Dear Mexican president-elect Lopez Obrador

Please remember Korean woman Hyun-jung Yang, who is unfairly detained in Santa Martha prison.


Dear Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the Mexican people,

may happiness and glory always be with you.


I hope that Mexico will become one of the top countries in the world as well as in Latin America during your six years as president, beginning on December 1.


I am sure you know better than anyone else that most of Mexican people have expressed their support for your election. The media is reporting that it is the first government change in 89 years. I pay my deepest respect to you for winning the election after three attempts.


I hope you will keep your promise of “political revolution in Mexico” as a candidate. I believe this is not a wish only I have but is also the wish of 120 million Mexicans. I say only strong will and wise judgment will help you achieve that.


Widespread corruption, the disappearance of human rights, violence and the spread of drugs…

At this state, Mexican citizens called on you who have successfully implemented reform policies, including the introduction of old age pensions, support for the poor, and infrastructure improvements during the term as a mayor of Mexico City.


Do you still remember the dream and excitement you had when entering politics in Tabasco, your hometown, at the tender age of twenty-three? Because you have won the election in third attempt at the presidency, after closely missing the presidency in 2006 and 2012, I can imagine how you and the people of Mexico feel about it.


I have looked through all the pledges you made. They were all future-oriented, specific, and feasible. Especially, they were intended to enhance the citizens’ self-esteem by promoting ‘Mexico First’ while interacting with the public.


At the same time, you targeted the national interest and the welfare of the people through practical approach. This was plainly contrasted with the ‘superficial leadership’ of neighboring countries, which have collapsed with populism policies that cannot be realized.


From the election, you have pledged to expand financial support for students and the elderly, eliminate the monopoly of Pemex, a state-run oil company, and cut the wages of politicians. In particular, I support your strong commitment to wipe out corruption and pledges lowering authority such as cutting the president’s salary by half and staying at home instead of the presidential palace.


The World Street Journal (WSJ) reported that it was the Mexican people who are sick of corruption, violent crime, and inequality that made the change of regime. Additionally, they said that the populism pledges such as a hike in minimum wage, an increase in senior pension, and free fertilizer also contributed to the election.


You mentioned that you will put policy on rooting out corruption and violence as top priority, when saying a few words on being elected. Also, you stated that you will do your best to make the citizens happy to work in. I believe that this commitment will be realized based on your integrity and dedication.


Furthermore, you consistently said throughout the campaign, “I look forward to have friendly relation with the United States, but I will not accept racist and hegemonic arrogance.”


Therefore, some press agencies call you as ‘Leftist Trump’. I hope that Mexico and the United States, which share a border, will be able to wisely resolve the issues, such as the problem of refugee, and take on the role of the watchman of peace and human rights. If it were so, the world would give a round of applause to the beautiful companion of the ‘Left Trump’ and the ‘Right Obrador’.


Among your many commitments, I noticed one regarding drug crime. You stated that you will reduce drug crime through engagement policy, such as mass amnesty, instead of military force. I say the following case can be understood in the same context.


Have you heard about Hyun-jung Yang, a Korean woman who is currently at Santa Martha’s Prison in Mexico City? She was taken to Mexico’s prosecution by force on the night of January 15, 2016. She is currently spending two and a half years there. However, the reason the prosecution arrested her was ‘forced prostitution’ and this is far from the truth. The Mexican police have not been able to prove Yang and the judiciary is also wasting time. Can you imagine an indefinite prison life in a foreign land far away from home, where you have no connection to it?


Meanwhile, unprecedented event occurs as Korean congressmen went to visit and audit Yang at Santa Martha’s prison. However, nothing has changed even after South Korea’s top diplomats met with Mexican law enforcement officials and foreign affairs officials.


If the same thing happened to Mexicans in Korea, what will you do?


Korea has a history of millions of citizens holding candles on the streets for more than half a year since October 2016. Their action was to bring down the incompetent and irresponsible president from power. After that, they chose a new president. He is President Moon, the one who successfully made inter-Korean summit and also drew US-North Korea summit.


Just like President Moon, I say there would be many challenges ahead of you. One of the challenges is dealing with the past full of corruption and injustice. I know that it is not easy to eradicate them entirely. Yet, you cannot avoid it and should not avoid it.


I dare say one of them is the case of Hyun-jung Yang, who is unfairly detained in Santa Martha prison. I hope you will correct the mistake through your keen interest and determination so that Yang will be able to go back to her beloved family.



Yours sincerely,

Lee Sang Ki, publisher of The AsiaN

Translated by So hyun Kim


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