Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was born on 13 November 1953 to a family of modest means in the southeastern state of Tabasco. Lopez Obrador worked for the state’s indigenous affairs bureau in the 1970s. As a boy in the state of Tabasco, he played center field on the local baseball team and sold imported U.S. clothes at his father’s store. It was the 1960s, and some of his friends thought López Obrador might join Mexico’s burgeoning business community.
In his early 20s, López Obrador took a job working with an indigenous group called the Chontal Maya, some of Mexico’s poorest people, who happened to be sitting atop billions of dollars in untapped petroleum. The unfairness enraged him. He lived in a dirt-floor shack and slept on a hammock with his young wife. He cultivated a group of activists, poets and disaffected oilmen, meeting late in the night.