A question often asked is what makes presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) invulnerable to a massive and corrosive onslaught of attacks? In fact, after every charge his political opponents come up with, he seems to come out stronger because every time he claims he’s being victimized by the “mobsters in power” and that he remains incorruptible.
The latest set of attacks on AMLO came after one of the candidates for mayors of his National Regeneration Movement (Morena) for the municipality of Las Choapas in the in the state of Veracruz. Eva Cadena was caught on tape receiving half a million pesos in cash to be delivered directly to AMLO in support of his cause.
The three minute tape, published by anti-AMLO daily El Universal, immediately was taken up by the leaders of AMLO’s current bitter enemies Enrique Ochoa of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Ricardo Anaya of the National Action Party (PAN) who went on television to demand that AMLO quit his bid for the presidency in order to come to trial for corruption.
The one problem both PRI’s Ochoa and PAN’s Anaya is that they have poor memories and that AMLO is used to get broadsided constantly and he still goes on, as if nothing happened.
Money-taking culprit Eva Cadena immediately resigned as Morena candidate to Las Choapas, which opened up the way for AMLO to respond to his detractors and say, first, that the espionage on Eva Cadena was a framing scam thought up by Veracruz Gov. Miguel Ángel Yunes, an avowed AMLO enemy, and handed over to daily El Universal by none other than Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, both of whom, according to AMLO, “are no angels” and indeed “mobsters in power.”
Beyond the scandalous nature of the taped money handover by an unknown lady and Eva Morales taking the money — which she claims gave back when AMLO saw she’d taken it — the leaders of PRI and PAN seem not to have learned from previous lessons in which AMLO, basing himself in his honesty, has taught previous politicians.
Let’s just recall the infamous badmouthing campaign former President Vicente Fox spearheaded against AMLO, then Mexico City’s Mayor, because he’d allegedly illegally stripped a family of a piece of land. Fox took the hoax all the way to having the Chamber of Deputies strip AMLO of his immunity (fuero, in Spanish) protection under the law but at that moment he stopped and decided not to drop, but forget about all charges.
At that moment AMLO received a humongous support from the people of Mexico City and when he lost the presidential election by half a percentage point, he declared a theft and his people backed then by the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) blockaded Reforma Boulevard avenue for over three months in a row, strangling the city but also nabbing President Fox by the political throat in an unprecedented show of power.
Over the years, many of AMLO’s associates have been bribed in front of hidden video cameras that were later screened on public television but once again, AMLO divorced himself from all of them and in every case he blamed “the mobsters in power” of having framed them, even if some of his associates were outright crooks.
One of them, René Bejerano, even went to jail but he’s back in political circulation at the PRD. There are many other cases but the point is now that every time this type of video-taped scheme has been used against him, he usually walks unscathed as he will surely do from the Eva Cadena case.
The other point being that some dudes never learn, and the unfriendly fire has turned against them. In this case, for instance, PRI’s Enrique Ochoa went on television ads to demand AMLO be tried for his crime but he has now earned for himself the nickname of “Clavillazo” after a comedian who blamed everyone of whatever came to his mind and he’d answer without having any evidence of guilt as “just because, just because” (“nomás, nomás,” in Spanish). That made Clavillazo funny but certainly the allegedly very corrupt Enrique Ochoa was not making anyone laugh.
The same is true of PAN’s Ricardo Anaya, a person who lives high on the hog with properties in Atlanta, and makes his living of a couple “of small malls” in Querétaro. Plus the fact that Anaya is also a presidential hopeful and defaming AMLO is part of his programmed game of politics.
The one fact that stands out nowadays is that AMLO leads all the polls for next year’s presidential elections and his Morena political party — only two years old — keeps gaining ground with disgruntled voters of this country who are fed up with corruption and show total uneasy with President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Administration which is now at a very low point of popularity.
The Eva Cadena bribery incident will soon be forgotten, as have been others, because AMLO has never been directly taped receiving cash or doing corrupt deals as have been many others, including President Peña Nieto.
It will be just another battle within the on-going Mexican politics mud-slinging wars that will last until June 2018, immediately after the presidential elections.