The Wealthiest Man in Mexico Speaks Out and Tells AMLO He Will Have a Talk When He Finishes as President


Carlos Slim. Photo from Carlos Slim Foundation Annual Press Conference
Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO). Photo from Andrés Manuel López Obrador YouTube
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By Roberto Hugo González

In an unprecedented move, Carlos Slim, Mexico’s wealthiest person with a net worth estimated at $100 billion, has publicly aired his grievances against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) administration during a politically turbulent period. This critique emerges as Mexico grapples with a hot-blooded presidential campaign overshadowed by scandals involving the president’s family and accusations against his government.

Slim’s incursion into the public domain, engaging in a nearly hour-long press conference, wasn’t just an ordinary commentary but a significant event that stimulated the political and economic arenas. His statements, given their considerable influence, can shape public opinion and affect market dynamics, highlighting the gravity of his public interventions.

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Central to Slim’s concerns is the military’s extensive role in civilian affairs, a key strategy of AMLO’s government.

The extensive involvement of the military in civilian affairs under AMLO’s government has drawn attention and criticism, notably from influential figures like Carlos Slim. Despite acknowledging the competence of the military, Slim has expressed concerns over their participation in a wide range of civilian projects. This involvement spans significant infrastructure developments such as the Felipe Ángeles Airport, the Mayan Train, and the Dos Bocas refinery. Slim’s critique highlights a bigger issue of potential overreach, suggesting that the military’s engagement in such projects could signify an excessive militarization of public works and services.     

In response, AMLO defended the military’s role, emphasizing their efficiency and cost-saving measures in public works, arguing that these efforts starkly contrast to the often more expensive and time-consuming projects handled by the private sector.

Slim also highlighted the unresolved national security issue, which he views as a widespread and unresolved challenge. This perspective diverges from AMLO’s stance, which has accused critics of politicizing violence to undermine his administration.

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Moreover, Slim went into the touchy issue of judicial reforms proposed by AMLO, aimed at overhauling the Supreme Court and, according to critics, consolidating power within the executive branch. Slim championed the preservation of the separation of powers as a fundamental principle for democratic governance and a necessary check on any ruling party’s power.

Economically, Slim refuted that his businesses have unfairly benefited from AMLO’s policies, stating that his involvement in projects like a segment of the Mayan Train predated the current administration. This stance contrasts with AMLO’s claim that Slim and many businesspeople have thrived under his government’s policies.

Slim’s critique also implicitly referenced the politically sensitive collapse of Mexico City’s metro line 12, suggesting that maintenance failures, rather than structural flaws, were to blame, challenging narratives from some government and Morena party members.

In discussing judicial reform, Slim emphasized the importance of maintaining a balance of power, critiquing any moves that could disrupt this balance. AMLO, on the other hand, sees the reform as necessary to reclaim a judiciary he believes is in service to a greedy minority.

Slim expressed, “There are discussions I’ve yet to have. Once this administration concludes, a conversation with the president awaits. As he mentions, there are many topics on which we disagree. We’ll have these talks after he leaves office. I’m holding onto them until then, but rest assured, the discussions will be amicable.” As Slim awaits the conclusion of AMLO’s term for a personal discussion, his public critique marks a critical moment in Mexican politics, highlighting the ongoing dialogue between the nation’s economic and political powers. This dialogue will continue to influence Mexico’s path forward, with Slim’s voice playing a crucial role in shaping the debate.

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