MEXICO CITY – Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who was sworn in this Saturday as president of Mexico, said in his first address to the nation after his inauguration that during his term in office (2018-2024) he will fight against both public and private corruption.
He said that in the last 36 years a “foul public and private” corruption has prevailed in Mexico and now, with this change of the “political regime,” he will fight to bring peace and calm back to the country.
“Nothing has damaged Mexico more than the dishonesty of its governments,” he added minutes after receiving the presidential sash from the previous head of state, Enrique Peña Nieto, in a ceremony before the Congress of the Union.
Before deputies and senators, he said that, without wishing “to appear pretentious or exaggerated, today is not simply the inauguration of a new government.”
“From now on a transformation will take place that is peaceful and orderly, but at the same time far-reaching and radical, because we’ll see an end to the corruption and the impunity that has stopped Mexico’s revival,” he said.
The leftist leader – who promises to lead the country to its “fourth transformation” following independence, the liberal reforms of the 19th century and the Mexican Revolution – said he wants to make “honesty and brotherhood a way of life.”
He then criticized the neoliberal model that has governed the nation’s economy over the past decades.
“Neoliberal economic policy has been a disaster, a calamity for public life,” he said.
This economic model, which according to Lopez Obrador has failed completely, leads to “foul public and private corruption” and to the “dishonesty of governments,” which in turn have increased insecurity and violence, to the point that 2017 had the highest number of premeditated murders in two decades.
“The mark of neoliberalism is corruption. That may sound strong, but privatization in Mexico has been the synonym of corruption,” he said.
As for international transparency, he said, Mexico occupies 135th place out of the 176 countries evaluated, whereas in the year 2000 it was 59th.
“In the neoliberal period, corruption became the main function of political power,” he said.
This Dec. 1, Lopez Obrador assumed the presidency of Mexico after a crushing victory in the July 1 election in which he won 53 percent of the vote.