publicidad
Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Jorge Ramos go walkabout on Reforma Avenue in Mexico City for Al Punto
Jorge Ramos
Opinión

Jorge Ramos, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, is a news anchor on Univision. Originally from Mexico and now based in Florida, Ramos is the author of several best-selling books. His latest is “Take a Stand: Lessons From Rebels.”

López Obrador: "I am not corrupt"

López Obrador: "I am not corrupt"

López Obrador believes that his own ideals and his battle against corruption are what distinguishes him from other Mexican politicians. That's what will eventually lead him to the National Palace in 2018. "The third time’s the charm," he says.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Jorge Ramos go walkabout on Reforma Aven...
Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Jorge Ramos go walkabout on Reforma Avenue in Mexico City for Al Punto

MEXICO CITY — Recently I asked Andrés Manuel López Obrador if he wanted to become president of Mexico, although we all know the answer. “Yes,” López Obrador replied confidently, “and the third time’s the charm.”

The election to succeed President Enrique Peña Nieto is slated for July 2018. (He is constitutionally ineligible for another term)

López Obrador, 63, a leftist from the National Regeneration Movement party, or MORENA, is currently leading in the polls. He points out that he also led in the polls in the run-up to the 2006 election (though he trailed Peña Nieto in the 2012 election). He insists that both elections were stolen from him. “We can’t accept fraud,” he told me.

But in 2018, things will be different, he said, because there are “more people supporting the movement, better organization and more interest for real change.” Besides, he believes that social media may help to counter the attacks he’s bound to receive.

For instance, videos have just emerged that allegedly show Eva Cadena, a former mayoral candidate from MORENA, receiving the equivalent of about $25,000 in payments, allegedly to give to López Obrador.

He thinks what Cadena did is “very wrong.” But López Obrador blames Peña Nieto — whom he calls “a mobster” — for waging a smear campaign against him: “At Los Pinos [the president’s official residence], Peña Nieto handed the videos to the secretary of the interior, who turned them over to the newspaper El Universal, which posted the videos,” he told me.

publicidad

Many Mexicans are legitimately curious about how López Obrador makes his living. “How much money do you have?” I asked him. “Nothing,” he said. “I’m not fighting for money.” MORENA gives him “some 60,000 pesos a month” (about $3,000). “As unbelievable as it may seem to those corrupt people, I don’t have checking accounts or credit cards. And not just now; for 40 years.”

I tell him that his opponents are accusing him of being authoritarian, intolerant, stubborn and messianic. But those claims from his opponents“aren’t working,” he insists. “They are quite desperate.”

“I am not corrupt,” he told me, in what may become his campaign slogan. To him, corruption isn’t a cultural issue, as Peña Nieto has suggested, but “a problem that goes from the top all the way down.” He added, “I fight for ideals. If I were fighting for money, I’d be rich by now. I’d have mansions here in Mexico and abroad.”

Speaking of mansions: When first lady Angelica Rivera bought a $7 million house from a government contractor, was that an example of corruption? “Yes,” López Obrador said. If he were to become president, would he prosecute Peña Nieto and his wife for corruption? “No, no, no,” he answered. “That’s the job of the judges.”

Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Jorge Ramos go walkabout on Reforma Aven...
Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Jorge Ramos go walkabout on Reforma Avenue in Mexico City for Al Punto

Would he name an independent prosecutor to investigate Peña Nieto and his wife? “Yes, yes, that must be investigated,” he said.

Though left of center, López Obrador refuses to provide his views on abortion, same-sex marriage or drug legalization. “It’s simple. Let people decide. Let’s have a conversation,” he told me.

He also refuses to denounce Cuba’s Raul Castro and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro (even as the latter has plunged his country into chaos). Why? “Because I wouldn’t want them meddling in decisions that are exclusively the responsibility of Mexicans,” he answered.

But he is willing to voice his opinion on Donald Trump. I asked if he thought that Trump was a racist. “Yes, he stokes racism,” López Obrador said. “But it’s not that he feels that way. It’s just a political strategy, let me tell you.” He went on: “Trump shouldn’t forget Mexico is an independent country. … No border walls and no chasing our fellow countrymen who migrated to the United States.”

Toward the end of the interview, he spoke a little about his wife, Beatriz Gutierrez Müller. “She’s devoted mostly to literature; she has a Ph.D.”

He also mentioned their son, named Jesús Ernesto. “Jesús for Jesus Christ, and Ernesto for Ernesto Che Guevara,” he explained. “I believe in Jesus’ ideas and deeds. He fights for the poor. And Che was a model revolutionary.”

I reminded him that Che had also ordered several executions. “Yes, there are always questions,” he admitted, “but he was a man who offered his life for his ideals.”

López Obrador believes that his own ideals and his battle against corruption will eventually take him to the National Palace — where he intends to live, not in Los Pinos, which he considers too ostentatious. “We will arrive with all the moral authority to undertake Mexico’s transformation,” he said.

We’ll see. Perhaps the third time really is the charm.

Email Jorge at jorge.ramos@nytimes.com

publicidad
publicidad
El periodista de Univision Noticias recibió este viernes el Premio a la Excelencia que otorga la Fundación para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano de Colombia.
Ha habido más de 1,000 tiroteos masivos en el país desde la tragedia en Sandy Hook Elementary School. La capacidad de poseer armas de fuego en los Estados Unidos es un derecho garantizado por la segunda enmienda. El problema radica, no en tener una pistola, sino en cómo se usan y regulan esas armas.
The ability to own firearms in the United States is a right guaranteed by the second amendment. The issue lies, not in having a gun, but rather, in how those guns are used and regulated. The numbers show there have been over 1,000 mass shootings in the country since a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, in Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.
Desde el año 2000, más de 100 periodistas han sido asesinados en México. El presidente Enrique Peña Nieto ha dicho que va a cuidar a los periodistas, pero Jorge Ramos explica por qué no le puede creer.
Antes de recibir el premio Walter Cronkite el pasado mes de abril, Jorge Ramos participó en un panel en el cual habló sobre su papel como periodista. Explica por qué siente que uno no puede permanecer neutral cuando escucha comentarios racistas, sexistas o xenofóbicos.
Before receiving the Walter Cronkite Award this past April, Jorge Ramos participated in a panel in which he spoke about his role as a journalist. He explains why he feels that one cannot remain neutral when they hear racist, sexist or xenophobic remarks from a president.
Since Donald Trump arrived to the White House the number of undocumented immigrants being arrested has increased, and not just those with criminal records. In fact, during his first few months in office, the total number of arrests of immigrants without a criminal history has doubled.
Desde que el presidente Donald Trump llegó a la Casa Blanca, los arrestos de inmigrantes indocumentados han subido y no solo de aquellos con récord criminal. Durante sus meses como presidente, se ha duplicado el número de inmigrantes arrestados sin antecedentes penales.
La inmigración ha estado al frente de la discusión política en Estados Unidos durante casi dos años, particularmente desde que Donald Trump anunció su candidatura a la presidencia. Jorge Ramos cree que la inmigración es un tema que debe ser debatido, pero que ese debate debe basarse en hechos. Esto es lo que él le dice a aquellos que no dejan de criminalizar a los inmigrantes indocumentados del país.
Immigration has been at the forefront of political conversation in the United States for almost two years, particularly since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency. Jorge Ramos believes immigration is an issue that should be debated, but that this debate should be based on facts. This is what he has to say to those who have criminalized undocumented immigrants in the country.
Latino millennials account for almost half the 27.3 million eligible Latino voters in this election. But Latino turn out is traditionally far lower than black and Anglo voters. J.P. Dominguez asks “when are we going to wake up?”
A study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic policy found that undocumented immigrants pay $11.64 billion a year in state and local taxes. The undocumented pay on average 8% of their income on taxes while the wealthiest 1% pay only 5.4%. J.P Dominguez says that's "trumped up."
During the first presidential debate, the candidates took a chance to bring up each others past mistakes to affect their performance.
After the "Taco trucks on every corner" comment from the co-founder of Latinos for Trump, part of his immigration past emerged. This is JP Domínguez's take on the issue.
Donald Trump's wife and aspiring First Lady is an immigrant who says she always "went by the law" - but her story is a little 'SUS'.
"No lo dejo en paz, no me trago sus mentiras, no me callo": cineasta sobre gobierno mexicano
El cineasta Epigmenio Ibarra dice por qué se siente atacado por el gobierno del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto en México.
Ricardo Anaya: "Yo no soy de los que creen que tienen que defender lo que hicieron los de su partido"
Ricardo Anaya, del partido PAN, le cuenta a Jorge Ramos por qué quiere ser el próximo presidente de México. Además, revela qué opina sobre el expresidente Felipe Calderón y del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto.
La caravana que protege a unos 4,000 migrantes que regresan a México para celebrar la Navidad
Miles de mexicanos residentes en Estados Unidos se alistan a viajar para pasar la época decembrina con sus seres queridos en su país natal, pero no lo harán por cuenta propia sino en caravanas que serán protegidas por policías por tierra y aire.
El 'Panabus', solidaridad sobre ruedas para los más pobres en Venezuela
La unidad móvil, que recorre las calles de Caracas para brindar servicios básicos a personas en pobreza extrema, está equipada con duchas, consultorio médico y peluquería. Carlos De Veer, fundador del programa, asegura que esta iniciativa busca dignificar a los venezolanos como seres humanos.
publicidad
Isis, Zica, Moco: Conoce los 10 peores nombres de modelos de autos
Bien sea por que se prestan a malas interpretaciones o simplemente por ridículos, inapropiados o groseros, ninguno de estos nombres le hizo favores a los modelos que los usaron.
Los últimos días de Ricardo Aldape, el reo condenado a muerte al que salvó Bush pero a quien asesinó el destino
Regresó a México como un héroe después de pasar 15 años condenado a muerte en Texas por un crimen que no cometió; incursionó en las telenovelas, pero cumplió su cita con el destino en un accidente de carretera.
Así investiga el Pentágono los Ovnis y otras posibles amenazas aeroespaciales
El programa fue puesto en marcha en 2007 para recoger datos y analizar una serie de "amenazas aeroespaciales anómalas", desde drones privados a posibles encuentros con objetos extraterrestres, confirmaron fuentes del Pentágono.
Video: El extraño objeto volador que captó un programa secreto del Pentágono para investigar ovnis
El programa fue puesto en marcha en 2007 para recoger datos y analizar una serie de "amenazas aeroespaciales anómalas", desde drones privados a posibles encuentros con objetos extraterrestres.
Espectacular volea de Julian Brandt para el Leverkusen
El delantero del Bayer Leverkusen abrió el marcador ante el Hannover prendiendo la bola en el aire tras un centro de Bender.
Edwin Cardona es una posibilidad para el América
El colombiano estaría en la órbita del América y estaría dispuesto a ceder jugadores con tal de tenerlo en sus filas.
El exequipo de Rafael Márquez, Hellas Verona, humilla con goleada al Milan
Los 'rossoneri' la pasan mal en el campeonato italiano y sufrieron un 3-0 alejándose de puestos de competencias europea.
Edwin Cardona es una posibilidad para el América
El colombiano estaría en la órbita del América y estaría dispuesto a ceder jugadores con tal de tenerlo en sus filas.