"Fraude," the Mexican documentary by Luis Mandoki that openly lionizes the 2006 presidential candidacy of defeated leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador opens in the States this weekend. This is my review of the doc in the current LA Weekly film pages.
Mandoki and Lopez Obrador were in L.A. last week to promote the film and made the rounds with the regional Spanish-language media. Here are links where you can hear the man they affectionately call "el peje" on the air with the king of the L.A. radio market, El Piolin, and with Don Cheto. (Clips of his interview in studio with the anchors of Univision floated around for a few days but have been removed from the Net.) AMLO also made an appearance at USC.
Lopez Obrador has become the most idiosyncratic and polarizing political figure in recent Mexican history. After his defeat, supporters declared him the country's "legitimate president." He continues, more than two years after the election, to campaign all across Mexico for his movement, making him idol to many but absolutely hated by many others.
On Wednesday AMLO help a press conference to remind the few journalists who still cover him that he and his economic advisors warned Felipe Calderon 14 months ago that a financial crisis in the U.S. would severely impact Mexico. The U.S. dollar sold for 14 Mexican pesos this week. That's significantly higher than the 10 to 11 peso average we've been used to for years; significantly higher. Yet only yesterday did Felipe Calderon's conservative government announce a hurried financial stablization plan. It takes a bit of distance, but when you look back at Lopez Obrador's economic team during the campaign -- which featured some of the most respected financial minds in the country -- you're reminded of how essentially sound and moderate his candidacy actually was, despite all the noise.
You can revisit my coverage for the LA Weekly of the 2006 presidential election at the following links, in chronological order as they were filed: "The Mexico Cup," "Overtime in Mexico," "People Are Pissed," "Sticking it to El Hombre," and "The Simulated Republic." Here's my LA Weekly cover story based on that experience, "Down and Delirious in Mexico City."
* L.A.-based journalist Eileen Truax has her take on the AMLO visit at Mundo Abrierto, in Spanish: "On Lopez Obrador in Los Angeles, or How A Base's Loyalty is Measured in DVD Sales."