Tuesday (July 8th): AMLO crosses to the US


Name? Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Westphalian identity? Mexican

Age? 68

Why is he in the news? Today, for the first time in two years, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) visited President Joe Biden in the United States. The US-Mexico relationship have been under strain the past few months, especially after AMLO refused to attend the US-hosted Summit of the Americas over Biden’s refusal to invite the leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Why do we care? Simply put, this is the first time that a US administration has to contend with an ideologically opposed government in their most important regional partner. AMLO is an anti-American president who maintains a pragmatic relationship with the US, which worked with Trump; it is more difficult with an ideologically motivated democratic president like Biden. AMLO announced he wanted to discuss controlling inflation, immigration and security. 

Why should you care? A big topic of this meeting is illegal immigration and you should care as Mexico, aka AMLO, holds huge leverage. His administration has not done much to stop migrants from reaching the US border and he badly wants the US to grant more work visas to Mexicans and Central Americans. You should care 5/10 about AMLO and Biden discussing immigration.

Who else cares? WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has found a strong ally in AMLO as he publicly criticises US efforts to extradite Assange from the UK. He recently stated the Statue of Liberty should be dismantled and returned to France if Assange is extradited to the US. Despite the fact that AMLO does not have a great track record when it comes to critical voices leaking government shortcomings himself. 

Any further comments? AMLO famously doesn’t know any English and refuses to learn. Maybe Biden can speak a little Spanish to him for a change; hopefully not make a similar mistake as his wife who yesterday apologised for likening Hispanic people to “tacos” in a botched compliment.

Francia Morales

Editor in Chief for Research and Analysis