Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
Summit of the Americas

Mexico and Andrés Manuel López Obrador: An Overview



This article is adapted from AQ’special report on the Summit of the Americas. Click here for the full list of countries.

Mexico

President: Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Term: 2018-2024

The former mayor of Mexico City has pursued his “fourth transformation” reform agenda, including large-scale infrastructure projects as well as an energy sector overhaul. Concerns about democratic backsliding mounted in 2022 as López Obrador increasingly lashed out against independent institutions and pursued politicized investigations into his critics. López Obrador’s approval ratings have remained high by regional standards, buoyed by support among Mexico’s poor, but have eroded amid recent scandals. As levels of migrants crossing Mexico towards the United States increase, López Obrador has requested that the U.S. limit immigration restrictions. Still, he has complied with the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy reinstated in December 2021, which human rights groups have denounced for endangering migrants. 

To facilitate comparisons among these 10 countries,
the data is color-coded:   
High performing   
Middle performing   
Low performing

Governance

President’s approval rating* 56%
Capacity to Combat Corruption Index ranking (out of 15 Latin American countries) 12
Share of adults who support democracy* 63%
Military expenditure as % GDP 0.7%

Economy

Performance:   
High   
Middle   
Low
Projected GDP growth 2022 2.1%
Projected inflation 2022 5.3%
Total trade as % of GDP 78%
Unemployment 4%
Share of labor force in informal economy 59.9%
Share of population living in extreme poverty 9.2%

Society

Performance:   
High   
Middle   
Low
Population (millions) 130.3
Homicide rate (per 100,000 people) 26
Annual carbon dioxide emissions (millions of tons) 357
Share of public social spending on education 33.1%
Global press freedom ranking (out of 180 countries) 143

Argentina | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | Guatemala | Peru | Venezuela

*NOTES: Approval rating updated May 6. Support for democracy reflects percentage who agree that democracy is preferable to any other form of government.

Sources: Approval rating: El Financiero (April); support for democracy: Latin American Public Opinion Project (2021); Capacity to Combat Corruption Index (2022); military expenditure: Stockholm International Peace Institute (2021); GDP, inflation, unemployment: Bloomberg; total trade: World Bank (2020); informal labor force: Inter-American Development Bank (2020); poverty, population, education spending: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (2020); Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index (2021); homicide rate: InSight Crime (2021); CO2 emissions: Global Carbon Project (2020)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sweigart is an editor at Americas Quarterly and a policy manager at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.

Tags: AMLO, Mexico
Like what you've read? Subscribe to AQ for more.
Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
Sign up for our free newsletter