On the Mexico and Colombia Elections (from IKN 471)

By Otto Rock

A bit of the ‘Regional Politics’ section of [this week’s] edition of The IKN Weekly, IKN471:

Mexico: All roads now leading to AMLO

With less than a month to go before the big vote date, we’re now getting headlines in Mexico’s press like this one (translated):

“Victory For AMLO Seems Inevitable, According To Polls”

That from the Diario de Yucatán (8) but there are any number of op-eds and reports out there now saying the same thing in different ways. López Obrador’s support has remained strong though the final stages of the election campaign, by general consensus he’s performed well at the two live televised debates so far (there’s one to go in a few days’ time), and what’s more the support of his main rivals Anaya and Meade has stagnated (they continue to split the “anyone but AMLO” vote).

So get used to the idea of AMLO as the next President of Mexico, but don’t fear him as much as some of the near-inevitable English headlines will have you believe in days ahead. You’re sure to get certain media channels screaming about Left Wing disasters and suchlike but fret not, AMLO isn’t the hard left reactionary that he once was and part of his successful march to the presidency this time is because, unlike the previous two attempts, his message and policies are toned down and centre-left in style and substance. Mexico will remain a market economy and investor friendly, there will be decisions around the margin of that but nothing we as FDI people should worry about too much.

In fact I would contend that the outcome to the Colombia election is far more important in regional geopolitical terms than that of Mexico and as you are about to see, that’s pointing toward a happy ending as well.

Colombia: Iván Duque now red hot favourite to be next President

By way of confirmation of this publication’s initial reaction of hearing of the out-sized victory margin of Iván Duque in last weekend’s first round of elections in Colombia, the first set of reliable polls on the round two run-off between Duque and let wing Gustavo Petro look like this (9):

  • Duque: 55%
  • Petro: 35%
  • To spoil ballot/don’t know: 10%

That 20 point margin will be near-impossible to close for Petro and we can now be confident that Duque will win and the Álvaro Uribe dauphin will become the next President of Colombia.

I’ve been asked by a couple of you what this means for mining in Colombia and the best answer is “no worse than today”, which isn’t much improvement of course (the legislation and institutional support for hard rock mining continues to be sorely lacking), but even a continuation of the current “muddling along” situation is better than the overtly anti-mining stance that would have been adopted by a Petro government.

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