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Mexico’s Spring of Discontent Reaches Climax » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Mexico City. It’s been a long time coming but the outcome of the Mexican presidential election next Sunday is no longer a sure thing. Say “gracias” to those students from the University Iberoamericana in Mexico City – alternatively written off by the country’s corporate media as “puppets”, “thugs” and “children” – who started a nationwide protest movement against Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and haven’t let up since.

In the space of a few short weeks, the so-called “#YoSoy132” (“I am 132”) movement has taken to the streets and altered the complexion of the race, peaking thus far with a 100,000-strong march on Mexico City’s Reforma Avenue on June 10. They’ll hit the asphalt again on June 30, the day before the big vote.

It wouldn’t mean anything if there weren’t now the genuine possibility of an upset. The only question is whether the palpable shift in public opinion translates into apathy, or support for leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Progressive Movement coalition. A stalwart of the Left and former Mexico City mayor, Lopez Obrador (usually referred to as AMLO) had been written off by the same noxious media as yesterday’s news. Yet recent polls have him within single digits or even neck-and-neck with the PRI candidate.

The #YoSoy132 movement emerged from an already-legendary student protest at the (conservative) University Iberoamericana on May 11. After spontaneously driving the visiting Peña Nieto off their campus with cries of “Coward!”, “Murderer!” and “Get out!” the students were labeled by the PRI and its media backers as “puppets”. Thus was born a movement that has thoroughly overshadowed the election race and held the country in thrall. T-Shirts, flags and Facebook avatars reading “#YoSoy132” are now part of the national iconography. Of course, all that these “puppets” and “thugs” actually want is a clean, democratic election.

With all due respect to #YoSoy132, the chances don’t look great. No way on earth do the Mexican elite and its Washington sugar-daddy allow AMLO to take power, and if he did, they would surely do everything they could to get rid of him. If the Barack Obama administration is willing to stand by while Manuel Zelaya or Fernando Lugo gets the coup d’etat treatment in Honduras or Paraguay, what would one expect in Mexico?

The overwhelming majority of the US (and “western”) media are predicting an easy victory for Peña Nieto despite numerous independent polls to the contrary, while last week The Economist charmingly described him as “the least bad” of the four candidates. Few of these outlets have even mentioned the strong possibility of fraud on July 1 – for which evidence is already gathering – the bully tactics of the PRI during campaigning or the icky relationship between the party and TV network Televisa, the Hispanic world’s largest mass-media power.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: Mexico’s Spring of Discontent Reaches Climax » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.

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