The President’s starts, the opinion of Raymundo Riva Palacio

A lot of harm is being done to the President by the advisers who all the time poison his soul and feed his proclivity for confrontation and polarization. It is worse that he listens to them and, worse still, that he is easy prey to the manipulation of those who have taken his measure in the National Palace. The result is a failed decision-making process, which exhibits its spiteful disposition and shows deficiencies in executive management and causes stumbling in the exercise of government. In a few weeks, the falls of Julio Scherer of the Legal Department of the Presidency, Santiago Nieto of the Financial Intelligence Unit, and Arturo Herrera, of the presidency of the Bank of Mexico, paint President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as a mercurial politician that catches on quickly and makes decisions without thinking about the consequences.

Herrera is the last one who went through the guillotine. He did it unscrupulously, hiding from her that he had decided long ago that what he promised he would not keep. The President knew that he would sacrifice him, but inexplicably, he let him die without knowing his fate. It is a political brutality what López Obrador did, in retaliation because he ignored him as Secretary of the Treasury, who dehydrated the opposition governments before the midterm elections, violating the Fiscal Coordination Law, which distributes the shares to the states and municipalities .

Appointing Herrera to head the Bank of Mexico had been an original error, very typical of the President, who to get rid of officials takes advantage of the gaps that are opened in his team to fill them with undesirables. The clearest previous case was that of Esteban Moctezuma, whom he no longer wanted as Secretary of Education but did not know what to do with him until Martha Bárcena prematurely resigned from the Mexican Embassy in Washington and López Obrador found his destination in that office. The President never looked favorably on Herrera and wanted to get rid of him. The term of office of the governor of the Central Bank, Alejandro Díaz de León, who never considered ratifying it, opened the exit door for Herrera.

Things would have gone smoothly, but shortly after taking over his replacement, Rogelio Ramírez de la O, who also did not see Herrera well, informed the President that the instructions to modify federal participations had not been complied with — although Herrera had acted in accordance with the law. There his fate was sealed. In August, they asked Morena’s coordinator in the Senate, Ricardo Monreal, to remove Herrera’s ratification from the Bank of Mexico from the agenda, which he did with stealth. More than two months later, last week, the President informed Herrera that he had changed his mind. In his place, the president proposed yesterday to Victoria Rodríguez, the Undersecretary of Expenditures in Finance, which is also an occurrence.

When Ramírez de la O arrived at the secretariat, he brought three new undersecretaries whom he wanted to appoint, one of whom would replace Rodríguez. The President vetoed all three, because one of them, Alejandro Reynoso, had worked in the government of Carlos Salinas, under the orders of Pedro Aspe, then Secretary of the Treasury. The repentance over Herrera paved the way for the undersecretary, who was done a favor in her career, although her appointment, of service, was detrimental to the government. The markets, which welcomed Herrera’s appointment, reacted badly to Rodríguez’s, whose merit, the president said, is being a woman.

Decisions made on the knees are a good part of the President’s problem. Herrera’s previous case is that of Nieto, in the Financial Intelligence Unit, whom he publicly incinerated, pointing out that marrying in Guatemala, violating the principles of austerity, had been “scandalous.” The President did not intend to dismiss Nieto, but on Sunday and Monday, the propaganda chief and main architect of the polarization, Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, was filling his head that what Nieto had done was an “excess”. Finally, he ordered his dismissal two days after the wedding and named, again pulling a rabbit out of his hat, Pablo Gómez, an experienced parliamentarian with no administrative background or knowledge of the subject.

López Obrador, with himself modus operandi, gave employment to Gómez, who had ordered the government to search for him since he lost the federal deputation in the midterm elections. We will have to thank – read this with sarcasm – who did not find a place quickly, that before the untimely departure of Nieto, the President found the requested job in that place. But not two weeks had passed since the appointment of Gómez, when López Obrador began to say in the National Palace that perhaps he rushed by dismissing Nieto, thinking that the lack of experience of the veteran politician, not because of the badly armed cases in the FIU, it was going to cause the ongoing investigations to go badly.

Without having the same feeling with Scherer, the case is similar. The legal adviser resigned because the President was going to take away the political force that empowered him in the first part of the six-year term. López Obrador had been listening to the intrigues of various people, particularly Ramírez Cuevas, against Scherer for weeks. Even after his departure, he continued to attack him and accuse him before the president of having taken files from the Lozoya and Ancira cases, which further soured the relationship between López Obrador and Scherer, whose separation continues to widen, with unimaginable potential consequences.

Scherer, Nieto and Herrera – this one not because of proximity but because of responsibility – were part of the President’s power circle, who with his outbursts of fury and tactfully charging them their accounts and daring, true, false, accurate or magnified, he got into greater depths of administration, articulation and order. López Obrador will not change. The experiences affect him but do not modify his actions, which explains the increasingly negative stumbling blocks and returns of his presidential term.

rrivapalacio@ejecentral.com.mx

twitter: @rivapa

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