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CLARIN

Modern Politicians And The Christ Factor

The tendency of politicians in Latin America (and beyond) to cite Christ in their speeches may indicate both megalomania and contempt for institutional democracy.

Chavez and Correa in 2009
Chavez and Correa in 2009
Loris Zanatta

BUENOS AIRES — You shall not take God's name in vain, says the Second Commandment. Nor, presumably that of His Son. And yet when it comes to politicians in Latin America, the name of Jesus Christ goes from mouth to mouth, speech to speech.

Julio de Vido, Argentina's former planning minister now convicted and jailed on corruption charges, suggested a Judas had betrayed him — and like Christ had been sacrificed to save a Barabbas, the "real criminal." From his prison cell in Curitiba, Brazil's former president Lula da Silva is also bearing Christ's cross, and the visits he receives are akin to pilgrimages of his devotees. When Ecuador's vice-president Jorge Glas went on trial accused of receiving money from the constructors Odebrecht, his ally, the former president Rafael Correa defended him, citing Christ's crucifixion.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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