Within only 48 hours of his inauguration as the new president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador held his first news conference, confirming that he will be running things very differently than his predecessor, Enrique Pena Nieto.
The first news conference is only the opening of what Obrador promises will be a weekly event. Taking questions from the press was not Nieto’s strong suit, preferring to inform the public with highly prepared speeches.
During the press conference, the 65-year old emphasized his goal to end drug-related violence in Mexico instigated by cartels that have left over 200,000 people dead.
“It is so important to guarantee peace and tranquility in the country that I am not going to delegate this responsibility, I am going to attend to it directly,” Obrador announced.
He also said that he will pursue commitments from the US and Canada to invest in Mexico to reduce immigration, and to talk about ways the US can help Mexico deal with the drug cartels.
The former mayor of Mexico City also discussed his plan to stop building a new airport there at a cost of $13 billion. Obrador said the country will protect investments.
After the news conference Obrador put Nieto’s nearly new luxury Dreamliner presidential jet up for sale. He is also planning on selling the majority of the federal government’s planes and helicopters. When Obrador flies for work, he prefers to travel coach. He is also turning the ostentatious Los Pinos residence, used by all of Mexico’s presidents since the 1930s, into a cultural center. Obrador says he will find a more modest living space.