Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico City on August 6, 2018. Photo: Carlos Tischler/Getty Images

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the leftist former mayor of Mexico City known popularly as AMLO, was inaugurated today for a six-year term as president of Mexico.

Why it matters: The U.S. will face an abrupt change of governing style in Mexico, its third-largest trading partner and the southern neighbor with whom it‘s confronting an ongoing flow of Central American migrants and asylum seekers.

Background: The presidency has been a long-sought goal for AMLO, who came within 300,000 votes of winning in 2006 and competed again in 2012, placing second to outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto.

  • His July 2018 victory was resounding. He won 53% of the vote, more than twice his closest competitor, and became the first Mexican president to win an outright majority since Mexico's full transition to democracy in 2000.
  • AMLO's political party, the National Regeneration Movement, and its allies now control 70 of 128 seats in the Senate and more than 300 of 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies — majorities that will grant him ample leeway to pursue his agenda.

What to watch: AMLO ran on an anti-corruption platform and has promised a “fourth transformation” of Mexico through ambitious reforms, infrastructure projects and a raise in the minimum wage.

  • He has vowed to consult frequently with the public via referendums and to shake up government by trimming top positions, reducing salaries and benefits (including pensions for former presidents) and keeping a watchful eye on the public purse.
  • A longtime critic of NAFTA, López Obrador has expressed support for the newly signed United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA).

What they're saying: Despite relief in the Mexican business community that AMLO will not reject the USMCA, other moves have spooked investors and sent the stock market to its lowest levels since 2014.

  • Concerns that he may revisit energy reforms (and contracts signed by foreign companies) have prompted uncertainty amid a sliding currency, now trading at more than 20 pesos to the dollar.
  • In October, before taking office, AMLO successfilly organized a referendum rejecting a new Mexico City airport that was already 30% completed, a signal that he will not hesitate to overturn decisions by the prior administration.

Apart from economic and anti-corruption reforms, curbing insecurity and violence will be key to López Obrador's success. To advance those goals, he plans to create a new “National Guard” to fight crime and focus more on development and youth engagement.

Daniel P. Erikson is managing director at Blue Star Strategies and a senior fellow at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

Go deeper

Updated 26 mins ago - World

Russian police detain over 3,000 protesters demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.