Lopez Obrador has devoted more and more time to flagship works, and Sierra said the Grupo Mexico rail spat was a sign not that he was gearing up for wider conflict with business, but that he was determined to finish pet projects.
The track is part of a plan to create a modern rail link between Mexico’s Pacific and Gulf coasts, which along with a separate railway under construction in the Yucatan peninsula known as the “Mayan Train” are among his biggest ventures.
“He messes with private enterprise – but only where it’s in his way,” she said, arguing the president had proved less interventionist in combating checks on his power than she first expected. “He’s not the socialist we thought.”
Lopez Obrador has repeatedly talked up his stewardship of the economy, the rise in Mexico’s main stock index, his aversion to contracting debt, and the strengthening of the peso currency on his watch. He has also refused to raise income tax rates.
But during his daily press conferences, he has pilloried institutions that interfere with his efforts to fulfill campaign promises, or which provide financial support to his critics.
With the opposition fragmented and divided, the judiciary has become the most visible brake on his ambitions.
This week Lopez Obrador again accused the Supreme Court of being under the control of entrenched interests that had pitched Mexico into “decadence”.
Gabriela Cuevas, a former MORENA congresswoman, said while such attacks were alarming, time and again the opposition had let the president frame public debate by seizing on fights over institutions like the court and other bodies that are secondary to many Mexicans more worried about security and poverty.
Because the opposition has failed to loosen Lopez Obrador’s hold on the narrative, elite-dominated institutions like the court have become more appealing targets for him, she said.
As the election nears, the divisive rhetoric that voters respond to is likely to continue escalating, Cuevas added.
“He knows what matters to people, what upsets them,” she said.
Source: El Financiero