Brow Beat

John Oliver Digs Into Mexican Politics on Last Week Tonight

On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver gave a rundown on the latest in Mexican politics. As the campaigns continue toward the biggest election in the country’s history, Oliver reminded viewers that Mexico is more than a “tourist destination” for “American spring break douchebags,” complete with a clip of poorly disguised college bros raving about Mexico’s cocaine scene.

Party tourism aside, Mexico is the United States’ third largest trade partner and the historic elections should be of some interest to Americans. Current President Enrique Peña Nieto’s lengthy track record, from approval ratings as low as 12 percent to a complete lack of accountability in the disappearance of 43 students, has pushed voters to demand large-scale change in their government. Nieto’s presidency also saw the advent of Corrupt Tours, which naturally became another Oliver clip.

As Oliver discussed the candidates vying to replace Nieto, he focused on traits that offered some comic relief from the still-lingering shadow of America’s 2016 presidential elections. Jaime Rodriguez, also known as El Bronco, declared on live TV that he would propose a bill to cut off the hand of anyone who steals. Oliver also delighted in the fact that El Bronco despises Santa Claus. Another candidate, Ricardo Anaya, played the recorder in a video that unleashed a “tsunami of memes” across the Internet. The clear leader of the presidential race, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO, is popular for his stern stance on organized crime and promises to eradicate corruption and aid the poor. But AMLO also falls victim to Oliver’s comedic criticism, as he points out that the three-time presidential candidate once hosted his own ”alternative inauguration ceremony” in which he was declared the “real” president of Mexico.

Towards the end of the segment, Oliver takes a step back to acknowledge the journalists and politicians putting their lives on the line to solve the many problems entrenching the Mexican government.

“It’s gonna take brave, bold work to give that country the change that it needs,” he said. “Santa Claus is not coming to save Mexico.”