Question 4: Militarized Authoritarianism | Article

Hector Tajonar.

On December 1, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s fifth year in office ended; Over these five years, we have been able to confirm the regressive and destructive nature of the regime established as a result of the self-proclaimed fourth transformation: the militarized authoritarian presidency. The evidence is stunning and its implications ominous.

After winning the election, the lifelong leader of the 4Ts had the opportunity to reform Mexico’s political system, a paradigm of authoritarianism that operated from 1929 to 2018. Instead, he launched a frontal attack on democratic institutions, coupled with a process of unprecedented militarization since 1946.

López Obrador thus joined the long list of demagogues, dictators and autocrats who throughout history have risen to power through elections and then, little by little, stifled democracy until it drowned in populist demagoguery. All this in order to strengthen their only power and perpetuate themselves. Will Tabasco be the exception to the rule?

His contempt for the institutions and values ​​of representative democracy began to manifest itself when he was elected president, with the closure of Texcoco airport, which was justified by “consultation with citizens” without any legal basis, which was contrary to the provisions of Article 35 of the constitution.

The irrationality of this measure, contrary to the national interests and development of the country, can only be explained as an act of power aimed at changing the balance of power between political power and economic power through the subjugation of Mexico’s richest businessman.

It was a clear example of the authoritarian vocation of the Morenoist president and the arbitrary and intimidating manner in which he exercised presidential power; surpassed his predecessors in the golden age of the non-ideological hegemonic party political system (Sartori).

Authoritarianism – the essence of AMLO and the driving force of his 4Ts – has been radicalized, especially after the setback suffered in the 2021 midterm elections, in which Morena lost a supermajority in the Chamber of Deputies, as well as most of the mayoral positions in Mexico City.

However, López Obrador’s betrayal of representative democracy is not the result of improvisation in the face of an unfavorable situation, but rather the result of a well-thought-out and effective strategy, timed and timed, to seize “all power” through a combination of four factors:

Area of ​​communication space. Control of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic. Collusion with the Armed Forces. And a violation of the separation of powers.

Dominating the political scene has allowed him to revel in the cult of himself, identifying with the AMLO character created through a bold narrative – backed by his government – that has turned him into a national hero through work and advertising grace. Filled with supposed moral superiority, President López Obrador promises, preaches, lies and pontificates with absolute impunity from the pulpit of the National Palace.

Communication hegemony is the main tool and greatest achievement of his failed management. This includes the ability to veto an opposition candidate on the country’s two main television channels. A scandal that went almost unnoticed by public opinion and, unfortunately, by electoral authorities. This measure of fascist overtones is related to the second factor.

The control of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic, constitutionally autonomous but actually subordinate to the executive branch, is an infallible weapon of intimidation, capable of subjugating the most prominent representatives of the old “mafia of power”, many of whom have chosen to become obedient followers of the 4Ts. Who could refuse justice and mercy from a Juarista leader instead of his simple law (including unofficial preventive detention)?

Of course, other victims of the president’s harassment and intimidation include journalists and intellectuals critical of his government, as well as women’s rights and human rights activists.

The presidential prosecutor’s office is an instrument of factional use of the law. There are plenty of examples. The endless farce that the trial of Emilio Lozoya has become. Secret agreement with Enrique Pena Nieto. Corruption at the heart of the National Palace: the President’s children, brothers and cousins; allegations between Hertz Manero and Scherer Ibarra; the hectares surrounding the Tulum Mayan train station, the property of the children of “Nico” Molliendo, the driver and right-hand man of López Obrador; the multimillion-dollar Segalmex scam with the patronage of Ignacio Ovalle, the organization’s former director; and these are just a few of them.

All these cases are protected by the selective impunity imposed by López Obrador, the owner and overlord of procurement and administration of justice in Mexico, as part of the “fourth transformation of public life in Mexico”, the main banner of which is the fight against corruption.

Failure to fulfill its commitments to fight corruption is the greatest political and moral failure of the López Obrador government; along with demagogic promises to fight organized crime and restore the safety of Mexicans through a misguided policy of “hugs, not bullets.”

Corruption and public safety are directly related to the militarization of the country, imposed by the president, who proposed returning soldiers to the barracks.

Collusion with the military is one of the most regressive and dark aspects of the Obrador regime. Apart from violating the Constitution, the decision to co-govern with the military is not only regressive but also reactionary and will be very difficult to reverse.

It is clear that ensuring control over the repressive apparatus of the state is a condition for guaranteeing the stability of its government, as well as its permanence in power, “as long as the creator and the people allow it.” The latter is due to the constitutional mandate, according to which October 1 (2024) is the end of his powers.

The President expressed his intention to introduce constitutional reform so that the National Guard would be permanently dependent on the Secretariat of National Defense. Evidence shows that leaving public safety in the hands of the military is ineffective and carries serious human rights risks.

Ayotzinapa is a model case. The investigation has stalled as military elites oppose revealing the responsibility of senior army commanders for the massacre. López Obrador became an accomplice (“front”) for the military repressive forces.

The rapid rehabilitation of General Salvador Cienfuegos, ordered by the owner of 4T under pressure from the military elite, is another revealing event of collusion between the executive branch and the armed forces.

Apart from being unconstitutional, giving the army duties that must be performed by civilians makes it the most important contractor, supplier and concessionaire in the country; This allows for a high degree of opacity, which, as we all know, is the ideal condition for corruption at the railway, airport, customs, port and aviation 4T levels.

This kind of nonsense has no precedent in our history. To strengthen business, the supreme demagogue came up with the cynical idea of ​​issuing a decree classifying all his megaprojects as matters of national security; The legal nonsense was unsuccessful. What really thrives are the budgetary resources allocated to the Armed Forces, as well as the financial profits and political power of the military elites and their partners.

The problem becomes tragic when we reach what I called the triangle of drug corruption (rather than “good and hardworking people”). This implies responsibility for the Obrero government for more than 150,000 murders that occurred during its reign, as well as alleged complicity between organized crime, the army and the executive branch.

The penetration of drug trafficking into the three levels of government across the country continues to grow. It dominates the markets for drugs, lemons, avocados, chicken, water, beer, pirated goods and weapons, as well as the fishing and logging industries, garbage collection and fuel sales. Its growing infiltration of electoral processes exacerbates the threat to democracy orchestrated by the National Palace.

There seems to be no end to criminal violence. The sum of all this is called a narco-state. The President used the term after the capture of General Cienfuegos in the United States, but after the release and acquittal of the former Secretary of Defense, he never used it again. Maybe because it was forbidden, and because he saw his reflection in this mirror.

The breakdown of the separation of powers and the attack on autonomous organizations are two defining characteristics of López Obrador’s authoritarian regime and its chimerical fourth transformation. Congress stopped some of its reforms, which were later rejected by the Supreme Court, chaired by Minister Norma Piña, a main target of presidential authoritarianism along with INE and INAI.

The demagogue is already accustomed to the brazen submission of the previous Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Remember the Saldivar Law, designed to extend the mandate not only of the minister-president, but also of the president-leader; the grotesque consultations to convict former presidents that ultimately ensured Peña Nieto’s impunity; or the consultations for the revocation of the mandate, conceived by Macuspano Machiavelli with the aim of confirming his own mandate and, above all, guaranteeing him a destabilizing weapon that would allow him to remove from office anyone who would become his successor, in case the boss so decides. 4T.

The cost of a policy of hatred and arbitrariness, caused by delusions of grandeur and an uncontrollable lust for power of a president determined to extend his rule through reforms of the Constitution, which could include changing Article 83, which prevents re-election, was too high. . This would only be possible if his party received a supermajority in Congress.

We, the voters, have a responsibility to make sure this doesn’t happen. The continuation of the militarized authoritarianism imposed by López Obrador, with his series of disasters and failures in the areas of security, corruption and climate change; health, education and culture, among other aspects of public policy, deserve to be on the presidential ranch.

Exercising our right and responsibility to vote is the only way to restore our civic dignity.

Source: Aristegui Noticias