The 100 commitments of the new president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, are published below. In addition to his ambitious roadmap, yesterday’s day was marked by an unprecedented and exciting ceremony in Mexico City’s Zócalo, in which AMLO received the baton of command from the indigenous peoples.
Thousands of people participated in this ceremony with a strong spiritual and political charge, being protagonists of this historic moment, exemplary for everyone.
Latin American Summary, December 2, 2018.
The original peoples performed a ritual and with chants they received the new president.
“We are going to consecrate our president of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador,” they said.
“It is an honor to be with you, we, the original peoples, are present, we ask you to allow us to perform a ritual of purification,” they said, then began the it.
Shortly after, they gave him the Baton of Command, “here is the symbol with which he will lead our people.
They asked to be taken into account and expressed their commitment to the president.
Shouting “president, president,” followed by other exclamations of “Obrador, Obrador,” at 5:05 the arrival of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the capital’s Zócalo was announced.
And the people turned in joy, and began to chant “it’s an honour…”.
“Here is the baton of command with which you will lead our people, as long as, we want to remember, we are taken into account in the plans you have for these six years,” they told him when they handed him the baton. “Receive from our hands and on behalf of our people who will guide you, the indigenous peoples and the Mexican people give you their trust and commitment.
In the ceremony they explained that “the cane was consecrated at five o’clock in the morning, in the ceremonial centre that guards the wisdom of our ancestors, those men and women who came to this place to populate Tenochtitlán, the first town that today we call Mexico”. The cedar cane was made in Ayutla Mixes, in the northern highlands of Oaxaca.
Prior to the delivery of the cane, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Beatriz Gutierrez received a purificatio from traditional doctors. At one point, one of the doctors knelt in front of López Obrador and while he was talking, his voice broke. Faced with this, visibly moved, the president also knelt.
In the greeting to the four cardinal points, the entire Zócalo participated, in what is probably the greatest ritual that there has ever been in the country.
Latin American Summary, December 2, 2018.
Here in the Zócalo of Mexico City, the country’s main public square, after receiving the command staff of the native peoples of our great nation, I reaffirm the commitment not to lie, not to steal and not to betray the people.
Today I spoke in Congress about the old regime and the new policy to carry out the Fourth Transformation of public life in Mexico; now I want to express what we have already done and are about to begin; what we could well call, a modernity forged from below and for everyone.
I reaffirm our commitments, on the following points:
1. In the first place, we are going to give special attention to the indigenous peoples of Mexico; it is an ignominy that our original peoples have lived for centuries under oppression and racism, with poverty and marginalization on their backs. All government programmes will have as their preferred population the indigenous peoples of the country’s diverse cultures.
All Mexicans will be served regardless of beliefs, class, organizations, sex, parties, economic or cultural sectors, but the principle will be applied that, for the good of all, the poor come first.
3. The children’s rooms of the former Ministry of Social Development shall be maintained and the CENDIS promoted by the Labor Party shall be regularized; both programmes shall have guaranteed resources in the budget and shall become part of the Welfare and Public Education Secretariats.
4. Primary and Secondary students from low-income families will receive educational scholarships.
5. All students from high schools, technical schools, vocational schools and public high schools will receive a scholarship of 800 pesos per month.
6. Three hundred thousand young people, in conditions of poverty, who enter or are studying at universities, will be entitled to a scholarship of 2400 pesos per month.
7. In 2019, 100 public universities will be operating, with careers according to each region of the country to provide quality education without tuition fees to 64,000 students at the higher level.
8. Mexico’s cultural heritage will be protected. Artistic training will be promoted from basic education and support will be given to creators and cultural promoters.
9. Scientific and technological research will be promoted; students and academics will be supported with scholarships and other stimuli for the good of knowledge. Conacyt will coordinate the National Plan for Innovation for the benefit of society and national development with the participation of universities, peoples, scientists and businesses.
10. The so-called Educational Reform will be cancelled, the right to free education at all levels of schooling will be established in Article 3 of the Constitution, and the government will never again aggravate teachers.
11. Today begins the plan to support the victims of the earthquakes with work, housing and public services. This includes a programme of construction and reconstruction of schools, health centers, public buildings and temples that are part of the country’s cultural heritage.
12. Also today begins a programme of urban improvement in marginalized neighborhoods of the northern border: Tijuana, Mexicali, San Luis Rio Colorado, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Acuña, Piedras Negras, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa and Matamoros.
13. The right to health will become a reality. The purpose is to guarantee free medical attention and medicines to Mexicans; we will begin in the Social Security medical units located in the poorest areas of the country and little by little the program will be expanded until we manage, in the middle of the six-year period, to establish a first class health system, as in Canada or in the Nordic countries.
14. The salaries of high officials will be lowered and the salaries of grassroots and unionized workers who earn less than 20,000 pesos a month will be increased proportionally.
15. Pensions will be increased for older adults throughout the country; that is, 1,274 pesos per month will be given to each one.
16. This support will also be given to a million poor disabled people, especially children from marginalized towns and colonies.
17. Two million 300 thousand unemployed young people will be hired to work as apprentices in productive activities in the countryside and the city, and will earn a salary of 3 thousand 600 pesos per month.
18. This month we begin the construction of concrete roads in forgotten municipalities of Oaxaca, Guerrero and other states. These roads will be built with workers from the same communities to achieve a multiplier effect: the budget will remain there, the economy will be reactivated from below, jobs will be created with fair wages and works will be done for the benefit of the people.
19. Small farmers in the countryside, ejidatarios, communeros or small landowners will receive six-monthly economic support for the planting of food.
20. We will begin a programme of delivery of fertilizers taking care that the soils are not damaged, to benefit agricultural producers; next year, this programme will be applied free of charge in support to all the peasants of the state of Guerrero and thus we will be expanding it to the rest of the country. In addition, soon we will have enough raw material and will start operating the fertilizer plant in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz.
21. The small producers of corn, beans, rice, wheat and milk will be paid guaranteed prices in warehouses of Diconsa and Liconsa.
Fishing activities will be encouraged to improve the lives of coastal and riparian communities. Tuna and sardine fishermen will receive a fair price for their products.
23. Preparations have already begun to plant one million hectares of fruit and timber trees over the next two years, with the goal of producing food, reforesting, improving the environment, creating 400,000 jobs, and rooting people in their communities of origin.
Diconsa and Liconsa will be united in a single company for the supply and distribution of food for popular consumption. It will be called Mexican Food Security (SEGALMEX). In the warehouses, stores and dairies of this new agency, a basket of basic foods will be distributed at low prices to combat malnutrition and hunger of the people.
25. Interest-free loans will be granted to parcel holders, communeros and small landowners for the acquisition of heifers, cows and stallions.
26. The artisans, owners of workshops, shops and small businesses, will also receive cheap credits by word of mouth, without so much paperwork and waste of time.
27. The tax charged to companies for mineral extraction will be transferred to the mining communities.
28. The price of gasoline, gas, diesel and electricity will not increase, only the inflation component will be applied; that is, there will be no gasoline usury.
29. The support granted by the government to the people will be delivered directly, without intermediaries, to avoid “moches”, corruption and political manipulation. That is why a house by house census is being carried out to identify each beneficiary, to give them a card and for them to withdraw this support.
30. The Welfare Bank will be created so that poor people, even in the most remote villages, can receive government aid and in that same account can also receive remittances and other income, as well as maintain their savings with yields and security guarantees.
31. The increase in the budget to finance the welfare programmes will be obtained from savings for not allowing corruption and governing with Republican austerity.
32. Taxes will not be increased beyond inflation and no new taxes will be created. Nor will we increase public debt. We will not spend more than what enters the public treasury.
33. We will be respectful of the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico and its policies to avoid inflation or devaluations.
34. A strict policy of republican austerity will be applied. There will be no cronyism, nepotism and influence, none of those scourges of politics. The payroll and assets of public officials and their close relatives will be transparent; we will make few, very few trips abroad and only for justified reasons; new vehicles will not be purchased for officials; only officials responsible for security tasks will have escorts; there will only be three advisers per secretariat; there will be no private medical care, nor exclusive savings banks for officials.
No computer systems will be purchased in the first year of government.
36. Private secretaries will only be available to the staff members of the enlarged cabinet.
37. Trusts or any other mechanism used to hide public funds and evade legality and transparency will be cancelled.
38. All duplicate structures and programmes (major official offices, press offices, publications, legal ombudsmen, procurement, internal comptroller’s office and others) will be eliminated and these functions or programmes will be centralised in a single unit or coordination, dependent on the secretariat related to the matters in question.
Government advertising expenditure will be reduced by 50 per cent.
40. Officials from the Treasury, Communications, Energy and other agencies will not be able to share parties, meals, sports games or travel with contractors, large taxpayers, suppliers or investors linked to the public function.
41. No public official may occupy workers in the service of the State in their home if not permitted to do so or not authorized to do so.
42. No official, without cause of emergency, may order the closing of streets, the stopping of traffic or the passing of stops or parking in prohibited places.
43. No extra merchandise already existing in public warehouses in sufficient quantity shall be purchased.
44. Offices shall not be remodeled, nor shall luxury furniture be purchased.
45. Only secretaries and undersecretaries will have the support of drivers.
46. Unless fully justified, the police and military of the different corporations will not be at the service of civil servants or individuals.
47. Items for costumes or any protocol and ceremonial expenses dedicated to the President, his close collaborators and relatives shall be eliminated.
48. The assets of the offices at the disposal of public servants shall be taken care of in order to protect the collective patrimony.
49. Avoid unnecessary expenses abroad. The only government offices will be embassies and consulates. There will only be one federal government delegation in the states, and all offices will save electricity, water, telephone, internet, gasoline, and other supplies paid for by the treasury.
Citizens will be treated with kindness in public offices and elsewhere, humbly accepting that they are the principals of us public servants.
51. Government purchases will be made in a consolidated manner; through convocation and with citizen observation and the UN transparency office.
52. Government work contracts will be carried out with the participation of citizens and UN observers.
53. The hiring of offices to prepare bills, development plans or any type of analysis, recommendations, reports and other documents that can be prepared with the work and professional capacity of public servants will not be authorized.
54. The federal government will be decentralized and the secretariats will be located in different states of the republic, because the whole country is Mexico. This process will be carried out on a voluntary basis, without affecting workers in the service of the State; on the contrary, they will have opportunities for the acquisition of housing, education for their children, medical care and social security.
55. There will be an authentic rule of law. No one shall be allowed to violate the Constitution and the laws, and there shall be no impunity, favours or privileges.
56. Impunity will end; Article 108 of the Constitution will be amended to try the incumbent President for any crime he commits, just like any other citizen.
57. Corruption, fuel theft, illegal carrying of firearms, falsification of invoices for tax evasion, electoral fraud, vote buying and the use of budget to favour candidates and parties shall be prohibited and shall become a serious crime, without the right to bail.
58. There will be no budget items available to deputies or senators. There will be no more shameful practice of so-called “moches”.
59. No public official may receive gifts worth more than 5,000 pesos.
60. In commercial or financial relations with international companies, preference shall be given to those originating in countries whose governments are characterized by their honesty and punish without any tolerance the practices of bribery or kickbacks.
61. As of today, the doors of Los Pinos are open, which has ceased to be the official residence of the President and has become a space dedicated to recreation, art and the culture of the people.
62. The Presidential General Staff is now part of the Secretariat of Defence; in the same way, the Cisen disappears. There will be no espionage of opponents or citizens, and the successor office will have as its sole task to do intelligence work to guarantee peace and preserve national security.
63. The presidential airplane and the entire fleet of airplanes and helicopters that were used for the transfer of senior public officials are for sale.
64. Former presidents will no longer receive a pension, nor will civil or military civil servants be in their service.
65. There will be no inspectors on public roads to be supervising commercial, business or service establishments. We are going to trust the citizens and a surveillance program will be implemented by lottery. Bribery or the cut will be avoided, we will give confidence to citizens, who under protest of telling the truth will act with rectitude and fulfill their responsibilities.
66. We reiterate: we are not against those who invest and generate jobs and are committed to the development of Mexico, but against bad wealth.
67. Tourism will be fostered to boost development and create jobs; also, starting this month, an urban improvement program will begin in the marginalized neighborhoods of five tourist centers: Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Bahía de Banderas, Acapulco, and Solidaridad.
68. The Mayan Train will be built to communicate by this means of fast and modern transport to tourists and national passengers in the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo.
69. An economic and commercial corridor will be created in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec that will communicate Asia and the east coast of the United States. A container railroad will be built; the road will be widened; the ports of Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos will be rehabilitated; the region’s oil, gas, water, wind and electricity will be harnessed; assembly and manufacturing plants will be installed; and there will be tax subsidies to promote investment and create jobs.
70. We will allocate more public investment to urgently produce more oil, gas and electricity and thus face the crisis left by neoliberal politicians and those responsible for the so-called energy reform. I call on the technicians and oil workers, active or retired, to act with patriotism as was done in the times of General Lázaro Cárdenas, and that we return to rescue the national oil industry.
71. The six existing refineries will be rehabilitated and, in a few days, the construction of a new refinery will begin in Dos Bocas, Paraíso, Tabasco, so that in three years all the gasoline we consume will be produced in Mexico.
72. The dismantling plan of the Federal Electricity Commission will be halted; not one more plant will be closed; on the contrary, the existing ones will be modernized and special attention will be given to the hydroelectric plants to produce more clean energy at a lower cost.
73. We will promote the development of alternative renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal and tidal.
74. We will protect Mexico’s biological and cultural diversity. We will promote agroecological practices that increase productivity without damaging nature. The introduction and use of transgenic seeds will not be allowed.
75. We will not use methods of extraction of raw materials that affect nature and exhaust water sources such as fracking.
76. No economic, productive, commercial or tourist project that affects the environment will be permitted. Pollution of soil, water and air will be avoided and flora and fauna will be protected. Water will not be privatised.
77. There will be universal telecommunications coverage and the country will be connected to the Internet using the infrastructure and lines of the Federal Electricity Commission. This service will be free of charge in highways, plazas, schools, hospitals, etc. and public facilities.
78. In three years the problem of the saturation of the current airport in Mexico City will be definitively solved; by then the roads, two new runways and the passenger terminal at the Santa Lucía air base will be working, which will save Lake Texcoco and we will have saved 100 billion pesos.
79. From January 1, a free zone will be created in the 3,180 kilometers of border with the United States; that is, next year in that part of our country productive activities will be promoted, investment will be promoted, jobs will be created, VAT will be lowered from 16 to 8 percent and the Income Tax will be 20 percent. Fuels on this and that side of the border will cost the same, and the minimum wage will be doubled.
80. The minimum wage will never be set below inflation, as happened in the neoliberal period.
81. Article 35 of the Constitution will be amended to remove all obstacles and locks in the holding of citizen consultations, so that the people always have the right to participate in decisions of public interest.
82. On the first Sunday of July 2021, there will be a consultation to ask Mexicans if I continue in the presidency or if I resign, because as I believe and have said many times, the people put and the people take away, the people are sovereign.
83. There will be no divorce between power and the people, I will never lose communication with you, with the people; I will spend five days a week in municipalities and states of the country gathering the feelings of the people and solving problems and evaluating the progress of development and welfare programs.
84. Every day, starting next Monday at 6 a.m., I will lead the Security Cabinet meeting at the National Palace to guarantee peace and tranquility to Mexicans.
85. If approved by the people and the Congress, a National Guard will be created to guarantee public security in the country.
86. Two hundred and sixty-six public security coordinations will be set up throughout the country under the national guard to protect citizens who are victims of murders, kidnappings, robberies and other crimes.
87. The President of the Republic, in accordance with the law, is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and will never order the Army or Navy to massacre the people. The war will end; we will build peace and seek brotherhood among all Mexicans.
88. Today the amnesty process began to release political prisoners or victims of reprisals by caciques, officials or governors of the former authoritarian regime. The criminal accusations fabricated against activists and social fighters will be cancelled. The Ministry of the Interior is in charge of making this determination a reality.
89. The disappearance of the young people of Ayotzinapa will be thoroughly investigated; the truth will be known and those responsible will be punished.
90. Freedom of expression will be respected; the government will never apply censorship to any journalist or media.
91. The Attorney General’s Office will, in fact, have absolute autonomy; it will not receive a slogan from the President of the Republic and its practices will adhere to the principle of liberal law, according to which, “outside the law, nothing and above the law, no one”.
92. We will maintain respectful relations with the Legislative Power and with the Judicial Power and the Executive Power will cease to be the power of the powers.
93. Since last night the Civil Protection Plan came into effect; the ABC for floods, fires, earthquakes and other disasters.
94. Foreign policy will be based on diplomatic caution and the principles of self-determination of peoples, non-intervention, peaceful settlement of disputes, legal equality of states, cooperation for development, friendship, peace, defense of human rights, protection of the environment and respect for the rights of migrants; ours, Central Americans and those of all countries and continents.
95. The relationship with the U.S. government will be one of respect, mutual benefit and good neighborliness. It is time to shift the bilateral relationship toward development cooperation. Creating jobs in Mexico and Central America is the alternative to migration, not coercive measures.
96. As we promised, the 50 consulates that Mexico has in the United States are going to become ombudsmen for the defense of migrants. We are going to defend the human rights of our countrymen.
97. Mexico’s rebirth will be achieved by making progress a reality with justice and a way of life based on love for family, neighbour, nature, homeland and humanity. We will promote material well-being and the well-being of the soul.
98. The free expression of ideas and religious beliefs and the freedom of the press shall be guaranteed. We stand for dialogue, tolerance, diversity and respect for human rights.
99. We will convene teachers, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, philosophers and professionals from other disciplines, as well as religious, freethinkers, respectable elders and citizens in general for the holding of a congress at which a Moral Constitution will be drafted, which will help to strengthen national, cultural and spiritual values.
100. We will also preserve our historical memory. We will promote the reading in general and particularly of history, civility and ethics; we will never forget where we come from; that is why our original cultures, historical transformations and the sacrifice of our heroes will be exalted; for example, next year, 100 years after the assassination of Emiliano Zapata, his name and his motto “Earth and Freedom” will be remembered in all the government’s stationery.
I invite all of us to help make these commitments a reality and that each year, here in the Zócalo, we review them one by one included pending ones so we can make them a reality.
Let us discuss in all public squares of Mexico whether or not we move forward, with the aim of transparency and ending corruption and impunity.
Let’s analyze in the houses, streets and squares if the economic and social situation of our people improves or worsens and let’s always take among all the agreements that best suit society and the nation.
Let’s not stop meeting: let’s always maintain communication. There will be no divorce between the people and the government. I need them because, as Juarez said, “with the people everything, without the people nothing”. Don’t leave me alone because without you I am worth nothing or almost nothing; without you, the conservatives would easily overwhelm me. I ask for your support, because I reiterate the commitment not to fail you; dead first than betraying you.
But above all, let us act with optimism and joy because we have the enormous joy of living in interesting times; we are before a stellar moment in history because together we begin to build the justice and happiness that our people deserve and a new life for our great nation.
Long live Mexico! Long live Mexico! Long live Mexico!
Mexico City Zócalo, December 1, 2018
Translated from Spanish by Pressenza London