By Peter Zeihan on June 8, 2021
Mexicans went to the polls over the weekend. Preliminary results indicate that while incumbent president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s (better known as AMLO) MORENA coalition will maintain a majority in Congress, AMLO did not score a two-thirds majority necessary to amend the constitution.
AMLO’s mix of economic wishful thinking and populist tendencies has resulted in a mix of policies ranging from increasing government control over the energy industry while simultaneously ignoring Mexico’s rising drug violence problems and leaving most local authorities to handle COVID on their own. All this, with a healthy amount of disrespect for any government institutions seeking to place limits on what he views as his vast presidential powers.
However onerous his attempts to install himself as grand-poohbah-god-king of Mexico may be, what his populist measures will ultimately do is impede Mexico’s ability to compete for investment in the coming deglobalization and shift away from China. Mexico’s proximity to the United States and already strong economic integration with its northern neighbor means that this investment and development will still likely come Mexico’s way, but with a lot of unnecessarily delays and extra costs for all involved.