On 14 June, protests took place for the second day running in cities across Mexico against the government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, calling for his resignation.
The López Obrador government has been facing growing criticism for its response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, most recently because it is pushing forward with the planned easing of isolation measures, despite signs that the health emergency has not passed. Adding to warnings and criticisms from the political opposition, public health experts, and the private sector, this second wave of protests shows that public discontent with López Obrador is growing.
- The protests on 13 and 14 June were organised by the Frente Nacional Ciudadano (Frena), also known as the Frente Nacional Anti-Amlo, a civil society organisation demanding the resignation of López Obrador (known as Amlo). The Frena describes itself as non-partisan, but says it opposes López Obrador’s “Bolivarian” project.
- According to Frena, protests took place across more than 100 cities in Mexico, as well as outside embassies and consulates abroad, including in a number of cities in the US. Protesters in Mexico demonstrated in their vehicles to respect social distancing measures, criticising López Obrador’s economic and health policies in response to the pandemic, and calling for the president’s resignation.
- Protests took place in the capital Mexico City yesterday, but one of the biggest demonstrations was in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco state, on 13 June, with 2,000 cars reportedly taking part. The governor of Jalisco state, Enrique Alfaro, has been a vocal critic of the López Obrador government’s response to the pandemic.
- Mexico’s Covid-19 infection curve continues to rise, with 4,147 new cases confirmed yesterday, a 2.9% increase on the previous day, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 146,837, while the number of deaths due to Covid-19 rose from 16,872 to 17,141.
Despite pushing forward with the criticised measures, the López Obrador government has admitted that “this is not going to end soon,” with deputy health minister Hugo López-Gatell noting that Mexicans must find “new ways to interact with the virus, because the virus will continue to be here”.
In brief: Mexico sees further job losses in May
* Mexico’s social security institute (IMSS) has published figures indicating that 344,526 formal sector workers lost their jobs in May, which it attributes to the effects of the public health emergency declared by the government in late March to contain the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Added to the 555,247 formal jobs lost in April, the number of formal jobs lost in the past two months now totals just under 1m. But if the 198,033 formal jobs lost between 13 and 31 March are included, then over 1m have been lost since the start of the health emergency in Mexico. These worrying statistics follow the publication on 1 June of the latest employment survey (Etoe) figures from the national statistics institute (Inegi), according to which the open unemployment rate increased by 1.4 percentage points to 4.7% in April, while the working population (which includes formal and informal workers) diminished by 12.5m.