Keeping It Interesting (and Keeping the Peace)

A wise editor cautioned me long ago against writing "inside baseball" political stories. She jumbled the cliche, but made her point: Only junkies have any appetite for inside baseball developments. Mexico's presidential election is certainly starting to slip into inside baseball status.


Without a good weekend rally in the Zocalo and nary a peep out of the seven judges on the election tribunal, Mexico's political class has been left to chew over court filings, historical analogies and other details that surely are important, but a tad dry for Campaign Conexión's taste.

The St. Petersburg Times' talented correspondent, David Adams, does his best to dissect the legal back and forth, sizing up a string of complaints filed by left-leaning Andres Manuel López Obrador and the counter arguments by conservative Felipe Calderón, who presently holds a 240,000-vote margin.

"These complaints are laid out in the Democratic Revolution Party's 800-page official complaint to the electoral tribunal that must rule on the results. The document has been ridiculed in the press for its paranoid whining about lack of fairness, and its failure to cite evidence of fraud. Instead, it alleges a sinister plot by Mexico's political and business elites to thwart López Obrador. It goes as far as citing local businesses, such as Starbucks, Burger King and Domino's Pizza --as well as a TV soap opera - for allegedly influencing voters."

Well that all sounds pretty silly, but Adams does signal the import of López Obrador's legal challenge.

"If the political system is unable to handle the crisis, some fear it could perilously undermine Mexico's democratic institutions, which have long been plagued by vote-rigging and fraud. On the other hand, if the country survives without major turmoil, democracy could emerge strengthened," he writes. "'Mexico is at a crossroads,' said Bruce Bagley, a Latin America expert at the University of Miami. 'There's a tremendous amount at stake here.'"

The latest: López Obrador's team said Monday it has found irregularities and math errors at 72,000 of 130,000 polling places. One of his top strategists, Manuel Camacho Solis says if the election tribunal permits a recount, López Obrador will not seek an annulment of the election.

Leaders of Calderón's National Action Party, or PAN, responded that a recount is politically unnecessary and not legally viable.

Though much of this is sounding a lot like a rerun, the guy who threw this game into overtime is doing his best to keep it interesting.

AMLO, as his fans call him, granted a rare interview to The New York Times, fanning speculation that he just might incite some type of violence if things don't go his way.

He made it clear he would not accept any ruling from the special electoral court short of an order to recount all 41 million ballots. How far he would take acts of civil disobedience to protest the results would be guided by 'the feelings of the people,' he said. Without a recount, he said, the peace of the country is in jeopardy, a threat his opponents have said amounts to blackmail.
"One can interpret it however one likes," he said in the interview, at his campaign headquarters here. "It's very simple," he added. "If we permit electoral fraud, we are accepting that they violate our human rights, and we are not ready to accept that those who voted be insulted. We are going to defend the vote. We are going to defend the democracy."

Yet even the Times, in its mini scoop, acknowledges the "inside baseball" dilemma facing the former Mexico City mayor.

One problem now for Mr. López Obrador is how to maintain his movement's momentum for what could be weeks before a decision from the tribunal without spurring his supporters to violence. So far, he has managed to cry fraud while still keeping his protests peaceful. But as the weeks wear on and the court does its work, that balance may become harder to maintain.

Time Magazine lays out the three possible scenarios: the Gang of Seven can ratify the results (which is what they've done in the past), order a recount or "nullify the election, which would require Congress to appoint an interim president and schedule new elections within 18 months. That, too, would restrict governance, and simply usher in another long season of campaigning."

That blasphemy got the López Obrador folks spinning frantically. Surprise, surprise -- AMLO's people are against any talk of an "interim" president during the crisis and are continuing to press for outright annulment to erase the "shadow of doubt" they say now exists.

Meanwhile, there appears to be some dissension--or indecision?--in the Calderón camp. The Dallas Morning News reports of his announcement to launch a campaign "called 'Paint Mexico White,' the color he says represents peace and respect. Calderón is urging supporters to wear white ribbons, bandannas, clothing or wristbands."

He also continues to press an olive branch in the direction of López Obrador supporters, recently mimicking AMLO's campaign platform for massive infrastructure investment to reduce poverty.

Yet the Financial Times describes some Calderón maneuvers as "provocative." "Refusing to wait for the tribunal's official decision, he smugly announced he would start a national tour to thank the people for his support. He did so standing in front of a backdrop saying 'President 2006 - 2012'. Admittedly, he has now decided to postpone the tour. But for many Mexicans it came too late to avoid insult."

Let's Hear it for the Poll Workers

A few prominent voices are finally coming to the defense of the much-maligned volunteer cadre of ballot counters and vote overseers. Election commission chief Luis Carlos Ugalde, in an interview with Reforma, took pains to praise the thousands of poll workers who rose early on July 2 to do their part for democracy. The rest of the piece, it should be noted, is Ugalde defending Ugalde. He also complains that efforts to "contaminate" the judicial process are damaging the commission.

In a similar vein, columnist Sergio Sarmiento sticks to supporting a recount in part as recognition of the hard work of the poll workers. Apparently, Sarmiento has been receiving some cranky e-mail since throwing his support behind a recount, but he's not backing down. In the column, he lays out his legal analysis for why a recount is permitted under Mexico's constitution.

And even though it isn't Lent, Advent or any other particularly busy season in the church calendar, Mexico's Catholic leaders have also been cranking out the copy. Church officials have issued another plea for peaceful dialogue and are even offering to mediate the political battle. (I went to Catholic school so I can say this -- Vaya con Dios!)

Not everyone's in a tizzy about the situation south of the border. American-transplant and pollster Dan Lund sees democracy blossoming in Mexico, election mess and all.

"For now, surprise and improvisation are the order of the day. All this, however, does not bode ill for the process, and impatience is probably the least useful virtue," he writes in the Mexico edition of the Miami Herald. "Mexico is nearing the end of its first decade of truly competitive elections with relatively efficient and transparent procedures, and even these first 10 years have been bumpy."

It's a bit dated, but a recent analysis by American University professor Robert Pastor is worth revisiting (or visiting if you missed it during the 4th of July holidays). In the op-ed piece, Pastor, an official election observer, praises Mexico's fledgling democratic processes, and pokes a stick in the eye of the home team.

"The United States and the world could learn much from Mexico about how to conduct and judge a free and fair election," he writes. "This might come as a shock. After all, the election looked messy from the outside.

However, "in the last decade, it has constructed some of the most sophisticated electoral institutions and procedures in the democratic world. I compared the electoral systems of North America, and the good news is that the U.S. came in third. The bad news is that there are only three countries in North America.

"Mexico has traveled a great distance toward democracy, but some politicians still think the election should be decided in favor of whoever can bring the most supporters into the streets or that it should be determined by a closed-door political bargain. The question now is whether Mexico will follow its old habits or its new electoral institutions.

"Meanwhile, in the United States, the question is whether we will remain satisfied with our partisan, unprofessional system, driven by private contributions and that does not even permit observers, or whether we are prepared to learn from our neighbor."

Ouch.

By washingtonpost.com |  July 25, 2006; 1:30 PM ET  | Category:  Campaign Conexión
Previous: From The Post: Democracy Tested | Next: Antojitos: Mexico's Moore?

Blogs That Reference This Entry

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/cgi-bin/mt/mtb.cgi/8979

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM IS FOX(SONS OF MARTHA BRIBIESCAS)HILDEBRANDO BROTHER IN LAW OF CALDERON AND THE SPECTRUM OF RADO AND TELEVISION(TELEVISA LAW).
ALL REPRESENT MILLION DOLLARS AND POWER.
THE DEMOCRACY IS THE SECOND THEME.
ITS SIMPLE.
THANKS

Posted by: carlos padilla | July 25, 2006 04:20 PM

Basically, there was a whole nation-wide conspiracy plot agaisnt AMLO. President Fox was the first to attack, then the powerful Media came along and then Burger King, Mcdonarlds, Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola (see how pepsi is blue, that proves they are with PAN, Coca Cola has never used the yellow color which also proves they were agaisnt the PRD) and finally there were more than 26 million of malignant Mexican voters, many of them in the cynical middle and high classes who were corrupted and bought by PAN to either vote for PAN or PRI, in reality the PRI only served as a distraction in this terrible plot.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 25, 2006 04:47 PM

emptyboxes,

That last argument sounded almost clever. Did you come up with it by yourself?

Every day I log on to this blog at every single hour you appear ranting about the inherent dangers behind every single action undertaken by any left-leaning individual.

Don't you have a job to do elsewhere?
(Is supervising this blog your job?)

Posted by: fco. | July 25, 2006 06:08 PM

Hey, fco-- What's your problem? If emptyboxes is feeling a bit anxious about the situation in Mexico, this blog provides a safe place to let off steam and perhaps engage in some intelligent discussion. I am quite concerned about the post-electoral mess as well and it is fun to drop by here now and then to see what people are saying.

I was hoping to find some intelligent defense of AMLO and the PRD. It can be intellectually stimulating to have a good argument over ideas, but very few intelligent lefties have shown up here. Given what AMLO has been doing and saying I am not surprised that many of them would not want to be here trying to defend him.

Perhaps, instead of attacking emptyboxes, you would like to give it a go and tell us where we Calderon supporters got it wrong.

Posted by: Goyo | July 25, 2006 07:27 PM

Where did Calderon supporters get it wrong, Goyo? They are rich fascists, all 15 million of them. Until reading this debate, I did not even know we had 15 million rich people in Mexico, maybe the economy is not doing as badly as we thought.

Interesting debate is to be found in the first comment, by Padilla. I personally did not notice any great bias by the electronic media toward PAN, if anything they overstated the support for the PRI. However, assuming for argument's sake that there was bias, A.) the ley telerisa was passed with PRD votes, so complaining about that does not make sense, and B.) the entire union regime was almost uniformly anti-PAN; this antagonism more than compensated for any advantage Calderon got from media bias. As to Fox's in laws, they are probably crooks. Since Fox is not running for anything anymore, that doesn't seem to be anymore of a problem than, say, Bejerano or Ahumada.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 25, 2006 07:50 PM

Empty boxes, empty arguments. Jerry and Goyo, the usual suspects with nothing new for the audience. It has definitely become "inside baseball" with a tired team with the same old playbook. How about anyone of you three becoming more open minded and perhaps taking AMLO's side for a change?

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 25, 2006 08:24 PM

Marco, we would, if we could figure out what his side IS. What kind of fraud was there? Cyber, Source Code or "a la antigua". Were the videos real or false? Does he want the election annulled or not? Are his poll workers honest or corrupt?

Is Fox a "traitor" or the democratically elected president all Mexicans?

What is AMLO's side? I would love to take it... Aparrently even the TEPJF is having trouble figuring out what side AMLO's 800 page complaint takes.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 25, 2006 09:06 PM

Jerry wrote:
"this antagonism more than compensated for any advantage Calderon got from media bias"

Anybody who followed the media coverage will tell you that most of the media establishment was pro-AMLO.
Televisa was definitely pro AMLO until the very day they realized Calderon had won. This is so simple to check at the Televisa www.esmas.com where they have an online TV section and you can find all the interviews of all candidates there in all Televisa programs, with Lopez Doriga, Loret de Mola, Adela Micha, Denise Maerker, and Victor Trujillo. And you will be surprised to see how AMLO was interviewed there twice as much as Felipe Calderon. Actually, on the very Thursday when IFE announced the results of the counting and almost declared Felipe Calderon winner, Felipe was at Lopez Doriga's program and one of the first things he did was to complain to Doriga that AMLO had been many more times at his program that himself, which embarrassed Lopez Doriga who was quick to point out that this was so because AMLO had been Mexico City's Head of Government but he perfectly knew what Calderon was talking about.
I checked the dates and it was true, during the campaign, AMLO was at Doriga's many more times than Felipe Calderon.

I believe the fact is that both TV Azteca and Televisa were betting on AMLO as he had been the clear favorite for such a long time. Another factor that weighed much in their willingness to favor AMLO was the fact that AMLO was so popular in all DF and surrounding areas, and whoever works or lives there gets the impression this is them same all over the country and could not fathom someone else becoming the next president.
And today, even though Televisa and TV Azteca have changed this. Many other networks who get publicity contracts and other benefits from PRD governments are still campaigning for AMLO. And many other journalists continue doing so. Last week Denise Maerker dedicated 38 minutes to Monreal and right after she only gave 8 minutes to Vazquez Mota to reply to Monreal's accusations.
Denise Maerker has had a permanent campaign pro AMLO, she tries to disguise it by trying to present both sides of the story, but the quality of the questions she asks differs much.
I remember one day, at the height of the Hildebrando scandal, in her afternoon program in Radio Formula network, Claudia Shaunbam was showing all kinds of alleged evidences of corruption about Hildebrando and their alleged contracts received from Felipe Calderon when he was Energy Secretary, and then the incredible, Denise Maerker, in a very hypocrite and unfair way, called Felipe Calderon to get a reply, instead of announcing the motives of her call, apparently She or her staff introduced her as Denise Maerker trying to interview Mr. Calderon, to which he agree only to find out that what Denise wanted was to confront Claudia with Felipe, needless to say as soon as Felipe learned the motives of the interview he hanged up. This technique of trying to downgrade a presidential candidate by having him debate with a low level campaign officer of his political adversaries was put into practice not only by Denise but also by several other pro AMLO journalists, like Carmen Aristegui, who tried to do exactly the same with Mr. Calderon. But they would never have done such a dirty trick to Mr. Obrador. And there were many other examples of biased jounalism, Victor Trujillo ran a complete hour of debate every monday morning where the analists were Julio from la jornada and Raymundo Riva Palacios, sometimes Denise Dresser, sometimes Sergio Aguayo, all these people very well known leftist intellectuals. The one thing that characterized this particular "debate" was that is was all about criticizing Felipe Calderon or President Fox and summarizing AMLO's virtues and great personality. Denise Dresser herself made a cult to AMLO's personality in each of her AMLO apologetically and defensive articles in Reforma.
Then every Wednesday Victor Trujillo will have an interview with Lorenzo Meyer, another leftist intellectual, that would last for another 30 minutes at the very least.

The only ones that noticed being pro Calderon were Pedro Ferriz de Con and Oscar Mario Beteta, there are a few others I do not know and that are in the Radio Formula network, perhaps Jose Cardenas would sometimes show himself being more critical of AMLO. I am sure there are many others who were Pro Calderon. But the national media was clearly more in favor of AMLO.

by the way, I like to thank Goyo for coming out in defense of my right to post my thoughts here. I and should also say that he is very right when he says this is a place to let off steam and engage in intelligent discussion. I must say I enjoy the arguments from all individuals, Jerry, Pasilla, Goyo, Maya, K. Vronna and fco. All comments are welcome. Thank you all!

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 25, 2006 09:37 PM

There is an interesting interview at Carmen Aristegui with AMLO.
You can see for yourselves what a lame and leftist biased journalist she is. She actually becomes an interview facilitator with AMLO.
That what I am talking about.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 25, 2006 11:18 PM

No hay de que, emptyboxes!

You gave a very thorough rundown of the television news programs and their obvious slant towards Lopez Obrador. I had the same impression, although I had not watched as much as you, nor did I keep close tabs as you did. Still, when I first heard the left complaining about bias against them from the televison programs I was bewildered. I had seen Andres Manuel with Adela Micha and she practically fawned over him.

This attack on the media is the same tactic that has been used in other countries where the radical left needs to find scapegoats. I won't bring up Venezuela or I might be accused of a campaign of lies and inuendo against San Andres de Tabasco.

As for Marco's plea-- why would we take AMLO's side-- even if we could figure out where it is? We have our point of view and if you have one why not state it? Maybe there is something we are missing here, if so, tell us what it is.

You can start by addressing what AMLO said to the New York Times-- cited here by our host, Ceci Connolly, whom we should thank again. He implies there will be social unrest if there is no recount. This seems to mean that if the tribunal established by law to ajudicate these disputes looks at the weak evidence his team provided and decides it is not necessary to have a full recount, all infierno will break loose.

Already, in Mexico City, we are seeing signs of hostility against anyone who looks "fresa" or who might be perceived as a person who voted for Calderon. I know of people who falsely claim they voted for AMLO just to avoid trouble and get through the day and they are not rich people, they are lower middle class, working people and small business owners.

Mexico's best hope lies in policies that aim to expand the middle class. If AMLO gets his way the small, but growing middle class will be crushed and what they have earned will be distributed to the poor, with some gratuities falling into various pockets along the way. Why else are all those old PRI gangsters hanging around AMLO?

Posted by: Goyo | July 25, 2006 11:37 PM

One of the errors AMLO committed so often was to blame President Fox for all the wrongs and problems in the country, and to paint the country as social disaster in need of prompt rescue, it was the same error commited by Demetrio Sodi in his DF Campaign where he painted the DF like a complete disaster zone.
Many PRD people are still fixed on those false concepts.
While it is of course true there are many poor people in our country, it is also worthy to point out that progress has been made in many areas, our economy has not grow but inflation has been kept at a historical low, same for interest rates, our currency has remained strong through these years, our financial markets are stable and our federal reserves are at historical heights, protecting us from a run or speculation on our currency.
These factors cannot be taken slightly, low inflation and interest rates allow for longer and softer credit terms, which trickle down in greater access by low income households. A strong currency, while maintaining our imports high, have also guaranteed our people's saving and fostered their purchasing power. Stronger stock markets guarantee a fresh resource of money into ever expanding enterprises that find venture capitalists, domestic and foreign, willing to invest in new ideas and technologies.
I have seen blue collar workers purchasing new cars with less than 5 thousand as money down and as low as 900 pesos monthly payments. You can buy a Chevy, or Peugot under these conditions. These was unseen in the Mexican economy.
Some socialist philosophers argue that these are all materialistic goods that contribute nothing to the well-being of the families of these blue collar workers, but I doubt these same philosopher will ever attempt to take their mothers to the supermarket in a bicycle. We prefer to take her in a car if we have the possibility to do so.
The truth is, although our economy has lacked growth, we have had stability, and this stability allows us to plan ahead and invest in our future. We can project, forecast, plan and be confident of our future.
I believe we are all in for a happy ending, Felipe Calderon will be declared elected president, with 207 congressman, plus 8 from Nueva Alianza, plus the PRI and Verde, he will reach a mayority capable of consitutional reforms, Fiscal Reforms, Labor Flexibility Reforms, Markets, Etc. and our economy is bound to grow and to provide better opportunities for all Mexicans. Why should fail to all these?

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 26, 2006 12:05 AM

Check out what a new participant, 'Publius' presents for a recount and a questioning of the election with a well structured post, at the newer blog "More Surprises in Store?", aquí mismo. I guess my plea for a more respectful AMLO viewpoint was answered. Now, if pasilla & maya0 will take the hint and copy Publius, as well as emptyboxes & to a lesser extent, Jerry & Goyo, we'll have a real debate and not a microcosm repeat of the gringo-style miércoles-slinging campaign.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 26, 2006 12:20 AM

Empty boxes makes a good point. Someone in the previous thread was claiming that low interest rates, for example on cars, do "no good for the poor worker". That is garbage. Historically low interest rates have converted a whole new segment of the Mexican population into home owners, including people down to salaries as low as 5 minimum wages (which is really 2 and a half, if both husband and wife work). These people never had a prayer of legally owning a home during the inflationary PRI years. (And they have converted the areas in the outskirts of Tijuana into a beehive of new housing developments, which, unlike "colonias populares" come complete with public services and title to the property. They do not, however, come with a "lider" or "cacique" of the PRI or PRD, which may be why the perredistas do not like them.) The houses these upwardly mobile working class people are buying are by no means mansions, but they are THEIRS. And it beats a paper shack.

For this we can thank a monetary policy that has stabilized the exchange rate, brought inflation down last year to a rate lower than in the United States, and the lowest long term interest rates in my lifetime.

Why am I pointing all this out? Because, I cannot for the life of me figure out how AMLO is going to pay for all of his social programs. Cutting burocrats pay? Get real. What will the unions say? Either petroleum goes to $100 a barrel and stays there for his whole six years, or he will have to print the money. And the minute he turns on the printing presses, kiss all the macroeconomic stability, and dreams of home ownership, goodbye. Of course, the workers will always be able to, under the guidance of a PRD "lider", parachute in and squat somewhere.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 26, 2006 12:28 AM

The PRD claims, for those who are willing to listen objectively:

((1)) The IFE failed to name a likely winner on the night of the election, even though it's calculations had Felipe Calderón (FC) ahead of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) by 1% of the vote, a respectable 400,000 vote figure, given that the PREP count system was established with the presumption of a margin of error of 0.03 percent.
((2)) On July 3rd, the IFE admitted that this difference had narrowed to 0.6%, because of the inclusion of results from a large number of voting stations left out of the original PREP count. This occurred only after AMLO had objected that such voting stations still not being counted.
((3)) There were 283,448 less votes reported as cast for President (from any party) than reported for senatorial positions. In many 'adjacent' voting stations ("contiguas" in the IFE's parlance), there no votes were reported as cast for President at all.
((4)) In states where AMLO was leading, the difference between votes reported for senatorial positions and for President was the largest (in favour of senatorial ballots) and this discrepancy harmed AMLO. In states where Felipe Calderon was leading, the difference between reported votes for senatorial positions and those for president were the largest (in favour of Presidential votes) and this favouredof Felipe Calderon. The extremes were in Tabasco (96,450 votes less for President) and Nuevo León (41,290 votes more for President). In the six states where AMLO led, votes for president were less than those for senator by 313,882. In states where Felipe Calderon led, ballots for President outnumbered those for senators by 111,178.
((5)) After the PREP, [[AWK & unclear] the next stage of the electoral process was the count by district]], which involved a count of tally sheets in all 300 districts. [In this process...,] councils are authorized to open ballot boxes for a manual recount of votes [under... [what limited conditions: "a majority vote of..."]]. AMLO's coalition demanded that 50,000 boxes be opened on the grounds of irregularities visible to varying degrees. District councils only authorized the opening of 2,700 boxes. This 'manual recount' gave AMLO an additional 102,000 votes.
((6)) The district-by-district count resulted in the [WC: amendment] of many discrepancies, first identified on July 2nd-3rd, between tally sheet resultsand the PREP results as well as the inclusion of voting stations that had been left out of the PREP. The result was an upward adjustment in votes for all three candidates, including Roberto Madrazo. But in this count AMLO's upward revision versus the PREP was 16.3% above the upward revision of votes for Felipe Calderon and 15.8% over the upward revision for Roberto Madrazo, both significant differences, especially in light of the few boxes that district councils allowed to be opened.
((7)) In the end, the district count proved wrong the presumption of a small margin of error in the PREP: the correction over the first PREP result was 8.7 percent.
((8)) Intervention of President Fox in favour of FC and against AMLO has been documented extensively, and the question of its constitutionality now rests with the Electoral Tribunal.
((9)) Intervention of Secretary of Communication in favour of PAN in this election is also documented, and and the question of its legality now rests with the Electoral Tribunal.
((10)) Claims that the electronic counting of votes was biased, or otherwise abnormal, and therefore showed paths not typical of stochastic processes have been submitted by professional analysts and mathematicians, and may justify further enquiries.

Posted by: Publius | July 25, 2006 10:24 PM

Posted by: Publius' post, copied | July 26, 2006 12:33 AM

I copied Publius' post and brought it to this, new, thread. Let us now examine his 8 points.

1. IFE failed to name a likely winner on the night of the election. So what. The vote count was within the margin of error, and if IFE HAD named a winner, AMLO would be complaining about that too.

2. PREP count was bad. Meaningless, the PREP has no bearing on the actual election results.

3. Senatorial/Presidential vote differentials. This needs to be investigated.

4. Same as 3, but worse in Tabasco. The problem here is that Tabasco is so OVERWHELMINGLY anti-PAN (Calderon--3.63% of the statewide vote) that any fraud would have had to be detected on July 2. Unless the PAN bribed ALL the PRD poll watchers. As to NL, investigate it.

5. Open 50,000 polling boxes. ILLEGAL without a TEPJF order. And, the 2,700 polling boxes that were opened did indeed add to AMLO's total. Unfortunately for AMLO they added even more to Calderon's, and his margin went from .56 to .59

6. Please clarify 6

7. Please clarify 7

8. Fox intervened This means that the election was conducted under unfair conditions, and regardless of the vote count is invalid. The only possible remedy here is anullment, something AMLO claims not to be seeking.

9. SCT intervened, to favor the PAN. Where? How?
8 and 9 also of course open the door for the PAN to demand anullment if AMLO wins the recount on the basis that the GDF also intervened, on a more blatant scale, and continues intervening today with the "voto por voto" mantas on public buildings.

10. Claims of cyber fraud. The problem here is these are claims. Not one shread of evidence to substantiate these claims has been presented.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 26, 2006 12:44 AM

Check out the article at the LA Times:

"Will Mexico Soon Be Tapped Out?
A rapid demise of Cantarell, the country's chief oil field, could pose a serious economic threat.
By Marla Dickerson, Times Staff Writer
July 24, 2006"

At:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-pemex24jul24,1,6754747.story?coll=la-headlines-business

Then tell me how anybody poses to get their programs financed.

Posted by: | July 26, 2006 12:48 AM

That was mine, sorry, too old to be up this late.

Posted by: K, Vronna | July 26, 2006 12:50 AM

I saw that article today. Scary. Another reason to become a "vende patrias" (That term is so, like, PPS.) and open PEMEX to competition, privatize, do something. Or there will be very little Patria left to Vender.

But, we can always fire up the money printing presses.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 26, 2006 12:55 AM

We should convert PEMEX ownership to public shares, distribuite the shares amongst the population and have all adult Mexican decide what to do with PEMEX.
We should the same with CFE.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 26, 2006 07:12 AM

Julio Hernandez from La Jornada has come out a most fantastical and cocaine article today. It shows the kind of silly conspiracy theories about an alledged electronic in the PREP, according to Julio, this was in order to create the impression that Felipe Calderon was winning.

What is absurd is how he presents two different graphs from two different moments, first during the PREP, when the information was fed into the system as it was coming out of the poll stations. This first graph shows the PREP favoring Felipe Calderon. He does not explain that this was so due to the fact that PAN votes concentrate in the urban and most communicated areas of the country, with the exception of DF and some areas in the south.

The second graph shows the District Counting of the votes. We all remember how the PRD representatives resisted and acted very slowly in regions of the north and central states that favored Felipe Calderon while they speed up the counting in the south regions where the voting favored them mostly.

Any serious statistics analist will tell you that the counting at the districts could never have followed the tendency it showed without this political manipulation from PRD.

When Ciro Gomez Leyva was covering the District Counting on that Wednesday July 5, he actually got a scientist from UNAM to explain about the tendency of the District Counting, and the scientist said it was not possible because the votes had already been counted and the counting of the actas was not spontaneous anymore.

But many PRD followers eat this kind of crap everyday from Julio and other cocaine pseudo-analists.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 26, 2006 10:47 AM

In such a huge election as we had last July 2, many assumptions can be made from both sides of the post-electoral conflict.
One thing stands clear though: If there ever was any fraud, how come it only affected AMLO but never the Congress or Senate? How come it did not affect Madrazo or Alternativa or Campa? They have not complained at all.

You can make as many assumptions as Dan Brown did with his Da Vinci Code. The problem with conspiracy theories is that it is always so difficult to prove them wrong. A doubt was cast upon the United States presidential election back between Al Gore and George Bush, and to this day, many hardcore democrats will still tell you there was fraud and Al Gore was the real winner.
This will happen again every time there is a close result. And there will always be people unhappy on one side or the other.

What is not normal is to have a Candidate and his party who repeteadly declared during the campaign and in the very last day, that the electoral process had been clean and transparent and that the institutions and the media coverage had been fair with all candidates, and there are many videos from interviews of AMLO and Camacho Solis and Monreal and Duarte declaring with Trujillo, Denise Maerker, Adela Micha, Lopez Doriga, etc. that bear witness to this fact. And now these same people, upon learning the results did not favor them, are trying desperately to build a case of Election Fraud. At first they said it was all cibernetic and a bunch of radicals from UNAM came up with all kinds of Da Vinci Code algorithms. One week later, Jose Woldemberg laughs at these silly theories and sets the record straight: All you need to demonstrate you won is the Actas from your representatives. The very next day AMLO comes out and says: "The fraud was not cibernetic, it was in the Actas, they falsified the actas".
The one little problem with this last allegation is that the actas were filled by more than 500 thousand citizens at different times who could not coordinate amongst each other in order to come out with such close result, and furthermore the counting was carried out in front of representatives from PRD, PAN, PRI, Alternativa, Nueva Alianza and also in front of local and international observers from Europe and Canada and USA who have plenty of experience in observing elections.
Mr. Obrador and the PRD are now saying that their own representatives were bought out by PAN officials.

Never mind showing a hundred boxes full of copies and saying: Look, these are the evidences of the fraud.

I believe it is the time to take desicions. IFE is the very cornerstone of our democracy. I trust IFE. I trust Ugalde. I trust TRIFE. If the TRIFE orders a recount or anulls the election or simply declares AMLO the new president, well that's it. If they declare Felipe Calderon, well that's it. But they cannot be subject to blackmail from anybody.


Posted by: emptyboxes | July 26, 2006 11:21 AM

Can some tell me where Publius got his statement in point number three?

((3)) "In many 'adjacent' voting stations ("contiguas" in the IFE's parlance), there no votes were reported as cast for President at all."

I did a quick sampling in the IFE´s report of the district count for President in the first 8 states casilla por casilla and could not find one with zero votes for president. This includes continguas and extraordinarias. I consider this a fairly large sample and would expect to find at least one, if what is stated is true (many). The ones that had less votes were almost always extraordinarias. But, that is expected because some of them are far from the main population (airports) .

Posted by: TG | July 26, 2006 12:01 PM

Hi everyone, first post, but I've enjoyed watching you guys spar for a while now.

My comment is really a question: I've rarely seen comments by any analyst regarding a specific part of the electoral law: If 20% or more of the electoral packages are opened, the election is autmomatically annulled. The "automatically" part might or might not need ratification by the TRIFE, but my question is this: Why is this issue not mentioned more? If I interpret this correctly, it would mean that if the Coalicion succeeds in getting a full recount then there would be no point to actually doing the recount, as the election would already be null and void. This might actually be part of their strategy to anull the election.

Would somebody with a little more knowledge of the law comment on this, please?

Posted by: Ariel R. Orellana | July 26, 2006 12:25 PM

The complexity of all these allegations makes it nearly impossible to demonstrate whether they are true or false as it is very easy to pick up a ballot and claim the legitimacy of any of the eleven signatures. The very reason why the votes are counted and sealed and the Acta is issued is for fear of manipulation after the elections day. So the army protects the ballots, but they ballots are only evidence and the Actas are the certificates of these votes cast on election day. The votes were counted Vote by Vote by the very neighbours and people of the same community that cast them in the first place. And the counting is a final number provided by this local and autonomous authority. It is to be trusted unless serious evidences denounced by the same local neighbours who participated in the counted. If the PRD representatives denounced irregularities on election day, they should have the record of Protests sheets. Fact is, they don't have any and their impugnation is seriously compromised by this very first and essential requisite.

The point is, PRD is trying to compromise IFE's credibility, but in the process the credibility of PRD has also been compromised by irresponsibly presenting false evidences and fabrication of false situations.

I have no problem deciding who to believe.

My problem is with the biased journalists and analists who do not question past history of conflicts and legal problems and scandals and violent protests of the Candidate demanding another vote counting.

Therein may lie many answers to todays allegations of AMLO.

Should the country burn down in social unrest as AMLO, Camacho Solis and Ortega and the others are trying to blackmail us, they must know the first one to get burned to pieces will be the PRD Party structure, because is setting an ugly precedent that will persist in memory of Mexican voters and they will not win in 2012, nor in 2018 but until a new generation of Mexicans with new and fresh and forgiving memory goes to vote.

They already paid a high price for past conflicts they created, and for years, the PRD had been famous for their internal violence.
It is true PAN resorted and practiced civil resistance in past times, but back then there was not IFE or TRIFE and they never promoted violence. The people rewarded them with more votes and political influence.

PRD should have learned this lesson. It is a pity to see them going down so bad.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 26, 2006 12:36 PM

It is interesting to see people like Camacho Solis, Munoz Ledo and others calling anyone, much less Fox, a "traitor to democracy". In 1988, real traitors to democracy, PRIistas like Camacho Solis, Munoz Ledo and others stole a presidential election. In 1989, when the PAN finally won (let me rephrase that, PAN had been winning since at least 1977, when the PAN had its victory recognized) in Baja California, traitors to democracy like Camacho Solis and Munoz Ledo did their darndest to steal that election. What scum, there is no other word for them.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 26, 2006 02:01 PM

I am glad to see the oil issue being discussed here. Energy experts have been saying that Mexico's major field is in decline for some time and that there are other untapped reserves that Pemex cannot exploit because it does not have the investment (the government sucks up most of its profits) nor the technology, which is available in Houston, but Mexico and North Korea are the only two countries in the world that do not allow private risk contracts in energy development.

I have always thought this "el petroleo es nuestra" business was bunk. In Alaska they set up a fund from energy profits and each year distribute checks to each and every citizen of the state. When did any ordinary Mexican citizen get anything from Pemex? Certainly some Mexicans have become rich off oil money, but not the average Jose. In Venezuela, people pay pennies for their oil. At least there they can say their state-owned company provides them some benefit. Mexicans pay much more than people across the border in the United States and, in fact, I recall hearing about Mexicans going over the border to buy gasoline in Belize because it was cheaper. What does that tell you about all the benefits from this closed industry?

As Jerry suggested, perhaps AMLO thinks he is going to finance his big social welfare programs with oil money, a la Chavez. (ooh, I feel like such a hatemonger mentioning the wild man from Caracas in the same breath with Saint Andres, the messiah). But if something is not done soon to open the energy sector, Mexico's production will go into sharp decline. Pemex is also facing bankruptcy because so much of its money is siphoned off to the government, which needs the money because the PRI-PRD alliance in Congress rejected Fox's fiscal reform proposals.

As for the election and AMLO's strategy of constant marches-- I offer this from today's column by Sergio Sarmiento:

Benito Mussolini conquistó el poder en Italia el 29 de octubre de 1922 gracias a "la marcha sobre Roma" de sus camisas negras. Adolf Hitler promovió su ascenso al cargo de canciller de Alemania en 1933 también gracias a una serie de manifestaciones. Juan Domingo Perón, quien era uno de los golpistas de 1943 en Argentina, se consolidó en el poder por la gran manifestación de Buenos Aires del 17 de octubre de 1945. Hugo Chávez también se sirvió de marchas para conseguir el poder en Venezuela.

Un demócrata, al contrario de un fascista, busca alcanzar el gobierno a través de elecciones democráticas y de respeto a la ley. En ese sentido Calderón ha sido más demócrata que López Obrador, quien ha cuestionado los procedimientos democráticos legales y ha montado manifestaciones para presionar a las autoridades del país, a los funcionarios del IFE y a los magistrados del Tribunal Electoral.

Posted by: Goyo | July 26, 2006 02:04 PM

It is interesting seeing Sarmiento's column. He should be warned that ONLY PRD supporters are allowed to call their opponents fascists, if any one else does it, it is hate speech.

But the link to fascism is interesting. It brings up a bigger question. Who is left and who is right? Who is the conservative candidate? Who is the progressive candidate?

Conservatism is defined broadly as a nostalgia for the past, and wanting to maintain the status quo, politically and economically. If change happens, it is usually to recapture a better past. Conservatives tend to be afraid or at least worried about the future. Conservatives are usually nationalistic and xenophobia is often a tenet of their rule (vis Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, the generals in South Korea 25 years ago, Pinochet...)

Liberalism (classical, not American) is considered an openess to change and new ideas, and a desire to see what the future holds. Liberals tend to patriotic but not xenophobic.

This begs the question of what change, if any AMLO represents from 70 years of PRI rule? (Fox can be considered an interregnum, and, thanks to congress, things haven't changed much under him anyway.) AMLO and his supporters seem nostalgic for a statist past where, if there was no economic progress, at least everyone knew his place, and there were few surprises. With all their screaming about globalization, they do not just seem worried about the future, it terrifies them. Some of their comments about PEMEX, and what is going on in Oaxaca seem distinctly anti-foreigner.

So, who is the true conservative in this race? And, since we know that all conservatives are fascists, who is the true fascist?


Posted by: Jerry B | July 26, 2006 02:14 PM

Look what Roger Bartra, a well respected leftist has to say about AMLO:

"Lo que más me duele --porque yo vengo de ahí, soy un hombre de izquierda-- es el comportamiento del Partido de la Revolución Democrática y sus aliados: me parece muy conservador y con importantes facetas antidemocráticas. Está poniendo en tensión las cosas. Lo que encabeza AMLO es un fenómeno de populismo. Yo creo que es un fenómeno populista caciquil; él suena más como cacique, como caudillo, pero le llamo conservador porque de alguna manera recupera muchos de los hábitos y de las ideas del antiguo régimen, del Ancien Régime, para emplear un término acuñado por la Revolución Francesa."

"Desgraciadamente la cultura priista yo la veo como el tumor maligno que llegó a enfermar la cultura política del país, y que está haciendo metástasis --por decirlo así-- en los espacios de la izquierda. Eso es muy lamentable porque me parece que es la causa por la cual López Obrador no ganó las elecciones con la gran ventaja que le atribuían las encuestas de hace un año o menos. Ese discurso populista conservador desgastó a su base electoral y mostró una agresividad terrible contra la clase media, de manera innecesaria. Esta clase tiene una gran sensibilidad y cuando es agredida irradia a otros sectores esa animosidad y esos miedos. A mí no me sorprende el resultado. Yo creo que AMLO hizo una política de tipo conservador, de carácter suicida, que minó las bases que había logrado, sobre todo por no haber hecho a tiempo un viraje hacia el centro. Quiero decir, hacia posiciones reformistas, socialdemócratas, y se mantuvo en una actitud agresiva más simbólica que real."

Now what were you saying about conservatives?

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 26, 2006 03:30 PM

If you take AMLO's plan, and compare it to what Lula is doing in Brazil (export, export, export!!!), or Vazquez in Uruguay (trade agreements with the US, over the loud protests of retrograde leftests in his coalition), or with what Bachalet says she will do in Chile (too early to tell, but all signs look good), there is no comparison. An honest leftist who was told to compare, say, Lula's actions with AMLO's plans, with the names removed, would say there was one progressive plan and one fascist one. And I do not think Lula would be the fascist...

Posted by: Jerry B | July 26, 2006 03:39 PM

Hey Jerry & emptyboxes, why don't you just admit that you HATE AMLO? regardless that if he might have some good points such as addressing the poor people unlike PAN who is always behind the RICH PEOPLE

You are so blind with all your disgust to AMLO that you are not objective at all.
After reading 3-4 of your posts, one word:

BOOOOOOOOOOOOORING!!!

You guys KNOW everything. I guess you most run for president next time... only if you are mexicans of course.

Posted by: Joe P. | July 26, 2006 04:13 PM

Joe P, please explain how AMLO is going to "help" poor people. I must have missed that part of the campaign. And saying "primero los pobres" doesn't count, I mean concrete plans. Also, what I really want to know, once you find the concrete plans, is how AMLO is going to finance them. You may think I am joking with you. I am not. Mexican (and Latin American) history if FULL of bold plans by alleged "progressives" to "help the poor". In almost every case, the poor get swamped by inflation and unemployment, and the "progressives" line their pockets. Want specific examples? Mexico under Lopez Portillo. Mexico under Echeverria. Peru under the first incarnation of Alan Garcia. Peru under General Velazco. Ecuador under "el Loco", Nicaragua under Ortega (with the added benefit of child rape by Ortega thrown in.) Cuba. Present day Bolivia and Venezuela. In every one of these cases, apart from added poverty, there was a general loss of liberty, and the middle class, along with the poor, took a bath.

Why should we assume that AMLO will be any different. I wish he was. If I had thought he was, he would have had my vote.

Now, please tell me how relaxing labor laws to make hiring easier will not help the poor. How will modernizing the energy sector not help the poor? (I, who am not poor, have electricity. The newer poor neighborhoods do not...THANKS CFE!) How will improving education by reducing SNTE corruption not help the poor?
These are all PAN ideas, of course. But, then again, Fox, with his promotion of home ownership, did more for the working poor in 6 years than AMLO's friends in the PRI did in 70.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 26, 2006 04:34 PM

I couldn't resist, Jerry:

"How will improving education by reducing SNTE corruption not help the poor?"

Did you see the nice pictures of "el candidato del cambio" embracing Elba E. Gordillo? Working hard at fighting teachers' union corruption, I guess...

Keep convincing each other, you and emptyboxes, of the glories of the new PAN...

Posted by: pasilla | July 26, 2006 05:36 PM

Pasilla, I noticed that you don't seem to contradict the other arguements. And, the Oaxaca SNTE is not exactly a hot bed of radical PANistas, to say the least.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 26, 2006 05:43 PM

Plus we now have the very, very democratic Tabasco PRD giving us a preview of what they'll do if not appeased.

Posted by: Ariel R. Orellana | July 26, 2006 06:47 PM

Like or not, Felipe Calderon was much more intelligent in the way he managed his campaign. He has proven to be a far more effective and pragmatical candidate. He created political alliances with Elba Esther Gordillo and developed more than friendly relations and dealings with most of the PRI Governors and at least with one from PRD. Whether these relations were based on simple ideological coincidences, secret dealings, or for fear of AMLO, we know today that without all these allies Felipe Calderon would have never got as far as he has today, to being on step from becoming the next President.
This tells me that the task at hand was huge and very difficult. He or someone next to him clearly saw, a year or so ago, that AMLO was a candidate to reckon with, so popular, it was necessary something bigger than the PAN to at least challenge his popularity. The campaign was a huge effort and it was necessary to get in the team all social agents akin to PAN's ideology. The PAN itself, united. The President, The Business Community, The Church, many organizations who shared the same values. And of course, all the enemies of Madrazo and AMLO regardless of their political ideology.
And so Felipe did work on it. He came to Nuevo Leon two or three times and had interviews with our governor Nati, he also had interviews with most of the PRI Governors, but specialy with the leader of the TUCOM. He also visited Lazaro Cardenas Batel and his father as well.
And Elba Esther Gordillo was a centerpiece also. And several other labor unions and organizations.
He should thank them all when he arrives to power.
And I believe he gave a lesson to those who underestimated his political skills.

My hope is that he will be able to form alliances and get the reforms the country needs so bad by reaching agreements with the other parties.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 26, 2006 06:47 PM

I have repeteadly stated here that our Mexican left is anti-semitic and they did not prove me wrong. Carlos Monsivais, Elena Poniatowska, Sergio Pitol, Angeles Mastreta Cristina Pacheco among other pseudo-intellectuals have published an open letter in several newspapers demanding UN to stop Israel attacks and assess the Lebanesse victims.
They failed to mention about the Israeli victims of Hezbolah of the last years.
I should say they are also not a all concerned with the Lebanesse victims, in reality these pseudo-intellectuals are doing this because they depend economically from Carlos Slim generous art and literature sponsorships, of course this is on top of the usual check the get at the Secretaria de Finanzas del Distrito Federal.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 26, 2006 07:10 PM

emptyboxes, to call Carlos Monsivais, Elena Poniatowska, Sergio Pitol, Angeles Mastreta Cristina Pacheco "pseudo-intellectuals"; can give us a clue of what kind of person you are.

I do not support the PRD or AMLO, but I have taken the time to read one or two things about these people.

I'll bet you one thing, you'll never accomplish anything useful that could compare to these great people. Not in you lifetime. Go ahead with your PANistas fellows and chant "Viva Cristo Rey" and destroy all the books written by these "pseudo-intellectuals"

Posted by: Joe P. | July 26, 2006 08:10 PM

This was published today:

En una entrevista con la cadena estadounidense Univisión, Andrés Manuel López Obrador dijo que se considera el Presidente de México, a pesar de que en el cómputo oficial de los comicios del 2 de julio quedó en segundo lugar detrás de su rival panista Felipe Calderón.

"Sí, yo soy el Presidente de México. Yo soy el Presidente de México por voluntad de la mayoría", afirmó el candidato presidencial de la coalición Por el Bien de Todos, interrogado sobre si se siente el Mandatario electo.

Now it seems that we have more than one president in Mexico. TEPJF, please make a ruling soon or both of the suspirantes will declare themselves president and we will have three.

Posted by: TG | July 26, 2006 08:19 PM

Joe P, I do not know what EmptyBoxes has or will accomplish in his life. He may have accomplished many things that are useful. I very much doubt, however that he wishes to accomplish what the intellectuals you mentioned above have. What have these intellectuals managed to accomplish? Well, they served as paid mouthpieces for umpteen PRI administrations, by taking comissions, museum directorates, university positions, and having government owned FCE (who I once worked for, I know) publish their books, despite knowing that no one would buy them. "Lack of democracy" did not seem to bother them then.

What else have they accomplished? Through intellectuals, we have learned what paradises the Soviet Union and Mao's China were. We now know what paradises Cuba and North Korea are. We have also learned how evil the United States is, although that has not stopped our esteemed intellectuals from visiting their whenever possible.

No, I do not think any decent, self respecting human being wants to accomplish what these intellectuals have. Rather, I would assume that the people who post here (like Emptyboxes), for example, may build bridges, construct buildings, deliver babies, teach our children, etc etc. That is to say, they are PRODUCTIVE, which these intellectuals are certainly not.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 26, 2006 08:48 PM

First of all, I think emptyboxes might have a brain so he can speak for himself, don't you think?

I'm bored about the same stuff you have written already.

PRD = Comunists, evil dooers
PRI = BAD BAD BAD (the only one I agree)
AMLO = Hugo Chavez Clon

PAN = GOOD, zero corruption, democracy, prosperity

I say:

emptyboxes = Jerry B (both full of it)

I suggest both create your own Forum where you can kiss each other butt.

Sooner or later people like you will see that you don't OWN the TRUTH. History will repeat over and over again thanks to you guys.

Posted by: Joe P. | July 26, 2006 09:27 PM

K Vronna posted a link from the L A Times last night about the glorious future that awaits PEMEX. Here is another L A Times link, about a less than glorious future that awaits TELMEX if the COFETEL gets its way. That fascist Fox has really stuck it to the Mexican consumer again, and this may explain why Carlos Slim backs AMLO.


Mexico Moves to Open Up Phone Market

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mexphone26jul26,1,415140.story?coll=la-headlines-business

As these rules won't take effect until December, I would assume Slim really wants AMLO as president now.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 26, 2006 09:27 PM

The article does explain a little why Carlos Slim has supported AMLO. Carlos Slim is the owner of the Wal-Mart Mexican franchise, Telmex, Condumex, Inbursa, Sanborns, Aurrera, Sam's, Vip's Restaurants, Telcel, and an endless list of more Mexican companies, many of them adquired with the help of Salinas and priviledged information from government officials, what many people fail to see is that he is everywhere in our country.

Mr. Slim is a new rich, he got all these companies because of his corrupt dealings with Salinas and many other PRI officials and he got a lot of power by openly buying many congressman, including of course, all the PRD bench in congress. By the way, just a few months ago there was a proposed bill from a PRI Congressman to revise the Telmex contract, guess who oppossed it publicly, the same AMLO, he spoke against it on the very next day, and his PRD congressmen blocked it.
PAN had always been supported by the traditionaly rich families in Mexico, and the PRI system tried to destroy them in an effort to break the PAN base, they nationalized the banks, and created a new breed of rich and millionaire priistas or pro priistas business men, many of them ended up in jail or broke.
But the traditional families who supported PAN and other new business leaders who for some reason had troubles with Slim have always fight back against his growing power and influence.
This election is also about this fight about controlling the Mexican economy. Mr. Obrador has consistently attacked the business leaders who happen to oppose Mr. Slim, everybody knows this is no coincidence, and these business leaders know very well where these attacks come from, so they also support Calderon, this explains those spots on tv from business communities.
The first one and most important business enemy of Slim is Mr. Roberto Hernandez from Banamex and is the one who gets the most insults and public attacks from AMLO, everybody knows Roberto Hernandez and Carlos Slim have bid for the same contracts and privatizations and both has pressured the federal government in many ways to get their bids or interests advanced, in the times of Salinas,Slim always got the contracts, of course, but when Zedillo arrived, he saw the danger that Slim possed to Mexico by trying to control with monopolies entire industries in the country, so there were no more favors for Slim, but Slim got some congressman from PRD and PRI and from there on, Zedillo had a lot of problems, Fox continued with the same attitude towards Slim, the fact is, even international organizations have told the Mexican government to open to more competition and to allow for new business agents instead of having one controlling everything.
Carlos Slim leads a group of business men that depend highly on business with his industrial and financial concerns.
Roberto Hernandez leads a huge group of big, medium size and small business organizations who were behind those tv spots against Obrador and who actively promoted Calderon.

So we see how Lopez Obrador has never attacked or said anything bad about Carlos Slim, when asked about his relation with him, he simply replies: We respect each other.
This mutual respect gave Slim the chance to buy the whole historical center of Mexico City and many other good jewels went to him during Obrador's term. Slim and Obrador gave a museum to Monsivais.
The problem for Slim is that every year the Federal Government imposes more regulations to either restrict his monopoly powers or to open the market for more competition. Mr. Slim is trying to get another six years of protection by getting Obrador to office. Monsivais, Guadalupe Loaeza, Lorenzo Meyer, Granados Chapa, they all perfectly know this. They receive money and position and benefits and honors from being close to Slim.
AMLO will continue attacking Mr. Roberto Hernandez, Gaston Azcarraga and any other Slim business enemy, as long as he gets support from him.
Seems to me like none of them got what they wanted this time.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 26, 2006 11:41 PM

Joe P.:
I can critisize any public person as much as you can critisize me or Jerry.
Fact is, there are people who honestly write what they think, and then you read them, and there are people who write and dishonestly fabricate situations to make you think what they want you to believe.
Take for example that hypocrite Cuban singer Silvio Rodriguez, he sings wonderfully and writes some good Ortega y Gasset metaphors. The problem is, when you get down to the very fact that Silvio has never said anything about the condition of having a dictator, Fidel Castro, running the lives of the 10 million people in the island for more than 40 years. No, never, so the Ortega y Gasset inspiration and ideas, what are they? What then does he want to say? It is all brain-washing my friend. The same happens with Pablo Neruda, who entirely converted his Walt Whitman inspired and copied poetry into an ode to Stalin, that great democrat.
I believe in honest thinking. I read and I am free to analize where it comes from. I know people who only read La Jornada because it fits their ideology and when they read Reforma they feel bad, they are like sheep who need to be guided, they are not getting informed, they are getting brainwashed.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 27, 2006 12:03 AM

I am open to changing who I support. Can one of the AMLO supporters out there PLEASE, give us some good reasons to support him. Or at least refute the arguments that he is surrounded by PRI dinosaurs, seems to be paranoid, and has not explained how he is going to finance his plans??? Pretty please? And, if it could be done without name calling, that would be even better. There is nothing like calling someone a fascist to effectively shut down rational debate.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 27, 2006 12:16 AM

I am not working very hard these days, and to keep from falling asleep at work, play on the internet. I searched the words "El Yunque", "fascista", "fascismo" and "racista" on La Jornada's web site. Each returned literally hundreds of articles, the gist of which was that the PAN and everybody which supports it, as well as anyone who dares to criticize AMLO, his supporters, and most especially his intellectual supporters was one or more (usually all) of the above. I then did the same thing on El Universal for "comunista" and found almost nothing. I would have liked to search Reforma or El Norte, but they make you pay (fascist pigs.) to access their web page.

What does this tell us about the level of debate being promulgated by AMLO's supporters, who I do not even want to call leftists, because that is an insult to honest and well meaning people who support left wing causes?

All these complaints about name calling being bandied about, and yet I cannot think of (and please point anything I am missing out to me) one instance where Calderon, Fox, or any high PANista made a personal attack on AMLO. Nor called him a traitor. Nor threatened his family. They did compare him to Hugo Chavez, but if Hugo Chavez is so great, why is this bad? Furthermore the PRD compared Calderon to Franco, so why complain?

I am getting genuinly worried, because it takes two sides to have a rational discussion. Vituperative name calling, threats, busting up private businesses because they supported the "wrong" candidate (and notice that no one from the PRD is bothering TELMEX installations) and general intolerance makes this impossible. Maybe the PAN is no better. Maybe. But, without listening to the two sides debate this, it is impossible to tell.

There is a very real danger that this is going to end badly. However the TEPJF rules, I think the PAN will accept it, they have given no indication that they will not. Will the PRD, if it is against them? If Calderon DOES end up the winner, with or without a recount, as the TEPJF determines, how long is AMLO going to keep up his demonstations and semi-violent activities that are hurting a lot of law abiding citizens of all political stripes? And, how long is the government and society going to stand for it. At some point it is going to either stop, or it will be stopped. And that is what worries me.

Flames are being lit and passions are being aroused that, if not quenched soon, are going to have a bad end. AMLO has basically zero support in the northern half of the country, and even in the south, outside of the DF and environs his support is minimal. If final court rulings go against him, he cannot win, and must know this. So, why is he continuing?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 27, 2006 12:34 AM

I should clarify that AMLO had plenty of support in the south on July 2, he won all the southern states except Yucatan. But, there has been little evidence of support for his fraud allegations. Michoacan? Home of Lazaro Cardenas Batel. Zip. Nada Ditto Zacatecas, another PRD stronghold. Even in Chiapas...nothing.

As mentioned above, I am not impressed with AMLO. He had a real chance to be a statesman, and set himself as the leading candidate in 2012, and has blown it. That is no loss. What no one seems to be realizing here is that he is also opening the door for the PRI to return. We will all notice that the PRI is being very quiet. Madrazo has said nothing beyond some polite platitudes. They are standing back and letting the PRD and the PAN beat each other up, and I will bet everyone here money that, starting with the Veracruz elections next year, the PRI is going to present itself as the "rational middle" between crazy perredistas and crazy PANistas. The PRI should be dead (and good riddance). AMLO's actions are giving it a second chance at life. And that is truly unforgiveable.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 27, 2006 12:41 AM

"I am not working very hard these days..."

Jerry B.

It shows, it really shows!

Posted by: pasilla | July 27, 2006 01:31 PM

For all you who have a little time on your hands, try reading Enrique Krauze's article in today's Post. Maybe it'll stimulate some discussion.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 27, 2006 02:11 PM

What's so new about Enriquito Krauze text? He seems to repeat the same psychobabble, half-truths and innuendo that we have been reading in this blog. What surprises me is how he, a historian, dares to predict the future. The editorial looks to me a lot like PAN talking points. I'm just going to comment one of the twisted facts that he publishes, that of the AMLO "menace" during the July 16 demonstration, because I find it particularly illustrative of the disqualifying tactics of some PAN sympathizers; AMLO said (in a rough translation):

"I encourage him (Calderon) to reflect, for himself, for his close family, for his closest collaborators, that the spot of a crooked election is not washed out, not even by all oceans water."

(The reference to people was an ad lib, because it doesn't appear in the text of the speech published by "La Jornada" and "El Universal").

Almost a fatwa, right? As far as I'm concerned, AMLO was talking about the preservation of Calderon's good name. That's all. For those who interpret this as a "menace", I would reply, as we say in Spanish: "el león cree que todos son de su condición..."

Posted by: pasilla | July 27, 2006 04:42 PM

I'm really tired of these rightwing fascist comments about Patricia Mercado, like these that were in an editorial a few days back that show what retrograde minds can cook up. Sarcastic, shallow criticisms from these kinds of bigots (look at what's said about "los marginales") just go to show what progressive ideas have to fight against. Sounds like a bunch of "cristero" ranting to me. What cynicism!

"El Partido Alternativa Socialdemócrata y Campesina, fruto de la insistencia protagónica de Patricia Mercado, ex trotskista, ex feminista, ex contracultural, ex activista de causas radicales.

Mercado, exhibió su infinita piedad ante "los marginales" (consumidores de mariguana, mujeres que abortan, gays y lesbianas)

Se dio tiempo ideológico para incurrir en la frivolidad y enriqueció el debate de los candidatos presidenciales con un vestido rojo a tal punto incandescente que le impedía a los espectadores fijarse en sus ideas (las que llevaba)

Le respondía a Radio Fórmula algo en la índole de: "Nuestra propuesta es de alternativa porque tocamos asuntos que nadie más toca, como el empleo, la seguridad, los problemas agrícolas, los emigrantes y la educación y los índices de criminalidad en la colonia Condesa" (así no lo dijo, pero nadie tampoco podría recordar sus palabras)."

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 27, 2006 06:53 PM

¿como financió AMLO sus programas sociales en el Distrito Federal a pesar de las reducciones de presupuesto?
Respuesta.- Austeridad y mejor recaudación fiscal.( chequen la página de la Secretaría de Hacienda www.shcp.com.mx AMLO pagó 15,000 millones de pesos de deuda que le dejaron anteriores gobiernos y pidió prestados 14,000 millones)

Posted by: Raul Perez Espinoza | July 27, 2006 08:03 PM

K Vronna, where did that quote about Mercado come from?

Raul P. E., what you mention is nice, but financing the GDF is one thing, since a significant portion of public services are financed (subsidized) by federal taxpayers (predominantly northern states) and do not have to be paid for the the DF.

On a national level, how exactly is he going to force "austeridad" on a bunch of retrograde PRI dominated unions? As to "mejor recaudacion fiscal", does this mean the north is going to get to pay even more? Or will he be putting IVA on food and medicine?

Incidentally, K Vronna, I read Krauze's column. Much of what is in it sounds like what I posted last night. Did he copy me?
I also read another article, in yesterday's post OP-ED called "the coming oil glut". This ought to make PEMEX in particular and Mexico in general tremble. Especially if AMLO gets in power and is counting on the present oil prices lasting into infinity.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 27, 2006 08:19 PM

Good point, Jerry B, we have seen oil prices peak and then crash before and it would be nice to see it again, not only because of the help it would be to consumers, but because it would pull the rug out from under Chavez in Venezuela and force Mexico to deal with a looming problem that politicians have preferred to ignore.

As for Krauze, he might be reading this blog, who knows? In any case, he got it right and put it in very clear terms--

"If the PRD candidate had simply implemented this legal strategy, his behavior would not have unforgivably sullied the process or undermined Mexico's fragile democracy. But as might have been predicted, López Obrador wasn't satisfied with legal action. Just as he's always done, he had to go for broke -- resorting to "ad terrorem" methods."

This is just what I said in a recent answer to an AMLO supporter here-- we are not questioning his right to challenge what he sees as irregularities, but we are challenging his deceit and his threats against individuals as well as Mexican institutions. I see a bad storm coming and I just wish more AMLO supporters would see the light and start backing away from this guy before irreversible damage is done to the country.

Posted by: Goyo | July 27, 2006 08:53 PM

I admit to be truly fascinated not only by the amount of the postings but by the length of each piece of mussings by Jerry B. and emptyboxes. Both of you guys, are you being paid for what you do? Are you really thinking that you are steering public opinion by writing all this one-tracked hollow arguments? Every time anyone contests your points or brings to the discussion arguments or evidence like Pasilla or by Publius, you rush to disqualify them without first addressing the merits embeded in their points. By doing this, you are depriving the rest of us from engaging in a meaningful discussion and you scare away other people from participating with your low level refute-all approach.

Truly guys, dont take me wrong but you display the national attitudes that have brought the country to this sorrow state of affairs.

One last suggestion, get a new "alias" - or better still, give your real names -and re-engage in the conversation with a more analytical approach.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 27, 2006 09:26 PM

I think Goyo has got a good point here when he says that most of us are not questioning AMLO for pursuing a legal path to try to revert the results and win.

I and any reasonable person in the world would do exactly the same. I would not have accepted the results. But resorting to lies is not an option.

By the way, Have you guys heard that many of the current congressmen and senators have been diagnosed with an illness that spread all over the house of representatives and is called "SIHDA" and is making some congressmen to even think about leaving the country far away.
The name of it is SIHDA, Sin Hueso Despues de Agosto, (without a bone after August) and apparently the representatives are about to collect their last check.
But the synthoms began a few weeks ago: chills, and ostheoporosis, aparently it attacks the bones.
The hardest part of it it's the cure: They will have to find an honest way to support their households!.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 27, 2006 09:27 PM

Just spotted this in El Norte:

Ciudad de México (27 julio 2006).- Los legisladores federales electos Ricardo Monreal, del PRD, y José Murat, del PRI se reunieron hoy para dialogar sobre la posibilidad de una alianza en la defensa del voto por voto.

En entrevista, el ex Gobernador de Zacatecas confirmó el encuentro -realizado en un restaurante de la zona del Ángel de la Independencia--, y reconoció que los perredistas están buscando alianzas para fortalecer su lucha postelectoral.

¿Se reunió hoy con Murat?

"Si, me he reunido con mucha gente para conversar sobre el momento político que vive el País. Estamos haciendo un llamado a las fuerzas progresistas del país para que se sumen a la propuesta de dar certeza y legalidad al proceso electoral, para que juntos pugnemos por la transparencia, por el voto por voto y casilla por casilla", dijo.

If Jose Murat is part of the progressive forces in our country, we are in deep trouble. This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Posted by: TG | July 27, 2006 09:50 PM

Ricardo Monreal and Murat have been friends for a long time and Monreal won't get any far from this little interview.
The PRI is perhaps the party to gain more in the remote possibility of an Election Anullment.
But the strong PRI Governors from Central and North Mexico will never allow this to happen. And the PRI knows they need the economic support from many PRI Businessmen who will quickly turn away from the PRI if they support the radicalization of the post electoral conflict.
Monreal and others in the PRD have been trying hard with all parties unsuccessfuly. Alternativa was not interested, as it got many people who left the PRD and joined her in hope a real moderate and modern left. Nueva Alianza is a PAN Satellite party, forget it. PRI made its position clear from the very next day after the elections and they perfectly know that PRD is their real enemy. It is the PRD where all those labor unions and popular organizations have gone. The loss of the PRD is the gain of the PRI and viceversa. PAN takes aways vote but their voter base is completely different.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 27, 2006 10:03 PM

Wrong again emptyboxes, the forces at the PRI are moving but...in the opposite direction. Indeed, the PRI governors from the north who, by the way, betrayed Madrazo, wanted Calderon's triumph to become a fait accompli on July 3rd. This was only avoided because Madrazo refused to become the "Zedillo of 2006" in his own words. But, it may come to you as a shocker to learn that a regrouping inside the PRI is ocurring - as we speak - and that they will demand a recount as the "only way to legitimize this election".

Moreover, the copies of the actas and polling stations info. are now flowing smoothly between both parties and....great surprises are to be revealed shortly, along with some compromising telephone conversations.

Are you attending this Sunday's rally at the Fuente de Petroleos? Jerry B. should come, it promises to be very informative and it will help you level your comments.

Saludos

Posted by: Francisco Celis | July 27, 2006 10:28 PM

Murat is buddy buddy with Monreal? And the PRD is complaining about Gordillo? Gordillo is an innocent baby compared to Murat and his "auto atentado" of several years ago that cost the life of a Oaxaca state policeman. Maybe he can bring U. Ruiz with him.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 27, 2006 11:43 PM

"Moreover, the copies of the actas and polling stations info. are now flowing smoothly between both parties and....great surprises are to be revealed shortly, along with some compromising telephone conversations."

Too little, too late my friend.

The Copies of the actas are available from the IFE itself today and any Party can get them. They were very important before the District Counting, when PRD desperately begged PRI to show them theirs and received a NO for an answer.

The copies of the Actas from the PRI are already in PAN hands. They had them from day one, and they as well had those from Alternativa and Nueva Alianza. So, if you think the Actas will show any fraud, forget it. Precisely because Claudia Shaunbam did not find any fraud in the actas is because they claim now that the Actas are false themselves. Of course, and the PRD representatives were also false too as AMLO has repeteadly stated that they were corrupted, yeah right.

The one party that would have benefited mostly from an anullment was the PRI, for they could have the opportunity to run again with a new better candidate. If they had any evidences I have no doubt they would have impugnated the elections. They benefit nothing from the Vote by Vote recount and they know they will get any new friends.

Plus they have a lot to lose. There are many corruption scandals around many PRI Governors and Felipe Calderon can get a pay back easily if they stab him in the back. Wishful thinking Francisco.

Fact is, they did not file an impugnation for the Presidential election, I think they did one somewhere in Yucatan, but very minimal.
And about the tape recordings, isn't it a little late in the game?

You also seem to believe that a recount will benefit AMLO. A recount will only change the results slightly at the very least. Bear in mind the votes were already counted by several people and in front of many people, which does not leave many chances of errors, and the party representatives signed the Actas on election day without filing protest sheets, as is the case of the PRD Party Representatives.
And moreover, many of these countings were taped just like the Salamanca video, which AMLO tried to show as evidence of fraud and the same PRD representative refuted him.
I heard good things about this next informative meeting. The PRD is offering Mexico City tours to a lot of people in many states, they offer to pay for everything, they have buses, and tamales, yellow shirts for the ocassion and everything. I suppossed there are going to be many people touring Mexico city this weekend, specially around the Zocalo, which by the way, cannot hold more than 150 thousand people, I wonder where the DF got the million people figure..
I guess it is good for the local tourist industry. Too bad these people are not there to spend money themselves but rather to receive some from PRD and too bad the PRD is running out of money and won't be able to do this as often as they would like to.
Wishful thinking Francisco.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 27, 2006 11:45 PM

All Hail The Voice of the Downtrodden! AMLO is really starting to mirror good 'ol Marion Barry. When is HE going to introduce his Gasification machine?

Posted by: Chris Stevens | July 28, 2006 12:00 AM

Marion Barry!!! I miss him, D C was so much more exciting when he was mayor. My favorite quotation from him was, after he went to see the Redskins in the super bowl during a blizzard that shut the city down, "People blame me for the blizzard. Well, if it didn't snow, would they blame me for that, too?". Marion, at heart, was a good guy, as long as you kept your hand on your wallet, and didn't demand too much in the way of public services. And he made you LAUGH. At least he did not associate with known crooks and probable murderers like Camacho Solis. AMLO I am not so sure about, and he does not make me laugh.

Marco Beteta, I invite you to see my response above to Publius' points. I think I made good points refuting several of them, but was very clear that at least numbers 3 and 4 should be investigated by the TEPJF. Either they are correct or not, but investigating them benefits everybody.

In cased you missed them, here they are again. Also, can you think of any other logical response than annullment if point 8 is correct? Yet AMLO says he does not want an annullment.

1. IFE failed to name a likely winner on the night of the election. So what. The vote count was within the margin of error, and if IFE HAD named a winner, AMLO would be complaining about that too.

2. PREP count was bad. Meaningless, the PREP has no bearing on the actual election results.

3. Senatorial/Presidential vote differentials. This needs to be investigated.

4. Same as 3, but worse in Tabasco. The problem here is that Tabasco is so OVERWHELMINGLY anti-PAN (Calderon--3.63% of the statewide vote) that any fraud would have had to be detected on July 2. Unless the PAN bribed ALL the PRD poll watchers. As to NL, investigate it.

5. Open 50,000 polling boxes. ILLEGAL without a TEPJF order. And, the 2,700 polling boxes that were opened did indeed add to AMLO's total. Unfortunately for AMLO they added even more to Calderon's, and his margin went from .56 to .59

6. Please clarify 6

7. Please clarify 7

8. Fox intervened This means that the election was conducted under unfair conditions, and regardless of the vote count is invalid. The only possible remedy here is anullment, something AMLO claims not to be seeking.

9. SCT intervened, to favor the PAN. Where? How?
8 and 9 also of course open the door for the PAN to demand anullment if AMLO wins the recount on the basis that the GDF also intervened, on a more blatant scale, and continues intervening today with the "voto por voto" mantas on public buildings.

10. Claims of cyber fraud. The problem here is these are claims. Not one shread of evidence to substantiate these claims has been presented.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 12:21 AM

5. Open 50,000 polling boxes. ILLEGAL without a TEPJF order. And, the 2,700 polling boxes that were opened did indeed add to AMLO's total. Unfortunately for AMLO they added even more to Calderon's, and his margin went from .56 to .59

I think it is important to point out that these polling boxes were opened at the Districts and the votes recounted presicely because they were reported with irregularities. They were the only ones that were opened not because the districts deny or rejected to open the rest of the polling boxes but because there were irregularities in these boxes. The Counting at the Districts is professional and detected errors or irregularities in polling boxes and corrected them by opening them and recounting them.

These only proves there is no further need for another recount.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 28, 2006 12:30 AM

It will be interesting to see what AMLO gets at his sob session this Sunday in the way of a crowd. Whatever he gets, it is interesting that he only does these assemblies in the DF, I have a feeling that he knows that he does not have enough hard core disciples elsewhere in the country to try doing an assembly outside of the DF. It would seem to me that if he DID have the potential to draw large crowds in Oaxaca, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Villahermosa, Morelia or Guadalajara he would do it.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 12:47 AM

Still haven't guessed where those Mercado quotes came from? Try the editorials from El Universal on July 9th.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 28, 2006 01:09 AM

The noted right wing fascist Soledad Loaeza wrote an interesting column in La Jornada today, of all papers. One paragraph stands out:

Las tácticas de AMLO para mover a la indignación son ahora bien conocidas: reuniones multitudinarias dominadas por la emoción colectiva, exacerbación de los ánimos mediante la satanización machacona de personajes o decisiones impopulares, construcción de un universo binario en el que él y los suyos representan el bien y todos los demás el mal. En el mundo incierto de los inicios del siglo XXI, López Obrador ofrece las irrebatibles certidumbres de un hombre poseedor de una verdad que no reconoce ningún principio de realidad, pues poco importa si para imponerse incurre en exageraciones descabelladas, en inconsistencias, inexactitudes o contradicciones. En el discurso lopezobradorista lo mismo se defiende el voto que se desconocen los votos emitidos; al igual que se habla de la defensa de las instituciones se propone pasar por encima de ellas para llegar a un acuerdo político -que equivale en el fondo, muy al estilo salinista, a sugerir una macro concertacesión-, o se afirma en forma contundente que el objetivo no es la anulación de la elección, pero se hace todo para que se imponga por la fuerza de los acontecimientos.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 01:15 AM

K. Vronna,

The article that you refer to in El Universal was written by Carlos Monsivais. I thought he was supposed to a leftist intellectual. Why would you say "rightwing fascist", if the author of the article is one of Mexico's most prominent leftists? Are you trying to be cynical? From what I read in the article, he is trying to evaluate the new political parties. But, he recurs to petty insults to disqualify them. If this is supposed to be one of our "intellectuals", as I said about José Murat being a member of the progressive forces we are in deep estircol.

Posted by: TG | July 28, 2006 11:14 AM

Jerry B.

Keep downplaying this thing (Sunday's march to Zocalo). I really think you can't see beyond your nose.

This is not anymore about some crazy "Hugo Chavez Clon" gathering. It's about true DEMOCRACY. Millions of people are against the practices shown by the current Fox administration. Failure to count all the ballots could tigger a major crisis down there.

Plain and simple, why if Calderon is so sure about being the un-official winner of this election opposes to a full recount? that would give peace of mind to millions of mexicans.

Please spare me the pain of telling me it's illegal to do a full recount or that automatically would nullify the election, because IT'S NOT TRUE. I know it's now the TRIFE's decision. But still if Calderon would support such proposal things would be a little bit easier.

Why are they so afraid of this (PAN)?

I could care less who is the winner, but lets support the fact that it HAS TO BE THE ONE WHO GOT THE MOST VOTES.

Posted by: Get Real | July 28, 2006 11:50 AM

Get Real wrote:

"I could care less who is the winner, but lets support the fact that it HAS TO BE THE ONE WHO GOT THE MOST VOTES."

The votes were already counted by hundreds of thousand of honorable Mexicans. And FELIPE CALDERON WON.
Why do we need to listen to a mentally-ill person who cannot recognize he lost?
How many times do you and this crazy thug need to count?

If AMLO and you and his other followers cannot count right, that is your problem.

Now if AMLO shows one single piece of evidence that would indicate that in an specific Ballot Station there were irregularities, well then the Court will open the corresponding ballot box and carry a Vote by Vote Recount.

However, I suggest we get a new regulation clearly requiring the next presidential candidates to learn some basic Maths and they the candidates are also mentally healthy, just in case.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 28, 2006 12:13 PM

Get Real, I am aware that millions of people are against Fox's policies. I would assume that that is why AMLO got 14 odd million votes. That being said, as of right now Calderon won the election. Please explain why he should facilitate a recount of votes, when this is not legally required. He has already said that if the TRIFE orders it, he will not oppose the order. Why should he go beyond that. A recount gives AMLO the opportunity to revert the election, which is statistically doubtful, and if it upholds Calderon's victory, every indication is that, regardless of what AMLO says now, he will either allege fraud in the recount or argue that the election was unfair anyway. Why facilitate AMLO's endless electoral shenanigans?

A related question, Get Real. I am slightly embarrassed that A slimy character like Gordillo is supporting Calderon. But, I am happy that at least the PAN is not trying to get her to join the PAN. Are you aware of any other ex-PRI vermin that support the PAN? Please post their names here. As mentioned, I am embarrassed about Gordillo. How do you feel about the following PRD members. Camacho Solis? Munoz Ledo? Yeidkol or Citlali whatever her name is? Ricardo Monreal? How do you feel about the following active PRI members who seem to be supporting the PRD: Manuel Bartlett? Jose Murat? Do they bring you pride, or as with Gordillo in my case, do they bring you embarrassment? Do you think they have the best interests of Mexico at heart or their own?

Also, why, during all the verbal attacks on parisitic businessmen, is Carlos Slim's name never mentioned?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 12:19 PM

emptyboxes,

stop watching Televisa. The ballots have been counted ONCE and the acts (many of them were modified to favor PAN).

That's why there's the NEED OF FULL RECOUNT. If you don't dare to research and do your homework, then we can't expect you come here with facts.

I'm not a PRD fan neither for the PAN. So I read Reforma, La Jornada, CNN (I recommend Carmen Aristegui's TV program) so once you read all the different sources you can make a good opinion. I've done it, and I think the whole process was full of inconsistencies (I don't care if people like you think it was done probably in isolated cases), the fact is: IT WAS DONE.

Posted by: Get Real | July 28, 2006 12:23 PM

Get Real, you say that, of the actas, "(many of them were modified to favor PAN)" Do you have proof of this? More to the point, does the PRD have proof? If they do, what are you worried about, whether Calderon wants it or not, there will be a court ordered recount. If the court DOES NOT order a recount, wouldn't it be safe to say there is no proof of alteration of actas?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 12:27 PM

Ezra Shabot writes a very interesting article in Reforma today.

He is the latest in a growing number of Mexican intellectuals who are denouncing AMLO as a lunatic leader followed by dogmatical people.

The list is growing. Jesus Silva-Herzog, Enrique Krauze, Sergio Sarmiento, Carlos Marin, and many other serious and non-partisan intellectuals are begining to talk about AMLO psicological problems, which are visibly clear every day as he exposes himself by going to interviews.

We should point out that some of these interviews are mere jokes, like the one he had with that radical and dogmatical communist and stalinist pseudo-intellectual of Granados Chapa at Radio Cuba, I am sorry, Radio UNAM, but it's the same thing, that poor university is so full of dogmatic communist cocaine professors who are continually brain-washing the students, they is now an alarming number of communist militant groups within the university. Never mind their academical level, they get rejected from every big company in Mexico, where the managers are usually ITESM and UDEM graduated professionals who dedicated their years in college to study sciencies and administration material instead of reading the cocaine articles from La Jornada and Carl Marx's moronical books, like they do at the UNAM everyday in their brain-washing sessions. This is easy to verify, just walk into that university and you will see red communist flags everywhere, along with images of peje and castro.

Posted by: emtyboxes | July 28, 2006 12:33 PM

wow emptyboxes, you really impressed with that RIGHT-Wing intellectual list.

Now can you also read the Left-Wing intellectuals who don't call AMLO a lunatic?

I say, read both sides and come up with something that its more towards the middle.

Posted by: Get Real | July 28, 2006 12:42 PM

Jerry B. yep, I've seen those acts (pictures) where they have shown several of those. I know that by telling you that I've seen it at senderodelpeje.com then you'll say probably it's been done by the PRD.

The problem I see is that doing a partial recount (if approved by TRIFE) would not do it for them (PRD) that is why I think their last shot is the FULL recount. Again my point is, if this event will give peace of to millions of people, why not do it?

do you rather see this pacific demonstrations going wild? I rather not.

I'll post a reply for your other comment later on. I have some questions for you.

Posted by: Get Real | July 28, 2006 12:48 PM

Get Real, I think no one wants to see these demonstrations go wild. I am glad I do not life in the DF, up here in the north we do not have such demonstrations.

I agree with you that the partial recount will not do it for AMLO, but I think that a full recount will not do it either, unless it shows him winning. Furthermore, while I am no lawyer, it seems to me that a full recount would invalidate the election. Guess who is salivating over that idea? The PRI.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 12:56 PM

It does not matter to me where the actas came from. If they are fraudelent, I have confidence that the TRIFE will do the right thing and order a recount. If they turn out to be like AMLO's videos, then I also have confidence in the TRIFE.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 12:58 PM

Jerry B, how does a full recount invalidate the election? Thanks.

Posted by: zac | July 28, 2006 01:55 PM

Zac, this is what many people would like you to believe. A full recount does not invaldate the election.

They take as reference Tabasco elections, the reason why that election was invalidated is: there were to many 'issues' while doing the recount that it was clear fraudulent tactics were used, therefore the TRIFE decided to invalidate the whole process.

In other words, it's not the recount that causes invalidation.

Nonetheless, PANistas would like to beilve that. Nobody has answered my question:
what are PANistas afraid of?

as we say south the border:
el que nada debe, nada teme

Posted by: Get Real | July 28, 2006 02:24 PM

There is no provision under the current electoral law (cofipe) for a full recount. It only contemplates recounts where documented inconsistencies or irregularities are presented. As no full recount is contemplated, there is no mechanism described for a full recount. Since none of the parties have presented evidence to challenge the numbers of all of the balloting stations, it would be kind of a stretch for the judges to order a full recount. I took some time reading the law which is available on the internet. I'm not a lawyer. But, it seems pretty clear to me. What is also clear to me is that we can't ignore the law to placate an offended party just because things didn't work out for them.

Posted by: TG | July 28, 2006 02:29 PM

The election in Tabasco was organized and supervised by the local state government not by the IFE. I don't know how the local electoral commision handled that election. You are not comparing apples with apples.

Posted by: TG | July 28, 2006 02:33 PM

*** There is no provision under the current electoral law (cofipe) for a full recount

Not a lawyer here either, but it does not mention that can not take place either.

If I was a PANista I'd more than happy to support full recount (I know family members down there are supporting the idea). The goal should be to avoid physical confrontation.

Posted by: | July 28, 2006 02:38 PM

Comparing apples with apples?

I think I am, because is the same Tribunal who can make the decision:
Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación (TEPJF)

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2006/07/22/010n1pol.php

Posted by: Get Real | July 28, 2006 02:52 PM

The Tabasco election was organized by the state government, upheld (surprise surprise) by the same PRI state government and then over ruled by the TRIFE.
As TC mentions, as there is no mechanism in the law to mandate a full recount without some reason (evidence of fraud), doing so would seem to me to invalidate the election.

AMLO keeps claiming that this was an "eleccion de estado", and that there was gigantic fraud involved. He also says that his own exit polling numbers showed him ahead by half a million votes on election night. Fine. Produce the evidence. If such an exit poll exists, and it is reputable, I too would be interested in seeing a full recount. But, first, I would like to see some kind of justification for it. Until now the only justification I am seeing is threats coming out of the zocalo every two weeks.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 03:15 PM

Get Real: You should think before you are.

In Tabasco the anullment of the elections occurred, first and foremost, because the local IFE opened all the ballot boxes. The Tribunal later then examined the election and found several other irregularities like voter intimidation, but the most important violation was that the IFE had indiscrimately opened the ballot boxes, otherwise the election would have never been anulled.
When AMLO learned he was going to lose, he demanded the Tabasco IFE to open all the ballots, when the IFE did so, the PRD lawyers walked directly to the Tribunal to demand an election anullment. It was a dirty trick. But at the time, in my opinion, many Mexicans, including myself, sympatized with AMLO and PRD because we knew the PRI had used its powers to control the results of the elections in Tabasco.

But that is history. And there is no comparison with today's case.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 28, 2006 03:18 PM

Two paragraphs from an editorial in today's El Universal

El reconocimiento por parte de AMLO de que "no fue un fraude cibernético, sino a la antigüita", echa por tierra sus argumentos de las últimas semanas. Ahora dice que se orquestó un fraude a través de la falsificación de actas, lo que hubiese significado que la gran mayoría del casi millón de funcionarios de casilla tendría que haber sido cómplice, sin embargo, él mismo se contradice cuando señala que gran parte de los funcionarios actuó honestamente. ¿En qué quedamos, fueron o no parte del fraude?

Andrés Manuel está rodeado de gente que orquestó y defendió el fraude del 88, Camacho, Bartlett, Monreal y Ebrard, y le han hecho creer que el 2 de julio pasado se dio un fraude similar al que ellos organizaron. Hay que recordar que en el 88 el que designaba a los funcionarios de casilla era el PRI, aun cuando formalmente los nombramientos los daba la Comisión Federal Electoral dependiente de la Secretaría de Gobernación. El control de los funcionarios lo tenían por lo tanto el PRI y el gobierno, lo que permitió, después de cerradas las casillas, falsificar las actas de la elección presidencial y aumentar el número de votos a favor de Carlos Salinas. El sistema se "cayó" para dar tiempo a los operadores de este fraude de falsificar actas y aumentar la votación presidencial. Por eso se opusieron a que se abrieran las urnas, porque sabían que en ellas no había el número de votos que decían las actas.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 03:35 PM

It is always interesting to see lefties getting upset when someone attacks one of their "intellectuals." Mexico's true intellectuals are people like Krauze who actually study history and politics and write about it in a clear, logical fashion. Krauze said it all in his recent essay about how AMLO is underming Mexico's democratic institutions. Yet we see his supporters here crying about defending democracy.

It would be nice if a vote-by-vote count could be done to settle this whole thing, but we all know it will not end there. If AMLO and his supporters really want to support democracy they should shut up and wait for the tribunal to make a decision, Then they should respect that decision whatever it may be.

If the TRIFE were to annul the election, I would not like it, but I would accept it. I don't see that same democratic attitude from AMLO and his mob.

Posted by: Goyo | July 28, 2006 03:47 PM

If the TRIFE orders a recount, there is a new problem. According to the AP, in an interview yesterday, (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/mexico_election;_ylt=AnZ887NuHtIbaT3yis9jbQwdl.0A;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl)
AMLO said that he has "lost confidence" in the IFE, and does not want it to supervise a recount. Rather he wants "independent observers" brought in. Who? From where? How quickly? Maybe the PRD can just supply the observers, that might be easier.

There is no way on Earth the TRIFE is going to bring in a third party to conduct any recount it orders. So, it looks to my non-intellecual eyes like AMLO is setting things up to continue to whine about fraud after he loses any recount that may be ordered.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 03:57 PM

The law, any law, cannot address EVERY possibility; therefore, there is a well known legal principle that says that what is not specifically forbiden is allowed. Electoral law doesn't FORBID the recount of all the votes. The TEPJF (known before as TRIFE) can, and in the opinion of many, should order the opening of all electoral packages and a recount of all votes, in support of the constitutional principle of transparency of the election.

Some people, including our vocal Jerry B and emptyboxes, refuse to read carefully what AMLO has declared: In AMLO's opinion (and that of many other, including myself) the election as a whole was rigged (the so called abstract cause for annulment); however, if all votes are counted and Calderon wins, AMLO will accept the RESULT, NOT the legitimacy of Calderon presidency; this has happened before. Carlos Salinas was declared President, but he was always considered a spurious president by the FDN/PRD. PAN negotiated with PRI the burning of the electoral packages, without a recount of the votes. We will never know the truth in that case. Do we favor a similar situation now? It appears that Calderon and his followers do.

In his response to AMLO letter, encouraging him to accept the recount, Calderon recurred to the old tactic of answering to what he wasn't asked; he responded that he could NOT ORDER the recount. Of course he cannot, neither AMLO can. The proposal was to say at least that he didn't oppose it. That would ease tension a little bit. Instead, Calderon avoided making his opposition to the recount clear, by writing nonsense.

The impasse continues, and the court should make a ruling. That's all. Let's wait for more proof of irregularities in the third informative march. I know that Jerry B and emptyboxes will continue writing ad nauseum that there is no proof, never mind the inconsistent results in 60% of the acts; never mind the recorded phone conversation between Communications Secretary and Elba E, Gordillo, or the ballots found on the street, shown yesterday by the PRD representative to IFE: "No hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver..."

Posted by: pasilla | July 28, 2006 04:10 PM

Not surprisingly the funny quote of the week comes from none other than emptyarguments -sorry, boxes: "Get Real: You should think before you are."

All week long we have been watching this guy talking before thinking and giving us all straight rebuttals to all arguments and substance put in front of him (Just check his comments on the thread.)

Fact is emptyboxes, that I'm amassed by your capacity to counter almost immediately any argument against Calderon placed in this blog. Not surprisingly this leads me to conclude that you are being paid to do so (and if not, get a life!), and in the process, being provided with the "factual" information to try to lead the discussion along with Jerry B. (aren't you the same?

Anyway, let me state for the record that like the NYT and the Financial Times, I believe that a recount would be the most adequate and rightful thing to do considering the amount of irregularities both previous and during the election. The widespread (and illegal) support from the Fox administration to Calderon was clearly in breach of Mexican electoral laws, and the difference (a mere .58%) is too narrow to determine with certainty that Calderon had the most votes.

Let's remember that the counting is done in the polling stations by well intentioned but tired and poorly prepared citizens after a full 14 hour working day. I have participated several times in this process and many mistakes are made -and all too frequent in a mischievous manner.

Democracy is a risky process to politicians and individuals who believe that they have an almost divine right to govern and that part of their mission is top preclude the masses, and its leaders to get to power. No, I'm not talking about AMLO but the Mexican elites and the current Panistas who believe that they have the divine mandate to stop AMLO from becoming President.

Fact is that during the first Panista administration, Mexico has fallen on almost every indicator published by the World Bank. Why then are they surprised by the staunch support of so many to AMLO?

In fact, I think that an AMLO government presents a better opportunity for the country to gasp some fresh air after an administration that did everything to choke the country's institutions and its middle and lower classes.

Calderon has been, and there is no reason to believe that it will be different, a mediocre individual. For a country in desperate need of new paradigms, a Calderon presidency would be akin to prescribing a diet of Ice Creams to a Diabetic.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 28, 2006 04:12 PM

Pasilla, see above, who will conduct the recount? Will AMLO accept a recount conducted by the IFE?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 04:13 PM

Sr. Beteta, how are you "amassed" at empty boxes?
You state the following "Fact is that during the first Panista administration, Mexico has fallen on almost every indicator published by the World Bank". Do you have statistics on this, or a world bank URL? Specifically, has Mexico fallen on the following indicators: Inflation? Hard currency reserves? Real interest rates? Home ownership rates? Abject (extreme) poverty?

I am sorry to kep going on, but I get tired of hearing about how AMLO represents "change". We desperately need change in Mexico. We need to change our tolerance for monopolies and cartels, both public and private. We need to change our labor laws to allow new jobs to be created, and to give employers (who create jobs) more flexibility. We need desperately to change PEMEX because if we do not, our children are going to be importing oil, not exporting it.

I have no great faith in Calderon, merely consider him the least bad of the lot. But, please, what "change" can I expect from a candidate who is a product of and surrounds himself with other products of the most retrograde elements of the PRI????? If we were to use a dictionary description of the word "conservative", AMLO is the most conservative candidate of the five. The only thing that he seems to want to change is who is in power, from someone else to him.

Posted by: Jerry b | July 28, 2006 04:23 PM

Sr. Beteta, how are you "amassed" at empty boxes?
You state the following "Fact is that during the first Panista administration, Mexico has fallen on almost every indicator published by the World Bank". Do you have statistics on this, or a world bank URL? Specifically, has Mexico fallen on the following indicators: Inflation? Hard currency reserves? Real interest rates? Home ownership rates? Abject (extreme) poverty?

I am sorry to kep going on, but I get tired of hearing about how AMLO represents "change". We desperately need change in Mexico. We need to change our tolerance for monopolies and cartels, both public and private. We need to change our labor laws to allow new jobs to be created, and to give employers (who create jobs) more flexibility. We need desperately to change PEMEX because if we do not, our children are going to be importing oil, not exporting it.

I have no great faith in Calderon, merely consider him the least bad of the lot. But, please, what "change" can I expect from a candidate who is a product of and surrounds himself with other products of the most retrograde elements of the PRI, and whose labor, energy and competition proposals read like Luis Echeverria's 1970 campaign material????? If we were to use a dictionary description of the word "conservative", AMLO is the most conservative candidate of the five. The only thing that he seems to want to change is who is in power, from someone else to him.

Posted by: Jerry b | July 28, 2006 04:23 PM

Let's assume that there was this massive fraud and that these clever PAN people were able to carry it out, leaving "inconsistent results in 60% of the acts," as pasilla notes.

My question is this-- How were they able to do this when the IFE is an independent organization in which ordinary citizen volunteers do much of the work under the scrutiny of representatives from every party and even some international observers?

Now, had AMLO stuck to his cybernetic fraud story, he might have had me. I can be easily dazzled by computer nerds who hack into systems and pull all kinds of tricks. I have no idea how they do that, but I suppose a few really talented and capable people with some kind of access to the IFE system could manipulate things. I doubt that they could do it without leaving a trace, though, because you always hear of investigators finding evidence of hacking. But, in any case, that story might have worked, but AMLO dropped that in favor of the old-style fraud story, which would require many more people in a vast conspiracy.

That seems far fetched to me. Carrying out anything that big would take coordination with lots of people. It is unlikely that it would have worked without somebody getting caught. So that takes us back to what Jerry B, emptyboxes, Krauze and others have been asking-- where is the proof? Did the PRD present evidence to the tribunal or just 800 pages of speculation and quotes from Stalin?

Posted by: Goyo | July 28, 2006 04:29 PM

Hot of the press in El Universal, a letter by the election officials requesting a recount coupled with strong charges against the Electoral Commision (IFE) and its Chairman, Luis Carlos Ugalde of pressuring them to act in a partial way. This is the kind of stuff that really makes me change my mind about Calderon as it brings the transparency and legality of the election into question:

Piden consejeros distritales al TEPJF volver a contar votos.

Consejeros de distritos electorales federales ubicados en el DF, Veracruz, Querétaro, Jalisco y Puebla se dijeron totalmente dispuestos a abrir cada uno de los paquetes electorales y hacer un nuevo conteo

14:20 Un grupo de consejeros distritales del Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE) dio a conocer una carta que le enviaron a los magistrados del Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación (TEPJF) en la cual solicitan la apertura los paquetes electorales y la revisión estricta del computo de los pasados comicios presidenciales.
Durante una conferencia, éstos consejeros de distritos electorales federales ubicados en la ciudad se dijeron totalmente dispuestos a abrir cada uno de los paquetes electorales y hacer un nuevo computo.
Aunque en la conferencia sólo participaron alrededor de 10 consejeros, la carta esta firmada por 68 consejeros distritales de la ciudad, así como de los estados de Veracruz, Querétaro, Jalisco y Puebla.
Al dar a conocer el contenido de esta misiva que entregaron al Tribunal Electoral el pasado 15 de julio, los consejeros distritales acusaron de manera reiterada al IFE y a su presidente Carlos Ugalde de actuar de manera parcial e ineficaz, de propiciar una serie de irregularidades e inconsistencias y de solapar a organismos como el Consejo Coordinador Empresarial que, agregaron, polarizó el ambiente político con sus opiniones.
Cada uno de los consejeros distritales que ofrecieron esta conferencia dio a conocer su testimonio sobre la jornada electoral y enumeró una serie de presuntos errores e irregularidades que propiciaron representantes panistas o autoridades del propio IFE.
Así, por ejemplo, detallaron que en el Distrito 23 durante el computo de las actas lograron abrir 68 paquetes y de éstos al menos 65 tenían errores numéricos, pues en casi todos los votos estaban mal contados.
En el Distrito 9, el consejero Cesar Rodrigo Nuñez detalló que el IFE mandó al apartado de inconsistencias varias actas de computo que no tenían errores, además de que el 11 de julio se abrió la bodega electoral bajo la protesta de la coalición por el Bien de Todos que alegó la competencia exclusiva del Tribunal Electoral Federal para llevar a cabo esa acción.
En el Distrito 25 la consejera Mayra Pérez dio a conocer que las autoridades del IFE les enviaron un escrito para que se pronunciarán contra la apertura de todos los paquetes electorales, lo que se repitió en el consejo 22 en donde a decir de Jacobo Alavez la presidenta del mismo "fue aleccionada de que no debía abrir paquetes y que se opusiera con toda fuerza a ese hecho, acusó el consejero distrital.
Los consejeros que ofrecieron esta conferencia aseguraron que no simpatizan ni han tomado partido con Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Argumentaron que su único interés era expresar un punto de vista para lograr que el IFE corrija el camino y se conduzca con certeza y legalidad, según expresó Enrique Pino, del Distrito 14.
Además, lamentaron que hasta la fecha los puntos de vista generados desde el IFE han sido monopolizados por Luis Carlos Ugalde y los consejeros generales, ante lo cual es timaron necesaria la difusión de otros puntos de vista.

Posted by: Goyito | July 28, 2006 04:30 PM

"If AMLO and his supporters really want to support democracy they should shut up and wait for the tribunal to make a decision..."

With all due respect, Goyo, do you recognize the following language?

"No se podrá coartar el derecho de asociarse o reunirse pacíficamente con cualquier objeto lícito...

No se considerará ilegal, y no podrá ser disuelta, una asamblea o reunión que tenga por objeto hacer una petición o presentar una propuesta por algún acto a una autoridad, si no se profieren injurias contra ésta, ni se hiciere uso de violencias o amenazas para intimidarla u obligarla a resolver en el sentido que se desee..."

I assume you read Spanish; and I hope you identified the language of the Mexican Constitution, which allows anybody to protest peacefully...

Posted by: pasilla | July 28, 2006 04:31 PM

"Pasilla, see above, who will conduct the recount? Will AMLO accept a recount conducted by the IFE?"

Jerry B: My answer is "I don't know." I don't share your love for wild speculation...

Posted by: pasilla | July 28, 2006 04:37 PM

Dear Jerry,

Indeed I have. Raymundo Riva Palacio made the favor to compile the following for your own personal perusal: "No hay retórica en esto. El Banco Mundial tiene un índice de gobernabilidad y anticorrupción que elabora anualmente que permite medir estos procesos. De los seis indicadores que definen la legitimidad y la eficiencia de un gobierno, en los seis bajó el gobierno de Fox. En rendición de cuentas, cayó de una calificación de 59.6 en 2002, a 56.8 en 2004; en estabilidad política se redujo de 52.4 a 43.7; en eficiencia gubernamental se desplomó de 65.7 a 56.7 (en 1998 tenía una calificación de 68.9); en estado de derecho cayó de 47.4 a 45.9; el control de la corrupción bajó de 51 a 48.8; y en calidad regulatoria, aunque subió de 66.8 a 68 en el mismo bienio, cayó con respecto a 1998, cuando tuvo 75.5. A este desastre se le puede añadir otro indicador de eficiencia y legitimidad importante: la ausencia de violencia. En este sexenio no sólo se disparó en número, sino en la calidad de la violencia y la extensión con la cual se maneja el crimen organizado."

If these are not enough to depress you, you can log directly into the World Bank site and keep adding more for our readers benefit.

Furthermore, you ask about inflation, which may I add it has been mostly a global phenomenon (not attributable to Gil Diaz, unfortunately) due to the high levels of global liquidity -now being mopped away by the higher interest rates, which also answers your third question. About hard currency reserves you are on the spot, Mexico has now the highest level of reserves in its history but did you also know that during Fox administration Pemex's indebtness grew from $21Bn USD to $91Bn USD? This means that PEMEX owes more in hard currency than the total amount of our "record" reserves, and its negative capital means that to bring equity back to zero, every Mexican would need to come up with $1,500 Mexican Pesos from their own pockets? Hard to believe but true. You can consult these numbers as they were presented by PEMEX to the SEC.

This explains why the Panista administration is so reluctant to let anyone other than Calderon to come to power. Think for a moment about the scandal that would be created if we suddenly find out that our great Macro figures are really masking a country in virtual bankruptcy.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 28, 2006 04:51 PM

Goyito:

This tha same note in another newspaper:

Piden al Tribunal Electoral valorar la apertura de paquetes electorales y la revisión del cómputo

Ciudad de México (28 julio 2006).- Alrededor de 70 consejeras y consejeros distritales del IFE, del DF y de cuatro Estados, expresaron hoy su disposición a colaborar con el Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación, en la resolución de los juicios de inconformidad por la elección presidencial.

En conferencia de prensa, Enrique Pino Hidalgo, del Distrito 14; Mayra Pérez Sandy, del 25; Luis Pineda, del Distrito 21; Gabriel Jacobo Alavez, del 22; Laura Wong y Sara San Martín, del 15, de la Capital del País, dieron a conocer su posición en torno a la elección del 2 de julio.

Informaron además de un documento entregado el fin de semana al Tribunal Electoral, en el que señalan que esta instancia jurisdiccional debería valorar una revisión estricta del cómputo en cada casilla.

"Manifestamos nuestra total voluntad y disposición para la realización de esta tarea, sin demérito del trabajo realizado el pasado 2 de julio por los ciudadanos y ciudadanas, funcionarios de casilla, a quienes reconocemos y agradecemos su compromiso desinteresado", indica el documento.

"En el ánimo de contribuir a dar certeza y distender la confrontación generada ante los resultados de las pasadas elecciones federales, consideramos que el Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación debería valorar, al momento de resolver las impugnaciones presentadas en el proceso electoral presidencial, el determinar la apertura de los paquetes electorales y la revisión estricta del cómputo".

Los consejeros reiteraron que su participación en el proceso electoral ha sido de manera desinteresada, en ejercicio de sus derechos políticos y dieron testimonio de que actuaron en total libertad, con independencia y sin sujetarse a ninguna presión por parte del Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE) ni de ningún partido político.

Los consejeros que estuvieron de acuerdo con el documento suscrito fueron de los Distritos 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25 y 26.

También estuvieron de acuerdo en dar a conocer su postura ante el proceso electoral federal algunos consejeros electorales de los Estados de Veracruz, Querétaro, Jalisco y Puebla.

Los consejeros electorales invitaron públicamente a sus compañeros de otros Distritos del País a dar su testimonio y su opinión sobre la elección del 2 de julio.

En la conferencia de prensa, algunos de estos consejeros dieron testimonio de la apertura de paquetes de algunas casillas durante el cómputo distrital, de errores aritméticos en algunas actas y de su experiencia durante todo el proceso de validación de los datos de la elección.

It doesn't mention any of the accusations.

Posted by: TG | July 28, 2006 04:59 PM

Would this imply that the Universal is making up "the charges thing" or that the newspaper you refer to decided to left it out for some reason?

Posted by: Goyito | July 28, 2006 05:01 PM

Pasilla-- I read over your constitutional excerpt in Spanish and what does it have to do with my point? Again, we are not questioning AMLO's right to challenge results or to hold meetings or give speeches.

The question I posed has to do with proof. Look again at what I said. Does he have evidence for this massive fraud or not? If so, as I said, I would be interested in learning how PAN pulled it off. It would make a great caper movie, like "Oceans 11." How did they mastermind the plot and how did they get all those people, including many PRD representatives, to work with them?

And here is the other point-- As Krauze so clearly stated-- if he does not have evidence and if this whole mess he has created is nothing more than sour grapes or, perhaps, a push for power by other means, then AMLO will have done much damage to Mexico for his own selfish gain. So, again-- it has nothing to do with the Mexican constitution and his rights-- we all recognize those rights-- it has to do with the moral character of the man and whether or not he has something to back up his charges.

Posted by: Goyo | July 28, 2006 05:02 PM

Neither. I'm asking because I haven't seen the document that they sent or the interviews. I don't read the Universal very often so I don't know what their editorial line is.

Posted by: TG | July 28, 2006 05:13 PM

Marco-- It is a good point you raise about Pemex--

"...PEMEX owes more in hard currency than the total amount of our "record" reserves.."

Several months ago, Sergio Sarmiento wrote a column demonstrating that Pemex was close to bankrupt. Although the situation may have grown worse under Fox, it has been building for some time. Had the PRD-PRI coalition in Congress not blocked the reforms Fox wanted, the picture might be very different today.

Mexico needs to start taxing its people the way other nations do, rather than shielding people like Carlos Slim and using money from petroleum sales to finance government operations. Mexico also needs to abandon this notion of "el petroleo es nuestro" and open the sector to some limited investment.

Calderon might be able to accomplish these things, but AMLO not only would not have the votes necessary, he wouldn't even favor any change. As Jerry B noted in an earlier message, AMLO is basically conservative or even anachronistic-- He would take Mexico back, rather than move forward. Maybe someone can explain how AMLO would deal with a problem like Pemex, or Mexico's loss of factory jobs to China, or any of the other real problems facing the country.

Posted by: Goyo | July 28, 2006 05:34 PM

Goyo,

Right you are about Pemex. But upon close inspection of Pemex's numbers you will conclude that the acquired debt by the Fox administration is part of a deliberate attempt to bankrupt Pemex (As a finance expert I cannot rationalize it in any other way) in order to justify the so called required reforms. How then would you justify the additional $70bn in debt if the corresponding oil output is the same than that as the beginning of the administration? What was the debt for?: The proceeds were funneled out from Pemex through the "special taxes" designed by Hacienda and have been mostly used to finance consumption, as the banks are clearly not lending to the Mexican Pymes for investment purposes. It is sad story but because it requires some analytical understanding it is beyond the grasp of many Mexicans.

I agree with your assessment about the need to tax individuals like Carlos Slim and rightfully fight monopolies, but why on earth would you think that Calderon would take such action if his campaign was heavily sponsored by Televisa (Who got casino permits and telecommunications rights worth an estimated $1.3bn USD at the taxpayers expense in exchange for supporting Calderon) or by Roberto Hernandez, another campaign sponsor, who through his friendship with Paco Gil, The Finance Minister, was authorized to sell the largest bank in Mexico at $12.5bn without paying a cent in taxes because "there are no capital gains taxes for stock exchange transactions."

Would Calderon be willing to betray the support of these vested interests?

Sorry but I rather go with AMLO's proposal to improve the management of PEMEX as France did with its own state owned companies, which incidentally have grown, prospered and are thriving internationally.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 28, 2006 06:23 PM

Marco, you rock! I think we are all growing tired of people who throw around claims (like "My numbers show me winning by 500,000 votes.") and then provide no justification for their claims. You did.

So, let's look at them. They depress me too. Now, if Fox were a Pinochet or Castro type of dictator, who ruled by fiat and did not have to deal with those problematic diputados and senators, these would be damming. Fortunately, despite what AMLO says, we do live in a free country, and the president cannot just decree changes into existence. Let's look at a couple of Riva-Palacios' charges:

Political stability. Mexico dropped. On the other hand, so did Russia when the commies were finally removed. As of 2000, the PRI was the oldest dictatorship in the world. Mexico was not very free, but quite stable. Now it is not. Emerging democracies may not be the most stable of countries, but they beat the alternative.

In governmental effeciency we see the same pattern. New government, new party in power, effeciency goes down.


I find the other ones harder to argue about, as I am not sure what the control is. Do you have the URL of the world bank study? I looked on their web page, but could not find it, and do not have the patience to spend all day googling it.

You mention violence. I was not aware that we lived in a violence free paradise before December 1, 2000. Violence has long been a problem, and, historically, increases dramatically when countries transition from dictatorship to democracy. The former Soviet Union and South Africa come immediately to mind. So does Brazil, as do all the former military dicatorships in central America. Add to this the stupid American policies on drugs, which we pay the price for, and I find it hard to blame Fox, or to anticipate any reduction under AMLO (or Calderon).

The PEMEX numbers sound like one more great reason to privatize it.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 06:24 PM

Marco, come on, you do not really think that France is "prospering and thriving internationally", do you? Compared to France, even Mexico's labor laws look realistic.

Posted by: | July 28, 2006 06:26 PM

Above post mine.

Improve the management of PEMEX???? Management is not the problem, their managers are actually somewhat respected in the world. The problem with PEMEX is that it exists in a vacuum, with no competetion, no real auditing, and a union that is so corrupt as to boggle the mind. It would make much more sense to issue shares in PEMEX to all Mexicans, and let them do as they wish with them, while at the same time opening up all sectors of the oil business to competition. The govt. could charge a wellhead tax, like the govt of Alaska or Wyoming does, and get the same revenue without lifting a finger, and, more importantly, without investing capital that it does no have. Because "el petroleo es mio", I have to drive across the border to San Diego and pay 70 cents a gallon more for gasoline for my car, because I cannot find a gas station in Tijuana that sells full, unadulerated liters. How does this benefit me?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 06:32 PM

TG you are correct, the quote you make is from Reforma which deliberately omits the accusations and masks them behind the text: "En la conferencia de prensa, algunos de estos consejeros dieron testimonio de la apertura de paquetes de algunas casillas durante el cómputo distrital, de errores aritméticos en algunas actas y de su experiencia durante todo el proceso de validación de los datos de la elección."

SHAME ON REFORMA!. If this isn't censuring what is it?

Posted by: Goyito | July 28, 2006 06:39 PM

Jerry, you say that I rock but I have given you facts and numbers issued by a respected agency (The World Bank) only to hear from you some conceptual argumentation based on your sole appreciation of why Mexico is better than.....Russia??????!!!! Come on, for someone who has been so adamant on its defense of Calderon you should be able to come up with something better!

Now, you keep stating that Pemex should be privatized as a "matter of fact", a dogmatic appreciation. Again, I invite you to go and check analytically Pemex numbers and arrive to your own conclusions. I'm willing to discuss with you my arguments for keeping Pemex in the state hands but only if you do your homework and produce hard evidence for the alternative case.

On the other hand, be careful, you might get what you wish: Thanks to Fox, if a share of Pemex is given to each Mexican today, you would be liable for $1,500 Mexican pesos to a foreign creditor! The company has negative equity of $10bn USD!!! Oooppss!

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 28, 2006 06:52 PM

Marco, I am stating facts relative to the history of almost every emerging democracy of the 1990's. The components of the Soviet Union, the ex Warsaw Pact countries, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, even Chile. All democratized in the 80's or 90's, and all saw increases in crime, disease (AIDS has gone through the roof in Russia and S.A), and decreases in political stability. This is a phase, and the earlier democratizers, such as South Korea and Taiwan have passed beyond it and are merrily progressing at a level we can only dream about. Mexico will pass beyond this too, but to think it is somehow unique to Fox is nearly idiotic.

As to PEMEX, I have checked the numbers. I have also checked who AMLO is surrounding himself with. Would Bartlett, or Monreal, or maybe Munoz Ledo "improve the management" of PEMEX? Somehow I doubt it.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 07:02 PM

OK, I get it. I should be lenient on Fox because former soviet countries and others had trouble when they switched from communism, dictatorship or apartheid to capitalism. I'll just pretend that Mexico has not been a market economy since the 1920's!!

And on the Pemex side, as you evidently don't know the numbers, the best you can come up is with an argument about Bartlett, Munoz Ledo and...??????? Come on Jerry, once you are faced with facts and numbers the best you can do is speculate and conceptualize?

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 28, 2006 07:25 PM

No, Mexico has not been a market economy since the twenties. It has been and remains a state dominated, cartelized, economy, with exactly ONE oil provider, ONE energy provider, ONE fixed line phone provider, ONE large cement company, ONE railroad (until recently) and what ammounts to cartels in the banking, aviation, beer (very important!), transportation, and television industries. Combine this with a fossilized, corrupt union movement, and some of the most rigid labor laws on the planet, and there is no way you can call Mexico a true market economy. Furthermore, by your definition, South Africa, S. Korea, and Taiwan were also market economies since many generations back.
As to PEMEX, I am not a "finance expert" like you. But I do have open eyes, and can smell a rat. I also have an open mind. You call for "improved management". Fine, do it. WHO, from AMLO's coterie of ex-PRIista associates do you think he should pick to head up this new "improved management"? Who do you think he WILL pick? My money is on Bartlett. Again, I am not particularly confident.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 07:37 PM

Jerry, it is clear these ignorant tamale-eating PRD followers cannot tell the difference between a Completely Liberal and Prosperous and wealth generating society like the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, England, etc. and a socialist ruled country like Cuba, formerly China, the failed USSR, and others.
Mexico cannot be called a liberal society because we are half the way between both economical systems.
Felipe Calderon and PAN advocate more liberalization of the economy, meaning more economic freedoms for the individual to create prosperity.

Eversince we got communist brain-washed presidents like Lazaro Cardenas, who created this monster of corruption and inefficiency called PEMEX, and his stupid farming reform to give away land for free to many poor Mexican farmers who ended up working in family owned farms in California, Kansas and Texas. The other Mexican PRI populist presidents continued with the nationalization of electricity, telephone, and other industries, creating huge and corrupted monopolies that contributed nothing to Mexican progress.
This is what PRD and AMLO want. A turn back to the past where politicians were able to control the economy and use it to their advantage. AMLO is an autoritarian, he is no democrat, he acusses anyone who does not agree with him. He need to see a doctor quickly because he is losing it.

Raymundo Riva Palacio is another cocaine and hypocrite UNAM writer. He is the kind of lame pseudo-intellectual who cannot see that there is a grea half of the country, and the most prosperous, that does not believe in Carl Marx's utopias. Biased as he is, the very next day after Felipe Calderon got the results from IFE, he wrote a beautiful piece on El Universal, full of frustration and trying to minimize Felipe's success in the most biased and mediocre way. Lately he has been having some fantastic orgasms with the idea of an interim government.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 28, 2006 08:16 PM

This comes from El Universal"

PRI Officially denies any alliances with PRD"

"El PRI refrenda su confianza en las instituciones electorales, en particular en esta etapa del proceso. Nos apegamos a los ordenamientos que ellos emitan. Mantenemos nuestra confianza de que ellos sabrán resolver conforme a derecho".


Si el Tribunal decide abrir todas las urnas, el PRI lo respeta; si decide abrir algunas, igual lo respeta; si no abre ningúna, igual. "El PRI confía en la autoridad y en el buen juicio de los magistrados, así como en la estricta observancia del procedimiento legal".

Some wish-ful thinking PRD had hoped for the PRI to support their TURD by TURD counting request. A chupar faros!

Why don't they get it? If the PRD wants everybody to support their position they have to learn to build bridges and AMLO, thinking he was going to win, never did that, he attacked and laughed at the PRI for 4 years and now he wants their support?

PRI will not support PRD because there is no fraud and they perfectly know that. If there ever was fraud the first one to benefit from a fraudulent election is the PRI, who could then build a case to get an election annulment and run again with a more popular candidate and a real chance to win the Presidency, for they still control 17 states. But, first, there was no fraud, secondly, the PRI knows an election annulment is highly unpopular and in most cases the parties who demanded and got the elections annuled lost the elections the second time, Third, Felipe Calderon built many bridges between his team and most PRI governors, who are the real leaders in the PRI, Four, an alliance with the PRD risks the very existance of the PRI, if a sector of the PRI allies with PRD many governors in the north and central states will automatically go to the PAN along with PRI representatives in both cameras and this will give PAN a mayority in both houses that together with Nueva Alianza and Partido Verde and Alternativa will crush any oppossition from PRD and remaining PRI representatives.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 28, 2006 08:39 PM

Come on, I eat tamales too. In fact, I like them. When I was a stupid teenager, I even ate the worm out of mezcal bottles.

I do not think the PRI in general is going to support a recount, but certainly some of their more jurrassic or mesazoic elements will. Murata, Bartlett, maybe Madrazo probably will, as they are ideological soul mates of the PRD anyway. There is no way the PRI northern governors will, they can read the electoral tea leaves as well as anyone, and know that by supporting AMLO here, they will just be guaranteeing that the PAN wins in their states next electoral cycle.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 08:59 PM

Marco-- You are one of the few rational and intelligent people to have posted on here with a pro-AMLO outlook, so I read your comments with respect.

It seems you have some good information on Pemex and the oil sector, but I would like you to address a few specific questions:

The French oil company allows some private investment and, as you say, has done well, so why wouldn't it be a good idea to open Pemex to some extent?

The debt increase you cite is troubling and I do wonder what is behind that. But isn't the whole arrangement by which the government relies on Pemex for its major funding a problem in itself? Wouldn't it be better to have a tax system that brought in revenue from those who have money? Several years ago Fox tried to sell a European-style value-added tax on consumption that would have obtained money mainly from those who have the money to spend. There were exemptions for the poor. Yet the PRD was against it. It appears to me that the only reason the PRD opposed that proposal and others was politics. They just didn't want Fox to achieve anything. Same for the PRI. Am I wrong?

These things worry me because I do think Mexico has emerged in the past decade or so from a completely closed, statist economy to one that is approaching a market economy. The middle class has grown some, especially under Fox, and that is essential to the prosperity of any country. In other words, I think the country is moving, however slowly, in the right direction and I do thing AMLO would be a danger to the country in that he harks back to the old populist ideas of the past. I would think you would worry about that, too.

Posted by: Goyo | July 28, 2006 09:20 PM

PRD Impugnations accross the country's electoral districts are beginning to colapse for lack of evidences. The first one last Tuesday in Jalisco, and yesterday another one in Toluca.

I think the PRD is desperately trying to destroy the whole election process. The Ballots showed by Duarte yesterday at the IFE only proves that they want to get the whole election annuled.
This is their real intention. Never mind the TURD by TURD recount. They know they lost, even in the recount. But the recount is popular and makes their plea look more legitimate as it makes them look like the victims of some fraud.
But showing those ballots was a big mistake, for it seriously compromises the PRD legitimate claims before the Court. The Courts do not like illegal attitudes like Duarte did yesterday at the IFE. As representative of a Party, and the only party impugnating the Presidential Elections, they should have denounced the ballots as soon as they found them. Instead, they waited until the IFE Session and used them as a mediatical blow against the credibility of the IFE.
I cannot imagine what these people are willing to do. They are probably capable of throwing a bunch of illegaly obtained Ballots in front of the people at their next meeting. I also eat tamales sometimes, they are good and fun to eat too. Actually there is a little town next to Monterrey where they produce some very good quality tamales, the town is Villa de Juarez and it is famous for the tamales. Their most famous tamale restaurant is Tamales Salinas. Their tamales are small and very tasty, a real treat.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 28, 2006 09:30 PM

"I also eat tamales sometimes, they are good and fun to eat too"

Wonderful statement from a person they called in Mexico "chico bien" where did you study ITAM, Tec, Ibero? It's fun to eat the same stuff those "poor and less studied" people eat right?
guess what, there's about 50 million of them.

Your are nothing but a total JACKASS!!!

Posted by: Joe P. | July 28, 2006 10:29 PM

You know, until this point, we have managed to run this forum without many personal comments. Apart from all of us who support the PAN or do not support AMLO the messias being called fascists, racists, classists, and "running dogs" of gringo imperialism. But, that is to be expected from frustrated intellectuals...What we have not seen is foul language. Why do you not take that to some other site?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 10:38 PM

Thanks for the jackass compliment. It is nice to have a friend.
I also did not know I was a "Chico Bien", but it also sounds very nice.

However, about the 50 million poor and untutored people, I already knew they existed. Perhaps that will explain the overwhelming victory of the great messiah, Mr. Obrador, who I suppossed will be legitimate crowned this Sunday at the Zocalo in front of a very representative crowd of these very same poor and untutored people who apparently forgot to go to the polls on election day. Perhaps they decided it was better to stay home and watch over those tamales in the fire, and of course get drunk with some Coronitas bought some days before for the occassion.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 28, 2006 10:55 PM

Well, TG, you're right; the Mercado quotes were from an "open minded" intellectual, what insight, what vocabulary and what liberal tolerance. And, yes, we are into some deep, deep miércoles, here. What do you think the Murat/PRD connection will have on the protests in Oaxaca? Tales of brave Ulises, is even his political godfather hanging him out to dry?

By the way, I also like tamales; sometimes I even make some when I can get some "chipil" from Oaxaca. These are very porous and the watery "chimole" sauce just soaks right into them. I should mention to maya0 that I could be called "Zapoteca¼" as my paternal granddad was a full-blood Valley Zapotec, but then I might be classified as too "naca" to write here or a sell-out to my race, depending on what prejudices you hold.

Joe P., please try not to act like what you're calling emptyboxes, and emptyboxes, please don't give Joe P. cause to call you what he did. What are the foreign readers going to think of us; that we're a bunch of republicans and democrats?

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 28, 2006 10:59 PM

emptyboxes: I retract my statement, bacause you might not even be a "chico bien"

You are right Jerry B. this is not the right forum for me. enjoy!

Posted by: Joe P. | July 28, 2006 11:15 PM

K. Vronna, you should know by now that some of the most intolerant, closed minded people in the world are "intellectuals", of both the left and the right. Usually, the more they talk about "tolerance" and "respect for diversity", the less tolerance and respect they will show, for any kind of disent from their orthodox line. Intellectuals also talk about "independent thought" a lot, which is strange, because they all sound remarkably alike, even using the same vocabulary, where words like "fascist" and "imperialist" abound.

As to whether they will call you "naca" or "race traitor", you will probably be called both. After all, you have managed to become a left wing "fascist", so it should not be hard.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 28, 2006 11:22 PM

With all this talk about tamales and favorite foods, it is good I ate dinner before coming back to check this blog.

Has anyone heard what Cardenas said yesterday? I heard that he spoke about the situation, but I did not see any news reports in the papers I looked at online.

There must be lots of turmoil within the PRD now as AMLO and his disciples start purging the organization of heretics, even party founders perhaps? Maybe there will be a bonfire in the Zocalo this weekend where they will take care of the impure among them.

A South American friend was asking me about what is going on in Mexico now. He was amazed by the news of all the marches and denunciations of fraud. Many people in Latin America had looked at Mexico as a model. They admired the IFE and the whole new system that emerged after 71 years of one-party rule. Now the reputation of Mexico and its institutions has been stained by an egomaniac and his followers who care little for the damage they are doing. AGAIN-- They have a right to protest, but I have a right to condemn them for the moral depravity of defaming a country and its institutions without any real proof to back up the claims.

Mexico is in for some interesting times-- interesting in the sense of the old Chinese curse.

Posted by: Goyo | July 28, 2006 11:45 PM

I don't believe I offended anyone with my previous statement about the tamales. If you feel offended then you must have some prejudices in your mind. However if you still think what I wrote before was offensive. Then I apologize sincerely.

Here's for you guys to laugh at me and you need not apologize: I am Catholic and I am proud of it. Now you can laugh at it, you can also accuse me of believing in Jesus and Mother Mary, I also attend Mass Service every sunday, you can laugh at it as much as you want and you can picture at mass service, I, the jackass who writes and offends your favorite intellectuals and the same one who laughs about your little mediocre and pathetical world of La Jornada, Silvio Rodriguez and Carlos Monsivais, and tamales on sunday morning, I go to Church.
I voted for PAN and I am proud of it and now that Felipe Calderon won in a clean and transparent election, I will rub it off on your face that AMLO lost, for the rest of these six years. Now you can laugh at it, accuse me of being a miserable pragmatic middle class and whatever else. I went to ITESM and I am proud of it and carry an ITESM sticker in the back of my car so guys like you can remind me of my dear Mom once in a while. Now you can laugh at me and call me whatever you want to.
What else. Well I like to listen to Hayley Westenra. Perhaps you can pull a joke about her. I doubt it.

None of whatever you or anyone else can say here will offend me and I cannot offend you either so feel free to do it. If you do feel offended, then it is your problem. I believe you and only you are responsible for your own happiness and I do not need to apologize or justify for whatever I am or I am not.


Posted by: emptyboxes | July 29, 2006 12:44 AM

"Now the reputation of Mexico and its institutions has been stained by an egomaniac and his followers who care little for the damage they are doing. AGAIN-- They have a right to protest, but I have a right to condemn them for the moral depravity of defaming a country and its institutions without any real proof to back up the claims."

Goyo, thanks. The very reason why I decided to break my anonymity and post my my humble opinions here in a clear effort to set the record straight.

I went to the polls, I voted, and I did not see any fraud. Upon listening to AMLO's allegations I did not believe it at first, however I took the time to go to the Electoral District during the counting. I saw. I asked many people, in my neighborhood, at the office, with suppliers and customers, even with some from other states. All of them told me the same thing: They did not see any fraud. While some of them might have suspected a fraud, which is always natural due to our past history of stolen elections, they could not verify it or confirm it in any way.
And all we have seen is AMLO contradicting himself. And his own history also speaks volumes about his reaction to having lost the election. The same journalists asked him repeteadly before the elections whether he was going to recognize the results, because we all knew his history.
It was to be expected. What was not to be expected was the lame reaction of the entire PRD. They are following this thug down to a big hole.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 29, 2006 12:57 AM

I am not so sure the entire PRD is going to follow him down the whole. I would love to know what Cardenas had to say, as per Goyo's post. Daddy Cardenas, Baby Cardenas, Amalia Garcia, and one or two others have been very conspicious by their silence. The PRD could split over this, especially once AMLO crashes and burns, as he will when the TEPJF rules against him.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 01:06 AM

Jerry:
I am not very hopeful about Mr. Cuauhtemoc Cardenas. He did not give one single straightforward opinion in the whole campaign. Just a few days ago, he was shown speaking, at last, about the post-electoral conflict, and as usual, he did not say anything, he simply stated that the Court had to take a desicion and that there must be certainty in the election, I consider this a sign of giving in to AMLO's demands although in a very subtle way. But I what sincerely disappointed to see he did not come in defense of IFE. When asked whether he thought the election was clean, he replied, with his usual lack of definition in the answers, that he was not the judge to decide whether the election was clean and that it was up to the Tribunal, we of course, nobody said he is the judge. Maybe he is appealing to hardcore PRD followers who really believe AMLO's allegations. I think it is probably that Mr. Cardenas is between a rock an a hard place on this one, as he is getting a lot of pressure from AMLO, who invited him to the next meeting at the zocalo, in a clear effort of disrespect for Mr. Cardenas and to blackmail him, if he does not go, he will be exposed as being on the other side, if he goes, he will be seen as bowing to AMLO and recognizing his authority, it's too much to ask.
About Amalia Garcia and Cardenas Batel, I also think the same here as you.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 29, 2006 08:53 AM

I do not particularly care for daddy Cardenas, I find his ideas rather retrograde, and think he did a huge disservice to Mexico by running in 2000, and risking a split of the anti-PRI vote, which could have let Labastida win. On the other hand, he seems to have at least some honor, and, who knows. Anyway, he is on his way out whatever he chooses to do. His son could be a rising star in the PRD. Or, he could get kicked out of the PRD. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 10:29 AM

I was reading La Jornada this morning and it is so funny how predictable this newspaper is. It turns out that the fellows who write their columns in this paper, also have their own PRO-AMLO, Pro-Socialism and very communist militant blogs and websites. The whole newspaper is a dirty AMLO and PRD propaganda magazine.
They openly post links to their own PRD and AMLO militant websites, which they wish would get as popular as el senderodelpendejete and other PRD and AMLO famous websites.
It seems that the fine line that separated the paper with AMLO and PRD has become a heavy rope that bonds them together. It is also most interesting how you can also the EZLN and Marcos, from United Colors of Benetton, merge in the whole equation of the Mexican Left.

They are all one happy family. With Julio Hernandez writing his cocaine dreams of insurrection and socialist revolution, he masturbates himself with the fantasy of an interim President and even considers Juan Ramon de la Fuente, the mediocre UNAM director, as a possible candidate, Juan Ramos has remained silent all these days, I think he is also masturbating himself with these cocaine fantasies of Julio.

Of late, AMLO has also found support from violent guerrilla groups from Oaxaca and Guerrero, who also distributed flyiers during the last meeting trying to recruit more young radicals. I thought they had enough with the UNAM brain-washed students and professors.

EZLN and United Colors of Benetton-Marcos are running anothe campaign in favor of AMLO in La Jornada and other radical newspapers from the United States. In the United States for example, a radical Anti-american and Anti-semitic and Anti-Dentite called John Ross has been repeating the lies of AMLO and EZLN about the elections fraud.

Sometimes it strikes me how among all the international observers like the European Union and other important organizations from USA and Canada we did not have Mr. Carter and his respectable leftist foundation here to appease of these leftists radicals.

We must remember how this great Castro-apologist Carter Center legitimized the Hugo Chavez quasi-self-coup-d'etat election as the cleanest election in the history of the world, with only a very few and minor and inconsequential two or three hundred thousand cases of ballot stuffing, branch stacking and voter intimidations, that had absolutely no influence on the 99.98% turn out of free and unobstructed voters who unanimously re-elected Hugo Chaves for a second-out-of-a-total-of-five terms, allowing him to continue being the democratically elected president of the proud people of Venezuela until 2032 and with the right to exercise some Referendum stock options to democratically continue in power afterwards.

Had we had this respectable organization watching over our elections, nobody would have ever questioned our elections.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 29, 2006 10:51 AM

La Jornada is interesting. Today, they present as fact that Gordillo did all the fraud. No real evidence given, we should just believe it. Then they bring up the complaint that the PRD had no observors at some polling booths. What does this matter, if they had had observors, the PAN would just have bribed them anyway.

Posted by: Herry B | July 29, 2006 11:12 AM

Reading all these rantings by Jerry B, empytboxes, and ocassionally Goyo, I cannot but conclude that they are afraid to death that AMLO will finally prevail. They go round and round spewing the same stale arguments. If anybody definitely refutes one of their uninformed pieces of writing (like Marcos Beteta did), they shift the discourse to Mao or Stalin, or South Korea or whomever/whatever.

Other than deep fear, I cannot fathom the motives behind the pedestrian attacks that emptyboxes levels to journalists and writers with whom he disagrees. The "intellectuals" mentioned by this crew are at most journalists (who the heck is Ezra Chabot, I wonder?). But even if they were total unknowns, I limit myself to criticize writings, not people. Jerry B and emptyboxes don't display this kind of restraint, and Goyo happily jumps into the bandwagon of the gratuitous attacks. About the "clarity" in expression that he seems to favor in writers such as Sarmiento and Krauze, anybody can write falsities using a very clear language. What causes me the most trouble, but the right-leaning crew relishes, is their cavalier accusations about the mental state of anybody who disagrees with them. I think that they are beyond help in this regard. Watching their performance, I'm glad that their extremist ways are in the minority.

And K. Vronna, thanks for the link with the editorial by Carlos Monsivais; I thought that I was the only one failing to grasp what the mishmash of ideas voiced by Patricia Mercado and followers were about. If somebody with the analytical insight of Monsivais cannot make sense of the hodepodge, I don't feel that bad that I cannot, either. But at least you try to be decent...

Posted by: pasilla | July 29, 2006 11:44 AM

According to an editorial in today's Post.

"aides say [AMLO] will urge his followers to undertake acts of disruption."

I wonder what these "disruptions" will involve and will the Mexican people stand for them?

AMLO is beginning to sound like nothing more than a thug.

Posted by: RC | July 29, 2006 12:37 PM

Marco, if PEMEX is losing money with oil prices as they are, that is a huge indictment of state ownership. State owned companies invariably become cash cows for their unions and politicians, which is why they are often money losers. The IMF tells nations to sell them off if they want financial help for this very reason.

Posted by: RC | July 29, 2006 12:47 PM

Pasilla-- You disappoint me. It would be interesting to have someone actually present an argument here to refute our position, but we have not seen that yet. Marco did raise some interesting issues and I gave him credit for that. But I never saw answers to any of the questions I posed.

Can you answer the question about how this alleged massive fraud was carried out without leaving a scrap of evidence? If there is evidence, then we would assume AMLO has presented it to the tribunal, so why not wait and let them rule? Why stage marches and issue threats?


As for clarity of writing, which is closely associated with clarity of thinking, what makes Krauze and Sarmiento worthwhile reading is that they present their facts and arguments in a clear, logical manner so that you can follow their reasoning and either agree or disagree. Can you take what Krauze wrote, for example, and refute it point-by-point?

As for Sarmiento-- I think he is a very clear thinker who presents good arguments, but I do disagree with him from time to time. For example, I understand his reasons for backing a vote-for-vote recount, but I do not think this will clear the air.


Posted by: Goyo | July 29, 2006 01:03 PM

RC:

A sit-in in a Woolworth cafeteria counter was a "disruption." Was MLK a "thugh?" Democracy is disruptive. I guess that canning people for minor infractions, Singapur-style, is the epitome of order.

So, countries that doen't follow the IMF directives live in error... Mexico, with its 50 plus million people living in poverty, has ocassionally followed that wise advice to the letter. I know. I emmigrated to the US due to one of those directives.

Private ownership of oil companies in the US is ensuring outrageous gas prizes for consumers, and record earnings for companies. I wonder who's benefiting?

Posted by: pasilla | July 29, 2006 01:07 PM

Pasilla:
"Reading all these rantings by Jerry B, empytboxes, and ocassionally Goyo, I cannot but conclude that they are afraid to death that AMLO will finally prevail."

I loved this last statement of yours. Specially the last phrase: "AMLO will finally prevail", I bet when you wrote this phrase, you probably felt so merry, overjoyed, gleeful, delighted, buoyant. It's nice to have hopes in the darkest and most mournful moments. Remember, it does not matter how absurd or impossible, or far reaching the goal is, even if it is a complete fallacy or a very ridiculous and stupid goal, HOPE NEVER DIES.

Otherwise it does seem to me you are having a nice day and looking forward to tomorrow's crowning of AMLO at the zocale. I am so glad for you. Don't forget to take a very good shower, it's going to get a bit stinky out there in the Zocale, specially with those disenfranchised PRD farmers who came all the way down from the sierra and traveled for hours in those buses without air conditioning and no restrooms. I believe that Encinas should order some portable baths for the meetings at least and some disinfectant, just in case.

By the way, You seem to be responding very quickly as soon as we say something about La Jornada, Are you one of their respectable cocaine writers? Just a question.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 29, 2006 01:08 PM

Regarding Cardenas, padre, I think it is interesting that he said it is up to the tribunal. Evidently he did not say the party should try to exert pressure on the magistrates by holding big rallies and sending mobs to attack offices. This could be a subtle shift away from AMLO and the crazies.

I agree with Jerry about the old guy and I also thought he should not have run in 2000, but he does carry some moral weight and, as a founder of the PRD, his departure, whether voluntary or forced, would confirm the party's move on a narrower, more radical path.

Posted by: Goyo | July 29, 2006 01:08 PM

Passilla, in your above post you are very clear in describing why you do not like my or several other posters lines of thinking. Great, it is a free country. But what I fail to see from you is any refutations of some of the, at best, strange actions AMLO is taking. If he has "irrefutable" evidence of fraud why is he not taking it to the TEPJF (and the international media), instead of having his Sunday afternoon thug-ins at the Zocalo. If he has numbers, as he said he has, indicating that he has won by 500,000 votes, why not make them public? If he has "lost confidence" in the IFE, why does he insist on a recount, which he has to know will be conducted by the IFE?

Can you answer these questions? Or, at least, give some logical reason for AMLO's actions? Or, is it easier to try to discredit the people who pose questions you do not like.

One last question. If you were from Mars, with no experience of either the PAN or the PRD, but with a clear knowledge of the PRI and its slimy practices and members, and saw two presidential candidates, one who is buddy with Elba Esther Gordillo, and the other who is buddy with Munoz Ledo, Ebrard, Camacho Solis, Monreal, Bartlett, and Jose Murata, who would you be inclined to trust more?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 01:15 PM

That was in response to an obvious injustice, segregation. Losing an election when you think you should have won is not an injustice.

Nations are not forced to borrow from the IMF, they do so when their own actions have created a crisis. Getting to the heart of the problem (i.e. runaway spending) is unavoidable.

When was the Mexican statist utopia?

Mexicans have been coming to the U.S. for decades but there is growing middle class in Mexico as well. You apparently speak English and are computer literate, I'm sure you could make a living in Mexico.

I hate to break this too you, the best way we are going to discourage consumption of fossil fuels is higher prices. You may not be concerned with environmental damage of fossil fuel consumption, but many others other. Americans are going to have to change their ways. Cheap gas has is like a crack habit that Americans need to kick. A lot of silly populist bellyaching about the oil industry won't make that problem go away.

Posted by: RC | July 29, 2006 01:17 PM

Ugh, this system does print words in "<"s. The first paragraph above is in reference to the lunch counter sit ins comment.

Posted by: RC | July 29, 2006 01:19 PM

Higher oil prices translate into higher fuel prices which translate into people buying more fuel efficient cars which translates into Car makers producing far more fuel efficient cars. In the quest to bring more energy efficient cars to people, many companies like GM, Honda, Toyota and others are not experimenting with Hydrogen cars. Actually I read GM has built a hydrogen car already and it is now in the final tests, they say it should be ready in 3 or 4 years.
Some farmer from Arkansa is producing plastic out of genetically modified corn.
It seems to me we are quickly reaching a new energy era. Little by little we are begining to replace oil in many areas of our industries.
While in Brazil they are already using alcohol as fuel, in Mexico, our great PEMEX monopoly opposses any changes in regulations. Power special interest groups like the PEMEX Labor Union and PRI and PRD politicians are oppossing any reforms that may undermine PEMEX control and influence in any are of the energy industry in our country. AMLO and Madrazo both represent these special interest groups.
The high oil or gas prices in the world will only accelerate the development of new and better technologies and nothing will stop new energy companies in the United States and other highly industrialized nations from producing alternative energy sources and the market laws of demand and supply will prevail at end of the day.
Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other countries highly dependant on oil exports will suffer the most. Mexico, thanks to some market reforms and NAFTA and other free trade agreements, depends more on exports of manufactured goods and services than in oil exports. We must continue advancing with more reforms.
Reforms that will allow us to develop energy companies that will invest in research and develop new technologies.
We should sell PEMEX and CFE and allow foreign investments in all industries.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 29, 2006 01:45 PM

Goyo:

I'm so sorry that I disappoint you! My contention is that, instead of us not "answering" your questions, you elect to ignore our answers. I, for one, very specifically addressed the allegation of the "threat" voiced by AMLO during the second demonstration, in this very queue. That you ignored my comment, it is beyond my control. Have you checked what the word "fraud" means? In a pocket dictionary it says that fraud refers to an act that evades a legal proviso. Calderon campaign incurred in fraudulent acts, not only in my opinion, but in that of the Mexican Supreme Court and even IFE's. Support of Calderon by the President and by entepreneurial organizations was illegal, therefore fraudulent. Regarding the numbers; there are thousand of cases of inconsistency in the vote figures from different sources. Even your beloved IFE has acknowledged that. Without a thorough and complete recount of the votes, it is impossible to decide if some of these inconsistencies are not consequence of a fraudulent act. The operation of PREP, some declarations of IFE's Ugalde and other memberes of the council were deceptive, if not fraudulent... And on and on. You may refuse to believe what you see or read, but evidence of irregularities is everywhere. In addition, that you have not seen evidence doesn't mean that evidence doesn't exist...

Regarding the demonstrations. It's a fundamental test of our democratic foundations to allow the free expression of messages that we strongly disapprove. You may hate the demonstrations, but they are legal, and there is not much you can do about them. "Order" for order's sake is not a fundation of democracy. Democracy is messy. Life in totalitarian regimes, like the ones you despise (e.g. Stalin's USSR), was very orderly, because dissent was methodically quashed. You cannot have it both ways.

Posted by: pasilla | July 29, 2006 01:49 PM

Pasilla-- Regarding private ownership of oil in the United States-- The oil companies, like Exxon, are enjoying record profits because the price of crude on the world market is at a record high. They did not make it go that high. They have very little influence on the market price. What they did do was position themselves, through acquisitions and ongoing exploration and development projects, so that they would have oil to sell at these prices. What's wrong with that?

Most of the world's oil is controlled by state-owned companies-- Pemex being one of them. But even OPEC's ability to affect prices these days is limited. Demand for oil has grown, driven in large part by economic growth in China and India, nations that are leaving Mexico in the dust.

All the state-owned oil companies, Saudi Aramco, PDVSA, Petrobras, allow some private involvement in their exploration and development. All Fox proposed, and Calderon also favors, is an opening that would allow some private companies to develop resources that Pemex cannot handle because it lacks the technology. Doesn't this make sense? Don't you feel a tad uncomfortable being in company with North Korea-- the only other country that does not allow private risk contracts?

If he does take office some day, what will Presidente Peje do to solve the crisis? He has proposed better management at Pemex. Even assuming that management could be improved, what does that have to do with getting access to the latest technology to develop untouched resources? Petrobras could help if Mexico wants to work with another Latin American nation's oil company. But it would make sense to go to Houston and Dallas and Tulsa and get several companies involved. Let them compete with each other-- to the benefit of Mexico.

Posted by: Goyo | July 29, 2006 01:52 PM

Pasilla, you wrote:

"there are thousand of cases of inconsistency in the vote figures from different sources"
What independent sources other than PRD and AMLO themselves have shown incosistencies in votes figures?
Even the people at the UNAM who love AMLO so much tried to find incosistencies in the figures and have not found anything so far.

"Even your beloved IFE has acknowledged that. Without a thorough and complete recount of the votes, it is impossible to decide if some of these inconsistencies are not consequence of a fraudulent act."

First, we need to have those inconsistencies in order to justify a recount. And IFE has not aknowledge to having 70 thousand inconsistencies like the PRD says.

"The operation of PREP, some declarations of IFE's Ugalde and other memberes of the council were deceptive, if not fraudulent... And on and on."
The UNAM and UAM and other institutions looked at the PREP and found, and even though they are clearly biased in favor of AMLO, they did not find any real evidence of fraud or mismanagement or manipulation. The Universal has a note on this and they show two points of view, the one that favors a recount did not present any evidences but mere suspicions.

"You may refuse to believe what you see or read, but evidence of irregularities is everywhere. In addition, that you have not seen evidence doesn't mean that evidence doesn't exist..."
It seems to me you also refuse to believe that it is impossible to carry out the kind of fraud AMLO is denouncing. How can you syncronize on one single day hundreds of thousands of IFE and PRI, PRD, PAN, Alternativa, Nueva ALianza representatives in order to carry an alleged fraud that consists on taking 100 or 200 votes away from AMLO in a little Casilla somewhere in a little town in Tabasco and giving Felipe Calderon another 100 or 300 votes more in another Casilla in a very little town somewhere in Tamaulipas or Nuevo Leon? How can any organization carry out such a huge and complex task and all of it in such a perfect manner that nobody, other than these hundreds of thousands corrupted people, nobody else saw anything on July 2. No, It was all discovered 3 or 4 weeks after the elections. Give me a break!


Posted by: emptyboxes | July 29, 2006 02:06 PM

Pasilla, you are evading the main question. If Jesus, excuse me, AMLO, has was victimized by all this fraud that you are pointing out, and it is as obvious as you say (AND Jesus did not benefit from any fraudulent support from the GDF, right...) and he has proof, why bother with the demonstrations. Surely the TEPJF will recognize such obvious evidence and crown AMLO president.

These demonstrations are to pressure the TEPJF. Yet, if the evidence is so clear, pressure is obviously not needed. So, why have them?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 02:36 PM

Emptyboxes, you truly do a disservice to both the ITESM and your own respectability by articulating your ideas in the way you do. Spilling arguments full of epithets and showing a clear disdain for tolerance will not help others neither understanding your views nor will help you widen your intellect to new possibilities.

With due respect I would suggest that its time for you to amend the way or sign off for the benefit of the site.

Why would a recount be desirable?

a) Because a .58% in a contested election cannot constitute Certainty -as defined in the Constitution.
b) Because the nation is so polarized between the haves and the have-not's that the only way to allay the fears of the latter of being denied the access power through democracy is by confirming that the election was mostly clean.
c) Because the elections did not become a catalyst for a clear direction on where the country should head next.
d) Because if the TEPJF sustains Calderon's victory without opening the boxes, the legitimacy of his regime will remain suspect.
e) Because with such a small margin, Calderon will have no choice but to sustain his regime on the vested interests that have harmed Mexico for so long.
f) Because his regime will be so weak that he will be tempted to use force (with unpredictable consequences) to gain respect.
g) Because he will need to negotiate with some of the most retrograde forces in the country to obtain concessions in exchange for extending protection (or at least turning a blind eye to their activities.) (PRI, Yunque, Elba Esther, Roberto Hernandez, etc.)
h) Because it is likely that the favorable international environment that has helped Fox during his administration will eventually turn against the country, exerting economic and social pressure on a questioned regime. (high price of oil, low intl. Inflation, high level of remittances.)

Perhaps we can come up - legal issues aside - for a rational case of why there should be a recount or not.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 29, 2006 02:40 PM

Marco, interesting points.
I will now, in a most fascist and intolerant manner, respond to them:

A. .58% is not certainity. A recount is unlikely to change this. If, by some miracle AMLO were to win the recount, his margin of victory would probably be more along the lines of .058%. Then we would get to watch the PAN impugn everything, just like AMLO is doing now.

B. The nation is polarized between North and South. Recount all you like, the polarization will still be there.

C. The elections did not point the country in a clear direction. Right you are. This is a strong arguement for a second round runoff next time. Right now, after a recount, the nation will still not be pointed in a clear direction.

D. Regime legitimacy...If AMLO and his thugs manage to pressure the TEPJF into awarding him the presidency (which is what he really wants, not a recount) how much legitimacy do you think he will have?

E. Vested interests???? Come on, PEMEX, CFE, a whole litany of PRI thugs, Jose Murata being the latest, and you worry about Calderon being subject to vested interests??? AMLO represents almost every vested interest there is, from TELMEX to PEMEX and everything in between.

F. He will be tempted to use force? Do you have proof of this? Or do you mean he will be tempted to uphold the rule of law in places like Atenco the next time crazy thugs with machetes run amok.

G. See D.

H. International environment could change. Do you think AMLO can wave a magic wand and say "Make the bad changes go away!!!"?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 02:49 PM

emptyboxes:

"By the way, You seem to be responding very quickly as soon as we say something about La Jornada, Are you one of their respectable cocaine writers? Just a question..."

A very stupid question. I don't have a clue what you are talking about...

"Mexico, thanks to some market reforms and NAFTA and other free trade agreements, depends more on exports of manufactured goods and services than in oil exports..."

According to the Bank of Mexico, the three main sources of hard currency for the country are oil imports, expatriate remittances and turism, in that order... Whose having "cocaine dreams" now?

"Some farmer from Arkansa is producing plastic out of genetically modified corn..."

What does this have to do with energy production or consumption? One of your non-sequiturs...

"What independent sources other than PRD and AMLO themselves have shown incosistencies in votes figures?"

I wrote the source: IFE. But you play your favorite the game of taking what I write out of context...

"First, we need to have those inconsistencies in order to justify a recount. And IFE has not aknowledge to having 70 thousand inconsistencies like the PRD says..."

You don't need to have anything; that's the job of the court.

"The UNAM and UAM and other institutions looked at the PREP and found, and even though they are clearly biased in favor of AMLO, they did not find any real evidence of fraud or mismanagement or manipulation. The Universal has a note on this and they show two points of view, the one that favors a recount did not present any evidences but mere suspicions..."

I dont have so much time in my hands as you seem to have. If you want to be taken seriously, what exactly are you talking about?

"the kind of fraud AMLO is denouncing..."

What kind of fraud, according to you, is he claiming?

Once again, you attempt to hide your ignorance, your bias, under a ton of verbiage. You don't fool me; I guess you don't fool anybody. What is out here for all to see is your bigoted disdain for fellow Mexicans. Once again, shame on you!


Posted by: pasilla | July 29, 2006 02:52 PM

I'm still wondering about Joey Murat's alignment with the PRD and its possible effects on the Oaxaca teacher's (et al) strike. What's Ulises thinking now? Sure brings up that saying about strange bedfellows.

Pasilla, if understanding Alternativa's platform was difficult for you, the Monsivaís editorial must have been totally impossible. I just see name-calling and sour grapes. If saying "Mercado, exhibió su infinita piedad ante "los marginales" (consumidores de mariguana, mujeres que abortan, gays y lesbianas)" is the new AMLO-left's version of tolerance, maybe we should look to El Yunque for a more tolerant stance.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 29, 2006 03:04 PM

Jerry B.

Are you an official or an un-official speaker for emtyboxes?

What is wrong with demonstrating? Mexico is a democracy, and the Mexican Constitution protects the right to speak and demonstrate. Are the ministers of the court pressured by the demonstrations? So what? It's infantile to think that their decisions happen in an information vacuum, free of all influences. What's the point, then?

Posted by: pasilla | July 29, 2006 03:08 PM

Nothing is wrong with demonstrating. But, what is the point? The election will not be decided in the Zocalo, but in the TEPJF.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 03:12 PM

K. Vronna

Contrary to your contention, I reiterate that I really enjoyed Monsi's editorial. I believe that his irony about "los marginales" went above your head, though. What's your big concern about Murat and Monreal (not PRD: "el estado soy yo"?) talking strategy? Both are going to be Senators. Extreme "purity" has only served well to Christ...

Posted by: pasilla | July 29, 2006 03:18 PM

Pasilla, if Monreal and Murata represent the progressive part of Mexico, no wonder Cardenas pers is moving away from the PRD. Yuck.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 03:21 PM

Pasilla-- The right to demonstrate or challenge is not in question here. The question is whether it is morally defensible to drag a nation and its institutions through the mud if you do not have anything credible to back up your allegations.

AMLO has impugned IFE and some of his own party members who served as volunteer observers at the polls. He has used code words to imply there will be violence if he does not get his way.

The tribunal is to hear from both Lopez Obrador today and Calderon tomorrow. That is where this issue should be aired. If Lopez O has something to back up his claims, that is the place to present it.

When an election is as close as this one was, it is clear that no one candidate or party can claim a strong mandate. Calderon has reached out to other parties and segments of society to build a coalition for the good of the country. AMLO wants it his way or the highway. If he does take office, he will not have the votes in Congress to do much of anything. So, if he really were thinking along the lines of his slogan "por el bien de todos," he would not be making this fuss. If he really cared about the country, he would accept the results, as he promised to do, and try to work with the new government and with the PRD legislators to get what he claims he wants for the poor.

Posted by: Goyo | July 29, 2006 03:25 PM

Jerry B.

"The election will not be decided in the Zocalo, but in the TEPJF..."

Who's saying otherwise? You don't see the point of the demonstrations; I don't see the point of your opposition to them. You agree that they are legal. So, why not let them be?

Posted by: pasilla | July 29, 2006 03:32 PM

Goyo, I think think AMLO realizes that it is now or never for him. His antics have turned off (see polls) a sufficient number of people that if the election were held today, he would lose in a landslide. Bringing in all these shady PRI vermin as integral PRD members has managed to turn off enough respectable perredistas that if he does go on and lose, the Cardenas/Garcia faction of the party will probably mount a coup and throw AMLO out the door. So, he must get power now, or he is not going to get power. And, if he has to destroy Mexico's reputation and harm its institutions, that is a small price to pay. After all, it is "for the good of the poor". Just ask Carlos Slim. Or Jose Murat.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 03:36 PM

Goyo:

Relax! AMLO is a grown up. If he is in error, time will tell. It's up to the courts to decide whose mud. If he's elected President, he will do what he can. Why are you so concerned about him? Calderon should not be reaching out as President, because he is not. By the way, you cut the slogan short; it is "Por el bien de todos, primero los pobres..." (For the good of all, the poor first)

Posted by: pasilla | July 29, 2006 03:41 PM

Jerry B.

Calderon y Gordillo: re-yuck! And I'm out of here...

Posted by: pasilla | July 29, 2006 03:48 PM

Pasilla, I agree totally with you. Gordillo....ewwww. On the other hand:

AMLO and Murat YUCK!!!
AMLO and Munoz Ledo EWWW!
AMLO and Camacho Solis PFFFF!
AMLO and Monreal ARGHH!
AMLO and Ebrard FRAUD!!!
AMLO and Yeidkol whoever GASP!!!!
AMLO and Carlos Slim PFFFT
AMLO and...well, you get the point.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 04:07 PM

Ignacio Ramonet, a noted idiot, writing in La Jornada puts a new twist on things. The videos showing Bejerano gambling the "primero los pobres'" money away in Las Vegas were a part of a giant plot by the government to discredit AMLO. Poor guy, el Junque has its talons everywhere, and corrupts his associates, poll watchers, everybody.

In other words, even when there is PROOF of PRD corruption, it is unfair to mention it.

Posted by: | July 29, 2006 04:24 PM

Thanks for that last post, whoever it was. That answers pasilla's comment about how the full slogan included "primero los pobres." I guess with the right throw of the dice the pobres might get a little something from AMLO and his cronies.

But, seriously, how will the poor benefit from turmoil and the denigration of institutions? If there was fraud and there is evidence, then, yes, I guess it is all worth it and justice will prevail. But if this has all been about the personal political ambitions of one man, then the poor, along with everyone else, will pay dearly for it.

If I were looking to invest some money in a new factory now, would I want to put it in Costa Rica and take advantage of that nation's peaceful, orderly society and relatively well-educated populace or Mexico where there are constant demonstrations, social unrest, a poor education system dominated by teacher unions who buy and sell positions, an unreliable electrical system that may get worse unless there is serious energy reform soon.. etc,etc.... ?

Posted by: Goyo | July 29, 2006 04:38 PM

The last post was me. And, Goyo, if you were looking to open a factory, that would just prove that you are a running dog of fascist imperialism who wants to exploit Mexicans (or Costa Ricans). It is much better if nobody invests, because that means nobody can exploit us. Right?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 04:47 PM

I never underestimate the ability of our politicians to screw things up, but on this one, I have my own reserves.

PAN has been inviting PRD to sit down and talk about the situation in the country, that is, to negotiate. PRD has publicly stated they are not sitting down unless the subject of the conversation is the VxV.

There was an exchange of letters, it was started out by AMLO, then Felipe Quickly replied, they both sent their own representatives to deliver the letters.
Question is: Were the letters they delivered the same ones we saw on the newspapers? Are we sure these were the real letters?

Then, we learn that Camacho Solis and others went to Washington to allegedly tell the international press and organizations about their point of view. Why? Don't the international press and other organizations have offices in Mexico? Or is he going to talk to US Senators and Congressmen? Why would he do something like that? They wouldn't pay any attention, both democrat and republicans support Calderon anyway and those who don't is because they don't give a dime about Mexico. So I don't really think that is the reason why.

Then we learn that the next week the TRIFE will decide on the VxV recount. And exept for cocaine analists from La Jornada of course, every serious analist is saying that the PRD has absolutely no chance to get a full recount and or an annullment.

We have a mayor meeting at the Zocalo, is it the highest moment of the post-electoral crisis?

PAN senators and congressmen who were suppossed to go on vacation to cancun are reprimended by PAN and decide to stay in Mexico city and watch over the situation there and support Calderon in the post-electoral crisis.

Suddenly they decide to go to Cancun and the PAN says its OK.

Are we sure all of them went to Cancun. Or is one or two of them in Washington talking business with Camacho Solis?

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 29, 2006 07:04 PM

Jerry,

Back to the recount topic and your points:

"A. .58% is not certainty. A recount is unlikely to change this. If, by some miracle AMLO were to win the recount, his margin of victory would probably be more along the lines of .058%. Then we would get to watch the PAN impugn everything, just like AMLO is doing now."

My take: In the case of the recount, Certainty would not be provided any more by the margin but by the evidence - and confirmation, being the case - that a majority, although small, voted for Calderon. If Calderon looses, he's out of options, but then he would also be certain that he was not the winner. (By the way, you seem to contradict yourself by constantly criticizing AMLO's challenging the results while you acknowledge that "automatically" the PAN would do the same if the results did not favor it.)

"B. The nation is polarized between North and South. Recount all you like, the polarization will still be there."

True, and it's a tough reality. I find many more poles than just north and south: Liberals vs. Conservatives, Rich vs. Poor, Nacos vs. Fresas, Roberto Hernandez & Paco Gil vs. Carlos Slim, Carlos Salinas vs. Manuel Camacho, Roberto Madrazo vs. Elba Esther, Calderon vs. Yunque and Creel, AMLO vs. CCE, and every imaginable fissure one can imagine. Perhaps the Schumpeter principle of "Creative Destruction" is the only way the country can be saved from its own "leaders."

"C. The elections did not point the country in a clear direction. Right you are. This is a strong argument for a second round runoff next time. Right now, after a recount, the nation will still not be pointed in a clear direction."

Let me beg to disagree. A lot of the people that voted for Felipe did so because they feared AMLO, not because they were convinced by Felipe's proposals. Where would the country be headed in the case of Felipe is a bigger question than in the case of AMLO (and pls., to keep the argument flowing, restrain yourself from speculating about the potential catastrophes that you personally foresee in the latter.) Aside from the multiple lists of "try-to-please-all" proposals prepared for the debates, I truly cannot identify in Calderon's plan any cogent, integrated menu of public policies that would radically change the dismal state of affairs in the country.

"D. Regime legitimacy...If AMLO and his thugs manage to pressure the TEPJF into awarding him the presidency (which is what he really wants, not a recount) how much legitimacy do you think he will have?"

Legitimacy is crucial. If the country, for whatever reason, finds itself experiencing an international or national crisis, the last thing you want is for the people to question the legitimacy of its leaders in such moments. It can really square the problem.

"E. Vested interests???? Come on, PEMEX, CFE, a whole litany of PRI thugs, Jose Murata being the latest, and you worry about Calderon being subject to vested interests??? AMLO represents almost every vested interest there is, from TELMEX to PEMEX and everything in between."

Your answer is quite bad. Prove me wrong (without resorting to name AMLO's campaign sponsors) in me saying that Felipe's campaign received full support from some of the most nefarious vested interests in the country: Roberto Hernandez, Elba Esther Gordillo, Ramon Muñoz, The PRI "progressive" governors like Marin from Puebla or Bours from Sonora, Claudio X. Gonzalez, Televisa, Olegario Vazquez Raña, the radio and telecommunications concessionares, etc. The monopolies and companies represented by these individuals, have thrived in Mexico mostly because pf to their ties to the PRI and FOX´s governments, which have allowed them to keep the status quo and / or expand their concessions.

"F. He will be tempted to use force? Do you have proof of this? Or do you mean he will be tempted to uphold the rule of law in places like Atenco the next time crazy thugs with machetes run amok."

No, in Realpolitik terms force is always an option. How then would you think the Soviet states were able to keep their citizens living in "happiness and harmony."? Furthermore, no need to be so international.......remember "La Quina"?

"H. International environment could change. Do you think AMLO can wave a magic wand and say "Make the bad changes go away!!!"?"

No, but this is a strong reason why you need a legitimate government that can pull all the forces behind him in trying times.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 29, 2006 07:49 PM

empyboxes-- I share your disdain for politicians. I favor Calderon and the PAN, but that does not mean I give them a free pass, nor do I think they are always right on every issue. The overall program Calderon offered seemed to address all the major problems facing the country with appropriate policies to deal with them. But we always need to be vigilant.

As for the foreign press in Mexico, some are very professional, but many are left-leaning. The same people who cheer on the likes of Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid north of the border, tend to come south of the border to fawn over subcomandante Marcos and AMLO. The Washington Post, I must say, is one paper that has always had real pros assigned to Mexico. They make an effort to tell all sides of the story and give weight to that which is reasonable.

CNN en espanol has some very good reporters, but they also have Carmen Aristegui doing a program and she seems pretty biased.

It will be interesting to see what happens next week.

Posted by: Goyo | July 29, 2006 07:49 PM

Marco B, interesting responses. With regard to them:
A. If Calderon loses a recount he will not be out of options because he will have a very real argument that the GDF illegally supported (and continues to support) AMLO. And I am sure he would then push for nullification, what does he have to lose. This leads to
B. We both agree that the nation is polarized between North and South (among many other polarizations). If AMLO gets in after a recount with a margin that will probably be in the tens of thousands, not hundreds, how will this play out up here? How will it play out in congress, which is also polarized. And, going out on a limb, how will AMLO react when congress starts rejecting all his proposals?
C. A lot of people who voted for Felipe did so because they were afraid of AMLO. True. On the other hand, a lot of people who voted for AMLO were afraid of Felipe, vis the propaganda that he was a puppet of the vatican, el junque, and was basically going to eat babies if he got into power. OTHER people who supported AMLO thought they were supporting a social democratic alternative, not the megolomaniac they see in the Zocalo.
D. Legitimacy is crucial. Unless a recount unveils massive fraud, AMLO will be no more legitimate than Calderon. This election is within the margin of error. Period. Again, a strong argument for a runoff next time.
E. Vested interests...I guess this depends on how you define "nefarious". Seriously. The owner of one of many banks, a corrupt teacher that the PAN DOES NOT want in their ranks and a few others are bad. As to the "progressive" (Mario Marin??? ha!) PRI governors, they are looking out for number one, and nothing else. Marin probably hopes to stay out of jail, the rest are from the north and see PRD support in the single digits in their states, and made a tactical political decision.
Now, you asked me not to name names, so I will not. But I will ask this. Which vested interest does more harm to Mexico?
A mainstream media duopoly (which did not overly favor the PAN anyway) or a corrupt petroleum monopoly/with union?
A filthy rich banker, in a sector that is slowly opening to more and more competition, or a filthy rich telecomunications monopolist who is strangling his country's competiveness with high prices and poor service?
"Progressive (HAHA)" PRI governors or (sorry, I have to name names here) Bartlett and Murat?
Finally, which party is more likely to change Mexico, one with almost no ex PRI members, and many of whose members have been identified with democratic causes (losing stolen election after stolen election) for generations or a party formed almost entirely of dinosaurs from the bad old PRI and whose candidate's closest advisors are the same PRIistas who orquestrated the '88 fraud?
F Use of force. As you mention, use of force is always an option, especially in a country like ours where the private posession of firearms is generally prohibited. Under Fox, there has been very little use of force (Yes there has been some, Lazaro Cardenas comes to mind.) Is there any likelyhood that this will change? On the other hand, AMLO claims that the million or so people who marched in the DF some months ago protesting violence were part of some conspiracy against him. Might he be tempted to deal with conspirators in a forceful manner as president?
H. takes us back to D.

Incidentally, I do remember La Quina, and the real reason for his downfall is he had the temerity to defy Salinas and back Cardenas...

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 08:38 PM

HEY! What happened to G?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 08:42 PM

Goyo, the thing you forget is Subcomandante Marcos is so CUTE, with that pipe and ski mask. Backed up by a legion of unarmed indians. It is all so romantic, back to Montesqiue's concept of the "noble savage". Supporting Marcos lets a lot of poor little rich kids in the first world feel real good about themselves. And, when the dying starts in Chiapas, they will be far far away, and safe.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 08:58 PM

Jerry,

Thanks and, keeping in mind that the argument is why a recount would be desirable, I infer from my points and your counter-points the following:

a) YES. Certainty could be established, and if AMLO wins, Calderon would contest based on the GDF's supporting role (small prob. of success.)
b) NO. Not really useful, too many rivalries, too many issues.
c) NOT NECESSARILY TRUE. Both candidates with unclear agendas.
d) YES. But a second round needed for future elections.
e) YES. Both candidates are supported by negative forces, but a recount would help them to keep these at bay.
f) YES. The use of force always an option for a weak government.
g) You mixed D) with G) so I'll keep it to one.
h) YES. Legitimacy would definitely help.

So, 5 out of 7 arguments in favor of a recount! (?)

I know that you will not necessarily agree with my final assessment but at least it proves the recount would not be a bad thing. Why don't you offer your points on why a recount WOULD NOT be useful in order to have a better understanding of your views.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 29, 2006 09:16 PM

The primary reason I do not think a recount would be useful is simple. If AMLO loses it, regardless of what he says now, I do not think he would accept the results. He as already said that he has no confidence in IFE conducting a recount, so it would be easy to segue from that into "IFE conducted the recount in a fraudelent manner". And we would be back at square one...

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 09:22 PM

Again Jerry, you can do better than this. You are only speculating, I need strong and coherent arguments to weigh the pros and cons of going for a recount. Maybe your opinion is more important than you think.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 29, 2006 09:29 PM

It comes down to this. Do you think you can trust AMLO and his pledge to respect the results of a recount. I do not. It is too easy to change that to "I promised to respect the results of an HONEST (read: one that went my way) recount. From this point of view, there is no point in a recount from a PAN point of view, either Calderon loses, or Calderon has to put up with the same fraud allegations as now.

And, on that note, the man with the beer has arrived. I will continue this tomorrow.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 29, 2006 09:31 PM

Marco-- I think Jerry did answer you, but I will weigh in with my view--

If the tribunal has some mechanism to do the recount vote-by-vote and it decides to do that, fine. If they can carry it out with their staff, terrific! But, let's be realistic, if the IFE couldn't count the votes to the satisfaction of AMLO how much chance is there that he will accept the tribunal's recount?

What makes more sense is for the judges to follow the election law guidelines and do selective recounts where there is some evidence of either tampering or mistakes. I think AMLO knew this when he started with his "voto pro voto" rhetoric. He knew that if he called for something that broad, it might be rejected by the tribunal, thereby giving him a pretext to carry out disruptive demonstrations.

Jerry also raised the interesting notion of Calderon challenging the result if a recount gives it to AMLO. Maybe we would need an interim government for a couple of years just to allow for multiple recounts.

Another question, Marco-- why do you persist in claiming Televisa was pro-Calderon. I watched Lopez Doriga and Adela's programs fairly often and I could have sworn there was a bit of a slant towards Lopez O. What exactly did they do, in your opinion, to favor Calderon?

Posted by: Goyo | July 29, 2006 09:52 PM

Marco Beteta:

a).58% is not certainity. A recount is unlikely to change this. If, by some miracle AMLO were to win the recount, his margin of victory would probably be more along the lines of .058%. Then we would get to watch the PAN impugn everything, just like AMLO is doing now.

WRONG. If Calderon loses he will accept it and go back to work in his party and wait for the next time. The TRIFE's decisions are not to be challenged. They are final. And Felipe Calderon has a totally different outlook than AMLO. Felipe is young, only 43 or so, he can run again in 6 or even 12 years.

b) Because the nation is so polarized between the haves and the have-not's that the only way to allay the fears of the latter of being denied the access power through democracy is by confirming that the election was mostly clean

WRONG ASSESSMENT: First, there were many middle class and rich who also voted for AMLO, specially in DF and south Mexico and secondly Polarization is normal in Democracies, in the USA the Democrats and the Republican try to kill each other in election times, but as soon as the elections are over they go back to work and try to create consensus but PAN and PRI and PRD have found ways to agree and to work together and they will have to do so. Right now as we speak PAN and PRD are working together to make DF become a State. And they are also working together on an investigation of IPAB wrongdoings. So the passion of the election will go away and the parties will go back to work.. I also believe the problem with Fox is that he is a business man but AMLO and Calderon are real politicians who know how to work with other parties. And here perhaps AMLO will be better at getting reforms or laws or budgets passed as he seems to be less pragmatical and more political.

c) Because the elections did not become a catalyst for a clear direction on where the country should head next.
After you also stated here: A lot of the people that voted for Felipe did so because they feared AMLO, not because they were convinced by Felipe's proposals.

WRONG, the geography of the country contradicts this statement, the voters of Calderon came from areas where PAN has had a long time presence. But the propaganda against AMLO did not seem to work in DF and other states where the PAN has a very little presence. The PAN won in the states where they govern by big margins.
The country, just like any democracy, cannot go in one single direction, the country is plural, the only possible direction is to have consensual desicions.


d)Because if the TEPJF sustains Calderon's victory without opening the boxes, the legitimacy of his regime will remain suspect.


WRONG. You assume that a little difference means lack of legitimacy. Modern democracies need to learn to live with little differences in election results and these close results sometimes hurt legitimicy but we have to live with it. George Bush and Al Gore had very closed results, the first one won, many people continue thinking Al Gore was the real winner, but the Court prevailed and the great mayority accepted it and life goes on, had Al Gore won, the same would have happened, if AMLO wins, it will be the same with Calderon supporters,but in the end, back to work, life goes on, the next time. These kind of very close results will be more and more common because Political parties are getting better at choosing their most popular candidates, a mistake made by PRI but not by PRD and certainly not by PAN where they had internal elections and these internal elections united the traditional PAN voters around Felipe Calderon.

I will answer these three points with one single argument:

e) Because with such a small margin, Calderon will have no choice but to sustain his regime on the vested interests that have harmed Mexico for so long.

WRONG, PAN got the most seats in both houses, in Congress for example, he will only need about 40 votes to pass a budget or a new law and with all the PRI and VERDE and his puppet Nueva Alianza, Felipe Can get constitutional reforms and there will be nothing the PRD can do to stop it.
Felipe Stands winning a better situation as president than AMLO who will be easily blocked by PAN and Nueva Alianza and 30 more PRI congressmen, they can make his term miserable.

f) Because his regime will be so weak that he will be tempted to use force (with unpredictable consequences) to gain respect.
WRONG. Mayority in both houses with a little help from Verde or Nueva Alianza will make Felipe Calderon's administration very, very strong politically speaking, for he will have the power to pass reforms.

g) Because he will need to negotiate with some of the most retrograde forces in the country to obtain concessions in exchange for extending protection (or at least turning a blind eye to their activities.) (PRI, Yunque, Elba Esther, Roberto Hernandez, etc.)

WRONG: His own party PAN and Nueva Alianza will make him a strong president and will give Felipe much leverage to negotiate with any organization or group in the country. He will be able to change laws, even to take Governors from office by removing their Fuero in congress.

H) Because it is likely that the favorable international environment that has helped Fox during his administration will eventually turn against the country, exerting economic and social pressure on a questioned regime. (high price of oil, low intl. Inflation, high level of remittances.)

WRONG: First of all, right now the situation is totally the opposite, international press and institutions with lots of political weight like the European Union have supported the IFE and the results and they even had observers here during the elections who have repeteadly stated the elections were clean, So much the better. Even left wing newspapers are turning away from AMLO, like PAIS and New York Times.


Posted by: emptyboxes | July 29, 2006 10:09 PM

Jerry, if I got your message right the other day about some of my '68 UNAM friends correct, these are the kind of people you're referring to now in relation to Marcos; the weekend radicals. In my marching days there were some "rebellious" juniors that liked to show up at the less dangerous demonstrations because they thought it was "cool" and they were always on the prowl for some "radical" chicks to lay. A lot of us used to say that it would be safer to march next to these pukes because their daddies' bodyguards would never let papa's little precious get into harm's way.

What I've tried to impress on the AMLO supporters in this blog is that it takes a lot of steady constant work over time to make a dent in the misery of the poor. It may be DF chic to go to Santa Fe or the BMV to make these extremely creative protests, but tell me how many of these people would be willing to live and work in a poor rural village. I want to see some practicing of all that preaching. There's almost always a big congruency gap in political or religious movements, and these movements are usually so big that it's only logical that some unwanted members are going to join. What determines the credibility of a movement is what the reaction to these invasions is, and what's to be done to change the tendency. My beef with the hijacked-PRD is that they openly welcome any and all comers as long as they bring money, muscle or votes. The PAN is trying to catch up it seems (La Maestra, Cara de Zapo) and this does not bode well either.

As for this from Dr. pasilla:

"Contrary to your contention, I reiterate that I really enjoyed Monsi's editorial. I believe that his irony about "los marginales" went above your head, though. What's your big concern about Murat and Monreal (not PRD: "el estado soy yo"?) talking strategy? Both are going to be Senators. Extreme "purity" has only served well to Christ..."

1. That's good that you enjoyed the article, cada cabeza es un mundo. I'm sorry, though that I'm not up to your intellectual level; heck, I'm just another mentally challenged nobody that's too short, (1.60m, remember that damned sangre indio I have) and that just can't reach those lofty concepts. Maybe I'll sit on a tall ladder and reread that article, just might help. But then again, maybe I'm just too far gone on that dope and the anesthesia after all those abortions. Also I have to confess that I didn't study philosophy or political science, just a clunky old engineering degree, so I guess that's another reason why I can't grasp them high falutin' idears.

2. I'm not so concerned with the M&M boys getting together (Díos los crea y ellos se juntan), I'm curious to know what the teachers' union reaction will be since one of their stated objectives is the resignation of Ulises Ruíz, political godson of Murat. Sounds like it might cause a rift between the groups because if you think the teachers hate Ulises, they hate Murat even more.

3. Please don't remind me that that these two shining examples of progressive ideals are going to be senators, I already have a headache. You knew that the PRI would never let Lil' Joey walk around without a fuero to hide behind, not with the tail he has. I wonder what strategy they would discuss, maybe how to fool the teachers into supporting their enemies?

4. I've been labeled a "dirty this" and a "dirty that", but never been accused of "extreme purity" before, much less mentioned in the same sentence with Christ; thanks. (Emptyboxes, don't take this the wrong way, I respect everyone's personal religious beliefs.)


Finally, a pleasant surprise to see that there can be a respectful and lively debate here without getting into elementary school name-calling. I wish there were more PRD supporters like Marco Beteta on this blog; it raises the level of debate exponentially.

As for the international community's relationship to a Calderón presidency, I don't have any doubts that it would enjoy more support than an AMLO presidency, except, of course, you want to focus on Cuba or Venezuela, but I don't think that would make all that much difference economically.

The Gober would as soon give up his fuero as support the PAN. If you know anything about poblano politics you will remember all the nasty PRI/PAN fights. Moreno Valle left the PRI because he knew he'd be washed up as a pol if he didn't break with the Preciosos, not because he has any great affinity with the ideals of the PAN. From what I've been told by a politically active poblano cousin, el Gober was told in not so subtle terms by Madrazo to shut up and stay out of sight, but get him, Madrazo, some more money.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 29, 2006 11:10 PM

K. Vronna: Your comments are always enlightening and a real pleasure to me.

I supposse some of my comments might have offended you and others and that I probably seemed a bigot. Please do receive my apologies. I should try to be a bit or a lot more careful with the language I use and If you see fit I will also stop posting here as I would not like you and anybody to leave this blog because of my stupid comments.

I must confessed I do get offended every time I see someone posting claims of an alleged electoral fraud I have yet failed to see any real evidences of. And since many people on the other side of this arguments are continually stereotyping Panistas then I sometimes find myself erroneously doing the same and of course I try to find those things that will make them mad. I must confess I enjoy when they call me fascist and other beatiful things, The one that called me a jackass was most uplifting, I decided to put it on a coffee mug, If I had a photoblog I would show it to you all, there is a printing shop in front of the Company and they put anything you want on coffee mugs and shirts. Nevertheless, I, just like any other Mexican or most Mexicans, carry indian blood in my veins and eat tamales as well. I don't want to sound bad but when I studied in the States people use to tell me I did not look Mexican and I never liked it and I told them always about my indian origins too, I relate to any Mexican be him or her an indian or chinese or african or whatever, I am proud of it and have always been and specially out of respect for who I am, for my grandmother who was a full indian Mexican and who was and is, even though she passed away years ago she is still here with me, and she is one of the three most important persons in my life, the others being my mother and my wife, they all happen to be women for some reason. I actually think men in general depend always of a women and are shaped by women in many ways, when we are born and when we are children and teens and later when we marry and later when we are old, we always depend on them. And I am a reflection of these three women of my life.
My mother, her beautiful green eyes and my grandmother, her beautiful black eyes.

I hope this would explain my previous erratic behaviour on this particular issue.

I shall, however, continue cursing and arguing the hell out of those cocaine leftist pseudo-intellectuals as much I as fit appropriate or until hell freezes over.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 12:12 AM

Hey emptyboxes,

No way on stopping your posts, keep them coming, but you can still have passion without insult. You don't want to come off as a "Cállate chachalaca" type, do you? Sometimes you and pasilla can have some interesting bouts, but then you both let your passion get the best of you and then it turns to name-calling, not debating.

That editorial at the Post today was a serious statement and I don't think they've changed their political stance to the extreme right all of a sudden. The signs are not that bright for the international perception of Mr. López O. I still wonder what Quémacho Solís is doing in DC, a Mexican Rudolf Hess trip?

Just a mischievous thought, but, Murat is a big Bob amigo, right? The story of the fraud today is that it was the sapo-faced maiztra, her bastard party and the extremist Yankee panistas. (I say Yankees, not because you're gabachos, but for the reason that we're now going to be like in the American civil war, the Yankees vs Rebels, the industrialized North vs the rural and poor South.) So now is the PRD working for a deal with Big Bob to get back at his mortal enemy the sapo-faced maiztra? Things are getting 'curiouser and curiouser'.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 30, 2006 01:13 AM

The beer has run out and the fascist (PRI) mayor of Tijuana is enforcing the midnight closing hour for liquor stores....So, on to bed. Before that, however, I discovered a message from someone in DC to read the editorials in the Post. OUCH! That is a very serious attack on AMLO. To put it mildly. And it is hard to consider the Post to be a part of the "right wing conspiracy"; when I lived in the District we called it "Pravda", and all self respecting Republican types read the Wash. Times.

This quote:
"In fact, Mr. López Obrador is betting that the threat of chaos in Mexico will sway the seven members of the tribunal to overrule or annul the votes of 42 million citizens, regardless of legal niceties or the actual vote count."

explains, I think, why hard core PANistas like emptyboxes, more libertarian types like Goyo and myself, and serious left-wingers like K. Vronna and Bunburrina have real reservations about AMLO. He does not seem to think rules apply to him. If he becomes president, what will this bring us, if congress defies him? What will happen up here if a state governor defies him? If he had won the elections honestly and had a definite mandate, these would be moot points. He did not win, and most assuredly did not wan any mandate in congress. So, how will he react to what is almost certainly going to be defiance from congress in general and the north in particular? I have a feeling we have another Hugo Chavez in the making.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 30, 2006 03:44 AM

K. Vronna, I think our man Bob would love to put a nice screwing to everyone's favorite maestra. Furthermore, ideologically he is rather a soul mate of AMLO anyway. But, will the whole PRI follow him? Our idol in Tijuana, Jorge Hank Rhon wants desperately to be governor next year. If he, for example, were to follow Madrazo on this, it would be political suicide. Same for Sonora (Bours) and the rest of the northern tier of states. If Madrazo does support AMLO on this, it may mark a definite split (and hopefully final destruction) of the PRI. Madrazo is not the brightest bulb on the tree, so he may do this. How many rats will follow him onto the sinking ship is a big question.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 30, 2006 03:52 AM

I believe Roberto Madrazo has lost all influence in his own party. I also think the ousting of Gordillo was not ordered by Madrazo or Mariano Palacios, something tells me it was 1) It was necessary to oust her in order to have a real reconciliation between the two most important sectors of the PRI, the Madracistas and the TUCOM, or club of governors who oppossed Madrazo. Her telephone calls did not come as a surprise to anyone, her fate was decided long before the elections results, probably when she founded the Nueva Alianza. 2) She was an unnecessary evil, a risk no longer worth having. She had created too many divisions in the party.

I also believe you are correct, the PRI cannot risk more divisions and will not support AMLO in the post-electoral fight.

But we cannot count Ms. Gordillo out of the PRI yet. She still has many friends in the party who continue working with her, in Nuevo Leon for example, not only did she got support from many priistas and Nueva Alianza got a good vote turn out, small though, but they also got one municipality and they also put a good fight in others.
I also believe that she stands to become more influential with her new party. Nueva Alianza is bound to grow in electoral results and political influence for very good reasons:
- It clearly represents the interests of the teachers labor union with more than 2 million members many of whom participated actively in the new party and also voted for the same.

- Financing will not be a problem, as Nueva Alianza will receive very good money from IFE due to the number of votes they got, plus contributions from the teacher's labor union and membership. Ms. Gordillo has also great relations and will find contributors and new important recruits in the PRI and the business community also.
- The party's political standing, more to the right, is a new and very welcoming fresh air for PAN which will support both Ms. Gordillo and Nueva Alianza all the way, politically and also, I am sure, financially. They probably helped Nueva Alianza with financing last elections.

- The Teachers, all of them affiliated to the Labor Union, perhaps with the exeption of some large groups of Oaxaca, have traditionally believed and supported congressmen and senators who defended their special interest at both houses and at the federal administrations. Now these teachers will have a completely dedicated party to advocate their goals, political, economical and social. Nueva Alianza stands to win much out of this special relationship because many of these teachers are active members of their community as they interact with students and parents as well and many civil organizations in the local communities, they are respected individuals and many of them are local leaders. They will promote the growth of the new party.

These reasons will make Nueva Alianza grow where the other small, both old and new, parties did not achieve growth. PT and Convergencia have not grown at all in many years of existance and this can be easily explained: they are associated with the poorest communities in certain urban regions mostly, where their membership lacks the financial means to contribute to the maintenance of the party at all, not to mention the funding for the campaigns. They are also run by corrup leaders who are the sole owners of the parties and hold a little power structure within that limits the capacity of the organization to grow. They also never run for office alone for fear of losing their registry as political parties, so their presence is usually overshadow by the PRD presence.
The Partido Verde is the same story, with PRI and PAN sometimes.
Alternativa, did well, but it will take them a lot of work to continue their grow. They need to find a way to reconcile the farming communities that seem to support them with the modern and very sofisticated voters who pursue a moderate and more European-like Left.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 08:57 AM

I read the Post's Editorial. It is indeed very strong.

You guys at the Post better watch out for PRD and AMLO putting you in their black list of companies supporting the right-wing candidate. Least you want to have some yellow-shirt activists blocking your main gate tomorrow.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 09:05 AM

Emptyboxes, I am afraid you are right about the PANAL, it probably is here to stay, and will be influential. What a shame, among many other things Mexico needs is an education system that meets the realities of the 21st century. This is not going to happen with a union that seems to meet the realities of the paleozoic era.

The other small parties are "partido negocios", nothing more. Salinas created the PT to draw down support for the PRD in 94, and the partido verde is nothing more than a vehicle for "el nino verde" and his family to enrich themselves with public funds.

A lot of Americans are falling all over themselves with the wonderful, "clean", system of public financing of elections here in Mexico, where evil lobbyests and special interests do not (legally) finance things. That is all very nice, but the downside is things like the PVEM, created not to actually win elections, but just as a pipeline into that election money.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 30, 2006 11:50 AM

Jerry-- I agree on that comment about Mexico's election financing laws. I also think it is dumb to muzzle the president so that it is considered illegal for him to even express an opinion on the election and to tell businesses that they have no right to run ads in support of continuing economic programs that they feel benefit growth and job creation.

Of course it is also dumb for AMLO to claim he won but that the vote count was manipulated and then, when he fails to provide evidence of that, turns to claiming fraud on the basis of statements by Fox and ads run by various companies.

Posted by: Goyo | July 30, 2006 12:21 PM

Empty boxes, that is all the Post needs, a bunch of crazies outside. haha. One of the good things about the US of A is their lack of tolerance for that kind of stupidity. Block a highway, go directly to jail. Do a sit in on someone's private property, and a massive police presence will get you out, real quick. Block a street (especially in DC) while demonstrating and see how long you stay in the street.
Fox could learn a thing or two, if he wanted to, and so could we all. This insanity in Oaxaca, of blocked highways, simply would not happen in the states.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 30, 2006 12:24 PM

One comment from the Post editorial should be underscored--

"It is difficult to overstate the irresponsibility of Mr. López Obrador's actions."

Pasilla, Marco and others should take note. As hard as Jerry, emptyboxes and I have tried, we still have not fully described the irresponsibility of AMLO and the potential harm he is doing to Mexico.

Posted by: Goyo | July 30, 2006 12:29 PM

Goyo, when in doubt, it is usually wise to err on the side of freedom of speech. Unless we assume that Mexicans are a bunch of stupid peasants, to uneducated to filter out the BS in presidential statements and attack ads, what is the harm in them? Of course, AMLO and his intellectuals probably think exactly this.

I found myself watching the Washington Nationals game yesterday afternoon on English language Fox, because the local Fox had another game, out of San Diego. I was treated to a wonderful panopoly of ads (a governor election is coming...) where I learned that Arnold is the worst governor in the history of California, wants to leave grandma homeless, our children illiterate, women without rights, and basically everything bad you can think of. I also learned that his Democrat challenger is equally bad, and woefully corrupt to boot. They did everything short of compare each other to Hugo Chavez. If California had an IFE, NONE of these ads would have been legal, and the election would probably have to be annulled as of now. Yet, California will not collapse because of this kind of campaign. Neither would Mexico, if ALL freedom of speech was permitted.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 30, 2006 12:31 PM

Well, well,

The old crew getting mushy, mushy. Marco Beteta is gone, perhaps because of the typical veering away from the central theme. Jerry B doesn't seem to have basis to reject the recount, other than he doesn't trust AMLO. Nothing new here. Oh! And who could defend us now against AMLO? Him, El Chapulin Colorado!

And K. Vronna, with all due respect, as somebody told me long time ago: "Your traumas are all and only yours..."

BTW, this nonsense about everybody in the north of Mexico being pro-Calderon doesn't hold water, when you read the numbers (yes, the numbers): more than 3 million of the votes cast for AMLO came from electoral zones I and II, the deep North...

Posted by: pasilla | July 30, 2006 12:34 PM

Jerry B.

So much business in San Diego is blurring your perception of the border. Mexican electoral law is different than US electoral law. Mexico is not the US (despite the best efforts of some PAN members) Thank God!

Posted by: pasilla | July 30, 2006 12:40 PM

Pasilla, at least pretend to show some intelligence. Of course AMLO got some support in the north, as Calderon did in the south. The preponderance of the northern vote went PANista, to no one's surprise, that is where all the fascists live. But, lurking under rocks to escape from the thought police, there are perredistas up here. And, no one bothers them or goes into their businesses to disrupt things because they supported the "wrong" candidate.

As to the recount, no I do not one. We all know that. My question for you, is why DO you want one? You have already explained to us in great detail how unfair the electoral campaign was. Those poor dumb Mexicans were simply not able to overcome the official campaign against AMLO and, because they were brainwashed, voted for Calderon. Will a recount correct this? The brainwashed already voted for Calderon, counting the ballots again will just confirm this. Furthermore, Gandhi, sorry AMLO, has "no faith" in the IFE. So, when IFE conducts the recount they are just going to steal the election again.

So, why a recount. Why not at least be honest and tell us that what you really want is annullment, or for the TEPJF to simply crown Martin Luther King, sorry, AMLO, president regardless of what the vote totals may be.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 30, 2006 12:45 PM

"Mexico is not the US. Thank God!" (Isn't AMLO God?). You are right Pasilla, you are right. If it was the US, we could stop exporting our excess poor there.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 30, 2006 12:51 PM

Pasilla: State by state, the numbers are there, Northern and Central States voted highly for Calderon, while southern states voted heavily for AMLO. In some states like Baja California Sur, Veracruz and others both candidates got many votes.

I would say that the one key state that gave Calderon a few more votes than expected was Veracruz. And Coahuila gave AMLO a few more also.

In general, the electoral geography does not speak about the so infamous dirty campaign from PAN and Businessmen against AMLO, if that was their intention, the electoral map shows they failed at it and they better get another advertising agency.

Such dirty campaign would have taken away a greater percentage of votes in those particular areas where he was strongest. The DF for example, where AMLO won big, are you going to tell me that they don't watch TV there?

You cannot blind yourself to a democratic reality: In democracies candidates usually wins by little margins and the 1 or 2 or 3 points of difference are very normal. What is not normal is the alledged 10 points AMLO alledgedly had.

By the way, it would be most interesting to learn who did that election poll. I wonder why none of the journalists ever ask him about it. Will it be because they know he will get mad at them and accuse them of working for PAN and the President?.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 01:12 PM

Pasilla: Beteta is gone because he could not stand up to Jerry and Goyo's very clever arguments, not to mention mine, which were good also, for he did not even respond. And you have about 10 posts ranting about me, Jerry, Goyo and even K. Vronna. Why don't you show us what you got instead of repeteaing like a parrot Noruña and Monreal's cocaine arguments about AMLO winning?.
Does this looks like Barney's weblog to you or what?

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 01:27 PM

Have you guys seen Reforma's new poll? They say nobody, absolutely nobody believes AMLO's allegations. What a loser.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 01:30 PM

JUST COUNT THE VOTES AND GET IT OVER WITH

If Calderon really won, as he alleges, then what's the problem with a recount? He should be the first one to ask for a solid clarification of this whole mess.

So let's count the votes guys. Vote by vote, pollstation by pollstation.

Six days of counting, that's all. And many years of clarity and peace. What is Calderon afraid of then, why the resistance to open the ballot boxes and look inside? I mean he "won", right?

Or do you think this election could be unmasked as yet another giga-ripoff against millions of Mexican citizens? Same-old Same -old?

For the good of the country, just count the votes and let the chips fall where they may.

Be brave Calderon, do us all a favor and stop blocking the vote count.

Posted by: Calabazinha | July 30, 2006 01:37 PM

I sincerely hope Marco Beteta is not gone. His arguments were well reasoned and interesting. The fact that I do not agree with him doesn't change that. He is a welcome change from the "fascist, fascist!!!" types we have been getting here earlier.

Calabazinha (brasileira?) the problem with a recount is we do not trust AMLO. If he loses it, his entire past history would indicate that he will just change his story and start claiming that the IFE recounters (in whom he has "lost confidence") are part of the macro fraud that he is a victim of. Also, frankly, I do not want people like Ebrard or Camacho Solis getting anywhere near the ballots. We already saw what they are capable of, in 1988.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 30, 2006 02:10 PM

"Six days of counting, that's all. And many years of clarity and peace."

I am too busy to waste another 6 days. We have peace, I don't see any war or unrest. We even have a clown giving a free show at the Zocalo with all expenses paid to those who wish to see him.

Calderon won. That's it. Why don't you accept it and get it over with.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 02:57 PM

Apparently Mr. Obrador is going to be living at the Zocalo until the TRIFE declares Felipe Calderon Elected Presindent.

I cannot fathom a more desperate attempt to pressure and blackmail the nation with these ridicule and stupid actions.

This guy is definitely crazy and he shows it everytime.

I guess the fact that we are having these Mega-Acarreos comes to show the one single thing that has been a constant in all this post-electoral mess created by him: That he has absolutely no evidences.

Yes of course, the PRD is such a large organization and dominates six states and the capital city of our country so of course they will be able to convince several local electoral officials to demand a vote by vote recount, and they will probably manage to get some ballots from here or there one way or another like the ones Duarte was showing at the IFE. But all of this comes rather late in the game. It only shows, one month after the elections, that this guys never had any real evidences.

I guess the only thing that can explain this erratical behaviour would be that these people clearly did not have a plan B for in case the lose the elections and that they know the TRIFE does not feed on fantasies but rather they need hard evidences to change the results that until now, like it or not, make Felipe Calderon our virtual elected President.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 04:03 PM

I told you since you were a kid, you'll always throw and sound like GIRLIE MEN.

Why in hell did we spend so much money in your education son? so you can't actually see right from wrong.

I'm tired of your comments, you are not longer my son.

Dad

Posted by: Emptyboxes I'm your Father | July 30, 2006 04:49 PM

Emptyboxes, could you please keep your father off the blog when he's been drinking, me da pena ajena.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 30, 2006 05:37 PM

Let me guess who this guy is...
Is that Jesus Ortega? the incredibly dumb moron who came to PAN offices carrying a bunch of boxes that were suppossed to be full of evidences of the Hildebrando gate and instead turned out to empty. The same one who lost the nomination against Marcelo "Chucky" Ebrard?
Or is it Horacio Duarte? Another dumbest moron who, upon hearing that Ahumada's wife was going to present some implicating videos, run himself out of the IFE to publicly declare in a press conference that he was indeed in those videos confirming what was only a gossip because the videos were never made public. What a dumb he is.
Or perhaps this might be...No other than the respectable cocaine La Jornada leading moron himself..
Or Perhaps, that kindergarden history books writer and brain-washer Mr. Lorenzo Meyer?

Who are you then?

Posted by: Emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 05:48 PM

Son, you just confirmed my comment.

and oh boy! you always sucked big time when trying your funny 'nicknames'. So please stop it.

I guess besides a useless expensive education I can see you also didn't learn a thing at church on Sundays. YOU MISSED THE WHOLE POINT THERE TOO.

"Jesus, te pido me libres y protejas de gente como mi hijo"

--- who are you then? ---

I am your father (directly from Monterrey)

Posted by: Emptyboxes I'm your Father | July 30, 2006 06:46 PM

Watching the imbecile Libanese protesters kicking and destroying the UN offices, the one international body that is helping them most with food and trying to stop the Israeli attacks, in Beirut and burning American flags, a country that has sent tons of food and helped Lebanon throught the years, and blaming just about everybody else in the world for the terrible punishment Israel is inflicting upon them, Instead of demanding Hezbolah to return the kidnapped israelii soldiers and stop the rocket attacks which will end the Israeli attacks on Lebanon inmediately. I cannot but draw parallels on how easily people can be brain-washed and manipulated to believe a certain group or individual who, claiming to be representing them and pretending to be their messiah or saviour, has put their whole lives and their entire country at risk of peril.
Something of the sort is what Mr. Obrador would like, of course never to responded in the same manner, but pacifically as PAN and Felipe Calderon have reacted to all his provocations. He would like these poor people to follow him down to hell if it is necessary so that he can become the President and have the power he desperately seeks by all means.

I can imagine him at night dreaming still on becoming President and eliminating all those enemies who oppossed his arrival to power. He would probably like to start with Roberto Hernandez from Banamex, never mind the thousands of employees whose families depend on their jobs. Then Sabritas, Walmart, Televisa and many others. Journalists and analists who "attacked him" as he puts it will be also punished. And of course PAN and PRI and any oppossition will be consistently eliminated and congress and senate subjugated to his will, for he is the true representative of the poor and disenfranchised peoples of Mexico. He is Juares reborn.

I saw in one of the pictures of Reforma of the demonstration today, some people carrying big hatred signs vituperating in pictures and words journalists like Victor Trujillo, who was more than friendly with AMLO during all the campaign but dared asked him a few difficult questions in his last interview, Adela Micha, Lopez Doriga, who also very friendly interviewed AMLO all these years but dared to question his attitudes and lack of respect for the IFE and deserves to be publicly vituperated as well, and there were other journalists as well who I could not recognize. There were other hatred signs with equally vituperating pictures of Dr. Ugalde, the IFE President and one loved and respected by the great mayority of Mexicans. In a most stupid sign of disrespect for those of us who voted for Calderon, and we were Legion too, they also carry signs depicting him in very offensive ways. In prior demonstrations, and in different other protests I have also seen more hatred signs, a curious mix sometimes of unlikely partners or associates but that nevertheless they are all enemies of the Peje and consecuently they must be associated in a huge plot to destroy him and in this logic we find photos of Salinas together with Ugalde and Fox, and Roberto Hernandez, and Gordillo. I actually saw one of Mr. Cardenas once.

I always wonder whether these same regular people who are supposed to be protesting for an alledged electoral fraud are the authors behind these hatred signs, they seem to have been done by professional artists who caricatured them very well and took their time to print several of them to be distributed among these people, by some means like serigraphy or perhaps even offset printing, who knows, something of the sort, because they certainly don't look homemade. I myself have studied some art and I recognize a good caricaturist when I see one picture and I must say these come from a very good one. Some of these I am talking about can be found at hatred websites like elsenderodelpeje.com that is suppose to be Pro-AMLO but in reality is a hatred site against Calderon.

Or is it some kind of department inside PRD dedicated to produce them in order to publicly threat these same people? In order to inspire them fear? Knowing perfectly that these people depicted in these hatred signs are likely to see them in the newspapers, and they always seem to appear in a most clear way in the newspapers.

This manner of using symbols, and faces are also symbols as the infamous poster of a jewish made by the nazis demonstrated it, to channel frustration of the masses and produce a very specific hatred towards a particular person or institution or even race was used very effectively by the Nazi Regime, Mussolini and the Terrorist Arab groups like Hezbollah and Hamas are highly efficient at using them too. They maintain the population uplifted by hatred, which itself can be a very vigorous sentiment that also moves people and allows these politician to manipulate them very well and give them power to negotiate on their own terms with their political enemies.

You cannot accuse the PAN of ever doing anything like that.

Even when we were protesting in the streets, I remember when Fernando Canales was robbed out of his triumph in Nuevo Leon, we protested many days and hundreds of thousands of people went to the macroplaza and protested and we did our own big and small signs, but I do not recall this kind of hatred. We used to put things like: No al Fraude! and the sort. But I never saw the kind of hatred messages we see today in AMLO's protests.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 06:59 PM

Dad! You didn't take your medicine and I believe it's time to get you a bath and to change your diaper.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 07:11 PM

Emptyboxes, I think this guy's really trying to say he wants to adopt you. Why doesn't he read the rules of engagement, first.

FYI:
"User reviews and comments that include profanity or PERSONAL ATTACKS or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site."

It wouldn't surprise me if this weren't Monsivaís himself in one of his more tolerant moments. But, since it might be over my head, I'd better keep quiet. With all my traumas (short, dark-skinned, indian blood) I forgot that it's time for me to hate myself like maya0 said. All this with "all due respect", of course. (That reminds me of the way a certain politician prefaces his personal attacks, right?)

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 30, 2006 07:15 PM

If it quacks like a duck, it is a duck. So when one indentifies a facist, well, one cannot hesitate to call them what they are. Very diffrent from calling people a moron, or dumb. That maybe an opinion, but when one see someone post things that show unbending views, no matter what, calling names based on no evidence, like calling people a danger to society, things that facists did before, like hitler told germans about the jews, how they where a danger to germany. Then as now, when these terms are used, what is one to think? If they talk like a facist, it is a facist.

Posted by: maya0 | July 30, 2006 07:16 PM

--- You cannot accuse the PAN of ever doing anything like that ---

Wrong again son, as you well know I love my party (PAN) as much as you do. But unlike you I try to see the positive and negative things.

You were so young to remember that our dear beloved "El Jefe Diego" played one of the most irresponsible roles in modern history. Thanks to his negotiation with PRI in 1988 it was possible to consummate the presisdential election fraud and impose Carlos Salinas regardless that in the hearts of many PANistas the grear Maquio could've won that election (some other say it was Cardenas and we'll never know).

The only thing I want you to understand (as well as Jerry B) is that there are many dark stories that are in fact true in our blue party.

Dad

Posted by: Emptyboxes I'm your Father | July 30, 2006 07:18 PM

Wow, emptyboxes! Take a breath.

Definitely, a big piece of "The World according to emptyboxes...

By the way, the TEPJF has given entry yesterday to the main election challenge by the "Coalicion por el Bien de Todos" (PRD, PT, CD). If it is the product of "cocaine minds," pseudo-whatever... Why wasn't it rejected by the court? Keep badmouthing Lebanese, fellow Mexicans, and others who think or look different than you. Meanwhile democracy marches on...

Posted by: pasilla | July 30, 2006 07:21 PM

Yes, its true, if the court, had seen their was no evidence to follow, why didnt it reject what it got? No matter what the media says, the truth will come out. Just like what happen in Lebanon, where 2 soldiers from Isreal where captured,in Lebanon and that was reported by the media, untill, it was revised, and now, those 2 soldiers where kidnapped in north Isreal. Proof, that the media can be manipulated for whatever reasons. In Mexico, the media has been in heavy favor of the PAN, and its done all it can to attack AMLO and his supporters. No matter, that their was documented incidents of fraud on July 2nd, it didnt happen because the media said it did not. Well, after more than 2weeks of negative media against AMLO, and against doing anything but declare FECAL the winner, the court has decided to review the results. Well, it seems that good money that is paid to TEPJF, has kept them clean. No matter what the media, the PAN, and their chorts want, Democracy marches on. Voto X Voto, Casilla X Casilla, Con AMLO Todo, con FECAL, nada.

Posted by: maya0 | July 30, 2006 07:33 PM

Ho! the mads took the streets again and seems that we are going to need another second floor now in the zocalo so protesters can live in the first level and working people can make their life in peace in the second one, at least for the next six years ahead!

Posted by: J. H. Machado | July 30, 2006 08:22 PM

"TEPJF has given entry yesterday"

Yes indeed they did as it was expected to be so. But that is far from rejecting the official results of the elections, which as of today, say that Felipe Calderon won.

And certainly the Coalition did not build a strong case otherwise Mr. Obrador wouldn´t jumping so much at the Zocalo and will be at home enjoying his time with his family just as Felipe Calderon has been doing, AMLO is even planning to live there at the Zocalo until they declare Felipe Calderon elected president.

Or is it maybe that it is the PAN who has got a very strong case and has impugnated some polling stations where from what I heard from good sources they do have real and tangible evidence of ballot stuffing that favored AMLO, specially in some polling stations in DF in which case AMLO and PRD will suffer a huge embarrasment. We already know the kind of democrat Mr. Camacho Solis is.

Yes, we must all wait for TRIFE to declare a winner. But TRIFE does not work under the suspicion of fraud but exactly the opposite, they assume, as that is constitutionally correct, that the elections were clean and fair according to the report from the autority and not from political parties who have a stake in the process and therefore their allegations cannot be taken for granted unless they show evidences to prove what they say is right, and they also have a report from IFE, our electoral autority that, despite all of AMLO´s allegations, has got a very good credibility both locally and internationally as this very newspaper we are blogging at will confirm with today´s editorial. And it that was not enough Mr. Calderon and his party, who contrary to Mr. Obrador, were indeed prepared for this situation way before the elections as published by Reforma two or three weeks before because they knew that if they win AMLO would not recognize the results, and the had an army of lawyers to defend their victory, they did they homework and it shows, unlike AMLO who apparently is building one case one day, throwing it out of the window the next day and coming out with a new one for tomorrow's interview with a TV station. AMLO and PRD were so unprepared and so out of clue that they went to their meeting with the TRIFE demanding a vote by vote recount but in their Main Claim they are only impugnating 50 thousand polling stations, but in a clear contradiction they are repeteating every day they will not accept a partial recount, the subject of their case at the Court, and of course they deny they are also asking for annulment of the elections.
It is either AMLO or nothing! That is the only way this people will be happy.
Such a sad spectacle could have been saved by simply crowning him at the Zocalo long time ago. We would have saved ourselves some very good money.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 08:30 PM

K. Vronna: I believe you are right. I think it is indeed Mr. Monsivais, I can feel his rethoric in sentences like this one:

"The only thing I want you to understand (as well as Jerry B) is that there are many dark stories that are in fact true in our blue party."
Posted by: Emptyboxes I'm your Father

Notice the "(as well as Jerry B)" line, it really shows Monsivais duality between licking Carlos Slim´s shoes and crying in front of an imposing acarreado crowd at the Zocalo. This and other cocaine signs in his writings clearly tell me we are talking about no other but the respectable and dogmatic Monsivais.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 08:42 PM

I haven't been reading this posts for a while but I'm amazed by the PRD followers, they still keep telling the same "mantras" all the way down, defintly AMLO movement have many similarities with the Ayatollah Khomeini phenomenon in Iran, a kind of Political Fundamentalism, fanatical support, mad leaders and an unmeasurable amount of ambition for power, It's hard to see this on my country, but in part all this alienation has been the result of wrong politics in the past 80 years, defintely a change is needed but I think the right people to do this simply haven't born yet, instead we have al this madness going on, hope the reason find the way and peace don't get lost between the steps of the insanes.

Posted by: Benito | July 30, 2006 08:45 PM

Pasilla, maya0, father monsivais: Please check this article out at El Universal:

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/365597.html

Esto es que, considerando una concentración de cuatro individuos por metro cuadrado, en el Zócalo cabrían 161 mil 568 personas

It goes to show very clearly how it is impossible to put 2 million people in the Zocalo even if you include all streets around the area. All together and in a saturated scenario would give us 900 thousand.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 08:50 PM

What I see is that since the beginning of all this stupid question, PRD followers and PAN followers haven't been unable to convince each other about their views, at one point one side will have to win, but they have to remember always that both of them are minorities trying to impose their views to the majority. F*** you all!

Posted by: Cosme A. | July 30, 2006 08:56 PM

Herewith an interesting letter by Mr. Weintraub, a distinguished and sensible scholar with deep knowledge of Mexico. Perhaps I'm making a mistake by throwing a "gold ring to the pigs" in biblical terms (no offense emptyboxes). Some of you might find it refreshing and balanced.

Letter to the Editor, Washington Post
Sent July 29, 2006

Your editorial of July 29 contains a harsh condemnation of Andres Manuel López Obrador's (AMLO) "anti-democracy campaign" to become Mexico's president in the face of the official vote count that gave a small margin of victory to his opponent, Felipe Calderón (FP). The editorial asserts that AMLO's supporters provided no "tangible proof" of electoral irregularities. I write this as a longtime scholar of Mexico who follows events there regularly from my vantage at a Washington think tank, and not as a partisan for either candidate.

Evidence offered by AMLO's supporters to Mexico's electoral tribunal includes systemic distortions and specific irregularities. The systemic are the intervention of Mexico's current president (who belongs to the same party as FC) in the campaign, which is prohibited under Mexican law; anti-AMLO television advertising by big business groups, also prohibited; and overspending the legal limits on TV advertising by FC. More pointed questions were raised as to why the votes for president exceeded the votes for senators in states in which FC was leading, while the votes for senators exceeded those for president in the states where AMLO was leading. At the polling stations, AMLO poll watchers asked for tallies of the ballots in 52,000 boxes, of which 2,873 were granted by the poll officials. In 95 percent of the latter, the number of ballots differed from the tally sheets placed on the boxes.

You say that Mexican law does not provide for a full recount of the ballot boxes; the reality is that there is nothing in Mexican law that prohibits this and recounts have been ordered in state elections. The electoral tribunal is there precisely to review the legitimacy of electoral procedures and to take whatever action it deems appropriate. AMLO has stated specifically that he will accept the results of a full recount of the ballots. You compared AMLO to Stalin; you could have compared him favorably with Al Gore, who gave up the fight for a full recount of Florida votes in 2000.

Sidney Weintraub
William Simon Chair in Political Economy
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Posted by: Goyito | July 30, 2006 09:40 PM

Nice post Goyito.

As for you my son emptyboxes, you have never participated in a major march that would fill the Zocalo (me? been there, done that... so I have a good idea about the real numbers).

Next time you get a chance to check one just DO IT because I doubt you'll ever participate then you can come here to bring your facts (other than the ones just copied from Reforma).

See how simple is to avoid those uncomfortable comments when we hit a nerve (where I mentioned "El Jefe Diego). What do you have to say about this beloved PANista son?

Now I'll go take my medice and change my diapers as you suggested. BTW, how much I miss you.

Kisses, Dad

PS. I'd recommend checking Carmen Aristegui's TV program at CNN en Español

Posted by: Emptyboxes I'm your Father | | July 30, 2006 10:13 PM

Goyito:

Very interesting article. However I get the impression that Mr. Weintraub focuses on the basis for the impugnation case.

I have no problem with AMLO or anybody else filing an impugnation at the Court and provided they support their allegations, to have to Court resolve them. Whatever the Court decides, that is the law.

My problem, and the problem of the great mayority of Mexicans,some who did not vote for AMLO and I am sure many others who did but do not agree with his last actions, is with these demonstrations and incitations to hate and, indirectly to violence derived by this hate we see and hear at these demonstrations and that we know for certain is not an spontanous reaction from people but rather a previously prepared campaign to destroy the credibility of IFE and other institutions. Just look at the spirit of these demonstrations, all I see is hatred messages against Felipe Calderon, IFE, Ugalde, Fox, and even journalist who do nothing but only report the news as they happen. All these things contribute nothing to our democracy and they do much to destroy it. I cannot fathom how Mr. Obrador pretends to govern in such spirit of hatred and offensive remarks and disrespect for the other Mexicans who do not agree to this.

This person also seems to know more than our former Magistrates and many Mexican experts who have been interviewed by radio and tv stations and by newspapers, partisan and non partisan as well.
He also takes for granted that the coalition provided the Courts with evidences when as of now they cannot be called evidences, that will be for the Court to decide, they are alledged evidences if any at all.

"At the polling stations, AMLO poll watchers asked for tallies of the ballots in 52,000 boxes, of which 2,873 were granted by the poll officials. In 95 percent of the latter, the number of ballots differed from the tally sheets placed on the boxes"

This particular paragraph is a complete lie itself. For at the polling stations the PRD only filed 2,300 protest sheets, the rest of the Actas were signed by the PRD representatives themselves.

I can understand there will be many people like this particular person who are working at many organizations like his own.
But he should have mentioned the reports from the European Union and many other international organization who observed and reported a clean and transparent election.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 10:20 PM

Most conveniently Mr. Obrador uses this motto of Vote by Vote recount at the same time he repeats he won. He is going everywhere saying he won.

He is making many Mexicans worried. How can we have such madness in a presidential candidate?
What insane organization allowed for this kind of violent thug who lies and cheats and manipulates in this way?

Now he has raised the level of the game. It is not what the TRIFE decides. No, now he is telling us that the TRIFE has to order a recount and that the same TRIFE has to recognize his triumph.
We have seen this before, he is moving away from the Vote by vote to the I won and the TRIFE must recognize it, otherwise it is a fraud.

What a patetical fellow. I expected more from them.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 30, 2006 10:33 PM

Amlo said today (not literal): Democracy will not prevail if they don't recognize I won. Amlo did not prepare psychologically to loose, he\s in denial. The question is will he come back to his senses if the TFEPJ declares Calderón President Elect? I did not vote for Amlo, he is not transparent, nor qualified, he represents the old PRI. Yes, we need a good share of better income distribution, education, etc., etc., but Amlo is not the guy we need to do that job, it is now very clear in my mind. I've lived in this wonderful country all my life, I'm not ready for violence, and I rather go live somewhere else... in a peaceful Mexico.

Posted by: Raul Garcia | July 30, 2006 11:06 PM

If anybody started anything remotely violent, it was the PAN with its attack ads, linking AMLO with danger, just like when hitler attacked the jews, calling them a danger to germany. So to complain that the PRD is using violent images, and words, well, visual violence was started by the PAN, and their cohorts. And to now complain, and go on and on, how terrible they are for marching and demonstrating, please, what hypocrites. But where used to such behavior in Mexico. Oh, and according to estimates, their was over 1.2 million people gathered in Mexico City for the mass demonstration. Of course not all of them where in the Zocalo, tons of people spilled into the ajioning streets, going up to a half mile in each direction. So, no matter how some people here want to believe that only a few thousands went, well they are wrong, and of course even with proof, they wont accept. So who really are the violent, the intangible, the uncooth? Mirror in hand emptyboxes, jerry, goyo, and other reactionarys who love to spill their rants here.

Posted by: maya0 | July 30, 2006 11:13 PM

Actually Obrador has been using the same tactics of nazi propaganda to achieve power, movilizations, Fanatical speches, and they call themselves Socialist's, Nazi means National Socialism, remember?, they arrived to power with fully popular support and their concentrations were used to enforce this support, everybody knows that when people are concentrated in a rally they forget their individuality and start to think as a mob, it's an easy way to brainwash people, just remember the last time the Pope step on Mexico, people behaved completly mad.

Posted by: Mike | July 31, 2006 12:02 AM


Felipe Calderón calls the nation under a self taylored character: the "man of law". This obvious strategy might loose direction in the ways of chance, and finnaly, this character he tries to perform, would end at tragedy or comedy, but certainly not in a credible performance. Calderon insists to denostate his oponent, Andres Manuel López Obrador as a "caudillo" or a person who shows big amounts of political power and no respect to the institutions. Calderón has been drawing a mythological arena, to let us imagine two characters demandind the truth. Calderon insist to wear the dialectic character, the "man of laws and institutions", against a perverted rethor, a charismatic leader with no reasons and nor social organization behind him.
But this game will come in a dangerous ambient for the Congress in the next six years. It happens to be that 30% of the popular representation respond to de "caudillos" discourse. Calderon's calling to division and ideological segregation arrests the posibility of dialoging and deals.
Over this mythological propaganda, leftist candidate López Obrador has prooved the nation he is not a "caudillo", but a political character that shows the power to agregate millions of people, for three sundays in a row, to demand democracy and some simple proceadures to clear the doubts.
Today, against the official and leftist propaganda, more than 40% from the public opinion points serious doubts aganist the votation process. Today, for the deception of Calderon's mythological propaganda, the charismatic and un-reasonable leader, has not ended in personal constraints, as planned, but started a huge identital organization against the leftist policies.
Myths and characters are called to tragedy, or comedy, or epic, (maybe lyric) but not to establishment. Calderon is meant to be defeated as candidate or as president.

Posted by: Gerardo Ballesteros | July 31, 2006 12:02 AM

Actually Calderon is not the problem nor the solution, the real problem is Obrador, and his madness, I find amusing that PRD followers insist that "Obrador has prooved the nation", he haven't proved anything to anyone, nothing else that he is mad for power and is going to do anything to obtain it, that's the real danger, that he is mentally uncapable to do the task, in this case Ebrad can do a better job, although the real solution for this country is far from be near.
By the way, Mexican media or federal goverment haven't said anything about Obrador madness, anyone with a little bit of skeptisism can notice his insanity.

Posted by: L. Zolezzi | July 31, 2006 12:30 AM

Emptyboxes, you are missing the argument.....again. The recount would be healthy to invigorate democracy in Mexico and to provide full legitimacy to either Calderon or AMLO. The votes at the district warehouses are a STOCK not a FLOW, thus we have the rare opportunity to ratify the will of the majority through a simple and rational process: RECOUNTING the votes.

I'm sure that Felipe would not like his Presidency to be called suspect and thus it would be a complete disappointment if he was to miss the opportunity to do what is right. Wouldn't you do the same emptyboxes?

By the way, you seem to share with Lopez Obrador a trait that I admire, which is: not being afraid of picking up a fight to defend your points.

Emptyboxes, refuting without reasoning first is your default mode! You would improve so much your arguments by working them the other way around. (Pssst.! between you and me you are starting to sound like Tres Patines!!)

Posted by: Goyito | July 31, 2006 12:47 AM

Rather than go to the latest thug-in, I paid 60 pesos and went to a baseball game. I am glad I did. It is nice to see words like "Fascist" and "Nazi" showing up here again, proof positive that the brain dead who have no arguments have returned. Actually it must be so easy, just call everyone who disagrees with you a Nazi. You do not have to work hard, you do not have to think, and mommy and daddy can send you off to study art when all is said and done.

I was expecting (because AMLO said, and he does not lie) 3 million in the Zocalo. Yet, it appears that only a million showed up. Sounds to me like he is loosing appeal. It also seems like he had no new "frauds" to present. Ho Hum, I am glad I do not live in the DF. Maybe we can expel it from the rest of the country? Then they can live in a perredista paradise by themselves forever.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 12:58 AM

A wise movement from Calderon would be move the capital to Jalisco.

Posted by: Marlon | July 31, 2006 01:04 AM

AMLO says he will set up a permanent camp in the Zocalo with all his people. Well, at least we will know where they are.

I wonder how the PRD government of the DF is going to handle this. What business is left in el centro is going to really suffer now, unless the million or so AMLO maniacs go on shopping sprees while they are camped out there. What about tourism? All that money Carlos Slim spent sprucing up the area for AMLO, down the drain.

As for Mr. Weintraub's letter-- I am sure we will see more such stuff from the liberals in the United States who look far and wide for a victim of imperialism to support. He missed the point of the excellent Post editorial, which is that Lopez O is not just challening the vote legally, he is moving to disrupt the nation in order to pressure the tribunal to go his way.

Some of his people staged a stupid prank of a demonstration in a Walmart. There was a blow against the capitalist system!

Maybe the TFEPJ will rule this week and get it over with so Lopez O can have a mass cry-in. Then again, maybe we will all be surprised by a votoXvoto count and el peje will rise to the throne, that is Los Pinos. That's when the country's real problems would start.

Maya0, you say the PAN started the "violence" by comparing AMLO to Chavez? Does that mean you don't like Chavez and you see him as leftwing nutcake? I am a bit surprised by that. So video images showing Chavez ranting and attacking Fox, followed by images of Lopey O ranting and insulting Fox somehow exhort people to violence? I am really getting confused and it is quite late.

Lopey O was a typo, but I kind of like how it sounds. Lopey-Ohhhh!

Posted by: Goyo | July 31, 2006 01:20 AM

Let me arrange some words from the people of "empty-boxes".
I can deal with some of your ideas about AMLO and his campaign promises. I can deal with other ideas, such as your proyections on economic policies in the macro context. But let me tell you, empty-boxes, about this intolerant nerve you have showed to us in your texts, and simultaneously cleared us why Calderon and the PAN rethorics about progress and economic growth will never end in a "consenso".
Intelectuals, as Monsivais or Poniatowska have published their works on various editorials (including international ones). They may not be "productive" in the way you, empty-boxes, understand it. Another dozens of millions of people in Mexico (and around the world) who work as teachers, social workers, mothers, preachers, or politicians, and many other unconmensurable ways to exist in society, maybe are not "productive".
Can you recognize this violent and polarizing use of the term?
With this heuristic use of the "productive people" under the left ideology, we may not find colleges and universities, but technical programs to enhance the productive zone; we may not find artists or scientests, 'cause the "productive people" do not waste their time in astronomy, or in saving endangered species, or reading poetry...
I found out this violence in Calderon's rethoric about progress. His pathetic jingle "por un México ganador" lies in this discoursive violence. I say: this life is not meant to be defined with winners and loosers. Let the people who believe in this raging process to perform their will. But let the other people not to beware from the implicit violence of this panorama. This is one of the reasons I did not vote Calderon, and instead, I claim this ideological segregation.
Something as important to Mexico as his poverty, may be issued whith serious understanding the phenomena. Oscar Lewis (another un-productive being) affirmed that the sense of poverty lies in the imposibility: practical imposibility to access the goods and values from his own culture, but also structural imposibility to reach what they believe for good, and it is not accesible in the dominant culture.
I believe that half way to eliminate poverty is to recognise them as persons, and to represent their claims, as well as their voices. I mean, poverty will not end with goverment supports, as done historicaly (including Fox administration and Calderon's rethoric). Conmiseration is not the way.
To "get productive" or to "recieve conmiseration", are the chances of the poor in Calderon's twisted mind.
The same nerve that shows violence against the "un-productive", brings us the way of conmiseration as an answer to radical problems.
That is all.
Do not bother in labelling me as an AMLO fan, or a pseudo-intelectual, or a lazy-un-productive-being. But if you need this counter-argument for your discoursive construe, I understand.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Gerardo Ballesteros.

Posted by: Gerardo Ballesteros | July 31, 2006 01:31 AM

Two Million People? AMLO took more than two million people according to cocaine journalist Denise Maerker in her totally biased little mediocre TV program Punto de Partida, she repetead like a parrot whatever the DF and PRD declared about the meeting and her camera man went interviewing selected people only. How come they didn't interview people randombly? They would have seen what was evident to any reasonable eye: The grocery bags the PRD was distributing for those who attended, the supervisors from many departments of DF taking lists and checking of the DF employees who did not attend, the thousands of buses from where thousands of acarreados with the promise of a free tour to the zocalo and a tamale with a coca cola afterwards and 70 pesitos and bus ride back to their little towns in Guerrero and other poverty striken areas of South Mexico, the faces of these same people who knew nothing about why they were there and just repetead, as they had been advised to do so by the PRD thugs.

This what that lame biased journalist did not show.
And by the way, everybody is questioning the two million figure, according to Cronica, the Federal Police, El Universal, Reforma, it is impossible to put two million people at the zocalo and nearby streets together.

The meeting was really something like 120 thousand acarreados, out of which only a mere 1500 people, if we can call people to this radicals from UNAM and other free-enroll-and-do-what-ever-the-hell-you-want-here educational respectable institutions. And of course we can also count there the radicals pro EZLN and United Colors of Benetton-Subcomandante Marcos, and the respectable and very productive people of the Federal Machete Republic of Atenco. And yes, Monsivais and Poniatowska mey stay the night too. They will feel at home with all these people.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 05:13 AM

emptyboxes:

Today you started very early typing your garbage. I notice that after almost one month you have been unable to come up with something more substantive. Your rantings of today could be used, verbatim, to attack, according to your twisted view of reality, any one of the Informative Assemblies. Hasn't anything new happened since July 2, worth of discussing? You are boring the posters in this blog.

Ceci: Could you post something else? Let's try to change the subject. Let's see if emptyboxes writes something coherent or choses to repeat again and again the same filth about respectable people and institutions. Oh, but it's OK to trash UNAM without evidence, but not OK to criticize IFE, with plenty of evidence. I haven't read anybody who supports AMLO calling a "cocaine administrator" or something alike the incompetent Dr. Ugalde. And we are the untutored(?), unwashed, tamale-eating throngs. I'm glad that we missed the class of Bigoted Invective, that emptyboxes seems to have taken with great profit...

Posted by: pasilla | July 31, 2006 10:16 AM

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, etc etc. Criticizing intellectuals is "intolerant"? I thought this was a free country and we were allowed to identify morons. Campaign ads that mention that AMLO shares characteristics with other nutcases are "violence"? No, violence is physically attacking someone or something. You can look it up, it is in the dictionary. In English or Spanish.

SOME, not all, of AMLO's supporters remind me of George Orwell, or perhaps Alice in Wonderland where "a word means exactly what I want it to mean". I hope my "violence" in pointing this out has not caused anyone to get a bloody nose or to cry... Gerardo, please, present us with reasoned arguments, not endless repetitions of the word "violence". I should be happy, at least you are not starting down the "fascist" route, yet.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 10:44 AM

Jerry: Take a look at how Gerardo makes an exquisite intellectual exercise to discover the violence in Felipe Calderon's campaign:

"I found out this violence in Calderon's rethoric about progress. His pathetic jingle "por un México ganador" lies in this discoursive violence. I say: this life is not meant to be defined with winners and loosers. Let the people who believe in this raging process to perform their will. But let the other people not to beware from the implicit violence of this panorama. This is one of the reasons I did not vote Calderon, and instead, I claim this ideological segregation."

All in account to the campaign phrase "Por un México ganador"

Going a bit further I also begining to find some signs of Nazi techniques, If you look closely at the "x" in the "Mexico" word of these phrase, I found it is not the same "x" commonly used when we use the word "Mexico". In reality these fascist Panistas are using the "x" of "Exterminate" and not the one "x" of love and patriotism of "Mexico". Now if we ask ourselves, based on this incontrovertible evidence, What is it that the Panistas and Felipe Calderon more specifically are trying to Exterminate?
Again, it only takes a simple reasonable, uncocaine logic to guess it: The Poor.

These fascist Panistas are in reality planning to Exterminate the Poor! And they have, in a most subtle and vile fashion, sent a message to all panistas to start exterminating the poor.

Here is the phrase, look at it again and repeat it 2,100 million times in your mind:

"Por un MeXico Ganador"

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 11:21 AM

What we are witnessing with this "civil disobedience" campaign is the principal tactic Obredor would have used to force his agenda through Congress, and ultimately to extend his tenure in office. Had he not been able to convince the Congress to act on his initiatives, he would have taken his followers to the street to force compliance. He would have done the same to force a lengthening of his term in office.

If it is offensive to his followers to compare this man to historical tyrants, let us not name names, although an analysis of Obredor's strategies and personal traits point clearly to some infamous names.

Obredor beleives that he is a perfect medium for the asperations of the least fortunate in society. He doesn't believe that he articulates their demands - he thinks he personafies them. He does not see himself as an advocate for a set of policies, but rather as those policies incarnate. He doesn't want people to agree with his ideas, but to place their blind faith in he himself, accepting that his perfect attunement to the needs of common folk will always lead him to the right decision.

Posted by: Greg | July 31, 2006 11:42 AM

Jerry B.

I just finished catching up on what happened here over the weekend, nothing new I guess other than couple of crazy posts.

I have a few questions for you, and I hope you can give me a straight answer without necessary blasting AMLO, PRD or PRI. It's been hard for me to understand why do you think PAN has the right answer to Mexico's problems.

1. What signs hav you seen during last 6 years that make you believe that economic program is the right model?

2. Don't you think Fox blew his opportunity by falling to those temptations given by his position, specifically talking about the Bribiesca scandal. It seems like they were able to learn really fast about all those PRI presidents that have caused so much damage.

3. Someone mentioned here "El Jefe Diego" and I'm curious to hear what do you think of him, when I dare to say he is as corrupt and despicable like all other characters you have expressed already your opinion.

4. Do you think Calderon would be any different as Fox if confirmed president? if so, how?

Try to focus as much as you can talking about PAN please, thanks!

Get Real

Posted by: Get Real | July 31, 2006 11:47 AM

Reforma is a big lier!

They are showing today, accoring to their engineers and analysts and a bunch of people who participated in the counting, they arrived to the incredible figure of:

348,000 Acarreados.

This not correct, I myself counted them ONE by ONE and I got 120,000 BUT after substracting the usual signs with people paited on them for the aerial views and photos, minus also the Sunday informal street elote, tostadas, souvenirs, tacos and balloon vendor who were about 57,000 of them, minus the police officers who were another 5,000, minus the UNAM CGH who never even vote, remember how they burned their IFE identifications and who were another 7000 untutored losers who have zero influence in our political life, minus the bus and truck drivers, another 6000, and substracting these all it gives us a total of:

25,000 Acarreados.

Reforma is a big lier! And this evidence only comes to show it.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 11:52 AM

Sorry to post so quickly again but I don't have much time to spend here and I would like to respond to Get Real's questions.

Presidents of free, democratic countries do not effect economic improvements through direct action, such as investments. What they do is create the conditions that incent the private sector to make investments that result in improvements. Those improvements come in the form of jobs and increased business opportunities in the impacted economic clusters, to name a couple benefits.

Calderon proposes to follow the "classic" strategies of free market countries to improve conditions. Obredor proposes direct intervention by the federal government. The problem with the latter policy is that it doesn't work and has never worked. It is particulary risky here because of the widespread corruption and incompetence of the federal agencies that would be entrusted to carry out the economic plan.

Posted by: Greg | July 31, 2006 12:03 PM

AMLO and his militants are now disrupting life in Mexico City, blocking large parts of Reforma. The tribunal has not ruled yet, so why ratchet up protests now? If they thought they had a good case before the judges, they could have just waited patiently. This turn towards disruption shows they know their own weakness when it comes to substantive arguments.

It is also a way of flexing muscle-- to warn society at large of the violence and chaos to come if el peje does not get his way. Who will pay the most-- "primero los pobres." The poor people of Mexico City will lose work because of this disruption, but that doesn't bother the messiah. The overall impact on the economy will also destroy opportunities for many poor people who would have been able to advance to a better job or start a small business. This tactic shows just how cynical AMLO is.

Gerardo Ballesteros brought up some good, sincere questions in his message and did not present himself as a blind defender of AMLO, so he deserves some respect. It is true that there is a segment of society that lives in hopeless poverty and that they do feel cut off from the riches of their country.

I don't know if Calderon will be able to change that, but I do know that Lopez Obrador offered nothing in that regard. The solution lies in breaking down the system whereby a few benefit and the rest can either accept life as it is or migrate to the el norte. Carlos Slim, the third richest man in the world, charges Mexicans more for phone calls than phone companies in most other third world countries charge their customers and he can get away with it because no one has ever seriously tried to break his de facto monopoly. I wonder if he sits around chatting with Bartlett, Camacho, Munoz Ledo and the other PRI gangsters-- talking about the good old days, maybe, and then planning their manipulation of the guy from Tabasco who can serve their needs.

The way to end poverty to is to open things up and create opportunity. Calderon at least has a plan that includes some of the things needed. Marches and disruption of the economy, scaring away investors and reducing further Mexico's ability to compete with China, India, Central America and others is not the solution.

Posted by: Goyo | July 31, 2006 12:06 PM

Does anyone know if Cardenas was at yestderday's thug-in? I do not think so, but am not sure. Assuming he was not, what does that say about his opinion on AMLO's chances.

Get Real, you ask some questions.
1. What signs have I seen in the last six years that the PAN economic model is the right one. Well, absolute poverty levels are down, inflation is at a historic low, as are interest rates, never in history have more Mexicans owned their own homes than today. These all strike me as very good signs indeed. Is this perfection? Of course not, if it was we would not be exporting millions of poor to the United States. What needs to be done? I think the following: Deal with union corruption (read Napoleon Gomez and his ilk), change labor laws to allow hiring and firing like in the United States, improve tax collection, and modernize PEMEX and the CFE. I do not think people stop and think just what a drag the CFE is on the economy. But it is hard to convince someone to invest in our country if you cannot honestly tell him he will have a stable source of electricity. Now, without naming names, I somehow doubt that a certain candidate is going to change PEMEX or the CFE on iota, to say nothing of the other things I mentioned. Calderon may not either, or he may try and be blocked by congress. But, I think it is more likely that he will at least try.

2. I think Fox blew many opportunities. I am glad he is not running for reelection.

3. Diego, a corrupt politician in Mexico?!?!?! Say it aint so!!!!! How about we trade Diego for Camacho Solis, Monreal, Murat and a thief to be named later.

4. Will Calderon be different than Fox? Who knows. He will at least have a more friendly congress to deal with.

A question for you. Do you think AMLO, if confirmed as president, would be any different from Jose Lopez Portillo or Luis Echeverria? If so, how?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 12:14 PM

Greg - I completely understand that wonderful theory, but trying to put that into practice under a major corrupt system where I can include all major parties it is another thing.

Isn't that the same proposal Fox promised? was he able to create the ecominic growth he promised? NO
did he created as many jobs as needed? NO
Immigration to the US continues so that can give us all a clue.

When Felipe Calderon was asked about the US proposal of building that large fence south the border do you what he said? he said "we will jump that fence over and over again" ... no I didn't read this at La Jornada or from those leftist intellectuals some people blast here. I saw that comment right on TV.

That doesn't sound to me like good plan for someone who's pretending to be a president.

Posted by: Get Real | July 31, 2006 12:18 PM

Many of you are asking and wondering where all the AMLO supporters are? Why aren't they speaking up in this blog? This many come as a shock, but the majority of AMLO supporters are poor Mexicans that don't have a computer at home. They don't have internet and they certainly don't have the time to post a blog because they are working. Yes people, they are WORKING.

It is sad to see that some people here do not appreciate or respect the opinion of the most brilliant minds in Mexico and in the world (Carlos Monsivais, Elena Poniatowska, Sergio Pitol, Angeles Mastreta Cristina Pacheco).

There is nothing worse than being a close-minded fool that only argues to hear his or her own voice and is unwilling to actually listen to the other side.

"I am not a vulgar opportunist. Money does not motivate me nor interest me. Power only makes sense when it is put at the service of others."-Obrador

"cuando a un hombre le sigue un pueblo entero es por que el corazon en las manos lleva"-Monsivais

My heart is with the 2 million working poor Mexicans that demonstrated at the Zocalo. Voto x Voto, Casilla x Casilla

Posted by: Abigail | July 31, 2006 12:21 PM

Get Real: Your post is most interesting and serious and I appreciate that. Allow me to also reply to your questions.

1.What signs hav you seen during last 6 years that make you believe that economic program is the right model?

There has not been in my opinion a good or comprehensive economic program from the Fox administration because that will also have to include the reforms he tried to get from congress and which we all know he did not. However, there has been a responsible management of the economy that has allowed for 1) Interest Rates to remain at the lowest rates in recent history, 2) Inflation to remain almost as low as in the United States or Europe.
3) Stable currency markets that have provided certainty for Mexican investors to keep their money in our country and invest it in more projects 4) The highest Federal reserves in our history that shield our currency markets and our economy in general and that have even allow our government to swap foreign debt into domestic debt.
All these factors translate into benefits for all Mexicans. More purchasing power, more credits at lower interest rates and more jobs. But no country has ever gotten rich in six or even 12 years, this is a process and the first and most difficult part of it is to reach stability. I believe we have achieved it. Now we need more jobs. AMLO or Calderon or whoever is our next President should focus on that but also guarantee the stability at all cost.

2. Don't you think Fox blew his opportunity by falling to those temptations given by his position, specifically talking about the Bribiesca scandal. It seems like they were able to learn really fast about all those PRI presidents that have caused so much damage.

I certainly agree with you on this one. I never liked the attitudes and agenda of Ms. Sahagun. But that does not mean that every charge pressed against her is true. Most of these charges were filed by congressmen from Convergencia and PT and PRD, the most radicals in our country. Nevertheless the President's wife and her family have been a huge liability for President Fox, the like of which he will continue to regret for years to come. So in my opinion, You are definitely right on this one.

3. Someone mentioned here "El Jefe Diego" and I'm curious to hear what do you think of him, when I dare to say he is as corrupt and despicable like all other characters you have expressed already your opinion.

Another one. I never liked Jefe Diego, ever since the one time he got out of a road somewhere in Campeche or Oaxaca, and took a piss. That was it.
He is a liability for the PAN. Although has many followers and enjoys great respect in PAN too. Not me.

4. Do you think Calderon would be any different as Fox if confirmed president? if so, how?

I think it is important to point out that while both come from the same party they both represent very different branches of the PAN, Fox is a business man. While Felipe Calderon has been a politician all his life. And Felipe Calderon knows how and is capable to build alliances with the most unlikely politicians like Gordillo and many PRI governors. So I certainly believe Felipe Calderon will be far more effective that Fox, who could not even control his own wife.

Thanks


Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 12:23 PM

Get Real:

The most significant corruption in Mexico is that of the federal government, which is the entity that would be responsible for implementing Obredor's "New Deal" public works/economic package.

It's important to distinguish the economic policies of PAN from their failed implementation. The strategies are sound and have worked in places that were once more impoverished than Mexio - South Korea, for example. The fact that they have not been enacted points to a failure of implementation, not of planning.

Posted by: Greg | July 31, 2006 12:25 PM

Abigail, you must be kidding us. Monsivais, the "most brilliant mind in Mexico or the world"???? Are you on drugs? The man has never done a days work in his life, and sits in his ivory UNAM tower telling the rest of us how to live, while he collects more money from different levels of government than most honest politicians will steal in a lifetime? He is a worm.

Do you know what the difference between a prostituta and a Mexican intellectual is?

The first takes private money and sells sex. The intellectual takes public (be it GDF, UNAM, etc etc) money and sells his soul. The first is usually a nicer person too...

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 12:31 PM

Jerry B. thanks for your reply.

First of all I'll answer your question: I don't think AMLO has the right economic proposal for Mexico. But I'll give him one thing that makes him different from the other PRI/PAN/PRD thiefs he lives modestly and as I know we don't know of any major properties/bank accounts out of Mexico. So I'll give him that as something positive.

I have a problem with that statement that we have less poor in Mexico and I'll tell you why: because immigration has not stopped to the US and knowing that every year we hear a new record on those "remesas" send back to Mexico.

So in other words, are less poor people in Mexico? Probably, because as you put it we keep exporting them to the US and those who come and send money to support their families that makes them less poor.
Is this the right answer long term? I guess NO specially now they want to get tough here in the US.

Last thing, I really don't think Calderon would be any different than Fox. But I really hopes he does.

Posted by: Get Real | July 31, 2006 12:34 PM

I just read some news on how the PRD people are planning on dividing the positions and choosing their leaders in congress.

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion/141262.html

Traditionally all parties choose their leaders by an election where the same senators and congressmen get to choose them. Naturally the internal groups that have more congressmen always get to choose the leader.
In this particular case of PRD, it so happens that the group of Los Chuchos, from Jesus Ortega, is the largest in the house of representatives and therefore, he will get to have both leaderships and lots of power for negotiation.

This situation is already provoking Camacho Solis and Monreal and others to raise their eyebrows and now they are trying to block Jesus Ortega.

Apparently Ricardo Monreal and others are moving quickly on this and here they are announcing that the leaders should not be chosen by the congressmen themselves but rather based on their "Profile" a nice euphemism that in this case means "Dedote" from AMLO and his group, or is it the other group of Marcelo "Chucky" Ebrard and Camacho Solis.

They will have to take this desicion sometime in the first weeks of August.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 12:38 PM

Thank you Jerry! You have just shown how ignorant and close-minded you are. What are you going to say next? That Octavio Paz did not deserve the Noble prize? Actually, you should read his essay "El laberinto de la soledad" maybe then you could have a better understanding of Mexico and its people.

Posted by: Abigail | July 31, 2006 01:33 PM

Get Real-- You have a good point about Calderon's statement on the proposed fence along the US border with Mexico. He said, "we will jump that fence." I wince when I hear such things, but I expect them from politicians, who, after all, have to satisfy the masses from time to time with idiotic statements to prove they are patriots.

Actually, I like one thing AMLO said about immigration-- He said it is a disgrace for Mexico to have so many millions migrating to another country to find work. He is right. Unfortunately, he doesn't have much a plan to change the situation.

Calderon, on the other hand, does address the need for Mexico to do more in creating opportunities at home. I was also embarrassed by the Fox approach of calling the poor immigrants heroes and then sitting back and enjoying the benefit of having remittances be your nation's second most important source of money. That is no way to run a country that should be able to stand up and be proud of its own productive capacity.

The reforms Jerry mentioned are absolutely necessary if Mexico is to advance and follow the model of nations like South Korea.

As for Abigail's concern for the poor-- These pseudo-intellectuals you bow down before are not doing much for the poor. Take a look around the world and show me a country that has reduced poverty by listening to Marxist philosophers. I can cite a number of nations where expansion of capitalist opportunity has created a large middle class and prosperity for all. Comiserating with the poor and flogging yourself for the crime of not being poor does nothing to actually help the poor. Knocking down barriers, like corrupt unions, opening economic opportunity through laws that favor entrepreneurship, reforming the energy sector, these are all things that would make a real difference.

Posted by: Goyo | July 31, 2006 01:55 PM

I'm back from a trip and I have to begin my post with something related to it. Specially dedicated to all the regios in here. I stopped a couple of days in Monterrey and I did a little comparison between MTY and Mexico City. I haven't been to MTY in a while so I didn't really know what to expect. God knows I'm a hardcore chilanga, I LOVE the DF to dead but with all honesty, MTY has a much better living standard than the DF. It is cleaner, with a better public transport, bearable traffic, a lot of order and security, (I walked in downtown MTY, at midnight, with my nieces and my nephew, lots of people walking by and everything was fine), and a lot of new urban infrastructure (nicer than the segundo piso of DF). Of course it is far from being London, NYC, Madrid, Paris or another first world big city. But is, without a doubt, much better that the DF.

Pasilla, you blame people of insulting intellectuals when they don't agree with their opinions. And then you insult Enrique Krauze, that, for your information, is an intellectual. So this brings the question, what is an intellectual and why are they important. In my eyes, an intellectual is someone who stands outs in a profession where regular people don't, usually refered to the arts, writers, musicians, actors. Can be included in the group philosophers and historians. Intellectuals are know for their critical approach to things.

Carlos Monsiváis, Elena Poniatowska, Carlos Fuentes etc. are fabulous in what they do. They are absoluteley wonderful writers, recognised internationally for their talent, multiawarded and a we all should be proud of them. But that doesn't mean they are superior than us.

Pasilla, you make it seem like they are wisemen and that their ideas are beyond our understanding. Their ideas are for us, poor mere mortals, like commandments we all should obey and not question at all.

Like I said before, no one questions their talents but that doesn't mean that Monsiváis or Poniatowska have a higher IQ than you or me. They are human beings and, for me at least, it seems that they are having a hard time to remain objective.

If the word of an intellectual would be like a commandment we shouldn't question at all, like you imply, let me tell you that the most important mexican intellectual of the 20th century, Octavio Paz, was a strong supporter of Carlos Salinas and of the free trade and NAFTA, a position that our dear AMLO is strongly against.

About the economic model, it is obvious that something isn't working alright since we have more than 40 million people living in poverty. But it isn't all that bad. Mexico is one of the few third world countries that is going to reach the objective stablished by the UN in the year 2000 on social developement called Desarrollo del Milenio. It consists of a series of goals each country has to achieve till the year 2015 like universal elementary education, erradictaion of certain diseases etc. I have in my hands a study of UNICEF, from this year where advances in the subject have been made. For example:

Mortalidad por enfermedad diarrericas en menores de cinco años: in 1990 was 155 by a 100 000 births, to 21 of this year. Paludism: in 1987 was of 53 of 100 000 people. Nowadays is of 3 of 100 000.
People living with potable water and electric light: 58% in 1990 to 77% in 2003.
Children finishing elementary school: 70% in 1990 to 90% in 2003.
People living with less than a dollar per day: in 1989, 10%; in 2003, 4%. The goal was to reach the 5%, so we are doing much better than expected.

Of course, there is alway room for improvement. Globalization hasn't been as bad as some people are trying to make it look. To see the real effects of an economical model change you have to wait at least 15 to 20 years. We signed the GATT 20 years ago, we opened our economy and we are seing the results that, indeed, despite how it looks on the ourside, we are having an improvement in our living standards.

Posted by: bunburina | July 31, 2006 02:09 PM

Abigail :

I haven't normally made too many comments. But, I couldn't resist to point out the following:

"It is sad to see that some people here do not appreciate or respect the opinion of the most brilliant minds in Mexico and in the world (Carlos Monsivais, Elena Poniatowska, Sergio Pitol, Angeles Mastreta Cristina Pacheco). "

When has a brilliant mind been evidence of being the holder of the only valid opinion? Does this imply that we as mere mortals and therefore less brilliant than the aforementioned "luminaries" should abstain from questioning their motives or personal views on what is happening in our country?

"There is nothing worse than being a close-minded fool that only argues to hear his or her own voice and is unwilling to actually listen to the other side."

The fact that we even bother to read them should be proof that we at least try to understand what they are trying to say.

"I am not a vulgar opportunist. Money does not motivate me nor interest me. Power only makes sense when it is put at the service of others."-Obrador

What a political candidate says about himself is not necessarily fact. This goes for all candidates, not just AMLO.

"cuando a un hombre le sigue un pueblo entero es por que el corazon en las manos lleva"-Monsivais

I hate generalizations. There are lots of motives for a people to follow a leader. You state only one. This would have us believe that all great politicians wear their hearts on their sleeves. Of course in this particular election, none of the candidates have the entire population on their side, not even AMLO.

Oh by the way, I do think Octavio Paz deserved the Noble Prize and I have read "El laberinto de la soledad". Although, having been born in Mexico and lived in it for most of my life is probably better knowledge of how people live in Mexico.

Posted by: TG | July 31, 2006 02:23 PM

Octavio Paz was quite deserving of his Nobel Prize; he was a very good writer. He was also an intellectual sellout to the PRI, witness his accepting of the ambassador to India job. Just as Monsivais et al are intellectual sellouts.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 02:41 PM

Octavio Paz was quite deserving of his Nobel Prize; he was a very good writer. He was also an intellectual sellout to the PRI, witness his accepting of the ambassador to India job. Just as Monsivais et al are intellectual sellouts.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 02:42 PM

bunburina: I beg to differ with your appreciation of my beloved city of Monterrey

"MTY has a much better living standard than the DF"
That I could not tell since I have only been to DF a dozen times and I must admit to my chagrin that it looked very nice, lots of museums, I love the Antropolgy Museum, so huge, it took me three days to get glimpse of it and every time I visit DF it is a must for me to be there. It's like I cannot ever finish seeing it completely. And many other things about Mexico City that make it so unique and a heritage center for all Mexicans. I go to the Zocalo and I think it is a dream. I can also tell you I have never been robbed there. I sometimes think the press exagerates. But you guys in DF should know better about this.

"It is cleaner, with a better public transport, bearable traffic,"

I got a feeling you must have visited another city, perhaps you were in Saltillo and did not noticed it. The traffic in Monterrey is a complete mad-house where reminding you of your mother is already the obligated courtesy of many Regios when you drive moderately or slowly. Many Regios are very polite themselves in their houses or offices, I could not speak of myself of course, but many are very nice and polite, but as soon as they get in their cars, they turn into totally different animals, it's like they evolve into some kind of Pokemon creatures or monsters and get so agressive and start cursing and all. In Monterrey, when you stop at a traffic light, the people behind you start honking and cursing you one or two seconds before the lights change to green, they don't usually give you the benefit of the doubt. It is offensive driving. It's madness and I am proud to say I contribute to this madness myself.

"a lot of order and security"
Yeah, with a few exeptions like that little and harmless boys Like Diegito Santoy and the occassional decapitations and of course sometimes our honorable mafia decides to fix their differences somehow and the next day there is a body or two in our city limits. Other than that, life is normal.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 02:53 PM

emptyboxes, just imagine how life is in the DF that Monterrey, even with all the stuff you mentioned above, seems to me to be a better place to live than my loveley hometown.

Of course the cultural heritgae of Mexico City has no comparison. But, for example, the traffic, I was a driving in the middle of the morning rush hour and we were moving! And fast! We got to our destination on the other side of town in 25 minutes. You just can do that in the DF at 7:00! To cross from north to south in the DF, in the rush hour, it is easily an hour and a half, if not more.

About the security, I haven't been robbed with a gun pointed to my head in the DF. But my car was stolen twice and my sister was robbed with a gun to her head, with my small nieces, in plain daylight in Chapultepec. Oh yeah, and some cousin was kidnapped and my aunt and uncle were robbed just infront their house.

Posted by: bunburina | July 31, 2006 03:06 PM

emptyboxes, just imagine how life is in the DF that Monterrey, even with all the stuff you mentioned above, seems to me to be a better place to live than my loveley hometown.

Of course the cultural heritgae of Mexico City has no comparison. But, for example, the traffic, I was a driving in the middle of the morning rush hour and we were moving! And fast! We got to our destination on the other side of town in 25 minutes. You just can do that in the DF at 7:00! To cross from north to south in the DF, in the rush hour, it is easily an hour and a half, if not more.

About the security, I haven't been robbed with a gun pointed to my head in the DF. But my car was stolen twice and my sister was robbed with a gun to her head, with my small nieces, in plain daylight in Chapultepec. Oh yeah, and some cousin was kidnapped and my aunt and uncle were robbed just infront their house. I don't know the criminality rate of MTY but from what I saw people were walking in the middle of the night, with their families like it's nobody's business feeling completely secure. You just don't see that in the DF.

Posted by: bunburina | July 31, 2006 03:08 PM

sorry for the double post!

Posted by: bunburina | July 31, 2006 03:09 PM

Emptyboxes:

Sorry to disagree, but except for a couple times a day on Gonzalitos and Leones, the traffic in Monterrey is much better than many other cities of comparable size. Also people here are very good about letting others change lanes and merge.

Posted by: Greg | July 31, 2006 03:28 PM

Bunburina:

I'm not sure how the Monterrey/DF comparison contributes to the discussion. But in an attempt to explain some of the differences, I would remind you that Monterrey metropolitan area has about 3.7 million people, while Mexico City's has about 18.4 million (a low estimate, in my opinion). Besides, use of financial resources in Mexico City is tightly regulated by the federal government, while Monterrey's isn't. But anyway, I'm still confused. Are you telling me that you're joining the useless debate about what's better, northern or southern Mexico? I hope not.

Regarding what I wrote about Krauze's EDITORIAL (not Krauze, the individual)...

"What's so new about Enriquito Krauze text? He seems to repeat the same psychobabble, half-truths and innuendo that we have been reading in this blog. What surprises me is how he, a historian, dares to predict the future. The editorial looks to me a lot like PAN talking points..."

Would you be so kind to show me where I insulted Krauze? Is to say that he wrote as a PAN member an insult? Please, clarify it for me...

"...no one questions their talents but that doesn't mean that Monsiváis or Poniatowska have a higher IQ than you or me..."

In your opinion, did I say that? Where in the following you found such implication?

"If somebody with the analytical insight of Monsivais cannot make sense of the hodepodge, I don't feel that bad that I cannot, either..." (I was talking about the Program of Patricia Mercado's party...)

"Pasilla, you make it seem like they are wisemen and that their ideas are beyond our understanding..."

I don't need to make anybody to believe anything. The books by Monsivais (and Poniatowska, obviously a lady) are accessible to all. And If you have read Monsivais ouvre, you know that he is not a bigot; therefore, what I wrote to K. Vronna, stands:

"I believe that his irony about "los marginales" went above your head, though..."

I apologize, but I'm only responsible for what I write, not for what you believe I wrote...

Posted by: pasilla | July 31, 2006 03:58 PM

Pasilla:
Don't worry. As soon as we have something intelligent to debate we will let you know so that you can enlighten us.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 04:06 PM

Jerry B.

I'm not a fan of Octavio Paz. I think that he wrote some entertaining essay books, some nice poetry ("Piedra de Sol" comes to mind, and a little, unappreciated, fiction ("Aguila o Sol?"). But I cannot let your comment pass. Certainly he was a member of the Mexican Foreign Service; however, is it fair to assume than all public employees are members or followers of the government party? It wasn't true in the PRI era, and I hope it is still not true now. Besides, Octavio Paz resigned to his post in India, publicly criticizing the actions of the government during Tlatelolco's October 2, 1968, events. If we cite history, we should do it right...

Posted by: pasilla | July 31, 2006 04:12 PM

emptyboxes:

What the heck are you talking about?

Posted by: pasilla | July 31, 2006 04:16 PM

Before I go away, Jerry B.:

As far as I know Carlos Monsivais has not worked for UNAM in many, many years. But I may be wrong. Can you tell me where his ivory tower is? I know that he lives in the Portales neighborhood of Mexico City, probably of the royalties of his several books, and journalistic contributions. By the way, writing books, being a journalist are not "productive" jobs for you?

Posted by: pasilla | July 31, 2006 04:36 PM


Felipe Calderon is incorporating some "charros sindicales" in his new (broad)casting politics. New characters appear in the arena: Víctor Flores and Elba Esther Gordillo. Calderon tries to impcact the "viejo sindicalismo" with his Asociacion Sindical Mexicana.
Calderon's deals with this two "alacranes con alas" brings us a sense of opacity and lack of legitimation. To defeat the CTM and the CROC, we find pure pragmatism. Everyone in this blog (i guess) can identify the CTM and CROC as corrupted organisms; but I do not see any "honesty" in the breaking strategy from the calderonismo.
What is a promise, between the lines of the "sindicatos" war, is that everyone will witness several demonstrations of stength and violence (yes: violence) that will be replicated in Calderon's rethorics as a war against the caudillos. Remember he is the "amigo de la ley" and the he is also the "pronounced word" of ethics and institutions (can you advert some implicit violence now?).
Nobody will be really benefited from this promised scenario, not the poor or the rich, nor the "enemies of law", niether the "amigos of law". This dialectic of violence have started from Calderon's proselitist rethorics. And actualy we are looking the traces of an old pragmatist strategy: the one called "concertasesión".
All.
PD.
If someone needs help to understand the various meanings of "violence", please check out a little bit more than the dictionary, at least a good enciclopaedia (it could be productive for the sake of quality in arguments, anytime and anyplace). But let me help a little, I bring out a quest:
Do we need to be violated and wounded in the body, to denounce sexual threat?
Do we need a bloody nose to understand a violent signal?
I believe in intuition, in inteligence, in language, in abstraction, in psycology. Here we are amid some clever instruments to locate violent signs arroun us.
Cheers.

Posted by: Gerardo Ballesteros | July 31, 2006 04:55 PM

Gerardo,

I just have one question. How come everything Calderon does incites violence and nothing that Andes Manuel Lopez Obrador does incites it?

The truth is I think they are both just adding more kindling to the fire and don't understand the double standard.

Posted by: TG | July 31, 2006 05:43 PM

TG,
This is not violent:
"Si se cierran los cauces democráticos sólo quedan el sometimiento o la violencia".

But this is pure violence:
"Respetaré y apoyaré lo que en esta materia (voto x voto) resuelva el tribunal"

Now do you understand, or should you ask for help? Don't be ashamed if this is over your head, it happens to me all the time. I just let Monsi explain it all and I just accept it as gospel.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 31, 2006 06:36 PM

K. Vronna,

Thank you for your explanation. I, like you, am just an engineer and a veteran of the 60's and 70's movements. Which were no less violent in the US than in Mexico, where I moved back to in the late 60's. Certainly, a lot of things have changed since then. To think that we haven't advanced in anything, in all this time, is just as dumb as thinking that we are in paradise. I don't believe in Foxiland. But, I don't believe in Lopezland, either.

Posted by: TG | July 31, 2006 06:58 PM

Thanks TG, I only wish that today's protesters had an idea of how utterly dangerous it was to protest in those days. Maybe then they would appreciate the progress that has been made in relation to personal freedoms. The economic problems still persist but at least we can openly discuss them without fear of encarcelation, or worse.

Now if only Monsi the Master of Cosmic Wisdom could explain the blocking of streets compared to this 2000 statement:

"No permitiremos el bloqueo de avenidas o vialidades primarias que desquicien el tráfico, eleven la contaminación y afecten el libre tránsito de terceros".

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 31, 2006 07:07 PM

In case you fellows did not pay any attention to the latests words from AMLO, he is now, for the first time, questioning the integrity of the judges of the TRIFE and his staff, Mr. Monreal and Camacho Solis are also talking about taking their case to the Supreme Court in case the TRIFE does not do what they want, which from what I understand will not be legal, for the TRIFE has a final word and cannot be challenged by any other court.

Pasilla and Gerardo, would you please answer this question:

Do you trust the TRIFE?

Do you think AMLO should respect the TRIFE Result whatever it is?

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 07:46 PM

Empyboxes-- I know you think Denise Dresser is pro-AMLO-- but look at what she wrote in today's Reforma:


Denise Dresser
¿Método o locura?


"Aquellos que los dioses quieren destruir, primero enloquecen", escribió Eurípides. Y muchos que observan a Andrés Manuel López Obrador piensan que ha enloquecido. Que ha perdido la cordura. Que se le ha caído un tornillo y aunque convoque a millones en el Zócalo, ha perdido toda oportunidad de encontrarlo. Porque gran parte de lo que hace va en contra de su aspiración presidencial. Porque gran parte de lo que dice hace imposible cumplirla. Si en realidad su objetivo es llegar a Los Pinos, su comportamiento de las últimas semanas dificulta que algún día llegue allí. Toda acción entraña -lógicamente- consecuencias, y las de AMLO corren en sentido contrario de alguien que quiere, alguna vez, gobernar al país.

Basta con imaginarse el siguiente escenario: ¿Y si el Trife ordenara un recuento total o parcial de los votos y López Obrador fuera declarado el ganador? Lograría ser Presidente pero le resultaría extraordinariamente difícil conducir al país. Lograría arribar a Palacio Nacional pero le resultaría imposible generar consensos desde allí. Porque en México -como en cualquier otro sistema capitalista a nivel mundial- existen actores clave para el funcionamiento de una economía, y en las últimas semanas AMLO se ha dedicado a alienarlos a todos. Con las protestas en Walmart. Con el bloqueo a la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores. Con el llamado al boicot de productos estadounidenses. Con las declaraciones intempestivas de Jesús Ortega contra el Consejo Coordinador Empresarial. Con la posibilidad de marchas que bloqueen carreteras y cierren aeropuertos. Con el uso de la palabra "insurrección" y la amenaza de fomentarla.

Todas esas posturas son políticamente correctas pero estratégicamente erróneas. Todas esas palabras movilizan a grupos incondicionales pero asustan a quienes no lo son. Con ellas AMLO va erigiendo obstáculos en su camino a la Presidencia en vez de desmantelarlos. Como ha argumentado el experto en transiciones democráticas, Adam Przeworski, para ganar y gobernar en una economía de mercado, la izquierda se ve obligada a domesticarse. A des-radicalizarse. A combinar las demandas de redistribución con los imperativos de la acumulación. A aceptar las reglas básicas del juego mientras intenta reformarlo. Porque no puede llegar al poder y usarlo de manera eficaz de otra manera, dadas las constricciones que coloca el capital, para bien y para mal. Esos inversionistas que requieren seguridad; esas compañías multinacionales que necesitan certeza; esas empresas pequeñas y medianas que exigen predecibilidad. La posición antisistémica de AMLO sólo tiene sentido si ya renunció a la posibilidad de liderear ese sistema que tanto odia.

Porque de lo contrario, está actuando de manera contraproducente. Está haciendo y diciendo todo para asegurar que no será Presidente nunca. O de serlo, gobernará con demasiados factores reales de poder en contra como para no producir una confrontación mayor y dañina para su propia causa. Grupos empresariales que le dieron el beneficio de la duda y ahora se lo retirarán. Miembros potenciales del gabinete con credibilidad internacional que se rehusarán a formar parte de él. Compañías globales en busca de nuevos sitios para invertir que borrarán a México de su lista, ante la incertidumbre que se vislumbra allí. Banqueros que prestaban poco y con altas tasas de interés, que ahora lo harán menos y cobrando más. Miles de electores moderados que ya se arrepintieron de su voto. Elites sociales como las que asistieron a la boda de Marcelo Ebrard, y que de seguir las cosas como van, no volverán a ser fotografiadas en público con él.

Quizás esto no le preocupe al equipo de AMLO pero debería. Quizás esto no le quite el sueño a los perredistas más recalcitrantes pero ojalá lo hiciera. Porque al privilegiar la táctica inmediatista están olvidando la estrategia de largo plazo. La de ir ganando y consolidando posiciones para una izquierda creíble, confiable, que entiende cómo funciona una economía y lo que se debe asegurar -en México y en cualquier parte- para que lo haga bien. La de poner primero a los pobres con políticas públicas viables, que combinen la responsabilidad del Estado con los requerimientos del mercado. La de un líder con la credibilidad suficiente para atemperar los excesos del capitalismo, sin acabar con él. La de ser un Presidente eficaz, más allá de ser un Presidente legítimo.

Esas tareas ineludibles para cualquier dirigente en un mundo globalizado, que su propia tribu sabotearía. Millones de mexicanos legal y pacíficamente empujados a la radicalización y empujando a AMLO a que gobierne así. Todos los miembros de su base dura -a los cuales ha ido enardeciendo- declaración tras declaración. Esos 2 millones de personas que salen a marchar para derrocar al sistema y de ser Presidente, esperarán que lo haga. Con resultados rápidos y cambios tangibles. Encarcelando a Luis Carlos Ugalde y a los consejeros del Instituto Federal Electoral. Exiliando del país a los miembros del Consejo Coordinador Empresarial. Nacionalizando a Televisa y a Reforma. Clausurando todas las fábricas de Sabritas del país. Cerrando la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores y exigiendo que las empresas mexicanas encuentren otras forma de capitalizarse. Demandando que Walmart ponga fin a sus operaciones en México.

Porque ésas serán las demandas que emergerán del movimiento confrontacional que López Obrador está contribuyendo a crear, ¿o no? Ésas son las decisiones de política pública que fluyen de las posturas políticas que los perredistas han promovido últimamente, ¿o no? Propuestas cuyo objetivo no es construir al nuevo país sino destruir a los viejos enemigos. Planteamientos que erigen muros contra la izquierda en lugar de contribuir a su aceptación.

Y por ello se vuelve lógico pensar que la apuesta de AMLO es otra. Ya no la Presidencia de la República sino la conciencia combativa y crítica y radical del país. Ya no Palacio Nacional sino la plaza pública. Ya ni siquiera el recuento de todos los votos, sino la esperanza de que el Trife deseche esa posibilidad. Para entonces poder afirmar que todo fue un fraude, que todo está corrompido, que todo el sistema es un asco. Para poder dedicarse entonces a lo que sabe hacer mejor: pelear, combatir, movilizar. Pasar a la historia como el hombre que quiso ser Presidente, pero prefirió ser piedra en el zapato. Para ser reconocido en los libros de texto gratuito como otro de los revolucionarios que tanto admira. Y demostrar, como lo sugiere Shakespeare en Hamlet, que "Aunque esto sea una locura, hay método en ella".




Posted by: Goyo | July 31, 2006 07:47 PM

emptyboxes:

"Do you trust the TRIFE?"

I'm not exactly sure what you mean, or why you care. I've not seen the decision, so I don't have an opinion. I don't speculate.

"Do you think AMLO should respect the TRIFE Result whatever it is?"

Likewise, it is a funny question. I'm not AMLO speaker. I have read what he has said. It's clear to me what he has promised to do, and I think it's reasonable. I'm not going to repeat it.

Regarding the possibility to apellate to the Supreme Court. If I understand correctly, the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of decisions of lower courts. If AMLO believes that his constitutional rights have been violated (Article 41 of the Mexican Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land, which talks about the characteristics of an election), he may have a case. But, why to get hysteric before the show? I will wait an see.

Posted by: pasilla | July 31, 2006 08:19 PM

Hey emptyboxes,

would you be so kind and also share with the rest of us another editorial from Reforma written by Germán Dehesa
"Y sigue la furia" I'd be happy to do it if I had access to their site, but since you are a big fan I thought of asking for that favor.
thanks! get real

Posted by: Get Real | July 31, 2006 08:24 PM

Goyo:
The article presents an interesting point of view and it splits away from previous articles from her where she was presenting AMLO as a kind of victim, In her previous article in Reforma she drew a parallel between AMLO and the french soccer star Zinedine Zidane who fouled the italian player so bad, and of course the comparison was not a very happy one, for Zidane is a great soccer star who let himself got carried away by his passion while AMLO is a tricky politician who lost who is now getting carried away by his thirst for power. There is absolutely no way to compare them in that way. But the hypocresy of Denise is evident for she was trying to present AMLO as a victim who is acting out of a passion, passion for what we might ask, she does not specify, but passion as a word carries a clean and positive connotation, we associate it with good will and lofty purposes and not with ambition for power or political control. Felipe himself used the word in his phrase Passion for Mexico. That previous article from her was not the only one, there were many others, particularly one much celebrated by many AMLO idealist followers, where she explained how AMLO was a reflection, she said so, of our poor and disenfranchised and long forgotten Mexican people and that this was the very reason why he inspired so much hatred and fear in higher classes. She completely ignored how the fear campaign was merely based, not in populism, but in comparing AMLO to a conflictive dictator like Hugo Chavez, but as usual she did not mention that fact which would have destroy the idea she had constructed so carefully around AMLO.

There were other articles from her. And in my opinion she did not see, or refused to see back then, what she is seeing now. She did not critize him for not going to the debate but until we all learned that is was hurting AMLO in the polls. In short, it has been my impression that she was always quick at enhancing his virtues and positives sides, and no wonder he does have them, but she was also very late in criticizing him. On the other hand she has been more than quick to critize and generalize what Calderon and President Fox had said.
When for example, AMLO declared that Fox was a traitor to democracy and Calderon a Pelele, Calderon as usual did not respond to the provocation, but President Fox, as usual, did, and he said the very next day something about "renegados" without specifying any names, and only one week later whe was writing about how President Fox labeled "renegados" insulting "AMLO and along with him the 15 million people who voted for AMLO" as she put it in her article, never mind all the stupid offenses from AMLO that Calderon and President Fox have had to endured ever since he lost the elections and even way before, and we know how AMLO was always very direct as when he was interviewed by El PAIS where he declared "Calderon es un pelele, y lo digo con todo respeto", it was, I believe, the same article where she compared AMLO with Zidane. It was a clear attempt to portray AMLO as a victim. So you see, Denise omits and sometimes generalizes, this in my ranch is called "Fabrication" and she is very subtle at it but she does it nevertheless.

Although I should say this last article splits away from what she had been writing. She could have save lots of words with a simple one: Irresponsibility.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 08:25 PM

Get Real, there you go.

Germán Dehesa
Y sigue la furia

Es una vergüenza. La única razón de ser de los medios de comunicación es atenerse a su nombre y ser un "medio" para que nosotros, los entes privados, sepamos objetiva y oportunamente lo que ocurre en el ámbito público. Atenido a esto, opino que no es posible que un acontecimiento tan relevante como es la marcha de aproximadamente 2 millones de mexicanos (según fuentes confiables, no llegó ni de lejos al millón) que avanzaron hacia el centro mismo de la vida política de nuestro país, sea pasado por alto en los medios electrónicos que, por el momento, son los más poderosos e inmediatos que tenemos.

Según Televisa, en 1968 en Tlatelolco no ocurrió nada importante. 38 años después ¡38!, en el Paseo de la Reforma y en el Zócalo tampoco ocurrió nada. En pleno estado de nebulización, hoy domingo busqué inútilmente esa cobertura puntual que Televisa o TV Azteca tendrían que haber hecho de este acontecimiento de extremada relevancia para la vida de nuestro país. Acepto que les podría parecer bien o parecer mal, pero eso no cuenta a la hora de la comunicación y de la información. Azcárraga y Salinas Pliego tienen que ser perversos o imbéciles, o las dos cosas, para haber decidido pasar por alto (Televisa), o darle unos cuantos minutos (TV Azteca) a esta "asamblea informativa" que concluyó con la dulce y tersa toma de la Ciudad de México.

El benemérito Emilio Gamboa Patrón quien, con toda justicia, ha sido designado como lidercito de la bancadita priistita de la Cámara de Diputados, ha de estar feliz con estos primeros y salutíferos efectos de la Ley Televisa. El duopolio hace lo que se le da la gana, decide qué es lo que debemos saber y lo que debemos ignorar, aunque al proceder así traicionen la única justificación que deberían tener para existir que sería informarnos y servir como una objetiva extensión de nuestra mirada. La verdad es que todo esto les vale madre. Yo sintonicé el Canal de las Estrellas poco antes de las doce de la mañana y según Televisa, todo era una tranquila shulada. Vino luego la transmisión de un tarante juego entre mis Pumas y un grupo de mataperros y rasuramuertos que nos enviaron de Uruguay para que conocieran México y sus simpáticos alrededores. Al término del partido, ingenuamente me dije: ahora conectarán con el Zócalo y nos informarán de lo que ahí está pasando. Por supuesto que no lo hicieron y en lugar de esto transmitieron un bello programa de la vulgar y elemental música grupera titulado "Y sigue la furia dando". Al titularlo así, supongo que no sabían que le estaban dando un membrete perfecto a lo que ahora está ocurriendo.

Sigue la furia. AMLO tiene la plena conciencia de su poder de convocatoria. Sabe también que el gobierno de la Ciudad, fuerzas del orden incluidas, es suyo y que Alejandro Encinas sólo funge como Secretario B (o ve) y sabe también que el gobierno federal se arruga con 20 macheteros. Con esta patente de corso, AMLO puede tranquilamente disponer de la Capital de México e instalar en su principal avenida a su ambulantaje electoral. La toma silenciosa del centro neurálgico del país. De esto estamos hablando y esto no parece resultar de interés o de relevancia para nuestra impresentable televisión que se pone al servicio de una y sólo una línea política.

Yo no fui al Zócalo, yo no sé si AMLO ganó o perdió. Sé que no me gustan sus emperrados modos; también sé que si hubiera una exposición de posibles presidentes, yo no llevaría a Felipe (con la Gordillo colgando); pero sé también que soy ciudadano, que merezco ser informado y que mi gobierno le ha regalado la televisión a una sarta de comerciantes sin conciencia y sin patriotismo.



¿QUÉ TAL DURMIÓ? DCCCXLVII (847)


El río está revuelto. MONTIEL que todo pesca, está de plácemes.

Cualquier correspondencia con esta columna de furia, favor de dirigirla a german@plazadelangel.com.mx (D.R)

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 08:35 PM

This one is for Pasilla, in case you have not read it. I think you will like it.

Roberto Zamarripa
Atrincheramiento

El conflicto ha escalado más allá del recuento de los votos. El nudo es la gobernabilidad y es injusto que el Tribunal Electoral cargue con los desatinos de los políticos, desde los candidatos hasta los funcionarios gubernamentales y, desde luego, las pifias -si es que eso fueron- de los consejeros y burócratas del Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE).

Toda la carga está puesta en siete magistrados electorales; en las delicadas decisiones que tomen estarán definiéndose no sólo voluntades ciudadanas sino el curso político de un país erizado, confrontado, dividido y manchado. No es justo que el Tribunal cargue con la cuenta del desaseo de los políticos, de la impericia de los burócratas, de la ineptitud de los consejeros y de la voluntad facciosa de aquellos que decidieron hacer de esta elección una cruzada. Urge un carril de alineamiento, de entendimiento y de mínima concordia que ayude a la supervivencia del Tribunal Electoral.

El Tribunal es soberano. Puede, dentro de sus facultades, interpretar la Constitución, decidir sobre un derecho humano fundamental, el voto; puede, también, recontar sufragios para confirmar una tendencia de ventaja. Puede, a la vez, recontar votos para ratificar una sospecha: la elección no tiene validez.

No existen puentes ni voluntades en ninguno de los escenarios. Nadie quiere hacerse cargo del entendimiento. Nadie. Que el tiempo diga y el Tribunal decrete. Bonita manera de desentenderse.
. . .

La escena transcurrió en el avión presidencial. Ahí, como se sabe, ha habido de todo. Hasta ramos de novia han aventado. La nota, como se dice, fue dada por el vocero Rubén Aguilar, tan comedido siempre en sus comentarios sobre los conflictos políticos ("La Presidencia no tiene nada que comentar", "La Presidencia no comenta sobre estrategias de candidatos").

Al mediodía del 15 de julio, poco antes de aterrizar en Gander, en escala rumbo a San Petersburgo el vocero llegó a la parte final del avión que transporta al presidente Vicente Fox, ahí donde viajan periodistas y miembros del Estado Mayor Presidencial.

El avión presidencial no es un vehículo privado. Su mantenimiento está a cargo del erario público. El vocero, como es obvio, es un funcionario público dedicado a la difusión de las labores de gobierno, por tanto lo que haga o deje de hacer, lo que diga o deje de decir siempre es significativo. Deberían importar un bledo sus opiniones privadas, en su domicilio o con su familia. No aquellas que expresa en lugares públicos y ante periodistas.

El vocero argüía con euforia que Andrés Manuel López Obrador no podía decir que había ganado la Presidencia toda vez que en Los Pinos, según él recordaba, había dos encuestas que daban como ganador a Felipe Calderón por una diferencia similar. Como si fuera magistrado del Tribunal Electoral, Aguilar descalificó el juicio de inconformidad perredista diciendo que erróneamente señalaba "que el Presidente se metió en la elección y no sé cuánta jalada". Era lépero, según muchos de los que lo oyeron. El colofón de su dicho fue cuando pronosticó un fracaso de las protestas perredistas y con toda la prudencia y decencia del caso, con ambas manos expresó una señal que no parecía propia de un funcionario gubernamental y que haría palidecer a Humberto Roque Villanueva cuando aquella histórica votación del IVA.

Aguilar calificó de loco a Andrés Manuel López Obrador, extendió los dedos medios de sus manos y encogió los índices y anulares respectivos para representar una seña obscena que suelen hacer los adolescentes cuando alguien los molesta. Seña dirigida, desde luego, a López Obrador de quien habló -como les consta a muchos- de manera desmedida. Parafraseando a quienes lo parodian, el vocero quiso decir con su fino lenguaje: "ya le dimos al Peje". ¿Por qué los funcionarios de Los Pinos han decidido optar por el fundamentalismo? ¿Por qué no hay un comportamiento de Estado?¿Por qué Carlitos Espejel hizo escuela en la vocería presidencial?


. . .


Andrés Manuel López Obrador tensó también la cuerda. Inútil sería minimizar la movilización de ayer. Es lo que es. Sin duda la principal protesta política masiva en décadas. La capacidad de convocatoria en menos de un mes muestra que López Obrador ejerce un liderazgo inusitado, histórico; y, a la vez, por la presión popular no parece tener escapatoria. Sus pasos tienen que ser hacia adelante. No hay para atrás.

La instalación de campamentos callejeros es una inequívoca señal de radicalidad y el simbolismo que anuncia que la elección quedó atrás. De frente está la gobernabilidad. Ésa no la califica el Tribunal, la debe conservar la autoridad.

Y quienes pelean de frente habrán de cuidar sus métodos, sus dichos y sus enconos. No hay más: ambas partes están atrincheradas. Han instalado sus barricadas. Que nadie se llame después a engaño.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 08:51 PM

Dehesa writes wonderfully humorous columns and I understand his frustration with the TV networks not covering events in the Zocalo. They normally do not have any news on Sunday, unless there is an election going on.

In this case, however, I cannot see why they should have done anything other than report on the gathering in the Zocalo in their regular news breaks and on their regularly scheduled news programs that evening. Did he expect them to do live coverage for several hours of AMLO and his cohorts going on and on? Most Mexicans are fed up with all this rabble rousing and the ones who aren't and find it all so entertaining tend to be down there crammed into the plaza, shoulder to shoulder.

If Televisa, say, had given a few hours over to live coverage of the event, would Calderon have not had grounds to demand equal time? Where would that end?

The election is over and the only really important event to cover now will be the decision of the tribunal and, possibly, the violent reaction of AMLO and his mobs. Those will be legitimate news stories to cover.

Posted by: Goyo | July 31, 2006 08:54 PM

I believe Dehesa is right. They should have broadcast the event, as it is something many Mexicans would have been interested in watching. At the very least they should have broadcast the fist one and that would have given them the moral leverage to say, I don't want to broadcast the others and period.

I think they are failing to see that by not broadcasting these events they are playing into the mediatical strategy of AMLO to be seen as the victim.

Dehesa is normally very critical of AMLO, but on this one I have to agree with him.

I still remember how I had to see the first meeting on CNN espanol, the putrefact liberal network where mediocre and biased pro-AMLO Carmen Aristegui works. While on Mexican TV networks they were showing some stupid show.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 09:15 PM

Pasilla, what I wrote about MTY and DF was meant for the regios in here since there are a lot of them. If you're not a regio I don't know why are you talking. Besides, in another blogs there have been a small comparison between the DF and MTY so I thought it would be right to express my impressions that, indeed, MTY is doing better than the DF. It was also meant to compare that despite everything the DF government shows off, it is sill being far from good.

Believe me, I'm not idiot to compare a city of 4 million to one of nearly 21 milllion people. It is idiotic to say that MTY has no restrains in their budget when the DF does when it is all the way around. A lot of the money the north make is channeled to the south instead of being reinvested in the north. Actually the money the DF gives to the federation isn't all that much. There is, administered wisely of course, a lot more the DF government could have done and didn't do in order to support political interests or where do you think the money is coming from to finance the megaplantón in Reforma?

About insulting Enrique Krauze. You called him Enriquito in an obvious despective tone clearly shown in what you wrote about his editorial. Calling Enrique Krauze Enriquito is like calling Felipe Calderón FECAL or Pejendejo to Obrador. And yeah, that in my book is an insult. Besides, it isn't the first time you do it, you've been consistant about it in almos every single blog you've posted on.

About the higher IQ, you posted: "If somebody with the analytical insight of Monsivais cannot make sense of the hodepodge, I don't feel that bad that I cannot, either..." You're proving my theory!

Read between lines; what you implied was: Monsivaís, like the fabulous writer he is, with his analytical insight that us poor average people cannot have, can't make sense of the hodepodge then I, a mere mortal, don't feel bad that I cannot do it either. Monsiváis, even with his superhuman intelligence cannot do it, then I feel fine being an average joe.

You also posted: "The books by Monsivais (and Poniatowska, obviously a lady) are accessible to all. And If you have read Monsivais ouvre, you know that he is not a bigot." He is not a bigot, just someone that said 6 years ago in Proceso that having a PAN government, a bunch of rigt wing, religious fanatics, was the worst thing that have ever happened to the country and that they will kill the arts and the freedom of speech. Six years later and guess what? We still have arts and freedom of speech. Not a bigot at all! He never exaggerates! He's not narrow minded! He's perfectly objective and analytical! It reminds a little bit of what Mr. Monsiváis has been criticising lately and labeling as bigotry.

I'll say it again, his work as a writer are amazing, he's fabulous; his work as a political analyst... not so much.

You quote them like whatever they say is the undisputable truth and that what Krauze says are clearly lies. I won't deny it is interesting to read their opinions but so is interestig to write what Krauze has to say. That's all I'm saying, after all, every comment they make are just opinions, not truth, and we all have the write to question and criticise their opinions and their actions (like Elena Poniatowska doing ads in favor of Obrador or blocking the entrance to a Banamex)

Posted by: bunburina | July 31, 2006 09:17 PM

bunburina:

You make a good point on what Pasilla wrote before about Monsivais.

This has always happened with leftist writers, artists, singers and producers, most of them have, at one time or another, gotten involved in local or international politics taking advantage of the appeal that their literature or art works give them.
Monsivais and the others of today are only following the path of Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Carlos Fuentes, people who have been more than friendly towards the Castro regime and his insane dictatorship that, dressed and disguised as a communist driven society, is nothing but a dictatorship like the one Chile had with Pinochet, except Castro does not have to deal with demonstrations because Cubans don't even have the right to assemble together in numbers greater than 20 people or so, except only when Castro calls to a meeting.

We have seen how these so called intellectuals depart from the basic democractic ideals and follow instead a character that is supposed to impersonate the ideals. It's like AMLO here, AMLO not the IFE, represents democracy and freedom.

This is their message. I am so sad I do not see many characters brave enough to come in defense of the IFE, except for Woldenberg, President Fox, PAN, ocassionally Alternativa and Nueva Alianza, and a few other people,The IFE and its counselor are on their own on this one, I have sent them all and each one of them a letter in support of what they are doing, because I do believe IFE which is, in my opinion and in that of many Mexicans, the cornerstone of our democracy, must survive this terrible test, if it does not, who will organize the next elections, AMLO?

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 09:34 PM

emptyboxes - thanks for being a good sport. I finally agree with you in one post.

the fact is, whats going on since July 2nd is relevant for the future of Mexico. Regardless if you like AMLO or not, and same thing for Calderon.

THESE ARE NEWS!!! and should matter to all people who are interested in Mexico.

Posted by: Get Real | July 31, 2006 09:36 PM

Like Empty Boxes, I kind of think the thug-in should have been broadcast. Let the rest of us who don't live in the DF see the trouble being stirred up. Also, in the interest of fairness, the plantones on Ave. Reforma should be shown live. Preferably during rush hour. And, from a helicopter or blimp, so we can all see the rich fascists stuck in their cars for miles.

Being that I am not an intellectual like Monsivais, maybe this is just a sign of low IQ. But, I thought the purpose of things like the plantones was to influence, to put pressure on, even to intimidate people who do not agree with you. We can argue whether that is right or wrong all day. But, what I do not understand, is WHO exactly does AMLO think he is influencing or intimidating. Politically, the DF is his to lose. The Chilangos love him, so, why is he making CHILANGOS suffer with his plantones? It makes no sense. If the capital was a PANista stronghold, I could at least see a certain logic to this, but as of now, I see none.

K. Vronna, I think you still don't get it, possibly you should just let an intellectual do your thinking for you. ANYTHING that AMLO or the PRD says, like Fox is a "traitor", Calderon is a "Pelele", Ugalde is a corrupt crook, PRD poll workers are sellouts, and on and on is simply legitimate political discourse. Nothing more. It is CERTAINLY not "verbal or visual violence". After all, to make an omlette you have to break a few eggs. (a quote from Chairman Mao, who AMLO probably adores.)
On the other hand, the PAN has absolutely no right what so ever to criticize either AMLO or the criticisms AMLO makes. To do otherwise is racism, sexism, classism, and incitement to "violence". Are you clear on that now? If AMLO gets into power, get used to these rules.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 10:13 PM

I do not agree to what is happening and what AMLO is doing. I do not agree because of what he is doing and saying, but not because I voted for Felipe Calderon or because I am related or a member of PAN.
I should tell you something to illustrate how I think: Several months ago my dear wife, a product herself of good televisa upbringing and El Norte Social and Fashion sections and of Liverpool, came and told me how this guy AMLO was a danger to Mexico. I was struck at first, in the dilema between, telling her that she was right and thereby securing one more vote for Calderon by inspiring fear on her, or telling her to be a mature voter and not to pay any attention to a clearly propagandistical spot. I decided for the latest, and I actually told her: If you want to a service to your country, then you should visit his site and check his 50 proposals, even if you will never vote for him, and then consider that against what Felipe Calderon is proposing. She heard me and when she was reading the 50 committments from AMLO she found it very interesting although she did not change her mind.

I also never really believed what most leftist journalist tried to tell us: that Calderon had no proposal and all that. The fact is he had them and if you were paying attention to him you must have heard them.

I also firmly believe that all that noise about the Hildebrando gate has yet to be sustained with evidences.

There was a dirty war from both sides but it was our responsibility to weigh on our desicion and to choose.

I do not believe when people say: Oh I was so wrong I should not have voted for this guy or the other.

Fact is, if your favorite candidate was Patricia Mercado, I believe you should have voted for her then, regardless of the fact that her chances to win were minimal, you vote counts anyway, as the votes of the people who voted for Madrazo count also. And your vote is a message to future governments who must consider these other voters and why they voted in that way and address those needs and demands.
In a perfect world, of course.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 10:16 PM

In a perfect world, I would be dictator, and then we would see things get done.

We will now see how long it takes for somebody to call me a fascist. I noticed two things about yesterday's cry-fest. One was the abscence of Cardenas pers et fils, and Amalia Garcia. Where were they? Why were they not there supporting the cause? Will there be a price to pay for their absence? Two was that the attendance seemed lower. This is interesting as well, as AMLO may be losing his less dedicated supporters, as the get a chance to come to know him better.

What I did not notice, was if another assembly has been scheduled. Have any of you heard?

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 10:24 PM

O!!! Look at this. AMLO seems to be leaving himself an out for NOT accepting the decision of the TEPJF or a recount, if he does not like said decision. From La Jornada:
"Esa es nuestra garantía; eso es lo que dejamos en prenda. Le he planteado al candidato de la derecha (Felipe Calderón) que si él se pronuncia a favor del recuento de los votos, yo voy a aceptar los resultados y voy a dejar de convocar a movilizaciones ciudadanas."

These 8 words are the key: "si él (Calderon) se pronuncia a favor del recuento" Since Calderon is most certainly NOT going to any such thing, a lawyer could argue that AMLO is not obligated to honor his pledge to accept the TEPJF's decision, or unfavorable results of a recount.
You read it here first...

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 10:31 PM

Jerry:

Why is it that AMLO continues demanding Felipe Calderon to agree to a recount?

Would it be because:

1) AMLO's lawyers think that as soon as Felipe Calderon agrees to a recount:
a) They will be able to get the other parties come along and all together ask the court for a recount, which according to what I heard the other day, there is a clause in the Electoral Code that provides for something like this.

b) That once that Felipe Calderon agrees to a recount, he could not morally accept victory or will be bound not to accept victory by some sort of agreement even if TRIFE resolves anyway not to have a recount and confirms Felipe.

And 2) AMLO and his lawyers want to save face in case they lose the case, which they will probably will, and have an honorable way out of these.

3) AMLO is nuts.

Which one do you think it is? Or is it something else?

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 31, 2006 11:14 PM

I think it is obvious from AMLO's point of view; he thinks that he has nothing to lose from a recount. I think he is wrong. If he gets a recount and loses, he then has two choices. He can continue claiming fraud, as I mentioned in my above post. If he does this the hardcore communist, Zapatista, CGH and Atenco types that adore him will follow to the death. But, everyone else will tire of him, and it means his end, politically. On the other hand, if he is telling the truth and does respect the count, he is ALSO dead politically. He has expended too much political capital on claims of fraud. If those claims are now refuted, there will not be much left of AMLO, and I think the Cardenas wing of the PRD will rise to reclaim the party. If by some miracle he actually wins the recount, I think the PAN goes for nullification on a number of grounds, not least being attempts to intimidate the IFE and the TEPJF, and threats of violence against public officials. And, in new elections, AMLO loses and loses big.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 11:29 PM

Bunburrina, I like Monterrey too. In fact, I almost married a regia, until she came to her senses. The difference between MTY and the DF is mental in many ways. Being that the DF is the seat of the federal government, the chilangos (at least a lot of them) have an almost childlike belief in the power of government over their lives. So, we get the belief that if AMLO simply gets into power he can pass a law, and poverty will go away, corruption will be eliminated, and humanity will move forward into the age of aquarius. A goodly percentage of the chilango middle class (like in the Post's DC) works for the government, and do not have any great experience with how the private sector works, or that businesses are anything other than a source of tax revenue. Mexico City is also far enough away from the US border that fewer people have day to day contact to foreigners, which may explain the almost xenophobic attacks against Walmart and Pepsi. Add to this the fact that AMLO has spent his entire term in office turning a goodly segment of the poor in the DF into clients of his welfare programs, and you can see where his support comes from.

Monterrey is another world, both politically and intellectually. And, being closes to Texas, fewer people are afraid of the big bad foreigners.

Posted by: Jerry B | July 31, 2006 11:45 PM

Jerry: I do believe you are right.

Plus, the way I see it, there isn't as much Anti-Americanism as in DF are neraby regions where a lot of people do not identify themselves as being a neighbour of the United States but rather a victim.

I grew up in a world where as a kid I used to cross the border back and forth either because we had vacations or sometimes a wedding or a funeral. I have friends both side of the border and I even have family who are from the United States. So there is no way we can see them in the same light as many people in DF. And then another problem I see happening in DF is how bad the communist and socialist rethoric seems to stick to them, it is like they just can't get rid of socialism and ideologies alike. I think this has more to do with spanish inmigrants who were expelled by Franco for being communists and also with some Vascos. Many Chilean came to work and live in Mexico city also. So you get all kinds of people from around the world to create a very culturally rich and cosmopolitan city with lots of ideologies floating around but where socialism seems to prevail and dominates any other one.

I much prefer our little Monterrey with all its industrial surrounds,San Pedro, San Nicolas, Apodaca, Guadalupe, Santa Catarina, Escobedo. Here we have San Pedro, the richest Municipality in all latin America and one that compares only to Beverly Hills in quantity of millionaires. San Nicolas is the most industrial municipality in the country, we have the second, third, fourth and fifth places in industrial development.
The City has grown very exports-oriented and than gives its industry a more independent industry capable of growing internationally.

I can say more. Of course the DF has got lots of industry too. I am not saying it does not. But for the size of the population in Monterrey, I would say we have a lot.

But thanks to you all who like the city. I complain all the time but I know there are many things I love and I wouldn't leave.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 12:18 AM

--- there are many things I love and I wouldn't leave

I feel the same way about you kiddo. Seems like you've been a good boy today.

love you, Dad (y que Viva Monterrey)

Posted by: Emptyboxes I'm your Father | August 1, 2006 12:29 AM

Empty Boxes, despite all of that, the Potros de Tijuana are still going to kick the m##%a out of the Sultanes, starting tomorrow.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 1, 2006 12:31 AM

I confess to have lived in Monterrey once, in the early 70's. I had a great time there, hung out with the outcast leftist of the Tec and exchanged war stories; remember that by that time I had broken with the party line, so I was an outcast, too. But I certainly didn't like the weather, much too harsh for we who are spoiled by the incredible climate of the center.

Why isn't everyone talking about the extremely negative reactions to the camps in El Paseo, etc? Pepe Cárdenas lambasted AMLO like never before and the public's reaction was almost universally negative. Most of us at the ranch thought that El Peje was going to announce the removal of the camps at his 7pm conference and when this did not occur, I bet there were more than a few PRD pols that had a sphincter tightening experience. The economic losses are calculated at 20 million US / day; that's a lot of taxes to help pay social programs. Where's all this creativity from the "Crème de la Crème" of the intellectual wing of the Coalición Por el Bien de Algunos?

Posted by: K.Vronna | August 1, 2006 12:55 AM

I have a feeling that AMLO is angry at the DF. I think he blames Chilangos for not giving him the 260 thousand votes that would have made him President by now.

The PRD and AMLO do not really care for the employment of thousands of hard working people from DF. As they do not care when, in their stupid mentality, they blame the whole Banamex because one of the shareholders supports PAN, and the same for Bimbo, and Pepsico Sabritas, and Wal-mart.

That only comes to show how bad their notion of a healthy economy is. They think that the Government is the economy. I have even heard some of them and even AMLO himself hinting at using the federal reserves to promote "economic growth"
As thought the federal reserve was not independent.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 06:46 AM

AMLO's madness, or that of his staff, how can we tell?, has gone as far as to distribute flyiers in support of an alleged Boycott against "Companies that are enemies of the people". This is the kind of rethoric used by Fidel Castro and other radical communist dictators.

Of course the shareholders of these companies have all the right to pursue and advocate for their political preferences and to actively participate. And the same should be for Catholic priests and every one who wants to participate in politics.

If they do not want anyone of these to participate, then Labor Union leaders and community leaders and popular organizations should not participate either.

But that is a dogmatical ideology these people have.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 07:15 AM

Germán Dehesa
Ni modo



Marcelo Ebrard. De entrada tengo que decir que Marcelo y yo somos buenos cuates y que en verdad me apenó enormemente no haber asistido a su boda a la que de modo tan gentil me invitó. Aunque sea un poco tarde, espero que Mariagna y Marcelo reciban mis parabienes.

Vamos ahora al domingo 30 de julio. Andrés Manuel acaba de pronunciar un discurso cuya redacción, cosa rara, es casi impecable. Comenzó en tono de homilía evangélica (Hombres y mujeres de buena voluntad); y para no romper esta bella ilustración de San Francisco predicando a las aves, también nos dijo que quería, en primer lugar, darle las gracias a los humildes y mi amiga la de Tacubaya (para el Rayo de Esperanza, tenemos a la Raya de Tacubaya) y yo nos preguntamos ¿de dónde demonios sacaron la idílica noción de que los pobres son humildes?, por lo menos, hay que dejarlos ser como se les dé la gana; los habrá humildes y los habrá altivos y arrabiados y todos tendrán derecho a ser. Vuelvo al discurso: prosiguió el largo proemio con una revisión, incompleta pero verídica, de la larga y difícil historia de la lucha de los mexicanos por la democracia y la justicia que de ella emana. De pasadita le dio un machucón a Fox, invocó a Madero (¡ya dejen en paz a los cadáveres!), volvió a fregar con lo de la ¡transparencia! y de manera ciertamente sofística y tramposa nos vino a decir que en el momento actual, sólo quedan dos caminos: la sumisión o la violencia (¿la inteligencia no sería otro buen camino?). Dicho esto, optó de facto por la no sumisión, o sea por la violencia, al plantear ese proyectazo, esa parida mental, dirían en España; del bloqueo de la Avenida Reforma (¿para esto, para pensar tan magna tarugada, se habrán reunido días y noches los cerebros del PRD?).

Procedió luego a hacer una votación a brazo alzado entre los concurrentes al Zócalo y vías aledañas (lectora lector querido, ¿te imaginas cómo le iba a ir al que se atreviera a no alzar el brazo?). Aquí, para que vean, no fue necesario hacer un recuento brazo por brazo y callecilla por callecilla. Ya autorizado para el disparate, el Peje procedió a repartir lotes en el Zócalo y en Reforma y a esto le llamaron asamblea permanente. Jamás había presenciado yo un suicidio político tan fulminante. Como dice mi amigo Luis Esteban Islas (a) el Polituzo (porque es politólogo y es de Pachuca) y lo cito de memoria: es claro que Andrés Manuel ya no quiere ser Presidente; lo único que quiere es que Felipe no lo sea. Creo que estamos asistiendo a la absurda y veloz dilapidación de un capital político. Y así con la toma de Reforma y la muy probable toma de otras vías primarias, comenzó el funeral vikingo de López Obrador. Allá él.

Nosotros, la enorme mayoría de nosotros, quedamos del otro lado de la acera y vemos el aterrador panorama de una ciudad descabezada. Alejandro Encinas, supuesto Jefe de Gobierno, sólo sirve para decirle a AMLO lo que decía Cantinflas: ¡asssórdensjefeee!. Luis Ruiz, el mero mero de SETRAVI, informa que hoy lunes ya pasaron a perjudicar a cien mil usuarios de Reforma y calles aledañas; pero que no hay purrún, porque todo se resuelve saliendo de nuestra casa con 20 o mejor 30 minutos de anticipación. Señor Ruiz: que salga su mamacita. Consagrado por la Constitución y por un bando que emitió López Obrador, nuestro derecho de tránsito está por encima del derecho a manifestarse pacíficamente. Nada más nos falta quien lo haga valer.

Aquí es donde entra a la historia Marcelo Ebrard, futuro Jefe de Gobierno quien al serle planteado este caos, respondió breve, pero enérgicamente lo siguiente: ni modo (¡dobabesbadito!).

¿Nos vamos a dejar, o iniciamos la Operación DesPEJE?. Corazón: tú dirás lo que hacemos.



¿QUÉ TAL DURMIÓ? DCCCXLVIII (848)


¿Y si bloqueáramos a MONTIEL y al Precioso?.



Cualquier correspondencia con esta despejada columna, favor de dirigirla a german@plazadelangel.com.mx (D.R)

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 07:18 AM

Obrador believes that he is the savior of Mexico. No cost is too high for society to pay as long as the result is that he takes up power. The more you see him in action, the more you realize that once in power this meglomaniac would never willingly relenquish it.

Posted by: Greg | August 1, 2006 09:24 AM

The tendency for people in DF to be more oriented towards a big paternal government structure may also date back to the Aztec empire, when all power came from on high. That, of course, was replaced by the Spanish empire in which all power was divided between the king and the church, but it still came from on high.

Today many Mexicans still come to the big leader on high looking for a handout. That is the game AMLO plays. He wants to paint himself as the benevolent leader who may occasionally defy court orders and various laws, but it is okay because he is doing it for "the people."

By the way, the ancient dictator of Cuba, who has thrown dissidents in jail, knocked off all his potential competitors and kept the population living in misery for close to five decades has turned over power temporarily to his brother, the toad-like Raul. Fidel will probably come through his operation, but if he should die, what reaction will there be from all the fawning lefty masses in Mexico who are mostly camped out in the Zocalo now?

Posted by: Goyo | August 1, 2006 10:39 AM


Both parties willbe good for Mexico but they should really focus on education for all its people. Mexico is a great country but it can never compete with develop countries if it does not have an educated people. Chile has proven that pro business and socialism can exsist as long as Mexico can figure out a way to do it.

Posted by: Pablo | August 1, 2006 10:56 AM

Interesting to see everyone's comments, BUT.........AMLO gave a promise to equalize the riches in Mexico, bring people up from being dirt poor and perhaps move them into the middle classes (and this is needed and fair).........did people believe this? Was it likely that even the most ignorant of Mexicans could believe this? Well not really, it was idealistic and needed but AMLO's track record did not show that he would, could or even intended to do so. What did he do for Mexico City? Build a second floor to the periferico and pretty up the rich neighborhoods; oh and yes we shouldn't forget he did start a university - free and of no academic level (not one of his fancy intellectuals offered to teach there, did they?).

So what am I saying, before the elections and for a short period he was vastly in the lead in the polls and looked like a sure winner but as time went on and he made mistake after mistake (attaching Fox, not appearing at the debate, snubbing respected organizations, making childish attacks against his rivals, etc.) even the poorest of the poor began to get their doubts about him. Could he, would he really come through for them? I think the election results showed clearly that they did not.

This has nothing to do with his party or principles; rather it was a statement against him. Throughout Mexico the PRD won many local and State elections. The D.F. fell into the hands of the PRD but not the presidency. Oh of course I forgot the "complot", no I do not believe there was a complot, fraud or rampant citizen mishaps during the elections, the results of the PRD winnings show this could not be the case.

Mexicans are proud and quite rightly so, they do not want to be clubbed together as poor, and this was a strategic mistake of Lopez Obrador: Their neighbor, their relative, oh but not they themselves, so don't try bringing them in that way. It sounded good at the time and sounded logical that it was to bring in the masses - it backfired on him. Just like assuming that his public did not need to see him during the first debate and that was a mammoth mistake, they did and they felt insulted that AMLO thought so little of them that they would not watch it. They did and the tide turned.

Calderon promised jobs, schemes to allow young people to put up their own businesses. Mexico is comprised of an enormous young generation that is desperate for jobs and Calderon took it on his shoulders first as his slogan.

Maybe this simplifies the situation too much, because as we all know simple it is not but as intelligently put ----------- this is were we can let off steam.

Posted by: gmb | August 1, 2006 11:04 AM

Pablo and gmb-- Both of you have stated the situation very well. Pablo-- Yes, you are right, what Mexico needs is a modern, responsible left, such as they have in Chile, Spain, the UK, etc

gmb-- You are right, Calderon won, even if by a hair, because he had a positive message for the youth-- jobs and opportunity. The negative ads-- such as they were-- may have helped shake people into thinking again about Lopez Obrador and what he would mean for Mexico-- but, in the end, it was his own mistakes-- failing to show up for the first debate, yelling like a fool and insulting the president-- that did him in.

The PRD is now at the crossroads, will they tie up commerce for weeks on end in the city they control or will they start to back away from this loser and restore order? The revenue losses, the job losses, the investment losses, the frustration of average citizens-- all of this will be at the doorstep of the PRD government of the DF. What will they do?

Posted by: Goyo | August 1, 2006 11:38 AM

"It is a tale ... full of sound and fury; signifying nothing." Macbeth

gmb, you are right, Mexicans are a proud people and do not want to be clubbed together as a bunch of poor people.

I believe this was the very reason why Demetrio Sodi lost the DF also, because he centered his campaign in the negative issues affecting the DF, which, most people from DF already know very well but do not like anybody to expose them on Prime Time National TV like PAN and PRI did in their DF campaign.

Some of the sort happened with AMLO at a national level, he played the same game Demetri Sodi did in DF, of course AMLO has got much more personality and more appealing, but nevertheless I think he could have won had he not centered on talking so much about the poor.

Here is an interesting fact. The local chamber of industry and commerce of Monterrey invited AMLO 3 times at least to come and present his proposals to the Monterrey business community. He never paid any attention.

I am glad he did so. Otherwise he would probably have won and will be our Elected President by now probably.

Many Panistas, including myself, are watching with unsurpassed enjoyment how Mr. Obrador is putting an end to his own political life and that of those detestable people around him like Camacho Solis, Ricardo Monreal, Horacio Duarte.


Posted by: | August 1, 2006 12:03 PM

"It is a tale ... full of sound and fury; signifying nothing." Macbeth

gmb, you are right, Mexicans are a proud people and do not want to be clubbed together as a bunch of poor people.

I believe this was the very reason why Demetrio Sodi lost the DF also, because he centered his campaign in the negative issues affecting the DF, which, most people from DF already know very well but do not like anybody to expose them on Prime Time National TV like PAN and PRI did in their DF campaign.

Some of the sort happened with AMLO at a national level, he played the same game Demetri Sodi did in DF, of course AMLO has got much more personality and more appealing, but nevertheless I think he could have won had he not centered on talking so much about the poor.

Here is an interesting fact. The local chamber of industry and commerce of Monterrey invited AMLO 3 times at least to come and present his proposals to the Monterrey business community. He never paid any attention.

I am glad he did so. Otherwise he would probably have won and will be our Elected President by now probably.

Many Panistas, including myself, are watching with unsurpassed enjoyment how Mr. Obrador is putting an end to his own political life and that of those detestable people around him like Camacho Solis, Ricardo Monreal, Horacio Duarte.


Posted by: | August 1, 2006 12:06 PM

I'm really puzzled. Didn't you already vote for one candidate or another? What, then, is the point of arguing time and again about the candidates' programs, styles, families, alliances, etc.? The election will be decided not on the basis of who will be the best President for Mexico, but on the merit of the allegations of electoral irregularities being examined by the court and, let's not pretend innocence, on the political consequences of each decision.

So, my persistent right-leaning fellow blog commentators, enjoy writing the same again and again. It may be good practice for your English communication skills. I may come to read ocassionally.

Bunburina: I stand by my words. I'm not responsible for what you read between (or above, or behind) the lines...

Posted by: pasilla | August 1, 2006 12:20 PM

Goyo and Macbeth (you seem to have no name) there are many ways to look on what is currently happening and what may be to come.

Many investors are worried that AMLO will create certain unrest and civil strife even if passive if the TRIFE votes against him.

This seems to be bad news but could it not also be good news. Look back on recent history and you will see that this may be the opportunity for Mexico to get out from under corrupt trade unions. I just hope that the government will realize that it is better to clean them up once and for always and therefore face the need of assisting businesses financially that will indubitably suffer strikes.

What I am trying to say is that not all that AMLO is doing will necessarily - in the long run - be detrimental to Mexico's competitiveness and growth but rather will be the end of an era of dominance and dare I say it "madness" and the beginning of a time of reason.

Posted by: gmb | August 1, 2006 12:26 PM

I am sorry the above post with the quote from Macbeth was mine.

gmb, I truly agree with you.

I will also add that I think this is probably a conflict between 2 generations of Mexico, The Old one that that does not want to let go of its past glories of populism and statism and a new one that wants to get rid of it all.

I want to get rid of it all. I want a new deal. One where we Mexicans enjoy all the political and economical freedoms to pursue our own hapiness in our own terms. I am tired of these stupid "Canasta Basica" designed by some mediocre burocrat who establishes what our poor people is going to eat and how much. We are a staple food country living next door to the richest country in the world.
The economic formulas to make a country rich and its people free to create wealth are not a secret treasured by a few secretive economists in rich nations. No, they are public and well known and many countries are now putting them into practice. Those who did like Spain and Chile, and curious thing how both of these countries had dictators who saved them from radical communists, today they are getting richer and richer. Mexico has the potential to be a great rich nation with citizens living and enjoying high living standards.
We do not deserve a socialist governemnt.

And Pasilla. Why don't you get a pacifier or something? You seem to be complaining about whatever we post here. But you need to see that the subject of this blog is precisely the post electoral situations. Otherwise why don't you open a discussion then?

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 12:49 PM

What words Pasilla? Seems you have no clear arguments other than agreeing the election has taken place, a clear (if by small margin) president elected ......... even if to majority (which showed in results) not the candidate of their preference.

That is democracy for you and as AMLO himself said even by 1 vote majority the outcome would be respected.

Fortunately for Mexico the majority, which ever party they voted for, have accepted the outcome and just want Mexico to get on and people to live in unison and peace.

Have any of the - as you call them - right wing blogs declared against the legal right of those PRD winners or insinuated fraud, gross negligence and the total destructive language used against the IFE a world recognized organisation for clarity and transparency.

Posted by: gmb | August 1, 2006 12:52 PM

gmb, reading helps understanding...

On the other hand, you seem to suffer a disease common among several of PAN backers: you read quite selectively, if not with exqisite bias. I wrote that the election is over, but its QUALIFICATION is not.

emptyboxes:

"But you need to see that the subject of this blog is precisely the post electoral situations (is there more than one?)..."

Exactly! That was the point of my previous comment...

Posted by: pasilla | August 1, 2006 01:49 PM

According to a report I just heard on the radio:

Jesus Ortega, leader of the PRD, said they have contacted the leader of the Green Party (niño verde) to ask for his support in the request of a vote by vote recount. Of course since he is a bastion of democracy like Murata, he will lend credibility to their cause. Boy, are they getting desperate.

Posted by: TG | August 1, 2006 02:20 PM

The Nino Verde should feel right at home with the likes of Murat, Bartlett, and all the rest of the crooks surrounding AMLO.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 1, 2006 02:51 PM

You are right Pasilla, the qualification is not over.............but by your standards and understanding will it ever be.

TG and Jerry B. We should be happy that they are getting so desperate that they are bringing the most undesirable elements into play - yet another display of why AMLO lost credability and another bad move on his part.

Now Pasilla do you understand why AMLO is not likely to recover any serious following and why eventually the PRD - that won so many of the election positions will ask him to step down.

What a lost opportunity - he could have tried again 6 years from now after learning from his campaigne mistakes.

Ah well

Posted by: gmb | August 1, 2006 03:17 PM

Jerry,
You're right there about the "Green Kid" being at home with the crooks, and why not? A fake leftist movement takes in a fake green party.

I have a German friend that's a Green and she says that the Mexican Greens are anything but green. A disgrace to all the green parties of the world, there has even been talk of trying to keep the Verde from using that name so as not to confuse the people that might think it has something to do with the real Greens.

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 1, 2006 03:20 PM

The one thing the Verdes will never do is to sit down with the PRD to cut any deal. They may do business with the PRI but their first love has and will always be PAN and every election they look forward to make alliances with PAN.

This is just another patetic attemp from AMLO to try to get another party on board to give legitimacy to their movement.

So far, the only ones to come in support of AMLO's claim have been the expected unconditional dogmatic allies:

1) Our great UNAM University, a monolithic and abject group of radicals, communists, stalinists, socialists, gay defense groups, Anti-Americans, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Dentite and other great human beings of the sort.

2) The usual gang of apologetical and pygmy intellectuals like Monsivais and that kindergarden history books Lorenzo Meyer, our dear friend Julio Hernandes from La Jornada, famous for his respectable and famous cocaine conspiracy theories about the Mexican Right and El Yunke, Francisco Cardenas from El Universal, who fingers himself again and again with the idea of an Interim President in the event, one in a million possibilities, on an annulement, UFO analyst Jaime Mauzan has far demonstrated a much richer imagination than many of these mediocre AMLO followers.

3) Our beloved UNITED COLORS OF BENNETON-Subcomandante Marcos© and his EZLN with the people of La Otra Campana, that includes some very interesting characters, among them John Ross and other anti-globalization thugs joined by the usual girls and gay and lesbian young students from Spain and Chile and Italy and other respectable nations.

With these friends no wonder the other political parties want to stay as far as they can from AMLO and his PRD.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 04:10 PM

TG:

Is it also an act of "desperation" on Calderon part to accept the spurious title of "President Elect," from no less than the illustrious Teacher Gordillo? How about the support of PRI-gangster Victor Medel, or the hilarious endorsement of an impersonator of an officer of the Electrical Workers Union...?

gmb:

Well, you know where AMLO lives these days... Why don't you pay him a visit to offer your condolences and your wise advice?

K. Vronna:

My problem with your comments is the unsusbstatiated overarching nature of the interpretation of facts. Since when a tactical, temporary alliance with somebody is equivalent to "taking in" that somebody?

Did you really need a German to come tell you how fake the Mexican Green Party is? On the other hand, who's going to prevent the "greens" from using the name? Is the word green subject to copyright?

Why don't we reflect before expressing an opinion? It is in everybody's benefit...

Let's move on; there is a new, long overdue posting by Ceci...

Posted by: pasilla | August 1, 2006 04:29 PM

Pasilla, I kind of agree with you that we should move on to the new posting from Ceci.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 04:47 PM

Dr. pasilla, this might help:

Controlling Anger Before it Controls You
The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the ... 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242 Telephone: 800-374-2721

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 1, 2006 05:06 PM

Jerry, emptyboxes, I agree with you in one thing: the difference between MTY and the DF is basically mental.

Us chilangos, (I include myself) tend to think that Mexico is Mexico city and that outside of it is just cows and corn fields. And I believe that is one of the reasons many people believe in here the "fraud". I've been told maaany times to go out on the streets and find someone who voted for Calderón. They say: "It was a total fraud, go outside and ask the people and everyone voted for AMLO". Right. Besides the DF being almost completely PRDista, Mexico City isn't the entire country. Sure it is big but there are 80 million mexicans who doesn't live here. Many people have a hard time understanding that.

It is also interesting what you guys said about chilangos being used to a paternalistic state. I think that you might have exaggerated a little bit but you definetely made a point about MTY and the north in general being more entrepreneurial that the capital. Starting your own business is an idea that is encouraged only in the upper-middle class here in the DF. Kids in the Ibero, Tec, Anáhuac, all private universities have a strong education towards private investment. Public universities like UAM and UNAM (where the majority of university students attend)not so much.

And paternalism has also influenced a lot of the support AMLO has in the DF. In the good old times of the PRI in Mexico City back in the fifities and sixties a lot of public and paternalostic measures were taken: building the periférico, a lot of new IMSS hospitals, the opening of Ciudad Unversitaria etc. Then during the 70's, 80's and 90's it was a clear deterioration where nothing, absolutely nothing happened (except for the earthquake of course). So I guess is natural that people see in AMLO a "competent" ruler since they saw a lot of things getting done during his administration. Of course, they all pretty much suck. The new bridges in Santa Fe are crumbling down, insecurity is still being a big issue, public transport is a mess, a lot of ambulantes in the streets etc. It was, in my opinion, a little deja vu of the times of the PRI.

About foreigners... well, foreigners in general are treated very well in here. There are a lot of asian and european tourists in Mexico City (just go to Antropología and count them). But the image, not of all foreigners but of americans, yes it is pretty bad in the DF. I guess it is completely natural for the regios to see an ally in the gringos rather than an enemy, like most people in here does.

Posted by: bunburina | August 1, 2006 10:40 PM

Please visit http://www.mivotofuelimpio.com/

Thanks

Posted by: Benito | August 5, 2006 12:31 AM

OPEN YOUR MIND AND THINK.
Please visit:
http://senderodelpeje.blogspot.com
Thanks

Posted by: JESUS ORTIZ | August 17, 2006 01:29 PM

My, My, the garbage you can find reviewing the old posts. The senderodelpeje site is a good place for reflection, but not about how great an option AMLO is, but that the coalition is a bunch of foul-mouthed, juvenile, fascist creeps that look to personally attack any opponent. Respect for them means a 'mentada'.

Posted by: K. Vronna | September 8, 2006 05:45 PM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




 
 

© 2006 The Washington Post Company