wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06MEXICO6569
2006-11-22 13:22:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Mexico
Cable title:  

AMLO ASSUMES SHADOW PRESIDENCY

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  MX 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO6478
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #6569/01 3261322
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 221322Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4331
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USNORTHCOM
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
						86727
2006-11-22 13:22:00
06MEXICO6569
Embassy Mexico
CONFIDENTIAL
06MEXICO5318|06MEXICO6546
VZCZCXRO6478
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #6569/01 3261322
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 221322Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4331
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USNORTHCOM
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
TAGS: PGOV PREL MX
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 006569

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/21/2016
TAGS: PGOV PREL MX
SUBJECT: AMLO ASSUMES SHADOW PRESIDENCY
REF: A) MEXICO 6546 B) MEXICO 5318

Classified By: ACTING POLITICAL MINISTER-COUNSELOR ALAN D. MELTZER, REA
SONS: 1.4 (B/D)

Summary
-------



1. (SBU) On November 20, defeated PRD presidential candidate
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) inaugurated himself
"legitimate president" of Mexico before a crowd of thousands
of supporters in the city's central square. Although large,
the crowd was nevertheless noticeably smaller than those
present at AMLO's major post-election protests. Perhaps more
important than how many people attended the event, however,
was who did not attend: all five PRD state governors were
prominently absent, suggesting that AMLO may be losing
support among some of the party's most powerful (and
moderate) figures. With AMLO's "inauguration" behind us, all
attention now turns to Calderon's official inauguration on
December 1, which the PRD has threatened to block. Although
the PRD will surely undertake some form of protest at the
inauguration, AMLO's less than spectacular showing on
November 20 could give the upper hand to those PRD
legislators advocating for a more low-key, symbolic form of
protest. End Summary.

Big turnout, yet less than previous rallies


--------------------------





2. (SBU) On November 20, throngs of AMLO supporters gathered
in the city's central square or Zocalo to attend AMLO's
self-styled inauguration. Crowd estimates -- which are
notoriously unreliable and politicized in Mexico -- ranged
from 100,000 to 1 million, although based on crowd estimates
at prior events, we believe the crowd size was closer to the
lower end of that range. While turnout filled the Zocalo,
poloff observed that attendance fell far short of that at
AMLO's other post-election rallies, notably the September 16
National Democratic Convention (NDC) (ref B), where the
Zocalo was tightly packed and hangers-on overflowed into the
surrounding streets.



3. (C) Poloff observed the event with PRD-affiliated city
government (GDF) officials, Ulises Lara Lopez, Director
General in the Secretary of Government, and his advisor Raul
de la Paz. While Lara Lopez and de la Paz recognized that
turnout was lower than at the PRD-sponsored NDC, they
professed pleasant surprised with the attendance, explaining
that far less effort was put into this event than the NDC.
For example, they claimed that fewer resources were not used
this time to transport people to the event and considerably
less time and energy was put into advertisement/promotion.

The shadow cabinet


--------------------------





4. (SBU) At the ceremony, AMLO introduced the 12 members of
his shadow cabinet who, according to the press, will be paid
a monthly salary of 50,000 pesos (approximately USD $4,700)
for their shadow services. As with the turnout at his

"inauguration," AMLO's "cabinet" is most notable for whom it
excludes: while numerous AMLO loyalists and former members
of his team when he was Mexico City mayor are included, there
are few, if any, PRD heavyweights, suggesting that party
members who are not beholden to AMLO are keeping a safe
distance.



5. (U) After the presentation of the shadow cabinet, AMLO
was presented with a "presidential sash" with his chosen
seal, that of an open-winged eagle -- the same symbol used by
revered 19th century president Benito Juarez. In his
"inaugural address," AMLO articulated a program of 20 points
for his shadow government which included proposals for a new
constitution and institutional reforms.

Other PRD attendees


--------------------------





6. (U) Also sharing the stage with AMLO were current Mexico
City Mayor Alejandro Encinas and Mayor-elect Marcelo Ebrard.
Others PRD heavyweights present included PRD President Leonel
Cota, PRD General Secretary Guadalupe Acosta, PRD co-founder

MEXICO 00006569 002 OF 002


Porfirio Munoz Ledo, former Senator Jesus Ortega, and PRD
legislators such as Leonel Godoy and Raymundo Cardenas.
Conspicuous by their absence, however, were PRD moral leader
Cuauhtemoc Cardenas and all five PRD governors.

Next step: December 1


--------------------------





7. (C) With AMLO's "inauguration" behind us, all attention
now turns to Calderon's official inauguration on December 1,
which PRD legislators have threatened to protest and/or
block. A speaker at the November 20 ceremony called for AMLO
supporters to gather in the Zocalo early on December 1 to
protest Calderon's inauguration. Juan Jose Garcia Ochoa, a
former PRD federal deputy and a member of Ebrard's transition
team, told poloff in a November 21 meeting that the PRD had
decided to organize a protest in the Zocalo rather than
outside the Chamber of Deputies -- the site of the official
inauguration -- where there was greater potential for a clash
with security forces. Garcia Ochoa said that the best
resolution to the inaugural controversy would be for Calderon
to choose an alternate site, which presumably would give the
PRD a symbolic victory. In that case, he said PRD
legislators would protest in a more mild form, such as by
boycotting the event. If Calderon takes the oath in Congress
-- as he continues to publicly insist -- Garcia Ochoa said
the PRD legislators' protest would be ugly but
non-aggressive. Garcia Ochoa claimed (perhaps
disingenuously) that no matter where the ceremony is held,
PRD legislators would not seek to prevent Calderon from
taking the oath of office, because to do so would be illegal.

Comment


--------------------------





8. (C) The November 20 event was enough of a success to
enable AMLO to save face, but it fell short of what was
needed to give his movement a much-needed shot of momentum.
The absence of all five PRD governors from the event was a
particular blow, adding to the appearance that AMLO is losing
support within the party hierarchy. President-elect
Calderon's announcement of several key cabinet appointees
early on November 21 also served to ensure that AMLO's day in
the spotlight was brief. Nevertheless, AMLO remains a
significant political force with considerable ability to draw
the masses and it is far too soon to write him off. As he
travels the country over the coming months, we will get a far
better idea of the strength of his support outside his Mexico
City political base. Moreover, in the months ahead, AMLO
will be closely monitoring the Calderon administration's
performance and will be ready to exploit Calderon's
inevitable missteps which, depending upon their severity,
could give his movement a new lease on life at any time.



9. (C) As for Calderon's inauguration, the less than
spectacular success of Monday's event may give PRD moderates
the upper hand in party deliberations over whether to
undertake a symbolic protest or to actually seek to prevent
Calderon from taking the oath of office in the Congress.
Also noteworthy is the decision to gather PRD supporters in
the Zocalo, rather than outside of Congress, making a
conscious effort to avoid conflict. While the PRD surely
will seek to embarrass Calderon at his inauguration, the
prospects for an aggressive confrontation are somewhat
smaller now than they were last week.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity
BASSETT