1.5 million protest vote fraud in Mexico capital
Published Jul 19, 2006 11:56 PM
Sunday, July 16, was not a
day of rest in Mexico City. On the contrary, it was a day of mass action
reflecting the determination of the Mexican people to demand a basic democratic
right: to have their votes for a president counted honestly.
Marchers fill main square in capital city.
WW photo: John Parker
million people marched and rallied in the large Zócalo square in the
city’s downtown in support of Andrés Manuel López Obrador,
candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and protested what
they call fraudulent presidential elections held on July 2.
mobilization was so large that more than 10 video screens were placed along the
wide Avenida Reforma, one of the most important of Mexico City, so that those
unable to reach the Zócalo could see the event and hear Obrador, who
announced that he would put together a citizens’ committee to define the
actions to be organized. One measure proposed by the politician was to reinforce
the citizens’ camps outside the country’s 300 electoral districts,
where the ballots are being safeguarded.
Four days after the election, the
candidate of the ruling National Action Party (PAN), Felipe Calderón, had
been declared the winner by a margin of less than 1 percent. It was a
statistical miracle. Earlier, when over 70 percent of the vote had been counted,
López Obrador had led with 36.86 percent against Calderón’s
However, miraculously for Calderón, the 70 percent
already counted somehow did not represent an established statistical trend.
Another trend then began. What makes this new trend even odder is the fact that
each percentage increase of votes for Calderón mirrored a percentage
decrease in votes for López Obrador, making this a unique and impossible
A representative of the PRD explained, “The vote
was recalculated by the whole federal government—a technically assis ted
state election. That means the executive branch took control of the democratic
process using all the resources, all the power, all the relationships and all
the fear they inject to the people. They said that if they don’t continue
[to head] the government, everything will be lost for the people. You’ll
lose everything if you vote for López Obrador.”
to the electoral abnormalities, many López Obrador supporters also point
to the amount of foreign corporate aid, particularly from the U.S., that
Calderón received—which is a violation of Mexican law regarding
election financing. Some of that aid came through support by multi-national
corporations established with the pro-business, pro-rich
“About 80 percent of the media was for
Calderón,” said the PRD spokesperson.
An active campaign of
mudslinging found fertile ground with some of these media outlets. To highlight
this, some march participants carried mock televisions with a devil coming out
of them. Flyers were also prevalent at the march announcing a recently begun
international boycott. The boycott targets corporate sponsors of the television
networks most biased against López Obrador. Brands included in the
boycott are Dell, Coca-Cola, Nescafé and Colgate.
The struggle to
keep the Mexican people from being disenfranchised has received support in the
U.S. A delegation that included members of the March 25th Coalition, including
the International Action Center, traveled here for the march and rally.
a press conference on July 18, delegation member Javier Rodríguez, one of
the initiators of the May 1st boycott in Los Angeles that brought out 1 million
“I’m here because this is my country. I was born
here and, although as a child I emigrated to the U.S., I was old enough to have
formed my nationality. It is also a principle of international solidarity to
give support to people fighting injustice. ...
“When we have a
candidate, a Mexican leader, who speaks for justice for the majority and for the
poor and whose landmark theme is ‘The poor will be first,’ the
Mexican bourgeoisie, the ruling class in alliance with international capital,
will not want to give up their privileges and the continued savage exploitation
of the Mexican people, whose numbers living in poverty have reached an estimated
In this regard, the movement for justice in Mexico, in
anticipation of further attacks by the ruling class, is forming a national
committee to resist if the votes are not recounted on a vote-for-vote basis. The
committee is being coordinated by the PRD. The marches and rallies will also
With an understanding that the mobilization of working and poor
people is primary in this democratic struggle, López Obrador at
Sunday’s event announced another rally and march for July 30.
Federal Electoral Tribunal, the highest electoral court in Mexico, has until
September 6 to announce how it intends to respond to the fraud.
corporate media has expressed the alarm the U.S. ruling class feels over
López Obrador’s growing movement. “There are growing fears
among conservative commentators that López Obrador’s mass rallies
and claims of voter fraud will lead to violence,” wrote the Washington
Post July 17.
The reality, however, is that the Mexican masses have
carried out many forms of protest over the decades. Fewer and fewer alternatives
to struggle remain in a country where imperialism does not even allow the basic
democratic right to a fair election.
It remains to be seen how far this
current phase in the struggle for change in Mexico will go. Should the electoral
court rule in September or even earlier that Calderón won the election,
will the movement subside or continue? Will a general strike be called shutting
the country down? This would take the call for “a day without a
Mexican” to a new level.
The countless U.S. corporations that
operate and dominate in Mexico today would be dealt a tremendous blow if that
The Washington Post also wrote that, “Juana Jiménez
Torre, 63, who said she walked more than 80 miles over six days to attend the
rally, thrust her arms in the air as López Obrador spoke. The mother of
11 said she makes less than $4 a day in the bean fields outside her hometown of
San Pablo Citaltepec, southeast of Mexico City. “We can’t take
this,” she said before the rally began. “We have to
Teresa Gutierrez, national co-director of the International
Action Center told Workers World that the IAC “will launch a major
campaign to demand that the people’s will be respected in Mexico and that
the U.S. should get out of Mexico.” She invited readers to visit
www.iacenter.org for more information.
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