'Frivolity and excess': Mexico's Amlo under fire over aide's lavish wedding

Critics attack leftwing president-elect for attending wedding of ally César Yáñez and Dulce Silva, which made the cover of ¡Hola!

Mexico’s president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the election on an agenda of austerity and a promise to slash the pay, perks and privileges of a political class often seen as indifferent to the country’s poor.

But the leader known as Amlo has been accused of hypocrisy after the cover of society glossy ¡Hola! splashed on photos from his spokesman’s outsized and opulent wedding – an event which the president attended.

Social media errupted with outrage on Thursday as ¡Hola! released a preview cover portrait of César Yáñez – a long-time Amlo ally – and his wife Dulce Silva. Amlo and his wife, Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, appear less prominently on the cover.

Photos from the wedding were shared on social media and revealed a menu including lobster tails and filet mignon, a performance by famed cumbia band Los Ángeles Azules and the presence of more than 500 guests.

Much of the criticism focused on Amlo, whose 2006 campaign promised to put “the poor first” and who often attacks his opponents as “fifis” – or snobs.

Viridiana Ríos, a political analyst, tweeted: “They’re starting to do what they criticized for years. It’s a demonstration that they want to become the previous political class.”

Supporters defended the wedding as a private affair, which was organised without public money. But critics were not convinced.

“They don’t get that the population is fed up with this excess of frivolity and exhibitionism, although public funds weren’t used,” tweeted journalist Jenaro Villamil.

Mexico’s society pages often display the lavish and questionable taste of the newly rich. Unlike the country’s population, the people shown are overwhelmingly white.

Outgoing president Enrique Peña Nieto and his family often appeared in puff pieces and photo shoots. One such feature prompted a national scandal when Peña Nieto’s wife, Angelica Rivera, opened the doors of her $7m mansion to ¡Hola! Investigative reporters followed up and found the property was purchased from a government contractor.

Amlo, who has railed for years against the limousine lifestyles of Mexico’s political class has made personal austerity his calling card, promising to take a 60% pay cut and sell the presidential plane.

“You can’t have a rich government and poor people,” he often said on the stump.


David Agren in Mexico City

The GuardianTramp

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