Telesur Interviews the President of Mexico’s New Leftwing Party

June 10, 2015

Marti Batres, President of the Mexico’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena) Photo: Morena

Marti Batres, President of the Mexico’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena) Photo: Morena

teleSUR spoke with Marti Batres of Mexico’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena) after last Sunday’s midterm elections.

teleSUR: Tell me your opinion on the most recent midterm elections in Mexico, how it was it for you as president of a party that was running for the first time?  

Marti Batres: We did well, and that’s good news for Mexican people. Now we have an instrument to keep struggling in order to protect the people, we again have an opposition in the country because the federal government was (previously) controlling all the political parties.

We again have a left-wing project in Mexico to decide the country’s fate and that is just great, we are very happy and optimistic and we are sure that good times are coming for Morena.

But we also had to face a lot of irregularities, not everything has been perfect, we had to face a lot of adversities too, vote buying, the absolute control of media, threats, violence, etc. But despite these obstacles Morena succeed.

We are now preparing ourselves for the next battle, which is to change the country… that’s the most important thing.

teleSUR: But isn’t this a bittersweet victory for you? I mean despite your achievements the  Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) still won most votes, and though you saw important triumphs in Mexico City, what about the rest of the country?

MB: Everyone agrees, the highlight of this election is the rise of Morena because that changes the political scenario in Mexico.

However it is not only in Mexico City but all across the country, it is a very positive result because we are just starting and now we have a well-positioned political force that has achieved the support of a big part of society without resources like power, media… Our only resource is work, we have been working in the streets and houses across the country.

The country has so many differences in each region, so our challenge now is to bring Morena to the rest of the country.

We have have won in several municipalities in Tabasco and Yucatan which are very difficult places.

In Veracruz we won in the capital Xalapa – by the way the capital is Xalapa and not Boca del Rio like Pena Nieto says. We also won in Coatzacoalcos which is a very important oil-producer region. We have won in many places, even in difficult states like Baja California, San Luis Potosi…

teleSUR: These midterm elections were marred by violence and Morena was directly affected with a candidate from your party killed in Michoacan. Can you tell us how you are dealing with this situation?

MB: There is a lot violence in the country, we have to start talking about the first class violence which is incited by groups hired by the local governments, especially those ruled by the PRI, they are small gangs that generate violence and attack people, but we also have to talk about the violence exerted by the organized crime. One of our candidates was killed in Michoacan and he won.

In Morena we are fighting for a peace process in the country, we totally believe that you cannot fight violence with violence, it is necessary to have justice, employment, education, social welfare… those are the best tools to eradicate violence in Mexico.

teleSUR: What you have discussed so far with Morena leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador?

MB: I have had meetings everyday with him and in coming days we are going to present a plan to deal with everything that comes (out of these elections)….

We are going to respect the law in order to prepare a presidential campaign, but we are also going to start a strategy across Mexico in order to remain close to the people and have presence in the places that Morena is not strong.

teleSUR: You are the fourth political force in the country now, however it will be difficult to play your cards properly in Congress if you have to face the alliances that already exist amongst the traditional parties. Morena is now against the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD), even though most of you were part of that party, which still claims to represent the left-wing in Mexico. So how you are going to succeed in Congress without alliances?

MB: The PRD is no longer a left force in Mexico they are now in the conservative wing. You cannot claim to be a left-wing party if you vote for neoliberal laws. You cannot claim to be a left-wing party if you vote for laws that leave teachers without their job. You cannot claim to be a left-wing party if you vote to sell border strips and beaches to foreigners. You cannot claim to be a left-wing party if you vote for oil industry privatization. So the PRD has definitely changed its political affiliation and they have nothing to do with Morena, they get along now with the right-wing leaders, they are very close now.

The world should know that the left-wing’s struggle in Mexico is led by Morena.

teleSUR: But you have a lot of work to do, especially at the Congress where there are so many alliances and you have no support.

MB: Well that is something that has no solution, not even if we had an alliance with the PRD, we cannot have a majority in the parliament, the PRI and the Green Party have almost half of parliament and if you add the PAN it’s almost two thirds.

You cannot beat that, not even with an alliance with the PRD. So the only resource hat Morena has is the people’s support, our strength is not at the Congress, but outside with the people, that’s the only way we have to move forward.

teleSUR: Due to the media campaign against you, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has a very bad reputation in some sectors of Mexican society. How you are going to reach these people who are already against the image of Morena and link you with the PRD that lost its credibility after the disappearance of the 43 students in Ayotzinapa?

MB: Andres Manuel won the 2006 and 2012 elections, however they committed fraud and hid the results, so his reputation is intact with his supporters, because despite the campaign against us, we won.

Our work now is to reach all the Mexicans through our work and to convince them that we are an alternative for Mexico. In these elections we were able to reach new sectors and we are happy by that.

Source: teleSUR