Morena (political party)

Morena is a Cardenist[4] political party in Mexico that "oscillate[s] between populism and social democracy".[17][18] The name is an acronym for the Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (National Regeneration Movement), and means brown-skinned in Spanish.[19][20] It also alludes to Mexico's Catholic national patroness: the Virgin of Guadalupe, known as 'La Morena'.[21][22][23] It is the ruling party of Mexico since 2018

National Regeneration Movement
Movimiento Regeneración Nacional
PresidentMario Martín Delgado
Secretary-GeneralCitlalli Hernández Mora
Senate LeaderRicardo Monreal Ávila
Chamber of Deputies LeaderIgnacio Mier Velazco
FounderAndrés Manuel López Obrador
Founded2 October 2011
(as a non-profit organization)[1]
10 July 2014
(as a political party)[2]
Split fromParty of the Democratic Revolution
HeadquartersSanta Anita #50, Col. Viaducto Piedad
C.P. 08200 Iztacalco, Mexico City
Membership (2017)319,449[3]
Social democracy[6][7]
Left-wing nationalism[8]
Left-wing populism[9]
Humanism[11] Panhispanism[12]
Political positionCentre-left[13] to left-wing[14]
National affiliationJuntos Hacemos Historia
Regional affiliationSão Paulo Forum[15]
Colours  Maroon
SloganLa esperanza de México[16]
(The hope of Mexico)
Seats in the
Chamber of Deputies
197 / 500
Seats in the
Senate of the Republic
62 / 128
State governors
6 / 32
Seats in
State legislatures
406 / 1,112
406 / 2,043

Established as a non-profit organization in 2011 and formally registered as a political party in 2014, it was led by three-time presidential candidate and current President of Mexico, AMLO (Andrés Manuel López Obrador)[24][25][26] until 12 December 2017, when he registered himself as a candidate for the party's nomination, and was succeeded by Yeidckol Polevnsky.[27][28]

For the 2018 general elections, it formed the coalition Juntos Haremos Historia (Together we will make history) along with the Labor Party and the Christian conservative Social Encounter Party. It won the presidency with 53% of the popular vote, and won a majority in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

MORENA was part of the Juntos Hacemos Historia alliance for the 2021 legislative elections.


Early years (2011–2016)

MORENA was officially founded by AMLO as a non-profit, structured as a democratic socio-political movement to protest against political corruption, electoral fraud and the policies of what he labeled the "mafia of power"; drawing support from the Yo Soy 132 student movement[29][30][31][32] it became a cross-party organization supporting his candidacy for the Presidency in the 2012 general election on 2 October 2011.[33] Following López Obrador's loss in the 2012 election, he left his former party, the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and MORENA transformed from an unofficial 'movement' into a political party (with López Obrador as its leader).[34] A couple of days after his departure from the PRD, federal deputy Ricardo Monreal stated it was a "divorce for convenience," and that López Obrador did the most responsible thing in order to avoid the polarization of the country.[35] According to polls and surveys, most of the Mexican public had negative view on the establishment of MORENA as a political party.[36] On 7 January 2014, Martí Batres, president of MORENA, presented the documentation to the INE to be acknowledged political party.[37] In 2014, López Obrador revealed why he left the PRD, stating, "I left the PRD because the leaders of that party betrayed the people, they went with Peña Nieto and approved the Pact for Mexico, which is nothing more than a 'Pact against Mexico.' I can not be in a party where tax increases were approved and it was approved that they will increase the price of gasoline every month. Gasoline in Mexico costs more than in the United States, the salary in Mexico is the lowest in the entire North American continent, and instead of asking for wage increases, the PRD rose to the podium to ask for the increase in the price of gasoline, it's an embarrassment."[38] After Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas criticized him for forming his own political party, on 7 July 2014, López Obrador posted on social media that, "PRD leaders and most of its legislators voted for the fiscal reforms [raising taxes and gas prices] and with their collaboration they paved the way for privatization of the oil industry."[39] On 10 July 2014, the INE approved MORENA to be an official political party to receive federal funds and to participate in the 2015 legislative elections.[40]

2015 Mexican legislative elections

The 2015 legislative elections was the first election where MORENA participated as an official political party. It managed to win 35 seats in the Chamber of Deputies: 14 district seats plus 21 proportional seats.

Juntos Haremos Historia (2017–present)

The 2018 general election was the first presidential election in which MORENA participated. MORENA fought the election in coalition with socialist Labor Party (PT) and the right-wing Christian-conservative Social Encounter Party (PES) under the name Juntos Haremos Historia.


On 24 June 2017, the PT agreed to fight the 2018 election in an electoral alliance with MORENA; however the coalition was not officially registered with the National Electoral Institute (INE), the country's electoral authority. For MORENA, the alliance was facilitated by the withdrawal of the PT's candidate Óscar González Yáñez, who resigned his candidacy and called for votes in favor of Delfina Gómez Álvarez, standard-bearer in the state elections of the State of Mexico in 2017.[41][42][43]

In October 2017, at PT's National Congress, as party president Alberto Anaya was reelected to another 6-year term, PT formalized its coalition with MORENA.[44]

At first, there was speculation about the possibility of a front grouping all the left-wing parties: MORENA, the PRD, PT and the MC. However, López Obrador rejected any kind of agreement due to political differences, especially after the elections in the State of Mexico, when the candidates of the PRD and MC continued with their campaigns refusing to support the MORENA candidate.[45] At the end of November 2017, the leaders of MORENA and the PES announced that they were in talks to form a possible alliance: Hugo Eric Flores Cervantes, president of the PES, said "We don't negotiate with the PRI, we have two options, go alone or with MORENA."[46]


Parties of the coalition Juntos Haremos Historia

On 13 December 2017, PES joined the coalition between MORENA and the PT, and it was formalized under the name Juntos Haremos Historia (English: Together We Will Make History).[47] Following the signing of the agreement, López Obrador was appointed as a pre-candidate for the three political groups.[48] It was a partial coalition that supported López Obrador as the presidential candidate and divided the legislative elections between the three: MORENA chose candidates in 150 federal electoral districts (out of 300) and 32 Senate rates, while the PT and the PES each nominated 75 candidates for the Chamber of Deputies and 16 for the Senate.[49][50]

The alliance received criticism as it was a coalition between two left-wing parties (MORENA and the PT) with a formation related to the evangelical right (PES).[51] In response, MORENA national president Yeidckol Polevnsky said that her party believes in inclusion and team work to "rescue Mexico" and that they will continue to defend human rights;[52] in turn, Hugo Eric Flores Cervantes, national president of the PES, said that "the only possibility of real change in our country is the one headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador" and that his party had decided to be "on the right side of history."[53]


Former President of MORENA and current President of Mexico,
Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Following the results on 1 July 2018, candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the presidential election with 53% of the popular vote. MORENA won a total of 55 seats in the Senate: 42 constituency seats and 13 proportional representation seats. It won 156 seats in the Chamber of Deputies: 106 based on district and 85 proportional representation seats. It also won 4 governorships: Mexico City, Chiapas, Tabasco, and Veracruz.


MORENA describes itself as a democratic left-wing party which supports ethnic, religious, cultural and sexual diversity, respect for human rights and environmental care. It describes itself as an opponent to the neoliberal economic policies that Mexico has adopted since the 1980s. MORENA states that a new economic model is necessary because the neoliberal model failed in Mexico because it became a synonym with corruption, and the party supports "development through private and social business, promoting market competition, but exercising State responsibility in the strategic activities which the Constitution states", and proposes "a model that strengthens the inner market, fair wages; a model that promotes syndical freedom and democracy, where the State doesn't intervene in the inner affairs of the trade organizations".[54][55][citation needed]

The party sets to stop the privatization of Pemex[56] and the granting of lands to foreign mining companies who "devastate the lands, pay no taxes and harm the environment".[citation needed]

MORENA also declares to be in favor of better treatment of the Indigenous peoples and to carry out the 1996 San Andrés Accords, which were signed by the EZLN and representatives of the Mexican government, but later rejected by then-President Ernesto Zedillo.[citation needed]

The party states to be against the monopolization of the mass media, especially television, by Televisa and TV Azteca, which together own 90% of the Mexican television.[57]

Contrary to other parties of the left, MORENA has not sought to reduce inequality by increasing taxes on the wealthy. Instead, the party has focused on reducing the pay gap between lower-level employees and the extravagant high-level government workers salaries, such as politicians and judges (who make around 10–12 times more as of 2018) through willing austerity measures. They announced support for a plan by López Obrador to cut salaries of the higher-ranking public officials (including the President), lay off up to 70 percent of non-unionized federal workers, and reduce unnecessary spending by cracking down on corruption. As Article 94 of the Mexican Constitution prohibits reducing the salary of judges at any time during their appointment in order to maintain judicial independence, judges on the Supreme Court voluntarily took a 25% pay cut starting in 2019. Several judicial cases regarding the constitutionality of the plan were pending as of the beginning of 2019.[58]

López Obrador's pragmatism

Various outlets have described the National Regeneration Movement as "not in the strict sense a political party, but an alliance of diverse movements and political actors, whose main reference is its founder and presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador". Therefore, due to Obrador's pragmatism, some critics have claimed that MORENA is subject to Obrador's own decisions rather than having a more consistent ideology as a party.[59]

Electoral history

Presidential elections

Election year Candidate Votes  % Outcome Notes
2018 Andrés Manuel López Obrador 30,113,483 53.20 Y Elected

Legislative elections

Chamber of Deputies

Election year # of
district votes
% of
district vote
# of
proportional votes
% of
proportional vote
# of
overall seats won
± Position
2015 3,327,793 8.8 3,346,303 8.4
35 / 500
New party Opposition
2018 709,840 1.27 20,972,573 37.25
189 / 500
154 MORENA–PTPVEM majority

Senate elections

Election year Constituency PR # of seats ± Position Presidency Alliance
votes  % votes  %
2018 661,068 1.18 21,261,577 37.50
55 / 128
New party Plurality Andrés Manuel López Obrador Juntos Haremos Historia

List of Party Presidents

Officeholder Term State
Martí Batres 2012–2015 Mexico City
Andrés Manuel López Obrador 2015–2017 Tabasco
Yeidckol Polevnsky Gurwitz 2017–26 January 2020 State of Mexico
Alfonso Ramírez Cuéllar 26 January 2020–24 October 2020 Zacatecas
Mario Martín Delgado 24 October 2020–present State of Mexico

See also


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