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Last updateFri, 12 Oct 2018 11am

Lopez Obrador maintains election pledges during metro-area ‘Thank You Tour’ stopover

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador this week paid his first visit to Guadalajara since his landslide July 1 election victory — part of a national “Tour of Thanks” he is undertaking prior to his investiture on December 1.

pg7aPublic security was reportedly a central theme of a 90-minute, behind-closed-doors meeting he held with with Jalisco Governor Aristoteles Sandoval and Governor-elect Enrique Alfaro at the Government Palace. Other topics under discussion included the federal government’s ongoing commitment to improving transportation and education infrastructure in the state, sources said. It was also revealed that Jalisco will receive around 22 billion pesos ($US1.16 billion) from the federal budget in the 2019 fiscal year to cover a very wide range of social programs the new president has promised to implement.

Lopez Obrador expanded on these programs during a later meeting with supporters in the city’s Plaza de la Republica, when he also announced that his administration will back the construction of a fourth Tren Ligero (subway) line. (The third line is due for completion later this year.)  And without going into specifics, he vowed to “confront the grave problem of insecurity and violence, while respecting human rights.”

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The president-elect has proposed a new strategy to combat rising crime, that includes giving youth greater opportunities to steer them toward a wholesome lifestyle.

In keeping with the central theme of his campaign, Lopez Obrador vowed his government will concentrate on helping the most vulnerable members of society. Around 110,000 so-called “ninis” (young people neither studying or working) will be recruited and trained for “guaranteed” employment with a stipend of 3,600 pesos a month, he promised.  He said he would keep his pledge of introducing a universal pension (1,274 pesos) for all senior citizens (over 65 years of age) who currently receive nothing.  Calculations suggest almost 561,000 people of this age may be eligible for the pension in the state of Jalisco.

The president-elect also vowed to “adjust” the price of corn and milk to a fair level in an bid to “recuse the countryside from abandonment.” And he also said he would focus on the “marginalized” barrios of Puerto Vallarta, to “close the [poverty] gap” with the upmarket hotel zone.

During his visit to Guadalajara, Lopez Obrador was accompanied at all times by businessman Carlos Lomeli, the candidate for governor for his Morena party, who will serve as his federal delegate in Jalisco. His chief responsibility will be to make sure the government’s programs are applied correctly.

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