Snapshots

Mexico’s Summer of Resistance » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

The #YoSoy132 pro-democracy movement that emerged in the weeks leading up to the Mexican election can already boast a handful of victories – having three of the four candidates appear in a third TV debate hosted by students; persuading thousands of Mexicans to register as electoral observers; drawing hundreds of thousands onto the streets to protest what it called the “imposition” of Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate – now virtual president-elect – Enrique Peña Nieto.

But the question was always: if Peña “wins”, where does the movement go next?

The huge marches in Mexico City on July 7 and 14, which attracted tens of thousands of sympathizers, were not “official” #YoSoy132 protests. The (democratically-elected) student leadership was elsewhere, meeting with regional assemblies and hundreds of other groups to discuss how to move the pro-democracy struggle forward.

At the Sixth Intervarsity Assembly on July 15, a string of public protests were announced for the period leading up to Peña Nieto’s would-be inauguration on December 1. However, not all participants agreed on the direction or nature of the protests, some of which were felt to run against #YoSoy132’s “pacifist” manifesto.

Second-placed leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) – who “officially” lost by a 6.5% margin, or some 3.4 million votes – has focused his efforts on an appeal to the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary (TEPJF) and has yet to call for the mobilization of his support base as he did in 2006. This is at least partly due to pressures from within his Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), which wants to re-boot itself ahead of 2018.

On Friday, AMLO announced a National Plan for the Defense of Democracy & Dignity, which will see his Progressive Movement coalition travel the country to educate citizens on the ins-and-outs of what the PRD calls “the dirtiest election in Mexican history”. AMLO points to as many as five million “bought” votes as well as countless other electoral abuses and irregularities.

“They’re defaming us!” cries the PRI in the face of the stockpile of evidence of dirty tricks; as if a party that ruled Mexico for 71 years, rigging virtually every election along the way and governing with an iron hand should expect anything less.

While AMLO has applauded the #YoSoy132 movement, the pro-democracy protests have been largely non-partisan, focusing on demands for a thorough investigation of the election process as well as the democratization of Mexico’s highly-complicit mainstream media, owned by a handful of oligarchs bent on preserving the status quo.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: Mexico’s Summer of Resistance » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.

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