At the packed megastore, the day after Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador’s investiture as Mexico’s 68th President (65th if you don’t count the repeaters), I ran into several friends. With each of them I mentioned the TV coverage of yesterday’s historic event.
Some were optimistic like me, some were divided in their opinion, and I told one of them I was excited to blog about this amazing occurrence. She is of the opinion that most people who read my blog are not very interested about what happens politically or socially in Mexico.
That took me aback, but she had still more to say: “And if your readers follow politics at all, they are mostly concerned about what is happening in the USA – there is much to be concerned about there.”
“But most of my readers of my blog live in Mexico – those who do not – would like to.”
“I need to be off,” she said as she patted my hand and headed for the vegetables & fruit aisle. I was left feeling a bit confused.
I do write sometimes about the political issues in Mexico because a lot of important changes are taking place. This blog is all about change, and I think there are quite a few readers who like to read about Mexico’s socio-political transformation.
I am not an activist but I am a concerned citizen. I am excited to see that now Mexico has a fighting chance to get out of the mire it has sunk into – ever deeper and deeper – over the past 40 years. Our new President has vowed to tackle corruption and impunity head on. And that is music to my ears. So many of our resources have been squandered and sold off. So much of our tax money never reaches its proper recipients because it is unscrupulously diverted along the way. And when the culprits are discovered with their hands in the honey jar, they don’t get prosecuted because of the impunity laws. That has changed though – now corruption is considered to be a serious crime – isn’t it unbelievable to realise it was not before?
AMLO is promising to put the poor first. About time someone does. After the official ceremony at the legislative assembly, and a lunch with dignitaries at “Palacio Nacional”, the President went to Mexico City’s Main Plaza to celebrate with his constituents. Every inch of space was occupied. There AMLO participated in an indigenous ceremony that would prepare and cleanse him for the many challenges he will face. He was given the “Baston de Mando”, a Sceptre of Authority, and he accepted it with humility. “I will not let you down,” he told the crowd. At one point the shaman knelt before the new President to pay him homage. Andrés Manuel also fell to his knees, paying the same honour to the other man. “The people are the sovereign ones,” he says.
Many public works have been announced and much breaking of tradition. The conventional parties are going nuts and I can see they will not be timid in their criticism. Our president needs us to be strong, and to help him make the country sound, safe and vital once again. There’s no point getting into shouting matches with his opponents – that will do no good – rather our actions must speak for themselves. What does that mean?
Well, if we are asked for a bribe to speed up the government process we are working on, or we are given substandard treatment at a government medical facility, or if problems in our city are not being dealt with by local authorities – we should refuse to accept shoddy service – and we should report the incident to the superior. The same goes for shake downs by police. We no longer need to fear reprisals, so let’s not allow the old ways to continue. Better public service is in the public’s hands.
I am not a combative person, but now that I can see policy changes coming, I will demand fair and equal treatment. And not every day, or every week – but whenever something needs to be reported – I will continue to blog about our country’s peaceful revolution – whether anyone reads or not.