TUMOR: The (Dis)organization of the Right-Wing Opposition against Mexico’s ‘Fourth Transformation’
Mexico’s current government, led by president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (December 2018-November 2024), launched a program of major overhaul of the country’s governance named “The Fourth Transformation (4T)”. While the reform agenda is largely supported by the masses, these measures have met a strong, multifaceted and relentless reaction from the social and political interests being affected, couched in a right-wing discourse. This opposition, carried out either by individual actors or by coalitions of organized interests, has been sarcastically dubbed TUMOR (“Todos unidos contra Morena”, All United against Morena, the party in power) by 4T supporters.
This article aims at mapping and analyzing the right-wing movement of resistance to the 4T, identifying its main individual and collective actors, their strategies and their international allies. It tests the hypothesis suggested in Kevin Middlebrook’s theory about conservatism and the right in Latin America: when economically and socially privileged actors feel deprived of political power to protect their interests, they resort to whatever means and strategy is at their disposal to regain the lost influence. If no political party offers them a reasonable expectation of representing them, winning elections and protecting their unquestioned influence, they will not hesitate to sabotage democracy and disrupt the legal order.
Empirical information—under the form of a mostly qualitative narrative detailed in Annex (Appendix) 1—to test the hypothesis was obtained with a systematic follow up of events spanning from the inauguration of Mexico’s current government on December 1, 2018 to June 6 2021 midterm elections; as reported in mainstream media, the president’s office and internet-based information sources. Annex (Appendix) 2 offers a profile of the main actors in the opposition movement.