President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico, better known as AMLO, is approaching the halfway mark in his six-year term. In June 2021, there will be elections for the lower house of the national congress. AMLO ran as a progressive — but in office he has been a close ally of Trump. As a result of his push to “reopen the economy” — that is, to keep the automobile plants and maquilas running for export — more than 100,000 Mexicans have died of Covid-19.
The Right is trying to capitalize on the massive disappointment with AMLO. Three traditional parties — the PRI, the PAN, and the PRD — have formed an alliance. Far-right sectors close to the big capitalists are organizing astroturf “protests.” But now, there will also be a socialist alternative — at least in one district.
A coalition of four socialist groups — the Socialist Workers Movement (MTS), the Socialist Unity League (LUS), the Movement for Socialism (MAS), and the Socialist Workers Group (GSO) — formed the Anticapitalist Left Front (FIA) to run a candidate for congress in the 23rd district. This district encompasses the Coyoacán neighborhood of Mexico City.
The FIA’s candidate, Flora Aco, is a public-sector worker and member of the MTS. The substitute candidate is Leda Victoria, an education worker and MAS member. Flora was among a group of workers fired last year from their jobs at the National Institute for the Integral Development of Families (DIF), which is Mexico’s child welfare agency. A massive solidarity campaign won support from different labor unions and social movements. Eventually, three workers succeeded in winning their jobs back.
Flora, who is also an activist in the socialist women’s group Pan y Rosas (Bread and Roses), has been involved in several protest movements over the years. She was part of the youth movement #YoSoy132 in 2012 against right-wing President Enrique Peña Nieto, as well as the teacher strikes by teachers in 2013. In 2014, she was part of the mobilizations for the 43 students who were disappeared by police, and in 2017, after that year’s earthquake, she helped build solidarity. She is further part of the LGBTQ+ movement.
The FIA’s socialist platform aims at helping the working class to become an independent political force on the national stage. Its motto is: “Our lives are worth more than their profits!” The central demands focus on a workers’ response to the pandemic, nationalizing and centralizing the healthcare system and all related industries in order to provide protective equipment and tests for all people. The front also demands an end to all persecution of immigrants, which AMLO has been carrying out hand-in-hand with Trump.
Activists have begun to collect signatures in Coyoacán to get Flora on the ballot — a daunting task due to antidemocratic restrictions for independent candidates that do not apply to officially registered political parties. The National Electoral Institute has been demanding that all citizens who submit a signature be photographed with their masks off — an absurd demand during a deadly pandemic! Nevertheless, the MTS and the other groups that comprise the FIA are confident that they can use the election to spread socialist ideas.
See the FIA’s 35-point program in Spanish on our sister site La Izquierda Diario México.