies and his derogatory attitude towards Mexicans, and promote a friendship relationship with Mexico's northern neighbor.

He also promised to change the neoliberal economic system, back track the controversial Enrique Peña Nieto's education reform, which has sparked protests for years among teachers and students, and cancel the construction of the new Mexico City airport, and instead expand the one that already exists.

Lopez Obrador choice for his first campaign event Sunday is a rather significant one. Juarez City has been on Mexican and international headlines for more than two decades due to its terrifying record on femicides.

“Here's were the femicide horror started, which unfortunately is still going on all over the country, especially in the working-class colonies of the republic's big cities.”

The local La Jornada newspaper reported that just three kilometers away from the political event and while Lopez Obrador was giving his speech, the remains of a woman were found covered by a blanket.

Juarez is also the city where President Benito Juarez, whom Lopez Obrador claims to admire, established his national government to avoid being captured by the invading French forces in 1863.

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His use of symbolism and national revolutionary characters -he began his campaign in the city where the exiled government was established and on the day that Jesus Christ resurrected according to Christianity- can sometimes be contradictory, but it appeals to a vast majority of Mexicans tired of corruption and an obedient attitude towards “foreign governments,” especially the United States of America under the current administration.

He also said he would promote the border with the U.S. as a free zone for productive and technological development, as well as reducing taxes and increase salaries to prevent more people from leaving the country.

Accompanying him were his wife Beatriz Gutierrez Muller, his campaign coordinator Tatiana Clouthier, the businessman Alfonso Romo -who was in the transgenics industry before selling the company to Monsanto-, the former mayor of Mexico Marcelo Ebrard, the Senate candidate and head of a self-defense armed organization Nestora Salgado, and other political figures.

A combination of file photos shows candidates (from L to R) Leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) presidential candidate Jose Antonio Meade, presidential candidate for the National Action Party (PAN), leading a left-right coalition Ricardo Anaya, and Independent presidential candidate Margarita Zavala. Photo | Reuters.

A poll published today by Parametria gives Lopez Obrador 38 percent of the voting intention, while the right-wing hardliner Ricardo Anaya comes as a far second with 20 percent. Jose Antonio Meade, from the ruling party, has only 16 percent. The independent candidate, who only recently left the mainstream opposition party and is wife of Mexico's former president Felipe Calderon, climbed to 13 points.

“Lopez Obrador is breaking the ceiling... he's growing in a way we didn't expect,” said Francisco Abundis, founder of Parametria.

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