Snapshots

The Big Sham in Mexico » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Mexico could be forgiven for partying like it’s 2006. Following the election on Sunday, where Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Enrique Peña Nieto appeared to win the presidency by a 6.5% margin over leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), the result is being hotly contested. Just as in 2006, when he lost by a mere 0.56% to Felipe “drug warrior” Calderon, AMLO demanded a full recount based on evidence of irregularities in no fewer than – wait for it – 113,855 voting booths around the country.

The authority trusted (or not) with clearing up this mess is Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), which on Tuesday granted a partial recount of ballots from 78,000 voting booths, or casillas (54.5% of the total vote). Compare that to the just 3,000 ballots recounted in 2006 when the result was even tighter. The concession was surely an attempt to dampen the mobilization of AMLO’s considerable (and angry) support base that rocked the nation’s streets six years ago – not to mention the rolling thunder of the #YoSoy132 student movement.

It’s the same circumstances, different opponent. In 2006 AMLO was up against right-winger Felipe Calderon of the National Action Party (PAN) who subsequently went on to start a “Drug War” (of sorts) that has killed ten of thousands of Mexicans in five years. This time, AMLO’s nemesis is Peña Nieto – the slickly-marketed, intellectually-vacuous candidate of the country’s old ruling party and former dictatorship, the PRI.

The result of the recount became clear last night with 95% of the votes counted and no surprise that the song remains the same. Peña Nieto took 38.33% of the vote over AMLO’s 31.43%. The initial result from Monday – which had world leaders popping the champagne corks on Peña’s behalf – was 37.97% versus 31.78%.

Oh, to be in IFE’s shoes, a supposedly autonomous institution, variously viewed by a large section of the population as spineless, elitist, or bent. 71% of Mexicans anticipated some kind of fraud in Sunday’s election. IFE boasted it would carry out “the most transparent election in Mexican history”, but the suspicion grows that the institution effectively exists to ensure that either PRI or PAN – both big business parties – maintain power.

Neither AMLO nor #YoSoy132 is asking for the world. Both have declared they will respect the result if it can be proved that the election was mostly clean and transparent; however, neither IFE nor the PRI has proven any such thing.

Grand Theft Mexico

Let’s look at the evidence. It starts with plain coercion. Not only did the bias from Mexico’s corporate media in favor of Peña Nieto border on the ridiculous, most notably from TV colossus Televisa – owned by one of the country’s richest men – but vote-buying was rampant. Among numerous scandals, the largest surrounds supermarket chain Soriana – owned by another of the country’s richest men – through which the PRI distributed pre-paid gift cards to would-be voters.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: The Big Sham in Mexico » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.

About mexika.org (943 Articles)
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