Ricardo Valdez Ponce left his house late Friday night in his hometown of Matamoros, Tamaulipas to board a bus for the 15-hour journey to Mexico City in order to take part, the next day, in the mass demonstration called by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known widely as “AMLO,” in defense of Mexican national sovereignty.
“I do it with great pleasure because we’ve never had a president like the one we have now. I am very proud and motivated to be here accompanying our president,” said Valdez.
Valdez was one of an estimated 500,000 people who heeded López Obrador’s call to fill the Zócalo, the giant square at the heart of the Mexican capital, to defend Mexican national sovereignty in the face of recent attacks.
March 18, 2023, was the 85th anniversary of the 1938 decree by President Lázaro Cárdenas ordering the expropriation of Mexico’s oil industry. López Obrador called on his supporters to demonstrate on that day to mark the occasion but also to convey public support for his government and policies inside Mexico and to United States politicians and pundits who have ramped up their attacks against his government.