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By Javier Rodriguez from Los Angeles May 30, 2012
On July 1st 2012 Mexico’s 80 million voters will go to the polls to elect the next president which will lead the country for another term of six years. If you recall, the 2006 election of conservative Felipe Calderon was riddled with charges of electoral fraud and in response, the popular left candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and millions of angry Mexicans marched in protest and camped out by the thousands in the capital for weeks. However, Mexico’s ruling elite, the old political and corrupt guard personified by former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari of the PRI and the outgoing Vicente Fox of the PAN, along with the media monopoly coalesced behind the fraud and at the end of a two month process it was the Supreme Court and the brutal force of the army which allowed Calderon to sit on the presidential throne.
Immediately the country was pushed into an unpopular and poorly planned war which has left close to sixty thousand dead, many more disappeared and hundreds of thousands have been displaced internally or have migrated to the north into the US. Incredibly, governed by the party that promised change, the country now lives in a collective state of fear and poverty has reached astronomical levels with 15 million more people joining the ranks of the poor under Calderon’s watch.
We knew then and we are certain now that there was a rigged election, that the computer system used to count the national vote was programmed to ensure that the left progressive candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador would not win. We know now that in charge of that computer system was Hildebrando Zavala, Calderon’s brother in law, who was paid 11 million dollars to develop and supervise the count.
Today the election is 30 days away and the ruling conservative National Action Party is totally discredited without any possibility of reelection. But once again the astute ruling elites and the media have lined up behind the candidate that will guarantee the continuity of their wealth and privileges and he is Enrique Pena Nieto of the PRI. With the media barons in charge of carrying the massive publicity, the principal pillar of the PRI campaign strategy has been an avalanche of polls that for over a year have placed Pena Nieto in front in double digits to psychologically convince the electorate of the invincibility of the “young soap opera looking” candidate.
However Lopez Obrador and the Progressive Alliance with five years of continuous grass roots work and visiting the 2300 plus municipalities in every corner of Mexico, some up to ten times, have methodically gained ground and independent polling firms have placed him ahead or close to the PRI candidate. In fact all the polls done in the last two months in the social networks and among the youth, which make up 29.7 million voters, have Lopez Obrador winning by a landslide.
Then the “May 11 Black Friday” arrived and with it the social explosion that has mobilized the country’s student sector from most of the major universities into a movement organized as “Los #132” and they have gone viral on the social networks and have hit the streets against the PRI and Pena Nieto. And more, charging that the public campaign information is also skewed, they have also targeted the TV giants Televisa and Azteca America with major demonstrations up and down the country. On the latter, the main slogans used in banners or on cyberspace have been, “Televisa idiotiza and Azteca America apendeja” which roughly mean they “idiotize and fool the people.”
The spectacular rise of the present Mexican student rebellion was born 19 days ago at the prestigious Jesuit Universidad Iberoamericana of Mexico City, precisely when the PRI candidate was making a presentation to the school’s student body. According to reported student testimonies, the issues that angered the students and sparked the mobilization against Pena Nieto was, 1) the arrival of unknown students that entered the school’s auditórium carrying Pena Nieto propaganda and occupied the front row seats 2) the candidate’s security agents stood in the building entrance to take away all placards or signs of opposition from the youth 3) the presence of an individual in a black suit offering $250 pesos to neutralize any critical questions against the candidate, 4) The intimidating photos taken of anyone chanting or carrying a sign 5) The presence of a PRI leader that brazenly coordinated all the Peña Nieto followers to neutralize the protests.
But it was the moment of his speech in which as the former governor of the State of Mexico, he accepted responsibility for the violation of human rights in the deaths, over two hundred arrests, beatings and the rape of 40 women by police in the town of Atenco, years ago, that finally tipped the water and the cries of “fuera Pena Nieto, la Ibero no te quiere-out” were heard and did not stop until the nervous and confused candidate and his security hurriedly exited the school. With no shame whatsoever, the controlled media publicized the event as “a successful accepted speech” then accused the students of being a minority and tied to Lopez Obrador.
In essence what unraveled on that day was the fact that the PRI is still the old corrupt and authoritarian machine that buys votes, herds supporters, manipulates public opinion and buys the media. The PRI that had gained ground suddenly ran into an intolerant critical mass of people who will not stand for lies.
According to some reports the rising and independent student movement has already derailed Pena Nieto’s campaign of “the invincible candidate” and since, parts of this movement maybe leaning towards Obrador. As proof, there is the very recent student election held after the mentioned “Black Friday” at the National Autonomous University of Mexico that astonishingly gave Lopez Obrador 85% of 20,000 votes cast. Plus, the students convened a huge rally of tens of thousands of youth at the symbolic Plaza de las Tres Culturas at Tlatelolco addressed by the candidate of the left.
For the Mexico’s 60 plus million poor, the working class, the diminishing middle class, students and youth, the seniors, the small farmers and the peasants, the small businesses and a growing part of the large corporations, AMLO is their hope to end the endemic corruption and save the country from the continuous social and economic disaster.
It is in this context that I am suggesting that a Los Angeles or California wide delegation of observers be organized to visit and be present in Mexico City as observers between June 26 to July 3 and develop a written report and the media events necessary to inform the people of our state.
If you are interested in participating in this delegation to Mexico to observe the Presidential Elections on July 1, 2012, please respond as soon as possible To be clear this is not a neutral delegation but one with the clear objective of looking for any signs of another electoral fraud as the one in 2006 which stole the elections and forced Calderon and the conservative PAN into power, ZAZ, Javier Rodriguez firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-909-3410.
I have also hundreds of copies of the Luis Mandoki Video Documentary Fraude 2006, donated by Maya Cinema which outlines the past electoral, how it was implemented along with a dirty campaign against Lopez Obrador and who were the individuals and forces behind it. The video is available for organizations and individuals for bulk purchase.
Javier Rodriguez is a long time activist in LA’s social movement, particularly Latino politics, has been active in the field of immigrant rights since 1971, with 22 years as a rank and filer in labor, an activist against the war in Viet Nam, was the initiator of Latinos Against the War in Iraq, is also an independent journalist, a media and political strategist, and today is presently with the Dec 12 Coalition and Occupy LA. He recently traveled throughout Mexico for several months that included being part of a nine person truck convoy, that delivered 10 tons of humanitarian aid to three Tarahumara communities in the PRD Municipal District of Cachiric, Chihuahua.