Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) was born in Macuspana, in the southern state of Tabasco, in 1953. He graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1987 with a major in political and social sciences. He joined the PRI in 1976 to actively collaborate in Carlos Pellicer's campaign for a senate seat for Tabasco. A year later, he headed the InstitutoIndigenista (Indigenous People's Institute) of his state. In 1984, he relocated to Mexico City to work at the Instituto Nacional del Consumidor (National Consumers' Institute), a Government agency.
López Obrador is rumored to be an Evangelical Christian or Presbyterian, which would be consistent with other natives from his home state but at odds with his image as a center-left politician. Lópezpublicly denied being a Protestant, and in a television interview he called himself a Roman Catholic.
López Obrador was president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in his home state. He resigned his post working for the government of this state in 1988 to join the new dissenting left wing of the PRI, then called the Democratic Current, led by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas. This movementformed the National Democratic Front and later became the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).
In 1994, López Obrador ran for the governorship of his home state, but lost to the PRI's Roberto Madrazo in a highly controversial election where Roberto Madrazo was questioned for his excessive expenses in political propaganda. Madrazo's campaign was much more expensive than the presidentialcampaign of Bill Clinton.
López Obrador gained national exposure as an advocate for the rights of indigenous people when in 1996 he appeared on national TV drenched in blood following confrontations with police force for blocking Pemex oil wells to defend the rights of local indigenous people impacted by pollution.
López Obrador was president of the PRD from 2 August 1996 to 10 April 1999. Head of Government of the Federal District
On 2 July 2000 he was elected Head of Government of the Federal District—a position akin to that of a city mayor, but that oversees the whole Federal District—after having won with 38.3% of votes. His candidacy was contested by political opponents who claimed he was not a resident of the capital city, but they negotiated not to make an issueof it.
 Public image
During his time as Head of Government, López Obrador became one of the most recognizable politicians in Mexico. López Obrador left the Federal District government with an 84% approval rating according to Consulta Mitofsky, a leading pollster; according to an article by Reforma newspaper, López kept 80% of the promises he made as a candidate.
As mayor, López Obrador implemented various social programs that included extending cash checks to help vulnerable groups: single mothers, senior citizens and the physically and mentally challenged. He also founded the first new university in Mexico City in three decades, the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México UACM.
López Obrador hired Rudy Giuliani to craft a zero-tolerancepolicy that would help reduce the escalating crime in Mexico City.
López Obrador (center) with former President Vicente Fox (left) and former México State governor Arturo Montiel (right).
He directed the restoration and modernization of Mexico City's historic downtown, which has 16th-17th century buildings and a large number of tourist attractions, yet had been badly maintained,overcrowded, and crime-ridden in the last few decades. He led a joint venture with Carlos Slim Helú, a native of downtown Mexico City, to expropriate, restore, rebuild and gentrify large parts of the area, creating attractive shopping and residential areas for middle and upper income residents.
López Obrador used fiscal policy to encourage private sector investment in housing. He granted...