On Saturday, December 1st, Andrés Manuel López Obrador was sworn in as the new president of Mexico, and a number of Arizona elected officials and business leaders traveled to Mexico City to witness the occasion.
Governor Doug Ducey, Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams, Mesa Mayor John Giles, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, Douglas Mayor Robert Uribe and State Rep. César Chávez were among the large Arizona delegation that attended the inauguration events.
A number of foreign dignitaries and heads of state attended as well, including Vice President Pence and Ivanka Trump.
“Well, not only is today historical, but the view of all the people here in support of the new president is magical,” Rep. Chavez said. “I believe that Arizona has the most representation than any other state in the United States, and possibly any other country. To Arizona, obviously Mexico is one of our most important trading partners, and I hope that we continue that route with Mexico.”
New President López Obrador spoke before the foreign dignitaries and members of the Mexican Congress during his inaugural address at the Congress of the Union in Mexico City Saturday morning. During his speech, López Obrador criticized prior presidents, reaffirmed that he will sell the presidential plane, not live in the presidential palace and will only receive 40 percent of his presidential salary. In fact, Saturday marked the first day that Los Pinos, the presidential residence, was open for public tours.
In what he calls the “fourth transformation,” a reference to the three prior revolutions or government transformations in Mexican history, López Obrador vows to help the poor and disenfranchised, and tackle government corruption, public safety and wasteful spending.
In addition to the Arizona dignitaries, a number of business leaders attended the inauguration including representatives from the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“This was a truly historic occasion,” Arizona Chamber President and CEO Glenn Hamer said. “This new administration is poised to make a significant shift in its policy agenda, including in its relationships with the international community. Credit to Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona-Mexico Commission and leaders like Kirk Adams, Juan Ciscomani, and Jessica Pacheco for recognizing the need to understand how our state’s connection with our neighbor could be impacted.”
López Obrador of the Morena Party, which he created, had a sweeping victory during the July election, which also resulted in his party obtaining the majority in Congress and a number of gubernatorial positions.
More than 160,000 people flocked to the Zócalo in the historic district of Mexico City to hear the president’s remarks Saturday evening. The celebration began with an indigenous inauguration and blessing, representing the more than 70 indigenous communities in Mexico followed by a 90-minute speech by López Obrador. This was the first time a Mexican president has participated in the indigenous ceremony during an inauguration.