Mexico City, July 2: When one side of the border goes to the extreme, it is quite normal for the other side to do the same as well. On July 1, almost 19 months after Donald Trump was elected as the president of the US, Mexico chose Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador or Amlo, 64, as its president and the new leader said soon after claiming victory that "profound change" is coming.
Amlo, a former mayor of Mexico City, was projected to win 53 per cent of the votes while his opponents conceded crushing defeats. Amlo has, as a regular politician, vowed to crack down on corruption but what is more interesting is his pledge to stand up to his American counterpart who has targeted Washington's ties with Mexico throughout, be it in terms of immigration or trade.
Although there were apprehensions that the new Mexican president might turn the country into another Venezuela, which has been caught in the middle of a severe economic crisis because of his leftist and populist measures, there were voices among the Mexicans who feel Amlo will be Mexico's answer to Trump.
According to a Reuters report, scores of Mexicans living in California, US, drove to their country to vote for Obrador, who they believed would protect around 12 million Mexicans living in the country of Trump, accused of racially targeting the Mexicans.
Trump has always been vocal against migration into the US through the Mexican border and even promised to build a wall along it. Though it has not been fruitful yet, Trump is never short of ideas to prevent migrants at the US-Mexico border.
Recently, the Trump administration came under massive criticism for separating the children of the illegal migrants from their parents at the southern border as they face law.
Amlo may have a lot of domestic challenges to handle but the Trump factor will certainly help him to tame the waves. Obrador often targeted Trump during his presidential campaign though spoke more about "friendly relations" in his victory speech.
The election saw the issue of tension with the US like over migration, border wall and talks over revising the free trade deal receiving a lot of attention and candidates in the fray vowed to defend their nation against the leader next door.
Now, with Amlo in control, it will be interesting how the two neighbouring leaders, populist yet located at the opposite ideological ends, play it out from here on.