AMLO’s complete speech delivered December 1, 2018 in the Zócalo

In a rally/festival attended by nearly 160,000 people, AMLO enumerated, now in his role as president, his government’s 100 commitments

Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s complete speech delivered December 1, 2018 in the Zócalo

(Traduccion: Peter Gellert)

Here in Mexico City’s Zócalo, the country’s main public square, after receiving the ceremonial baton from the native peoples of our great nation, I reaffirm my 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 would like to explain what we have already done and are about to embark on; what we could call, a modernity forged from below and for all.

I hereby reaffirm our commitments, specifically:

First of all, we are going to provide special attention to the indigenous peoples of Mexico. It is a disgrace that our indigenous peoples have lived for centuries under oppression and racism, experiencing poverty and marginalization. All government programs will have the indigenous peoples of the country’s diverse cultures as their preferred target population.

All Mexicans will be attended to, regardless of their beliefs, social class, organizations, sex, political party, or economic or cultural sectors, but the principle that, for the good of all, the poor come first, will be applied.

The day care centers of the former Social Development Ministry will be maintained and those promoted by the Workers’ Party (PT), the CENDIS, will be regularized. Both programs will have guaranteed resources in the budget and will become part of the Social Welfare and Public Education ministries.

Primary and secondary school students from low-income families will receive educational scholarships. All high school, technical school, vocational and public preparatory school students will receive a scholarship of 800 pesos per month.

Three hundred thousand young people, who live in poverty, who will enter or are studying at universities, will be entitled to a scholarship of 2,400 pesos per month.

One hundred public universities will be operating in 2019, with academic majors in accordance withthe characteristics of each region of the country to provide quality education and without tuition payment for 64,000 students of higher education.

Mexico’s cultural heritage will be protected. Artistic training will be promoted from elementary school on and support will be given to creators and cultural promoters.

Scientific and technological research will be promoted. Students and academics will be supported with scholarships and other stimuli to further the quest forknowledge. The National Council on Science and Technology (Conacyt) will coordinate the National Plan for Innovation for the benefit of society and national development with the participation of universities, communities, scientists, and companies.

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 offend teachers.

Today we will begin the plan to support the earthquake victims with work, housing, and public services. This includes a program of construction and reconstruction of schools, clinics and hospitals, public buildings, and temples that are part of the country’s cultural heritage.

Also, as of today we will begin a program of urban improvement in poor neighborhoods in the northern border areas: Tijuana, Mexicali, San Luis Rio Colorado, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Acuña, Piedras Negras, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Matamoros.

The right to health care will become a reality. The aim is to guarantee free medical attention and medicines to the people of Mexico. We will begin in the Social Security Institute’s clinics and hospitals located in the poorest areas of the country and little by little the program will be expanded until we are able, by the middle of the six-year presidential administration, to establish a first-class health system, as in Canada or in the Scandinavian countries.

The salaries of top-level officials will be lowered and the wages of permanent and unionized workers who earn less than 20,000 pesos a month will be increased proportionally.

Pensions will be increased for senior citizens throughout the country; that is, 1,274 pesos per month will be given to each recipient. One million disabled poor people, especially children from marginalized towns and neighborhoods, will also receive this assistance.

2.3 million 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 3,600 pesos per month.

This month we begin the construction of concrete roads in neglected municipalities of Oaxaca, Guerrero, and other states. These roads will be built with workers from the same communities to achieve a multiplier effect.The budgets will be spent in these very communities, the economy will be reactivated from below, jobs will be created with fair wages, and work projects will be undertaken for the benefit of the people.

Small-scale farmers, comuneros and ejidatarios (who work semi-communal land-TN) or small landowners will receive a six-monthly economic support for planting crops.

Next year, a program will be launched to provide fertilizers, making sure the soil is not harmed in the process, to benefit growers. This program will be applied free of charge in support of all peasant farmers in the state of Guerrero and we will be expanding it in the rest of the country. In addition, we will soon have enough raw materials and will start operating the fertilizer plant in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz.

These food products will be purchased from small-scale producers of corn, beans, rice, wheat, and milk at guaranteed prices in Diconsa and Liconsa warehouses.

Fishing will be encouraged to improve the lives of coastal and riverside communities. Tuna and sardine fishermen will receive a fair price for their products.

Preparations are already underway to plant one million hectares of timber and fruit 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.

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Diconsa and Liconsa will join forces in a single company to supply and distribute food for popular consumption. It will be called Seguridad Alimentaria Mexicana (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 in the communities.

Interest-free loans will be granted to ejidatarios, comuneros and small landowners for the acquisition of heifers, cows, and stallions.

Artisans, owners of workshops, stores, and small businesses, will also receive cheap uncollateralized loans, without much paperwork and wasting time.

The tax charged to companies for mineral extraction will be transferred to the mining communities.

The price of gasoline, gas, diesel, and electricity will not increase, only the inflation rate will be applied; in other words, there will be no major spikes in gasoline prices.

The support granted by the government to the people will be delivered directly, without intermediaries, to avoid “moches” (kickbacks and bribes – TN), corruption, and political manipulation. With this in mind, a house-by-house census is being carried out to identify each beneficiary, provide them with a card, and have them directly receive their financial and in-kind assistance.

The Banco del Bienestar will be created so that poor people, even in the most remote villages, can collect government aid and receive remittances and other income in the same account, as well as maintain their savings with yields and security guarantees.

The increase in the budget to finance the social welfare programs will be obtained from savings for not allowing corruption and governing with republican austerity.

Taxes will not increase beyond the inflation rate and no new taxes will be created. Nor will we increase public debt. We will not spend more than what enters the public treasury.

We will be respectful of the autonomy of the Banco de México and its policies to avoid inflation or devaluations.

A strict policy of republican austerity will be applied. There will be no cronyism, nepotism, and influence-peddling, none of these 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 advisors per ministry; there will be no private medical care paid for by the state, nor exclusive savings banks for officials.

No computer systems will be purchased in the first year of government.

Private secretaries will only be available to the members of the expanded cabinet.

Trusts or any other mechanism used to hide public funds and evade legality and transparency will be cancelled.

All duplicate structures and programs (managers of government agencies, press offices, publications, public defenders, procurement departments, internal comptroller’s office and others) will be eliminated and these functions or programs will be centralized in a single unit or department, dependent on the ministry related to the matters in question.

Government advertising expenditures will be reduced by 50%.

Officials from the Finance, Communications, Energy, and other ministries may not participate in parties, dinners, sports events, or travel with contractors, large-scale taxpayers, suppliers, or investors linked to public sector activities.

No public official may occupy civil or government employees at his or her home, if it is not allowed or he or she has no authorization to do so.

No official, except in emergency circumstances, may order the closing of streets, the stopping of traffic, or pass through stop lights, or park in places where doing so is prohibited.

No item existing in sufficient quantities in public warehouses will be purchased.

No offices will be remodeled, and no luxury furniture will be purchased.

Only ministers and deputy ministers will be able to have chauffeurs.

Unless fully justified, police and military personnel belonging to the different respective bodies will not be at the service of officials or individuals.

Budgetary outlays for clothing or any protocol and ceremonial expenses pertaining to the President, his close collaborators, and family members will be eliminated.

The assets of the offices at the disposal of public servants will be monitored to protect the collective patrimony.

Unnecessary expenses abroad will be avoided. The only government offices will be embassies and consulates. There will only be one federal government representative office in the states and all offices will save on electricity, water, telephone services, internet, gasoline, and other supplies paid for by the public treasury.

Citizens will be treated with kindness in public offices and elsewhere, humbly accepting that they are the ones who direct us, the public servants.

Government purchases will be made in consolidated fashion, through public bidding processes and with citizen monitoring and the presence of the UN transparency office.

Public work contracts will be implemented with the participation of citizens and UN observers.

The hiring of specialized firms 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.

The federal government will be decentralized and the ministries 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 state employees. On the contrary, they will have opportunities to acquire housing, education for their children, medical care, and social security and health care.

There will be a true rule of law. No one will be allowed to violate the Constitution and the laws, and there will be no impunity, privileges, or parliamentary or other immunities from prosecution.

Impunity will end; Article 108 of the Constitution will be amended to judge the incumbent President for any crime he may commit, just like any other citizen.

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Corruption, theft of fuel, illegal carrying of firearms, falsification of invoices for tax evasion, electoral fraud, vote buying, and the use of budget to favor candidates and political parties will be prohibited and will become classified as a serious crime without the right to bail.

There will be no budgetary outlays available to congressional deputies or senators. The shameful practice of so-called “palm-greasing”and kickbacks will end.

No public official may receive gifts worth more than 5,000 pesos.

In commercial or financial relations with international companies, preference will be given to those originating in countries whose governments are characterized by their honesty and that do not at all tolerate and, in fact, punish bribery or corruption.

As of today, the doors will be open to Los Pinos, which will cease to be the official residence of the president to become a space dedicated to people’s recreation, art, and culture.

The Presidential General Staff has become part of the Defense Ministry. With this in mind, the National Security and Research Center (Cisen) will cease to exist. There will be no espionage directed against political opponents or citizens and the successor office will have as its only task to undertake intelligence work to ensure peace and preserve national security.

The presidential airplane and the entire fleet of airplanes and helicopters that were used for transporting high-level public officials are for sale.

The ex-presidents will no longer receive a pension, nor will civil or military public officials be in their service.

There will be no street inspectors to be supervising commercial, business or service establishments. We are going to trust the citizens and a monitoring program will be implemented by lottery. Bribery will be avoided, we will give confidence to citizens, who under oath to tell the truth, will act with rectitude and fulfill their responsibilities.

We reiterate: we are not against those who invest and create jobs and are committed to the development of Mexico, but we are against ill-gotten wealth.

Tourism will be fostered to boost development and create jobs. Furthermore, beginning this month, an urban improvement program will begin in the poor neighborhoods of five tourist centers: Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Bahía de Banderas, Acapulco, and Solidaridad.

The Tren Maya rail line will be built to move tourists and domestic passengers in the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo with modern and rapid transportation.

An economic and commercial corridor will be created in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec that will link up with Asia and the east coast of the United States. A rail system will be built for freight; highways will be widened; the ports of Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos will be refurbished; 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.

We are going to allocate greater 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 once again rescue the national oil industry.

The six existing refineries will be refurbished and, in a few days, the construction of a new refinery in Dos Bocas, Paraíso, Tabasco will begin, so that in three years all the gasoline we consume will be produced in Mexico.

The plan to dismantle the Federal Electricity Commission will be stopped. 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 in order to produce more clean energy at a lower cost. We will promote the development of alternative renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal and tidal.

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.

We will not use methods of extraction of raw materials that affect nature and exhaust water sources such as fracking.

No economic, productive, commercial, or tourist project that affects the environment will be allowed. Soil, water, and air pollution will be avoided and flora and fauna will be protected. Water will not be privatized.

There will be universal telecommunications coverage and the country will be connected to the Internet using the infrastructure and cables of the Federal Electricity Commission. This service will be free of charge on highways and in plazas, schools, hospitals, and public facilities.

In three years, the problem of the saturation of the current airport in Mexico City will be definitively resolved. By then the roads, two new runways, and the passenger terminal at the Santa Lucia air base will be in operation, which will save Lake Texcoco and we will have saved 100 billion pesos.

As of January 1, a free zone will be created along the 3,180 kilometers border with the United States. That is, this coming year in that part of our country productive activities will be boosted, investment will be promoted, jobs will be created, the VAT will be lowered from 16% to 8% and the Income Tax set at 20%. Fuels on both sides of the border will cost the same, and the minimum wage will be doubled.

The minimum wage will never be set below the inflation rate, as occurred in the neoliberal period.

Article 35 of the Constitution will be amended to remove all obstacles and restrictions in holding citizen consultations, so that the people always have the right to participate in decisions of public interest.

I will fulfill the commitment to submit to a revoking of the presidential mandate. On the first Sunday of July 2021, there will be a consultation to ask Mexican voters if I should continue as president or if I should resign, because as I believe and I have said many times, the people give and the people taketh away, in other words, the people are sovereign.

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There will be no divorce between government and the people. I will never lose communication with you, with the people. I will spend five days a week in the country’s municipalities and states, gauging the feelings of the people and solving problems and evaluating the progress of development and social welfare programs.

Every day, starting this coming Monday at 6 a.m., I will lead the Security Cabinet meeting at the National Palace to guarantee Mexicans peace and tranquility.

If approved by the people and Congress, a National Guard will be created to guarantee public security in the country.

Nationwide, 266 public security coordinating units will be set up, attended to by the national guard to protect citizens who are victims of murders, kidnappings, robberies, and other crimes.

The President of the Republic, in accordance with the law, is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and will never give the order for the Army or Navy to massacre the people. The war will end; we will build peace, and seek brotherhood among all Mexicans.

Today, the amnesty process begins to release political prisoners or victims of reprisals by caciques (power brokers mainly in rural areas-TN), government functionaries, or elected officials of the former authoritarian regime. The criminal charges fabricated against activists and social fighters will be dropped. The Interior Ministry is in charge of making this determination a reality.

The forced disappearance of the young people of Ayotzinapa will be thoroughly investigated; the truth will be known and those responsible will be punished.

Freedom of expression will be respected; the government will never apply censorship to any journalist or media outlet.

The Attorney General’s Office will, in practice, have absolute autonomy. It will not receive directives 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.

We will maintain respectful relations with the legislative branch and with the judicial branch and the executive branch will cease to be the commanding and supreme branch of government.

As of yesterday evening, the Civil Protection Plan came into effect; the ABC for floods, fires, earthquakes, and other disasters.

Foreign policy will be based on diplomatic caution and the principles of national self-determination, non-intervention, peaceful resolution of disputes, legal equality of states, cooperation for development, friendship, peace, defense of human rights, environmental protection, and respect for the rights of migrants, ours, Central Americans, and those of all countries and continents.

The relationship with the U.S. government will be one of respect, mutual benefit, and being good neighbors. It is time to shift the bilateral relationship toward cooperation for development. Creating jobs in Mexico and Central America is the alternative to migration, not coercive measures.

As we promised, the 50 consulates that Mexico has in the United States are going to become ombudsman for the defense of migrants. We are going to defend the human rights of our countrymen.

Mexico’s rebirth will be achieved by making progress with justice a reality and a way of life based on love for family, fellow man, nature, the homeland, and humanity. We will promote material well-being and the well-being of the soul.

The free expression of ideas and religious beliefs and the freedom of the press will be guaranteed. We stand for dialogue, tolerance, diversity, and respect for human rights.

We will convene teachers, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and professionals from other fields, as well as those who are religious, freethinkers, respectable elders and citizens in general for a congress to be held in which a Moral Constitution will be drafted, which will help to strengthen national, cultural, and spiritual values.

We will also preserve our historical memory. We will promote reading in general and particularly books on history, civics, 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 slogan “Land and Freedom” will be imprinted on all government documents and letterhead.

Friends:

I invite you to help make these commitments a reality and that each year, here in the Zócalo, we will review them, one by one, and determine whether they have now been fulfilled or are still pending.

In all the public plazas of Mexico let’s discuss and debate whether we are moving forward or not, with the purpose of providing transparency and ending corruption and impunity. Let’s discuss in our homes, in the streets and plazas, whether our people’s economic and social situation has improved or worsened, and let’s always adopt, together, 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 you 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 my commitment not to fail you; I would rather die than betray you.

But above all, let us act with optimism and joy because we have the enormous pleasure of living in interesting times; we are facing a stellar moment in history because together we are beginning to build the society of justice and happiness that our people deserve and a new life for our great nation.

Long live Mexico! Long live Mexico! Long live Mexico

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