Conversations with Mexico's PRESIDENTIAL Candidates

A Talk With Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

Sunday, June 18, 2006

What kind of relations would you have with the United States?

We would have a relationship of mutual respect.

How do you respond when people claim that you are another Hugo Chavez [the anti-American president of Venezuela]?

That is propaganda against me. I have no relationship with Chavez.

People are afraid that you are anti-business.

I have good relations with businessmen. I have problems with "influence traffickers" who . . . use the government for their own personal advantage.

How will you govern Mexico differently from President Fox?

There will be economic growth and job growth. We will try to reduce the number of people who are emigrating [to the United States] in search of work because the economy in Mexico is stagnant.

Would you allow private companies to invest in the government-controlled energy sector?

In no way whatsoever will there be foreign investment in the energy sector. In other sectors of the economy, yes.

Some say you have an authoritarian streak -- when you were mayor you said that some laws were stupid and did not have to be obeyed.

I never made such a remark. . . . I opposed corruption. On one occasion, they wanted me to pay an indemnity of $200 million based on forged documents. I refused to pay. And so my enemies said I did not respect the law.

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