“I won’t let you down. I won’t let you down,” Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador yelled into a microphone as thousands of his supporters packed Mexico City’s giant Zocalo square to celebrate the veteran politician’s landslide victory in Sunday’s presidential election.
In a speech that struck a far more conciliatory tone that most of his campaign stump discourses, Lopez Obrador stressed his commitment to battling corruption, eradicating poverty and ending the cycle of violence that has plagued Mexico for more than a decade. He vowed to be a president for “all the people,” respecting the individual, social and political freedoms enshrined in the Mexican Constitution.
Here are the highlights of the speech:
… I call on all Mexicans to reconcile and put personal interests, no matter how legitimate, to one side in the general interest. As [Independence hero] Vicente Guerrero affirmed: “The country comes first.”
… Our new national project will seek to establish an authentic democracy. We do not intend to build an open or covert dictatorship.
... We will maintain financial and fiscal discipline. The commitments made with national and foreign companies and banks will be recognized … We will not act arbitrarily nor will property be confiscated or expropriated.
… The transformation [of Mexico] will consist in banishing corruption in our country. We will have no problem in achieving this because the people of Mexico are intelligent, honest and hardworking. Eradicating crime and impunity will be the main mission of the new government.
… Corruption is not a cultural phenomenon but the result of a decadent political regime. We are absolutely sure that this evil is the main cause of social and economic inequality and the violence we suffer. Consequently, eradicating corruption and impunity will be the main mission of the new government.
… The State will stop being a committee at the service of a minority and will represent all Mexicans – the rich and poor, country folk and city dwellers, migrants, believers and non-believers, human beings of all currents of thought and all sexual preferences.
… We will listen to everyone, we will attend to everyone, we will respect everyone, but we will give preference to the most humble and forgotten, especially to the indigenous peoples of Mexico. For the good of all, first the poor.
… The failed strategy to combat insecurity and violence will change. Rather than the use of force, we will attend to the causes that give rise to insecurity and violence. I am convinced that the most effective and most humane way of dealing with these evils requires combating inequality and poverty. Peace and tranquility are the fruits of justice.
… I will meet every day, very early, with the members of the Public Security Cabinet. There will be leadership from the top, coordination, perseverance and professionalism.
… With the government of the United States, we will seek a relationship of friendship and cooperation for development, always based on mutual respect and the defense of our fellow immigrants who live and work honestly in that country.
… I must acknowledge the respectful behavior of President Enrique Peña Nieto in this electoral process – very different from the treatment that the past chief executives gave us. The plurality and professionalism of the press, radio and television was exemplary. The media were not, as on other occasions, transmission belts for the dirty war. Also my gratitude goes out to the blessed social networks.
... I am committed not to betray the trust that millions of Mexicans have placed in me. I will govern with righteousness and justice. I will not fail them because I maintain ideals and principles that I consider most important in my life. But also, I confess that I have a legitimate ambition: I want to go down in history as a good president of Mexico. I wish with all my soul to highlight the greatness of our country, to help build a better society and to achieve joy and happiness for all Mexicans.