Mexico’s incoming government bows to Washington and Wall Street

More astute representatives of the Mexican and US financial oligarchies—and their respective military apparatuses—recognized that Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) of the Morena party was adept at tamping down popular unrest, by way of limited reforms, such as modest cash transfers and minimum wage and pension increases, and his populist demagogy.

Likewise valued was AMLO’s extensive cooperation in stemming migration to the US, as well as Mexico increasingly serving as a willing junior partner in Washington’s sanctions and near-shoring campaigns against China.

Mexico's president-elect Claudia Sheinbaum meets with the CEO of Black Rock Mexico, Sergio Méndez. [Photo: @Claudiashein]

His handpicked successor, Claudia Sheinbaum, won election this month by a landslide, although she was opposed by a coalition of the three other major Mexican parties, the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the right-wing National Action Party (PAN) and the nominally social democratic Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). 

Mexico’s incoming President can be expected, if anything, to increase cooperation with US imperialism and be even more subservient to its predatory interests.

Last Friday, the premier financial and business newspaper of the American oligarchy, the Wall Street Journal, ran a laudatory “exclusive” piece on Sheinbaum, focusing on her building “strong relationships with US law enforcement” over five years as mayor of the country’s capital, Mexico City.

According to the article, Sheinbaum “took a law-and-order approach to tackling violent crime, boosting the number and wages of police officers and installing a security chief who worked closely with US law enforcement.” This is a reference to her security chief Omar Harfuch, who has been tainted with possible cartel connections, and with participating in the initial coverup of the 2014 disappearance and murder in the southern state of Guerrero of the 43 Ayotzinapa rural teaching students by military and drug cartel units.

The Journal reports that “US and Mexican officials said Sheinbaum’s election signals a potential shift in Mexico’s relations with agencies like [US] Homeland Security”; a move away from AMLO’s “curb[ing]” of the activities of US security officials in Mexico, including the Drug Enforcement Administration.

This anticipated increased cooperation will come at a time that the Biden administration is close to ending the right of oppressed migrants to asylum. 

The Journal further reports that:

Sheinbaum demonstrated independence from López Obrador on security during her time as Mexico City mayor. The city government had a more dynamic relationship with US security officials than any other state government in the country, analysts and US officials say.

A spokeswoman for Sheinbaum boasts that as mayor she had a “good relationship” with the US Embassy, and that is likely to continue when she is President. 

Biden called Sheinbaum on Monday of last week and said the two emphasized their commitment to cooperation on security.

Sheinbaum and her transition team are also quickly moving to reassure global finance capital and cement close manufacturing, trade and financial ties with US imperialism.

Following the larger-than-expected majorities won by Morena at all levels of government in the June 2 elections, trepidation among investors over the enormous popular expectations of major social reforms found expression in a sharp drop in the peso and the Mexican stock market. 

After only the first day of a fall in share prices on June 3, the López Obrador administration and Sheinbaum’s transition team turned most of their attention to reassuring the financial oligarchy.

AMLO’s Economy Minister Rogelio Ramirez de la O came out of a meeting with Sheinbaum on the morning of June 4 to call investors and notify them that he will remain in the post. The decision was quickly celebrated in a statement by BMV Group, which owns and operates the Mexican Stock Exchange.

During the call, Ramírez de la O stressed: “We wish to confirm to international organizations and private investors that our project is based on financial discipline, respecting the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico, adhering to the rule of law and facilitating domestic and foreign private investment.”

According to Altagracia Gómez, a business adviser to Sheinbaum, and the board president of Grupo Promotora Empresarial de Occidente, a conglomerate with companies spanning transportation, energy transmission, and food products, “‘high-level discussions’ to be held in the coming months will help allay concerns” over any impediments to US investment in Mexico.

On Thursday Sheinbaum met with Sergio Méndez, director general of BlackRock Mexico, a subsidiary of BlackRock US, the world’s largest asset manager, with over $10 trillion in assets under management. This follows on Sheinbaum meeting with BlackRock President Larry Fink during her campaign in February.

After the meeting Méndez said that BlackRock is “committed and enthusiastic about increasing investment projects in Mexico.”

Gómez said Sheinbaum has more meetings planned with major local and foreign business leaders.

“In a way, this organizes public investment and orients private investment,” Gómez said. That is, Sheinbaum’s groveling will point to where the investment spoils lie.

The trajectory of the incoming Mexican administration is to integrate more closely with the interests of US imperialism. This comes when the US ever more recklessly accelerates its drive to war against Russia, China and Iran.

This exposes the bankruptcy of the illusions that the Democratic Socialists of America and other pseudo-left currents have promoted in AMLO and Morena as “pink tide” style champions of Mexico’s poverty-stricken masses.

There is no way forward for workers living on either side of the US-Mexico border outside of a break with all capitalist parties, including the US Democrats and Mexico’s Morena, and a unification of their struggles across national boundaries in the fight to to build a political movement for world socialism.