Mrs. Rosa did not contain her excitement at seeing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in New York from afar. “Presidentee!” He shouted at him in front of the Millennium Hilton hotel in the vicinity of the United Nations building, where immigrants went with the mariachi Nuevo Amanecer.
There were around 300 people whose group of organizers the Mexican government confirmed that the president would not meet with the immigrants, but they hoped to see him this Tuesday, even if it was from afar.
“They told us that he was not going to see that possibility,” lamented Isaac Ramírez about a possible meeting with the president. He was one of the organizers of the so-called AMLOFest, which began the night before at JFK airport, where they wanted to greet the president with mariachis. They were also unlucky to see it.
Ramírez, who is part of the Committee One of Morena in New York, justified that López Obrador did not meet with them, because he wanted to “follow the UN protocol”, but he did not fail them. Shortly before 9:00 in the morning he left the hotel and, to the surprise of elements of the Secret Service, he addressed his followers, without getting too close he raised both arms and unleashed cheers.
To one side of the hotel, a group of people who joined the journalists who were covering the event tried to break through the security fence installed by the New York Police and approach the president. It was just a few seconds of chaos. About 10 Secret Service elements directed the Mexican president to the black truck that would take him to the UN building, just 30 meters away. Trying to walk to the building would have been impossible in the face of the frenzy of López Obrador’s followers. He was smiling.
Among the president’s supporters were between 10 and 15 members of the FRENA movement, the opposition group against López Obrador. “Murderer!” “Press sold!” They said, paraphrasing AMLO’s stance against the media. The mariachi played the “Mexican fanfare.” The workers’ euphoria had its first climax.
A plan for the poor
“I know well that I am outside, but the day I die, I know that you will have to cry. Cry and cry! ”, Sang the mariachi. The Secret Service vans advanced toward the UN building. A car with NYPD agents and a patrol were following them. There were more policemen nearby.
The Mexicans went to Dag Hammarsjöld Square on 47th Street. There were people from New Jersey and Illinois. There they would listen to the Mexican president, whom they saw through a giant screen installed by the Consulate General of Mexico in New York.
“The Presidency ordered us to logistically support the organizers,” said a Consulate official, adding that all the sound and audiovisual equipment was provided by the authorities.
People dressed in pre-Hispanic clothing were besieged by the assistants for the photo, they competed with AMLO’s poster with which people also wanted an image of the memory, in the absence of his person.
The wait in the square was almost an hour. At 10:00 o’clock in the morning, the Mexican president began speaking at the Security Council session, which he presided over. His message focused on the importance of addressing the problems of inequality, corruption and creating a global fund to help the poorest.
“The Fund could have a trillion dollars available,” said the president. “In its annual report, the UN could set aside a day to give certificates of solidarity to individuals, governments and corporations that stand out for financing the world plan for fraternity and well-being.”
He added that this fund could be created with 4% of a voluntary contribution from the profits of the thousand companies or corporations with the highest value and billionaires, as well as 0.2% of the GDP of the nations that make up the G20, where Mexico belongs. . Some 750 million people could be benefited.
He insisted that peace cannot be achieved in any country if there is not a front against marginalization and poverty.
“(The) fundamental solution to live free from fear and violence is to end unemployment, incorporation of young people to work and study, combat family violence and loss of cultural, moral and spiritual values,” he defended.
He also said that inequality problems generate different phenomena, in addition to violence, such as forced immigration.
López Obrador unleashed cheers as president – at least for a day – of the Security Council every time he stamped the gavel after reading some point on the agenda.
“He is the second in the world,” said an excited woman, who did not want to say her name. “Soon it will be number one.” He was referring to the Financial Times poll that two weeks ago placed López Obrador in the second position of the most popular leaders in the world with 65% acceptance, behind 71% of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
The Mexican president introduced the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, who addressed inequality and corruption as a global problem; then he gave the floor to the Ecuadorian leader Lourdes Tibán, who was part of the National Assembly of her country and spoke of inequality faced by indigenous people, especially women.
Mexico put on the table, for the first time in that Council, the importance of addressing exclusion and inequity as key elements against international conflicts. This matter will be addressed in the different meetings.
“The objective is to open a debate to advance the discussion on the links between the causes of armed conflicts with exclusion, inequity and poverty,” indicates a document from the Mission of Mexico to the UN.
The party would go on
After his participation in the Council, the Mexican president gave a tour of the UN facilities, but did not miss the opportunity to once again greet his followers from afar. Behind the metal bars that surround the property of the international organization, López Obrador raised his hands again and unleashed shouts of joy.
Previously, the president had sent a message to immigrants, stating that President Joe Biden wanted the regularization of 11 million undocumented immigrants, but forgetting that the US president left that matter to the Democrats in Congress, who have a plan for 7.1 million , a temporary protection against deportation and Employment Authorization.
It seemed enough to his followers to hear a message addressed to them, some hope with limited possibilities. They already had in mind the party in Brooklyn, at the Azteca Hall in Sunset Park, where there would be music and dancing.
“The president will catch up with us there,” Juan, one of the attendees, who is dedicated to construction, told me. I insisted on who told him that. He couldn’t answer. Later, Isaac Ramírez acknowledged that the president would not attend that celebration. The immigrants felt satisfied and in the Subway, on their way to their homes, they could still hear the emotion of having seen López Obrador, even if it was from afar.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.