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President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador visits Mérida and addresses a cheering crowd Friiday. Photo: La Jornada Maya

Mérida, Yucatán — Encouraged by promises of broad reforms, more than 6,000 Yucatecans cheered the president elect in the Plaza Grande during his thank-you tour Friday.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador capped off a day of meetings with a rally that began shortly before 5 p.m. He was accompanied by Joaquín “Huacho” Díaz Mena, who will serve as Yucatán’s coordinator of federal social programs.

Earlier, López Obrador met with Díaz Mena’s former rival, Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal, and members of the legislature. He congratulated the governor for his austerity plan.

“Presidente, Presidente!” hundreds of voices cried in unison as AMLO approached the plaza stage. Making his way through the crowd, it took him approximately 20 minutes to reach the platform.

Addressing the rally, the Tabasco native noted that more than 60 years have passed since Mexico had a president from the southeast. The president-elect takes office Dec. 1.

His reforms “will be a peaceful and orderly, but in turn, deep and radical in which there will be no room for corruption or bad practices that have characterized the previous governments,” he declared.

When he reiterated that he and senior officials in Mexico City will take pay cuts so that lower-level workers can earn more, the statement earned him a prolonged ovation.

The suspension of millionaire pensions to Mexican ex-presidents and the sale of the fleets of presidential planes and helicopters also caused a furor from the audience.

“Yesterday we flew through VivaAerobus and we arrived on time,” López Obrador said, referring to the low-cost domestic airline.

The presidential residence of Los Pinos will be merged with the Bosque de Chapultepec, becoming a cultural center.

“The policies of those who earn without working are over,” he snapped and said that taxes will stop serving to keep a “good for nothing” government.

AMLO offered job-training scholarships to 35,567 Yucatecans and 6,460 scholarships for university students and 80,000 pre-school students in the state.

He also promised to double the social security pensions for Yucatecans over 68 or disabled.

Regarding agriculture, he said that 12,500 more hectares/31,000 acres will be planted annually to increase fruit and timber production.

AMLO also committed to rehabilitate the Ticul public hospital and he promised that “there will be no more white elephants.”

“We will have a health system like Canada, England and the Nordic countries,” he said.

After recognizing the natural and cultural resources that abound in the Mexican southeast, he lamented that neoliberalism has led to economic growth of 4 percent in the north, 2 percent in the center and 0 percent in the southeast.

Making reference to the controversial pig farm in Homún, AMLO assured that the issue will be resolved within the law.

After speaking about 40 minutes, López Obrador promised loyalty to those who trusted him and he left the stage, but not before exclaiming three cheers: to Yucatan, to the Mayan culture; and finally to Mexico. Afterwards, it started to rain.

Source: La Jornada Maya

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