Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected president of Mexico on Sunday, in a landslide victory that upended the nation’s political establishment and handed him a sweeping mandate to reshape the country.
He grew in a middle-class family in Tabasco state, the son of a petroleum merchant during Mexico’s oil boom. His friends at the time thought he too would become a businessman, but he chose to become a political activist and a human rights lawyer fighting against big oil companies in his 20s instead
Mr. López Obrador’s victory put him at the helm of Latin America’s second-largest economy for the first time in decades, a prospect that has filled millions of Mexicans with hope — and the nation’s elites with trepidation.
The 64-year-old inherits a country plagued with organized crime, deadly violence, drug wars, and widespread corruption among law enforcement. Obrador has previously been defeated in the last two presidential votes
López Obrador previously described Donald Trump as “erratic and arrogant,” and said the US president’s plans to build a wall “goes against humanity, it goes against intelligence and against history.
His victory fits into a wider pattern of anti-establishment politicians appealing to voters left behind by globalization — though Lopez Obrador, who cut his political teeth as an activist defending the rights of indigenous peoples, has little in common with Trump or the right-wing populists who’ve gained power in Europe.
López Obrador will on December 1 will take over from Enrique Peña Nieto, who leaves the presidency with a mere 17% approval rating, and who clashed with Donald Trump over trade and the proposed US-Mexico border wall.
Mexico presidents are limited to one six-year term, called a sexenio, so Peña Nieto did not run against López Obrador this year.