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April 29, 2005

An early May Day present for Mexico

Fox clears the way for Lopez Obrador to run in election [Financial Times]
By Ronald Buchanan in Mexico City
Published: April 29 2005 03:00
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico City's mayor, yesterday welcomed President Vicente Fox's move in effect to shelve criminal charges against him, clearing the way for the mayor to run in next year's presidential elections.
Under pressure to defuse a growing political crisis, Mr Fox made a television address to the nation on Wednesday night to announce that he had accepted the resignation of Rafael Macedo de la Concha, the attorney-general, who had been pursuing the case against Mr López Obrador.

Mark Kleiman is pleased about the implications for Mexican democracy, but uneasy about López Obrador's ability to run Mexico. I'm delighted about his legal victory and hopefully agnostic about his prospects for a successful presidency. He will certainly face formidable opposition from his own Congress and from the United States.


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The US would never interfere! We believe in letting Democracy take its course.

Well, as long as the generals are at the ready.

I get so tired, so very, very tired, with the way America fails to take a consistent policy toward promoting democracy. I thought the war in Iraq was a good step toward bringing democracy to the Mideast, but consistency demands an equal respect for human rights and democracy in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, the Phillipines. It is tiring the way short-term expediency continues to harm our long term interests.

Mark A. R. Kleiman points out...

Footnote: I've noticed a tendency among various bloggers and commenters to refer to the victim of this purge as "Obrador." That's a mistake. In a Spanish name such as Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Andres and Manuel are the baptismal names, Lopez the father's surname (which will be inherited by the children) and Obrador the mother's surname (inherited from her father). "Sr. Lopez Obrador" is formal; "Lopez Obrador" good newspaper style; "Sr. Lopez" somewhat informal; "Lopez" conversational.

"Obrador," by contrast, is either a solecism or a deadly insult, suggesting doubt about the candidate's claim to be the son of his mother's husband.

Alan, thanks, I'll fix that.

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