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LATIN AMERICA | 25-07-2021 09:11

Mexican president proposes replacing OAS with new institution

Andrés Manuel López Obrador proposes replacing the Washington-based Organization of American States with what he called a more independent institution.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador proposed on Saturday replacing the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS) with what he called a more independent institution.

“The substitution of the OAS can’t be ruled out for a truly autonomous organization -- not a servant to anyone, but a mediator,” López Obrador, commonly known as AMLO, said in remarks at the annual summit for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

AMLO’s remarks come at a time when Mexico and Argentina are at odds with OAS President Luis Almagro over a range of issues, such as the institution’s stance on Venezuela’s government. Almagro, in line with the United States and Europe, has labeled Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro a dictator. Mexico and Argentina have taken a more neutral approach. AMLO didn’t name Almagro in his remarks Saturday.

More recently, Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard has traded barbs with Almagro, accusing the OAS of facilitating “a coup” in Bolivia in 2019. For his part, Almagro said Ebrard was responsible for the collapse of a subway track in Mexico City in May.

Founded in 1948, the OAS is made up of 35 countries in the Western Hemisphere, including the United States and Canada. Almagro was re-elected to a new term last year. The OAS press office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg News during weekend hours.

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by Patrick Gillespie, Bloomberg

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