In a symbolic ceremony held at a Mexico City restaurant last week, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador handed over the “baton of command” to Claudia Sheinbaum, the former mayor of the capital who will represent the ruling Morena Party in next year’s presidential election.
The ritual appeared to imitate the one carried out in the Mexico City Zocalo on December 1, 2018, when, on the first day of his presidency, AMLO was handed a staff by leaders of indigenous communities.
According to the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, the staff “represents the commitment to serve by obeying the will of the people,” as well as the balance and harmony related to righteousness, truth, honesty, justice and dignity.
The staff is an established symbol among the indigenous peoples of Latin America, and is sometimes given to new presidents to ensure their commitment to ethnic groups that have been forgotten by previous leaders.
López Obrador said handing over the staff meant Sheinbaum was now the leader at the helm of the Fourth Transformation, the name given to his vision for radical change to Mexico’s economic, political and social systems.