This week, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, reached the end of his first 100 days as president of Mexico. His approval rating is at 86 percent, and some say it’s because he’s doing things differently from his predecessors.
Steven Morris, professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University, and non-resident scholar at the Mexico Center at Rice University’s Baker Institute, says now is a historical opportunity for AMLO to combat corruption.
“Candidates ran on the platform that corruption was the major issue and principle problem facing Mexico,” Morris says. “Part of that was because of the level of corruption that was reached under his predecessor [Enrique] Peña Nieto. So it seems to have come to a point where something has to change.”
The Mexican government initiated a national anti-corruption scheme in 2016 to strengthen institutes that fight corruption. Now, in 2019, Morris says AMLO has already started to take on corruption by following through on audits and attempts to stop money laundering.
“I’m enthusiastic about the degree of enforcement that we’re beginning to see in just a short period of time,” Morris says.
Morris says AMLO is poised to counter Mexico’s long history of corruption especially because he has the backing of the Mexican people. They recognize the magnitude of the problems corruption has created, and they’ve formed their own organizations to combat it.
“It can’t be done just by the government,” Morris says. “The government, in a sense, is not going to reform itself, and so they need civil society to be involved in this.”
Written by Sara Schleede.