Left­ist leader takes of­fice af­ter decades of tech­nocrats

The News-Times (Sunday) - - Obituaries/News -

An­dres Manuel Lopez Obrador took the oath of of­fice Satur­day as Mex­ico's first left­ist pres­i­dent in over 70 years, mark­ing a turn­ing point in one of the world's most rad­i­cal ex­per­i­ments in open­ing mar­kets and pri­va­ti­za­tion.

In his first speech to Con­gress, Lopez Obrador pledged “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.”

Mex­ico long had a closed, state-dom­i­nated econ­omy, but since en­ter­ing the Gen­eral Agree­ment on Trade and Tar­iffs in 1986, it has signed more free trade agree­ments than al­most any other coun­try, and pri­va­tized al­most ev­ery cor­ner of the econ­omy ex­cept oil and elec­tric­ity.

Now, though, Lopez Obrador talks a talk not heard in Mex­ico since the 1960s: He wants to build more state-owned oil re­finer­ies and en­cour­ages Mex­i­cans to “not to buy abroad, but to pro­duce in Mex­ico what we con­sume.”

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