The landslide victory on July 2nd of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) of the MORENA party represents a political and social earthquake.
There was massive participation in the Mexican general elections, in which there were 18,229 public positions at stake. However, by far the most important was the presidency. With more than 89 million voters registered, the level of participation—according to the available data—was one of the highest in the history of Mexico.
The oligarchy and imperialism, who have always been accustomed to ruling unchallenged and being obeyed, are now faced with a government of a different type—one that says it will separate economic and political power, and prioritize the poor.
The road to these elections has been brutal. The national oligarchy has demonstrated clearly that it does not trust AMLO. It launched a media campaign, consisting of videos, appeals to the public and articles in the press saying that a vote for MORENA would mean turning Mexico into Venezuela.
Furthermore, 130 politicians were assassinated in the lead up to the elections, alongside other instances of electoral violence including the robbing of polls by armed gangs. We also witnessed widespread buying of votes with “gifts” such as domestic appliances and construction material, and mailing millions of letters in an attempt to sway people’s decisions. This race was not a “civil affair,” as the representatives of “bourgeois democracy” have tried to present it, but a complete farce. Bourgeois democracy (voting every few years for the people who get to rob you and govern you) is inherently limited and used as a mask to cover the dictatorship of the rich.
The real reason for this situation is the brutal economic, political, social and security crisis that the parties of the oligarchy and imperialism have created. This crisis has resulted in more than 300,000 assassinations, in addition to disappearances, brutality towards women, and the displacement of thousands due to armed conflict and unbearable misery. This period has been a school of hard knocks for the working class, youth, women and the poor peasantry. As a result, the hysterical smear campaign backfired and had the effect of increasing the votes for AMLO instead of decreasing them. The mainstream parties were thoroughly rejected.
Without a doubt the victory of AMLO is a truly political earthquake. This is the first time that MORENA has presented itself in presidential elections as a party, and AMLO won by a margin of over 11 million votes, including over 70% of the vote in Mexico City and many other parts of the country. MORENA managed to win five out of the nine top cities, (Mexico City, Veracruz, Morelos, Chiapas and Tabasco) came close in two more (Puebla and Jalisco). It is likely that both the Senate and the parliament will have a good percentage of candidates from the MORENA-led coalition, Together We Will Make History.
The second thing to highlight is the dramatic decline of the traditional parties of the bourgeoisie: PRI, PAN and PRD. The ruling PRI party achieved one of the worst electoral results in its history. It was PRI that came out first to publicly recognize its defeat. The consequences of this result will rock the entire structure of the PRI, which could even break up.
The right-wing PAN is also suffering a tremendous political crisis. A day before the elections two party leaders were expelled for denouncing the corruption of its presidential candidate, Ricardo Anaya, which is only the tip of the iceberg. It is likely that the crisis will deepen, ending up with more expulsions and possibly even the imprisonment of Anaya.
The PRD, on the other hand, is experiencing its death throes as a political party. Formed in the heat of the struggle against the 1988 electoral fraud—in which more than 600 martyrs gave their lives in order to create an instrument of class struggle—has ended up as a left crutch for the most rancid elements of the right wing and it has signed its own death sentence.
The victory of AMLO will be felt in all the political and social organizations of the country. In many of them we will observe discussions, rapprochements and splits to define their position with respect to the new government. Not only the left-wing organizations, but also the representatives of capitalism will attempt to adapt to the new government.
The vote for AMLO has been significant. In the whole country the vote for left-wing candidates was massive. Electoral estimations demonstrate that in zone 1 (Baja California, Sonora, Sinaloa, Durango y Zacatecas) the vote for the left was 61.2 percent; zone 2 (Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz, Campeche, Oaxaca y Puebla) 77.4 percent; zone 3 (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Tamaulipas, y Nuevo León) 48.3 percent; zone 4 (Jalisco, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, Michoacán y San Luis Potosí) 51.5 percent; zone 5 (Querétaro, Estado de México, Morelos y Guerrero) 61.3 percent and zone 6 (Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, Puebla y Ciudad de México) 72 percent.
It’s worth mentioning that the regions that gave most support to AMLO were the south and southeast, areas that have a long tradition of militant struggle. The region with the second-highest vote for AMLO was the central area, containing Mexico City, which has also been one of the bulwarks of struggle in the last period. In areas where the right had previously dominated, even in narco areas, AMLO has wiped them all out. There’s a lot of confidence and political capital accumulated in the hands of AMLO for the upcoming period.
This political capital can be employed in two ways, because the margins for action are very narrow. On the one hand, he could use his authority to call for mass mobilizations to transform the country from top to bottom, as he has promised to do. This would mean ending Mexico’s dependency on American imperialism and the rule of the rapacious oligarchy which dominates the country’s trade and natural resources. It would mean putting an end to the exploitation of the working class and the onslaught of brutal counterreforms of the last period.
On the other hand, AMLO can use his authority to hold back the mobilizations of the masses and maintain the exploitative regime that is currently in place.
AMLO has said that his struggle is against corruption; that by solving this problem, coupled with the implementation of “republican austerity” (cutting the salaries of the top civil servants and government officials to raise the wages of teachers, nurses, doctors and so on), the state will have enough money to invest in social programs. We fully support expanding pensions, education for the youth, scholarships, social security and so on. The problem is that in every Latin American country where a “democratic” or reformist government has been formed, the imperialists and the oligarchy have prevented even the slightest reform.
This fundamental contradiction can only be resolved by a mass, organized movement.
In the course of these struggles, millions of people will put the government’s reformist program to the test—an experience which will prepare the way for people to draw revolutionary conclusions. We are entering a new period of class struggle in Mexico. The elections were the first round, in which the masses won. But this is only the beginning.