Mexican Congress opens first session with new left-wing majority

Mexican Congress opens first session with new left-wing majority

Mexico’s Congress will open its new legislative session today, the first under the majority led by the leftist Morena party

Leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of MORENA is greeted by supporters while arriving to a campaign rally in Zitacuaro

Photo: Reuters/Alan Ortega

Mexico’s Congress will open its new legislative session today, the first under the majority led by the leftist Morena party of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO).

The new government will likely adopt a raft of new policies, from anti-corruption measures to energy reform. One of the most important items on its agenda will be addressing Mexico’s war on drugs. The conflict has caused over 150,000 murders since 2006.

The deployment of over 130,000 military personnel over time has failed to stem the cartels’ violence, with the government accused of its own bloodshed. Under AMLO, the government is set to pull back military efforts and Congress will pass legislation to legalise marijuana and potentially other drugs, undercutting the cartels’ black-market trade.

Major reforms will have to wait until AMLO takes office on December 1. However, the Morena-led Congress must vote on the current administration’s budget before then, where it could take steps like shifting funding from the military to local police. If that and other steps are taken early, it would be a sign the government is serious about lessening Mexico’s high violent crime rate.

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