The newly appointed Secretary of the Interior, Adán Augusto López Hernández (57 years old), has not only been accompanying the political steps of Andrés Manuel López Obrador for almost two decades. Their closeness goes back to the remote 1980s in Tabasco, their homeland, when the father of the new secretary, an illustrious local notary, became one of the key allies of a young López Obrador during his break with the PRI. A notary like his father, López Hernández was a member of the hegemonic party for more than two decades before finally going over to the ship of the obradorismo. During the official announcement of his new position, the until now governor of Tabasco was defined by the president as a “countryman, friend and close companion”, a compendium of the ingredients that the Mexican president values most.
Before Morena, even before the PRD, the notary Payambé López Falconi, who died last year among the praises of the entire spectrum of the Mexican left, stood by López Obrador’s side in the construction of an alternative to the PRI. From his support in the campaign in the mid-1980s with López Obrador as the candidate for governor of Tabasco for the National Democratic Front, to the signing as the sole notary of the constitutional acts of the local PRD, also with López Obrador as president, and among strong pressure from the harsh PRI of that time.
“I had a lot of confidence in dad. So much so that even in the PRD, López Obrador offered Payambé’s daughters to enter politics, “says Juan Manuel Fócil, PRD senator from Tabasco and former local party president. Thus began the career of one of the sisters of the current secretary, Rosalinda López, first as a deputy and, today also within Morena, number two of the Mexican treasury, the Tax Administration Service (SAT).
The course of the older brother took longer to cross the current president. A member of the PRI from a very young age, in 2000 he was the coordinator of the campaign of the penultimate PRI governor of the State. His ambitions to fight for governor himself frustrated, he left the party three years later. “Already in the PRD, both he and his sister began to gain influence in the capital, where Adán Augusto became a candidate for mayor and later a deputy,” adds Fócil.
The second and harsh presidential assault by López Obrador was the forging of the bond. In 2006, López Hernández left Parliament to lead the campaign of the still candidate of the PRD in the southern states. Still dragging the controversy over the presidential outrage initiated by Vicente Fox and in the midst of harsh attacks by his new PAN opponent, López Obrador, he lost the election by a finger to Felipe Calderón, provoking long protests from the supporters of the leftist candidate, who maintained for months it was a fraudulent election.
During all that process, López Hernández was also there. Until he left his seat as senator in 2013 to join Morena, achieving the governorship of Tabasco in 2019. His mandate has always had the explicit support of the president, who had been sliding the possibility of incorporating him into the cabinet for some months. In June he referred to him as “a cadre, a professional, a good ruler, a good person, a man of integrity, an honest people.”
Sober and reserved in character, his career as governor has been dotted with controversial decisions criticized both by civil society and by the courts. In March of this year, the Supreme Court of Justice declared unconstitutional the so-called Garrote Law from Tabasco. Approved in 2019, López recently arrived to power, it established to punish with prison sentences those who obstruct public or private works. The modification approved by the Morenoite majority in the state congress of the procurement law to increase the weight of direct awards in public works projects also provoked a strong response.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.