Is Mexico Edging Towards Authoritarianism?

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Aerial view of Mexico City on September 08, 2016, Mexico. (Photo by Frédéric Soltan/Corbis via Getty Images)

American news coverage about Mexico invariably focuses on migration and drug cartels. Less talked about is whether the country is edging towards authoritarianism under President AndrésManuel López Obrador. Elected in 2018 to a six-year term, the president’s tight control over the Morena political party and his attacks on civil institutions have drawn comparisons to Donald Trump. Earlier this year, López Obrador, also known as AMLO, brought in the military to not only police city streets but run government infrastructure like airports, giving the military unprecedented powers in a move that alarmed democracy watchers. Described as the “Teflon president,” López Obrador enjoys a 60% approval rating despite a stagnant economy and rising criminal violence. We’ll talk with experts about the state of Mexico’s democracy.


Denise Dresser, professor, political science, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). Dresser's most recent article for Foreign Affairs is titled "Mexico's Dying Democracy."

María Marván Laborde , professor, political science, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Marván Laborde is currently a fellow with the U.S.-Mexico Institute at UC San Diego.

Natalie Kitroeff, Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, New York Times