In his first press conference since taking office, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as “AMLO” for short, said he is working with the United States and Canada to create a three-way investment plan to stem migration from Central America and southern Mexico.
López Obrador, perhaps Mexico’s most left-wing president in modern history, took office Saturday after winning a landslide victory in July. He promised “a peaceful and orderly transition, but one that is deep and radical … because we will end the corruption and impunity that prevent Mexico’s rebirth.”
A former mayor of Mexico City, López Obrador pledged on the campaign trail to place a cap on public officials’ pay, including cutting his own salary and nixing the presidential jet, while ending privatization schemes that have deepened the country’s economic divide.
Many Mexicans’ hopes for real change are high after decades of corruption at all levels of government and high rates of violence. The new president now faces a trial by fire in achieving his ambitious domestic agenda.
But first, López Obrador must address the ongoing crisis of thousands of asylum-seeking Central American migrants stuck in limbo in Tijuana and other border cities as the United States deliberately delays processing asylum applications while closing ports of entry to potential refugees.
Mexico’s new Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Sunday to discuss the countries’ “shared commitment to address our common challenges and opportunities for the future,” according to a State Department spokesperson.
The recent announcement and talks come amid tensions after Mexico’s foreign ministry demanded a full investigation into US Border Patrol agents’ firing of tear gas and rubber bullets at migrant families the Sunday prior. Meanwhile, the number of migrants at the border continues to rise even as conditions at shelters housing them deteriorate.