In 2018, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (commonly known as AMLO) won a landslide victory in Mexico’s presidential election, and his leftist Morena Party won a large majority in Congress. AMLO and Morena campaigned on a populist platform that promised a “Fourth Transformation” of Mexico (the other three being Mexican Independence, the Liberal Reformation, and the Revolution); this Fourth Transformation would, they claimed, eliminate historic government abuse and tackle widespread government corruption. Now, more than halfway through AMLO’s six-year term, the credibility of that anticorruption rhetoric has dramatically faded. Not only has AMLO’s government failed to deliver on his promise to usher in a new era of clean government, but in many respects his administration has been moving in the wrong direction.
Understanding the ways in which AMLO’s approach to governance has undermined rather than strengthened Mexico’s fight against corruption is crucial to getting the country back on track. Four problems with the AMLO regime’s approach to anticorruption are especially significant: Continue reading