Since before his victory, Andrés Manuel López Obrador has promised that a Mexico under his leadership would be different. On Saturday, AMLO was inaugurated as the 65th president of the country, and at the ceremony, he showed that his government intended to include those who have been on the fringes for far too long.
In the Zócalo in Mexico City, AMLO shared the stage with Indigenous and Afro-Mexican communities, which gave him the bastón de mando. “In the name of the Indigenous and Afro-Mexican communities in Mexico, we came with great admiration – because it’s a grand responsibility – to place in your hands, Licenciado Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the bastón de mando…,” one woman said. “We have a lot of hope that from today on, there will be a transformation of Mexico where the communities present in this moment. And our Indigenous brothers from the 68 communities and the Afro-Mexican community came here to tell you that here is the bastón de mando, here is a symbol with which you can lead our community… We want to remind you that we want to be taken into account when you’re making plans for the next six years.”
The ceremony included a cleansing and a purification of the president. Representatives from the community also gave him an amulet to protect him from bad vibes, according to El Financiero.
The ceremony was unlike other inaugurations, and it’s not the only way AMLO intends to set his presidency apart. Los Pinos, the opulent house that the Mexican president has lived in for decades, is not where AMLO will spend his time. Instead, he announced on Saturday that the house will now be an art and culture space. “I won’t live in Los Pinos and that [residence] is now open,” he said.
Additionally, as he promised on the campaign trail, the new president will not be using the presidential jet. Instead, he is selling it. It will arrive in California on Monday, where it will be sold, according to CNN en Español.
Despite all the changes he hopes to make, it’s important to note that AMLO is also deserving of criticism. Earlier this year, footage surfaced of AMLO refusing to answer a question from a female reporter. Instead of giving a response, the then president-elect leaned in and kissed reporter Lorena García. It wasn’t the first time he was under fire for his behavior toward female reporters. At one press conference, he once again refused to answer female journalists’ questions and told them, “You are all sweethearts. I appreciate you a lot.”