Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) assumed office in December 2018, promising to bring a fourth revolution to Mexico and to reduce Mexico’s inequality, corruption, and violent crime. Yet a year into his administration, homicides and violent criminality in Mexico have not diminished. While the new government has undertaken new security initiatives and adopted new anti-crime priorities, the brazenness of organized crime has increased. Despite anti-corruption efforts, the country’s economy has stagnated. Various anti-corruption and redistribution measures of the new administration have proven controversial. The AMLO administration has worked hard to secure approval of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), but much of the U.S.-Mexican agenda ended up consumed by migration issues. Nonetheless, AMLO managed to avert a set of crises with the Trump administration and has collaborated with the anti-immigration objectives of the Trump administration. And despite the various challenges, AMLO’s domestic popularity and that of his party MORENA remains high.
To discuss the accomplishments and challenges of the first year of the AMLO administration, Mexico’s political, security, economic, and energy trends, and U.S.-Mexican relations, the Brookings Institution hosted a panel conversation with Amb. Roberta Jacobson (Ret), former U.S. ambassador to Mexico and senior advisor to Albright Stonebridge Group; Amb. Earl Anthony Wayne (Ret), former U.S. ambassador to Mexico and public policy fellow and advisory board co-chair at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute; Brookings Fellow Samantha Gross, and Brookings Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown. Brooking Nonresident Senior Fellow Charles T. Call moderated the discussion. After the introductory comments, panelists answered questions from the audience.
PanelistVanda Felbab-Brown Director - Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors, Co-Director - Africa Security Initiative, Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and TechnologyRoberta S. Jacobson Senior Advisor - Albright Stonebridge Group, Former Ambassador of the United States to Mexico