Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has come a long way in the last decade — too far, some environmentalists would argue.
Photo: Gobierno del Distrito Federal.
In February 1996, AMLO (as the Mexican press calls him) was arguably the country’s most prominent environmentalist, organizing a string of high-profile protests in his native Tabasco, in southeastern Mexico. The protests were aimed at forcing Pemex, the country’s state-owned oil monopoly, to clean up its act and prevent crude oil spills from wells in Tabasco’s lush, tropical plains and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, where most of the company’s extraction takes place. Local fishers and farmers were fed up with having their livelihoods ruined by the oil spills, and AMLO cleverly harnessed their anger to rocket himself into the national spotlight.
In July 2000, as Vicente Fox was winning the Mexican presidency and ousting the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party from power, AMLO made history of his own. The son of provincial shopkeepers and a populist from the left-of-center Democratic Revolution... Read more