More Surprises in Store?

If you like surprises, Mexico seems to be the place to be these days. Strategists for Andrés Manuel López Obrador -- and the big guy himself -- are hinting at more excitement in the coming weeks as they fight the close-call presidential election results.

In an interview with the Financial Times, López Obrador adviser Manuel Camacho ratcheted up the rumor mill, darkly speaking of "civic resistance."

Mr Camacho would not give details of what the civic resistance would entail - although he stressed that it would be 'within the confines of the law', but said it would also be "disruptive. We want to maintain an element of surprise," Camacho told the Brits. "Mexico is in crisis...The president and the rightwing candidate have to put their feet on the ground and realise they won't be able to govern if they keep on ignoring the will of the people."

Recall, after the counting was completed, PAN nominee Felipe Calderón was declared the winner with about 240,000 more votes than López Obrador, out of 42 million cast. They are now battling in the courts and in the court of public opinion over the possibility that errors -- or even fraud! -- denied López Obrador victory.

Even before the July 2 voting, Calderón and other López Obrador rivals were painting him as a danger. Now that he's hosting mass protest rallies, the buzz is that things could get violent. There has been some mischief this week.

"Vandals this week ripped up a poster exhibition along Mexico's main avenue by leftist artists charging vote fraud, and supporters of López Obrador pounded on Calderón's car as he was leaving a meeting, swearing and screaming abuse at him," Reuters reported.

The growing tensions have the nation's Catholic leaders urging for calm.

"We need to strengthen the climate of peace in our country, because when this is destroyed it causes enormous suffering to everyone," pleaded four top bishops in a full-page newspaper insert calling for a week of prayer.

The prayer week would begin July 31 and coincide with López Obrador's next major rally. It's worth pointing out that so far, the demonstrations have remained overwhelmingly peaceful, even downright festive.

The national workers union, a big player in Mexican politics, is backing López Obrador's call to recount all 42 million votes. López Obrador's lawyers claim it would take only six days to do the recount.

The conventional wisdom has been that López Obrador has the people behind him. Why else would hundreds of thousands of Mexicans march through the streets and spend hours in the hot sun or pouring rain? But the Houston Chronicle offers a fascinating, counterintuitive piece out of Santa Marta Chiconautla explaining that many López Obrador supporters have become either apathetic or exhausted.

"Just six years after the dawn of multiparty democracy in Mexico, many Mexicans are disillusioned. Particularly in some López Obrador strongholds, there's a sense of resignation, a feeling that the rich and powerful have had their way with the poor yet again," the Chronicle reported.

Over at President-Elect Headquarters...

When he isn't acting like he's already got the job, Calderón is sending some of us gringos to our dictionaries to look up chantaje. (Hint: It isn't very nice.)

"Calderón acusa a López Obrador de Chantajista," screamed the cover of the tabloid Milenio, which translates into: "Calderón Accuses López Obrador of Being a Blackmailer."

Calderón might have a reason for pulling out the big words. López Obrador has offered to call a halt to the demonstrations -- if, and only if -- Calderón agrees to a recount. For more on the subject of chantajes, check out La Jornada.

From Pamela Starr's lips to Calderón's ears. The highly-respected analyst at Eurasia Group predicts the conservative 43-year-old PANista will be inaugurated as scheduled Dec. 1.

According to Starr, Calderón would move swiftly in the early going, rolling out a series of fiscal and energy proposals within the first 100 days of his administration. (Campaign Conexión wonders if he learned that at Harvard's Kennedy School?)

At the same time, Calderón and party leaders are working hard to dispel any notion that these giant rallies are a display of democracy in action or public sentiment.

"In the ongoing battle of images accompanying the electoral showdown, the Calderón camp has tried to characterize public displays of support for López Obrador as proof that he is a manipulator stirring up popular discontent, rather than a defender of democracy," reported El Universal.

"Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants to turn this into a contest to see who can bring the most people into the Zócalo," PAN deputy Jorge Triana Tena told the newspaper.

All indications are that the tribunal members are one bunch of tough hombres (and one mujer). From the Houston Chronicle:

But the electoral judges, who started reviewing the legal challenges on July 17, have said they won't be cowed.
"Those who think that with protests and marches, or by blocking streets and highways, they can change the decision of the court are wrong," Leonel Castillo, the chief magistrate, told Mexico City's El Universal newspaper shortly before the July 2 vote.
Castillo had expected widespread protests if Lopez Obrador lost the election.

Calderón is getting a boost from much of the punditocracy as well as the electoral commission, which is eager to restore its good reputation. Election officials say López Obrador's much-ballyhooed videos do NOT prove fraud.

Lawyer and fellow blogger Ana Maria Salazar has a good look at the electoral commission's efforts to defend its work, and concludes it will be difficult for López Obrador to overturn Calderón's victory.

Any doubtful observations haven't stopped López Obrador's lawyers from requesting a personal audience with the highly-paid judges.

¡Ya Basta!

The elites seem to be getting a bit cranky. Summer vacations ruined, perhaps? A growing number of columnists, academics and editorial writers are fed up with AMLO, even if they do grudgingly acknowledge a recount may not be the end of the world.

An editorial in El Pais, complaining that the street protests are irresponsible, says let the seven-member election tribunal decide.

Analyst Denise Dresser, in a column first published in the Los Angeles Times, sounds a bit exasperated with both sides.

"In a country where deep doubts about the cleanliness of the electoral process have resurfaced, both sides must dispel them. López Obrador has every right to legally question the results of a close election, just as the country has every right to demand that he respect its results. A vote-by-vote recount would offer him no recourse but to do so," she writes.

"Mexico needs to review the votes in order to move beyond the paranoid style of its current politics - especially now that López Obrador seems intent on destroying the country with the hope of governing it someday. Instead of keeping a cool head, he is butting it against everything he can: President Vicente Fox, the Federal Electoral Institute, the media, international observers and all those who believe that although irregularities might have occurred, massive fraud did not."

But the Calderón camp isn't behaving much better, she observes. "Their resistance to a recount is feeding the growing perception that massive fraud may have taken place, even though it probably didn't. People are marching and mobilizing because the country's elites keep providing them reasons to do so."

Spain's ABC chastises the former Mexico City mayor for doing "enormous damage" to the nation.

And newspaper heavyweight El Universal weighs in with a lecture for everyone to behave themselves. The editorial writers are standing behind the tribunal, saying Mexicans ought to calmly wait for the tribunal's verdict, due by Sept. 6.

Meanwhile, the message from a group calling itself the "Citizens Committee" is essentially: A pox on both your houses.

The committee, described in the Dallas Morning News as an "influential civic group," didn't name names, but said candidates should not "try to discredit the country's democratic institutions" or "act prematurely as president-elect."

"All we're asking is that everyone, from the media to the government and political actors, refrain from pressuring our electoral authorities," group member Hugo Almada told the newspaper. "We have to respect the institutions that we as citizens built over the last decades."

El Universal columnist Ricardo Aleman is troubled by the prospect of Calderón's "doubtful legitimacy" if he is inaugurated with widespread doubts remaining about the credibility of the count.

Aleman goes so far as to compare the present situation with the crisis in public confidence which befell Carlos Salinas after an overwhelming number of Mexicans (and many international observers) concluded he "stole" the 1988 election.

All the credibility talk reminds Campaign Conexión of the inside-the-Beltway chatter in early 2001, when the political class doubted George W. Bush would be able to credibly run the U.S. after the Supreme Court declared him president. Bush's confidence -- and his strong performance after the Sept. 11 attacks -- helped quell that speculation.

By |  July 21, 2006; 1:00 PM ET  | Category:  Campaign Conexión
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I would like the Washington Post to discuss this link and the aberrations in the statistics generated by the mexican reasearcher. I think a full exploration would be benificial for your audience.

Thxs, Bob Shaw

Posted by: Bob Shaw | July 21, 2006 04:44 PM

Anything coming out of the Guardian is about as unbiased as something in Pravda. The simple fact is that all the last pre election polls had the election a statistical tie, or AMLO slightly ahead, on June 23. The exit polls, according to Mikovsky, showed a statistical dead heat. In other words, the election was going to be decided by less than 1%. And it was. If it had gone the other way, 250,000 in favor of AMLO, the PAN could be making the exact same accusations that AMLO is making now, government (of the DF) favoritism of one candidate, media (La Jornada, Proceso) bias, intimidation of voters, bribery of voters (in Salamanca, on video) etc etc. It was a close election. Period. And, everything would indicate that AMLO lost. Barely. But, lose he did.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 21, 2006 05:32 PM


If Guardian = Pravda, what does that say for other news sources. Does the Telegraph = FOX news?

And, if "everything would indicate that AMLO lost", what is "everything"? Do sworn affidavits alleging corruption not count among "everything"?

It is fun to watch rich people worry that their bought-and-paid-for policy changes won't go into effect. I like it when rich people are worried.

Posted by: Confused | July 21, 2006 06:51 PM


If Guardian = Pravda, what does that say for other news sources. Does the Telegraph = FOX news?

And, if "everything would indicate that AMLO lost", what is "everything"? Do sworn affidavits alleging corruption not count among "everything"?

It is fun to watch rich people worry that their bought-and-paid-for policy changes won't go into effect. I like it when rich people are worried.

Posted by: Confused | July 21, 2006 06:51 PM

Confused, I have no idea what the Telegraph equals. I have never been to the UK. If I wanted to drink 40 pints of lager and go beat up some German football fans....but I digress.

As to what is "everything"? Well, let us start with the vote count, verified by a half a million citizens, and tens of thousands of PRD poll watchers (AMLO says his poll watchers may be corrupt, but I have more confidence in the rank and file perredistas, who are generally good people following a bad ideology.) Then, we have the exit polls, which indicated a dead heat. Then, we have AMLO's "evidence" of fraud, (the "sworn affidavits" alleging corruption) which is discredited. Finally, we have a partial recount of several thousand polling places, which actually increased Calderon's lead by .03 of a percentage point.

Now, even if we completely eliminate fraud, the statistical error range in an election this close would allow for the possibility that AMLO did indeed win, by an incredibly small margin. Doubtful, but possible. But, if he DID, and a recount proved it, the PAN could (and would) use every one of AMLO's own impugnations back at him. Furthermore, why should the PAN agree to a full recount when AMLO's history indicates that, regardless of what he is promising now, he will not accept any results that do not go his way.

Incidentally, your comment about "rich people" is interesting. The last I checked, about 3% of Mexico's population could be classed as "rich". Yet, 36% voted for the PAN. Have we sudennly become a VERY first world country, even richer than the US of A or the UK? If so, where is my share of the "riches"????

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 21, 2006 09:07 PM

Confused, I have no idea what the Telegraph equals. I have never been to the UK. If I wanted to drink 40 pints of lager and go beat up some German football fans....but I digress.

As to what is "everything"? Well, let us start with the vote count, verified by a half a million citizens, and tens of thousands of PRD poll watchers (AMLO says his poll watchers may be corrupt, but I have more confidence in the rank and file perredistas, who are generally good people following a bad ideology.) Then, we have the exit polls, which indicated a dead heat. Then, we have AMLO's "evidence" of fraud, (the "sworn affidavits" alleging corruption) which is discredited. Finally, we have a partial recount of several thousand polling places, which actually increased Calderon's lead by .03 of a percentage point.

Now, even if we completely eliminate fraud, the statistical error range in an election this close would allow for the possibility that AMLO did indeed win, by an incredibly small margin. Doubtful, but possible. But, if he DID, and a recount proved it, the PAN could (and would) use every one of AMLO's own impugnations back at him. Furthermore, why should the PAN agree to a full recount when AMLO's history indicates that, regardless of what he is promising now, he will not accept any results that do not go his way.

Incidentally, your comment about "rich people" is interesting. The last I checked, about 3% (at most) of Mexico's population could be classed as "rich". Yet, 36% voted for the PAN. Have we sudennly become a VERY first world country, even richer than the US of A or the UK? If so, where is my share of the "riches"????

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 21, 2006 09:10 PM

Someone accused me in another blog of not doing my homework. I've posted my comments objectively based on my knowledge of the law and the evidence so far found.

Some people in here are loosing their point. May I remind them that I'm not trying to prove that there was a fraud in the making. They are the ones supporting that thesis. They are the ones who aren't doing their homework. Don't worry, I'll give you guys a hand:

Here is the link, directly form the TEPJF, where the legislation relevant for this case is contained. Find where all the supposedly electotal crimes are. I did look for them about a week ago, I did it today too and didn't found anything relevant that could change the current result.

If you do find something, why don't you send you brilliant thesis to the PRD headquarters? They seem to need it really bad. Of their 231 complaints, 112 don't present enough evidence and legal background to be analyzed and so the TEPJF has asked the PRD for more documentation.

So far, all accusations have been done using double standards and lies. They are trying to achieve in the streets, with very out-of-date, Cold War kind of resistence, what they didn't get in ballots. They present themselves as martyrs of democarcy while they ignore that 27 million voters didn't choose their political option. Elections aren't won by majorities, they are won by majorities who vote and, on july 2nd, 27 million mexicans voted against AMLO's view. 14 million people who voted for AMLO are hardly a mojority of the 42 million total votes. Even more, they are hardly a majority of the 71 million mexicans eligible to vote.

Instead of trying to blame everything on someone else, why don't you guys do a self-criticism exercise? Why did the PRD walked out of the negotiations to choose the IFE officials?(yes, they DID walk out, Carlos Navarrete, Senator of the PRD said it yesterday in Zona Abierta with Hector Aguilar Camín) Why did AMLO choose not to be at the first debate? Why attacking the entrepreneurs, insult them, calling them parasites, and thus scaring away the middle class? (casue most entrepreneurs are from the middle class, they aren't rich) Why attacking the president? Why the name calling? Why being so conceited, why ignoring your own advisors? ("la estrategia soy yo")

My advice for all AMLO supproters out there: the solution isn't a question of "we did it because they were attacking us" or "we did it because they did it first". Mal de muchos, consuelo de tontos. It was very clear, 4 or 5 months ago, that AMLO was winning by a large margin the election. No one make him lose it. He lost it himself. Think about that.

Posted by: bunburina | July 22, 2006 12:33 AM


Indeed, the TRIFE has requested more information but this is a normal occurrence during most cases. Further, it's not in the quant. (number of unsubstantiated cases) but in the qualitative front where the case will be decided -all it takes is a reasonable doubt for: a) re-count or b) annull.

I myself find it surprising that AMLO was able to withstand the assault of the Mexican elites during the last months on his candidacy: unsustained rumours, governmental interference, media pounding, etc., etc. Your questions seem to mirror your skewed vision of the situation. A more balanced approach would be welcomed.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 22, 2006 09:50 AM

Obrador ran a bad campaign, he had a brilliant idea in making this an election for the poor, but he made one very mortal mistake. He completely ignored the growing middle class, by doing this, he killed his chances for not only beating Calderon, but beating him by at least 3 to 5 percentage points. He underestimated the power that young, educated, middle class Mexicans have at convincing employees and relatives that AMLO was a danger to the nation.

Posted by: Jesus Chavez | July 22, 2006 11:24 AM

Marco, every candidate in every serious democracy in the world has to deal with "unsustained rumours, governmental interference, media pounding, etc" in a campaign. This is normal, and the only way to completely stop it is to outlaw free speech.

"Unsustained rumors"? I was told as a fact that if the PAN won, women would be banned from working outside the home, the Vatican would take over Mexico, Sexual Education would be banned in public schools, and Mexico would become a fascist republic. I was also as a fact told that if AMLO won, he would become Hugo Chavez's puppet, gay marriage would be legalized, private property would be confiscated, (and given to the gays?) and Mexico would become a communist state.

Governmental interferance?? I heard plenty of pro Fox spots, yet am given to understand that there were plenty of spots by the GDF that were much more biased in favor of AMLO.

Media Pounding? El norte attacked AMLO. So what. Try reading Proceso or La Jornada. If you can get more than a couple paragraphs without finding the words "fascista" "racista" "clasista" or "el Junque" it is a miracle.

Everything AMLO is whining about happened both ways. Period. (And, since AMLO has started playing games, two can play, and if an eventual recount does revert the election, it is almost a guarantee that Calderon will make the same arguements that AMLO is making now to annull the election.)
Everything being whined about happens in EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRACY in the world. None of them collapse because of it. Neither will Mexico.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 22, 2006 11:36 AM

Lets not forget that Vicente Fox ran in even more unfavorable conditions than Lopez Obrador an clearly won, like i have said, this election was lost right in the heart of Lopez Obrador's camp.

Posted by: Jesus Chavez | July 22, 2006 11:39 AM

AMLO supporters seem to be losing steam, if this blog can provide any indication. Senors Bourbonm Chavez, and bunburina have presented clear arguments to counter every complaint from the other side and they have not responded with much. That's no fun.

It will be interesting to see if this is also happening in society at large, outside the confines of this cyberspace exchange of opinions. My guess is that the hardcore on the left will remain committed, but then they would remain committed to their cause no matter what evidence was presented to counter it. But I suspect that AMLO is losing steam among the voters at large and that his antics are hurting the PRD more than helping it.

If the people who enjoy spending their weekends in the Zocalo chanting succeed in getting the election annulled, then there will be an interim government for a couple of years and another election. Mexicans will see clearly the price they have paid and they will make the PRD pay for it. AMLO will be shunted aside in favor of a more rational candidate, maybe Lazaro or Marcelo, but much of the damage to the image of the PRD will remain.

Posted by: Goyo | July 22, 2006 12:47 PM

Goyo, I knew the arguement was over as soon as they started screaming about "fascism". Cries of fascism are always the last fallback of intellectually bankrupt leftists, in Mexico and the world at large.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 22, 2006 01:10 PM

NName calling is usually the sign of a lack of either coherent arguments or an intellect that is limited by either insufficient logic or an emotional overload, which seems to be the case of many AMLO supporters. I'm used to being called a communist or leftist puppet, but this election was the first time I've ever been lumped with the "fascists". Lots of people I thought of as rational have surprised me with the hysterical and hate-filled responses to my viewpoints on why I think AMLO was a poor choice for the PRD. As confirmation of this irrational bent, try giving a look at the so-called art exposition in the metro. Frankly, I don't think that profanity and hatred are what small children need to be exposed to, especially when parents are not prepared for what is probably a surprise encounter.

I wish all the levels of government in the country would desist from using public funds to promote their administrations. I'm tired of seeing self-promoting spots, billboards and party colors used in this manner. Politics has no room in the everyday running of government. Maybe there should be a nationwide color scheme for each level of government.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 22, 2006 03:31 PM

For those who think that AMLO supporters are loosing steam I think you are way off.

Last Sunday was one of the major demonstrations of support to anybody in Mexico's history. The next one will be July 30th and my guess is that could be even bigger. Yes, the goal is to show they have muscle and support.

Please do your homework and stop watching the official news from Fox, CNN, Univision (televisa). Read different sources online so you really get a better picture of what's going on right now.

My opinion is that the media is downplaying this thing which has chances of creating a major political disaster south the border (that sooner or later will come to affect the US).

Posted by: Edgar | July 22, 2006 03:37 PM

Idle curiosity. I've been in the Zocalo a couple of times when it has been filled with musicians, dancers, vendors, and their audiences or customers, and people just walking around, although walking was difficult in such crowds. I read that the area is 13 acres. Does anyone who knows more have a figure of what the Zocalo can hold, how many people? Aside from news reports of estimates or official reports of estimates, how many people actually fit in the Zocalo? As I said, just curious. I have my own personal estimate and wonder if I am right or not. Thanks.

Posted by: zac | July 22, 2006 03:48 PM

Edgar, You are right in that people in the United States should be concerned by what is happening in Mexico. If AMLO and his group succeeds in overthrowing the government through threats of violence that would present a huge security problem for the United States and maybe even divert some attention from the middle east.

But I disagree with the importance you attach to filling the plaza with people who have nothing better to do or who were trucked in there by one group or another.

I am not sure of the answer to zac's question, but I recall hearing that 300 thousand people would fill the Zocalo. Of course, many people also fill in the nearby streets, so let's say it's half a million, or even a million. Mexico has over 100 million people, so these protesters represent less than one percent of the population. Now, each one of them may have a few others out there who agree with them to some extent, so maybe they represent several million.

That is still not enough to give them the right to overthrow Mexico's institutions and impose their will on the majority. Of course, some will now read this and say, "But all we ask for is a vote count and a fair hearing on our complaints!"

Ah, I wish that were true. But what AMLO has made clear is that this goes far beyond that. He will not accept any ruling that is not in his favor. The demonstrations and the attacks on Felipe Calderon and threats against his family are also ways of intimidating the TRIFE so that, instead of making a cool, sober judgment based on the facts, the judges will have to worry about themselves and their families if they dare offend the messiah from Tabasco.

I am also curious about all these complaints about the media in Mexico. I have watched the media mature over the past decade or so and I would have to say the television news programs in Mexico are very well done. The announcers ask good, pertinent questions and they follow developments pretty closely, with reporters on the scene with every candidate and party.

What is this supposed bias AMLO's people keep talking about? Their candidate was interviewed by both Televisa and Azteca. They treated him with respect, even when he said things that merited ridicule. Maybe someone can enlighten me and give some real examples of how the television networks favored Calderon.

Posted by: Goyo | July 22, 2006 04:30 PM

K Vronna, now that you have become a fascist, wouldn't you agree that we are much nicer people than the puppets and communists?

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 22, 2006 04:56 PM

"AMLO supporters seem to be losing steam, if this blog can provide any indication. Senors Bourbonm Chavez, and bunburina have presented clear arguments to counter every complaint from the other side and they have not responded with much. That's no fun."

Goyo, it´s not that there are no arguments to counter most of what it´s being said above by either Jesus, Jerry or yourself, but I fear that preconceptions or plain bias may be precluding your ability to distinguish facts and evidence which would in turn question the "reality" that you defend from your standpoint.

Jesus, your argument about AMLO about making "one very mortal mistake. He completely ignored the growing middle class" does not stands scrutiny. How then do you explain that in DF and EDOMEX, where GDP per capita is the highest in the country AMLO had some of the biggest numbers in both relative and absolute terms? Also, are we to infer that there is no middle class south of Mexico City? What it becomes clear is that Mexico is a "two-speed" country with a more modern and progressive north voting for Calderon and a more backward southern part voting for AMLO.

Jerry, your "Everything being whined about happens in EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRACY in the world." is good to generalize but relativity is crucial to explain whether a contest fulfills a critical condition: fairness. A) Fox´s support for Calderon´'s campaign is ilegal under Mexican law and it clearly outweighted any effort made by the GDF to counter it. B) Your argument about La Jornada and Proceso is not close to even being a half-truth as you clearly failed to mention the number of readers between these and those supporting Calderon (Reforma Group + Cronica + Nuevo Excelsior + Sol + etc.), and this of course, without including those by the electronic media where AMLO simply did not stood a chance against neither Televisa, the CIRT, and Azteca. I find suspect the fact that Mexico´s largest vested interests -and a binding constrain to Mexico´s economic growth - alligned themselves so solidly behind Calderon.

And Goyo, unfortunately your arguments are rife with speculation:

"AMLO has made clear is that this goes far beyond that. He will not accept any ruling that is not in his favor. The demonstrations and the attacks on Felipe Calderon and threats against his family are also ways of intimidating the TRIFE so that, instead of making a cool, sober judgment based on the facts, the judges will have to worry about themselves and their families if they dare offend the messiah from Tabasco";

"filling the plaza with people who have nothing better to do or who were trucked in there by one group or another.";

"If AMLO and his group succeeds in overthrowing the government through threats of violence that would present a huge security problem for the United States and maybe even divert some attention from the middle east.", etc.

Perhaps with some more conclusive and factual info. the discussion would help to enlighten the readers.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 22, 2006 06:04 PM

Marco, if Fox had come out and said "Vote for Calderon", that would have been illegal (though the law is stupid, and restrains free speech). He did not. He ran spots telling people how great his government is. We all know what he was doing, but it is technically legal. And, the GDF was doing it first.
As to the newspapers and TV, regardless as to who got more favorable coverage, in a free country it does not matter. They are free to support whoever they want. And any support that PAN got from the media was quite compensated by all the unions which engaged in strikes and other actions to attack the PAN. Again, perfectly legal. But neither side should whine about it.

Finally, what exactly do you want to be done about all this unfairness? A recount will not solve anything, because if Calderon wins he still will have won "unfairly". A nullification would simply result in a second election where, if opinion polls are to be believed, the 65% of Mexico that is tired of AMLO's shenanigans will bury him. A simple declaration of AMLO as the victor will split the country and provoke massive unrest in the north on a scale that will make what is happening in the Zocolo look like a kindergarden class. So, I repeat, what do you want? What is your solution?

Also, please advise where you are getting your statistics. I ask because I think you are confusing the total GDP of the DF with Baja California or Nuevo Leon. In per capita terms, I doubt sincerely that they are higher, because if they were, everyone would immigrate south, instead of north like they do now.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 22, 2006 06:26 PM


Nuevo León
Localizado en la parte noreste de México su frontera con Estados Unidos es por medio del Puente Colombia. Cuenta con 3.9 millones de habitantes (85% vive en el área Metropolitana y 40% es menor de 20 años). Con menos del 4% de la población nacional, el PIB de Nuevo León es más del doble que el promedio nacional.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 22, 2006 06:28 PM

Goyo, your answers are exactly the ones given by those who decided to align with the goverment. I watch Televisa and TV Azteca (to say both are doing a good journalism these days is to be blind).

Is not about 1 million people with nothing better to do. We are talking about over 14 million people who voted for AMLO.

I do not support neither AMLO or Calderon. But I believe in democracy. So I support a full recount ballot by ballot so everyone in Mexico gets a feeling that the real winner was elected president.

Posted by: Edgar | July 22, 2006 08:12 PM

Edgar, I understand your desire to put all this behind by having a vote-for-vote count, but I am afraid that won't do it. As long as AMLO comes up losing, he will claim fraud and this will never end. On the other hand, based on how he has acted lately, if he came up the winner--God help us all!

As for bias in television news- I am still waiting for someone to give me an example of what they mean by bias. If they reported on AMLO and his campaign and had him and many of his people on their interview programs, what else can you ask?
Did they give Calderon more time? Can you show some study that proves that?

Posted by: Goyo | July 22, 2006 10:10 PM

I agree with Mr. Bourbon, Every democracy where consenting adults are running for office, tolerates free speech. Moreover, the wars of words are not only expected, but eagerly analized assuming of course that the candidates are prepared to substantiate whatever they say. I find AMLO's whining childish at best. Also, I find utterly absurd the Mexican law which prohibits foreigners from expressing their oppinion about "Internal affairs". That outdated law is a small sample of the self-deceiving attitude that often accompanies Mexican activities. Whe Aznar expressed his oppinion about Mexican politics, the PAN was fined!! I am sure that He was as surprised as all adults would be in a functioning modern democracy...

Posted by: Ruben | July 22, 2006 10:29 PM

I do not believe AMLO has got 14 million people behind him. The mayority of the people who voted for him did so as an exercise of civic and peaceful democratic participation and most importantly, they did it so knowing perfectly they could win or lose. By now most of them have already accepted defeat and are not very hopeful about a recount. Many of these people who voted for him are not going to listen to AMLO's accusations and allegations of fraud. Only the hard followers, the most radical will follow him, and of course those who are part of the PRD party, and they are many and specially in DF.
While it is true the meeting at the zocalo was huge. It is also true that a lot of these people were brought in buses and trucks, I saw many families, children and all, it will false to say all the people went there by themselves and it is true that many receive money for being there and their traveling or commuting expenses are also covered by the PRD. During the campaign there were many meetings carried out by all candidates. Of course AMLO has the power to call for a huge meeting. PAN has done it before and the PRI did it for many years.
But our democracy is not about meetings anymore, our democracy cannot be expressed in the streets anymore.
Ours is a democracy of votes. Votes counted by citizens who freely and voluntarily participate in the organization and counting of the votes. Ours is a democracy of laws and order and courts and institutions.
AMLO and PRD need to show their evidences to prove their allegations of either fraud or arithmetical errors. We know they already abandoned the idea of a cybernetic fraud and all those algorithms they talked about so much were worthless.
The Court has asked PRD for the Protest sheets that are suppossed to justify their impugnations since they had none. Each Poll Desk impugned is suppossed to have a Protest Sheet that was written on Election day at the moment of the violation or fraud or error.
Well there is none. Not one single Protest Sheet out of a total of 50 thousand impugned by PRD. Not only that but there is absolutely no evidence attached to any of the impugnations either. The Court has already issued 223 requests for information regarding the evidences and protests sheets.
So now the PRD has asked for a special session to explain to the Court why they have no Protest sheets and no evidences along with the impugned Casillas.

They need to explain to the Court why they HAVE NOTHING, not a single evidence of fraud. What about all the alleged documentation posted at AMLO's website? Isn't it suppossed to be "Fraud Evidences" according to Claudia Shaunbam?

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 22, 2006 10:59 PM

Found some interesting article about how many people can be at the zocalo at the same time.

Excelsior, domingo 16 de julio:

4 people can fit by the squared meter if they leave some space between them. 6 people can fit if they all stand very close together. The Zocalo is 20 866 m2.

- If the Zocalo is relatively full, there are 83 544 persons.
- If the Zocalo is completely full, there are 125 316 persons
- Including portals and the streets surrounding the plaza: 195 000 leaving some space, 292 000 standing close to each other.
- With the nearby streets leading to Zocalo (Madero, 5 de mayo, etc.): 350 000 people.
- Completely full till Eje Central (by the side of Bellas Artes): 500 000

Source: Jorge Meléndez/INEGI

So, apparentely, accordig to the article, the 1 million people in AMLO's meeting isn't true.

But how many people was or wasn't in the "informative meeting" isn't really important. Obviously, Campa or Patricia can't pull that off. (I can imagine a meeting with Patricia, just K. Vronna and I standing there under the sun) But the three main parties, PRI, PAN and PRD, sure can. Any of them, whether with voluntary supporters or accarreados. That isn't really impressive.

Someone said that the PRD won in the State of Mexico and the DF where most of the middle class lives. Wrong. The PRD won most of the delegaciones but lost to the PAN a very very important one: Miguel Hidalgo which includes Lomas de Chapultepec, Lomas de Sotelo, Polanco, Chapultepec, Popotla, Escandón, Anáhuac, etc; all of them, middle, middle-upper, upper class neighborhoods.

In the State of Mexico the PRD won important municipios like Chimalhuacan, but the richest ones like Naucalpan (one of the richest municipios in the country), Tlalnepantla, Atizapan and Huixquilucan the PAN won by landslide. They are actually known as the "blue corridor" since they are the "voto duro" of the PAN in the State of Mexico.

And everyone telling us AMLO critics that we only watch Televisa and Tv Azteca and read only Reforma, just a question: why are we even blogging at the Washington Post website if all we do is watch and read what the mainstrem media give us?

I don't know about the rest, but in national press I read El Universal, Excelsior, Reforma, La Jornada and I get every week my Proceso at home. Internationally, I've read the New York Times, The Guardian, the Washington Post, El País, ABC, Le Monde and Libération. I've watched CNN en español, CNN in enlgish and BBC World News.

Of all the aboved mentioned only La Jornada, Proceso and The Guardian have clearly taken AMLO's side. The New York Times used to back him up during the campaign but since then they have clearly marked their distance. And that's all. That's a clear sign to me that he's not doing something right and the press, not only local but internationaly, have started to criticise him.

Posted by: bunburina | July 22, 2006 11:37 PM

Apart from the lack of any proof for all the wild allegations that the PRD is making, what is interesting is the silence of the international left. What has Castro had to say about these elections? Hugito Chavez? Evo Morales? Kirchner? Zapatero? Very little. Why hasn't Patricia Mercado raised cain, like Maquio Clouthier raised cain in 1988? (Which probably cost him his life.) One would assume that all of the above would like nothing better than to stick it to a right wing candidate (and by extension to the United States), yet they are all silent. What does that tell us?

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 23, 2006 12:13 AM

INcidentally, I have a violent prejudice which holds that baseball fans are much more intelligent (and less violent) than football (soccer) fans. Does anyone know of any poll which shows how fans of each sport voted?

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 23, 2006 12:15 AM

Well. The problem with soccer it there is only one break and no time outs, which does not neccessarily make it very commercial. And the scores sucks: 1 to 0 after a 2 hour game, that's a shame, in Basketball you make 85 points after 20 minutes which plus the breaks and tv adds make it a total of 1 hour.

And yes, I do believe there is something about soccer that makes it a little irracional and unpredictable.

Regarding the response from the left to AMLO's false allegations of fraud. I believe they have already responded. They looked the other way and have remained silent. That's how the mayority of the left usually responds everywhere in the world.

About Patricia Mercado I should say she was on TV and when questioned whether she believed there was any fraud, she was quick to respond she believed there wasn't any fraud.
And I believe Zapatero has just had a most interesting interview with the Times he declared AMLO should accept the results and work from the oppossition to make better government.
In general, I believe there is international consensus that the elections were clean and that AMLO's claims are groundless but to a certain extent a little understandable because of the close results. However international press has also critized AMLO and gone as far as to call him irresponsible for taking people to the streets.
Seems to me that Jorge Castañeda was better at managing the international press than Camacho Solis and his friends in Paris.
On the underground press, the radical press that exists more specially in the internet, La Jornada and Subcomandante Marcos and his international anti-globalization friends are also running another dirty campaign which is possible to find in such websites as democracynow, and at dailykos and other very liberal blogs and as well radical websites along the communist and socialist and anti-americanist networks. It has also found some echoes in islamic militant websites.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 23, 2006 01:07 AM

Who is paying this gentleman Jerry B? Why listening to this kind of people, who are sponsored by PAN? As someone mentioned, please go to other sources of information and you will find out about Mexican elections.

Let us wait for TRIFE's decision.


Posted by: Carlos | July 23, 2006 09:44 AM

Carlos couldn't agree more. Some participants in the blog seem to have a tendency to act in the same way the condemn others for their apparent intolerance.

But summarizing: A) AMLO seems to be contesting the results in a legal and so far peaceful way, despite the high pitch rhetoric on both sides; B) The results were so close that a vote-by-vote recount would guarantee the Constitutional principle of certainty; C) Let's give the TRIFE the benefit of the doubt on their wisdom to sort out the best solution.

Posted by: Marco Beteta | July 23, 2006 11:12 AM

Carlos and Marco-- I think we are beyond that. We can agree on AMLO's right to file legal challenges and we can agree that the TRIFE should examine those challenges and decide. But AMLO and his supporters are not just waiting quietly for the TRIFE's decision. They are putting up insulting posters, with pictures of Felipe Calderon and Ugalde, they are holding massive rallies where their leader threatens even the family members of his rival, they are attacking physically Calderon as he leaves meetings, they are suggesting there will be violence and "civic" resistance, such as blocking of commerce, if the TRIFE rules against them. All of this is the fault of el peje, who has clearly said he will not accept any ruling that is not in his favor.

AMLO supporters claim there is all this evidence of fraud. If there was a massive effort to have people at polling places working a la James Bond to falsify papers, then surely some witnesses would come forward. I never heard of a conspiracy of that size and scope that did not have a few loose ends. Someone who participated, who took a bribe, would break down and come forward with testimony. If so, that evidence should be taken to el TRIFE. That is where these matters are to be handled, not in the streets and not by threatening people.

Posted by: Goyo | July 23, 2006 12:45 PM

According to AMLO's allegations of fraud at the Casillas, all those who were born in January are corrupt.

This is nonsense, PRD people want to tell us there is no winner. Get real! There is a winner and his name is Felipe Calderon, and though the difference is of only .5 percent, it is statiscally unsurmountable in case of a recount. The votes were already counted and the counting already went through several filters, one of these filters was the presence of party representative at the polling sites, another was the counting of the actas at the districts were, because of 2,800 Casillas were opened and recounted. These are the casillas where the parties PRD, PAN, PRI, etc. had questions or doubts.
So whatever comes out of a recounting, it will be very unlikely to change the results enough to make AMLO win.

Hard as it is, it is necessary to recognize when we lose, for not doing so may far damage the PRD reputation as a not reliable democracy partner.

PRD is going to have to deal with a very negative image after this. Elections are coming in several states next year, among them Veracruz, a key state disputed by both PAN and PRD and an essential state for any serious presidential candidate, if PAN wins in this state, it will be in a position to win again in 2012, and PRD better prepare to give a positive image.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 23, 2006 01:40 PM

People like emptyboxes, and jerry b, are so full of it, it stinks to high heaven. They go on and on, about not being facists, or racists, but they are, their words prove it. People like them, and other PAN supporters, are only intrested in what would happen to them money wise, if AMLO was elected, not caring a hoot about the millions of poor and underemployed, whose root causes of their poverty are based on failed economic policys from both the PAN and the PRI. Why are they so afraid of AMLO? Because they know that real change would happen with AMLO, a change for the better, because, with zero growth for over 5years, how can it get any worse? Point at something good money wise that has happen with FOX? Nada, and i mean nothing. A litro de leche costs 10pesos, here in the north, and 5 pesos for a kilo of tortillas. Yet somehow, these PAN people dont seem affected by this. The peso has gone down against the dollar, not up, so wheres the better life? U cannot point at one thing that counts, one thing that affects positively the working class and poor. And, they, not the middle class, or the rich are the majority of Mexico, and with FOX, and now with FECAL, its going to stay that way. With the PAN in charge, nothing changed, why all of a sudden will it now? AMLO offers change for the better, and they know it. Those who are against AMLO know that their money will be affected in some way, perhaps, now they will have to pay real taxes, or pay real wages. Yes they fear AMLO, not because he is a danger to Mexico, hes only a danger to their status, to their vision of Mexico, that offers no hope for the majority of Mexico. These are the only ones who are against a full recount. Why? They never say why they are against it. They bring up that the votes already got counted, why do it again? They cant accept that their was doubts about the election, enuff to demand a recount. But nope, they will never accept any proof. They are fanatics. They represnt why Mexico has no growth, has so much poverty, so much need. How many niños de la calle, do u count in your city Jerry, and emptyboxes, Goyo? Huh? Probally they dont even notice, because they really dont care.

Posted by: maya0 | July 23, 2006 01:45 PM

maya0: You blame PAN and PRI for the poverty in our country, yet PAN has only been in power for almost 6 years. If you blame PRI then you should also notice that all the people in PRD belonged to the PRI not long ago, starting with AMLO, he was a PRI politician in Tabasco, and the rest, Camacho Solis, Monreal, Noruña, Leonel Cota, with only a very few exceptions like Jesus Ortega and Amalia. The rest used to be all priistas.

I find interesting how almost nobody in PAN was in the PRI. For example Felipe Calderon, he was never in the PRI, same for Manuel Espino and most of them.

As it turns out, PAN and Felipe Calderon are today fighting the same thugs they were fighting 20 years ago, but now their party has changed name, now its called PRD.

And but the are the same, exactly the same thugs, they threaten, they blackmail, they lie and cheat, they are violent, they manipulate and fabricate evidences.

The good thing this time they don't have the power of the guns with them, otherwise our freedoms would be gone by now.

AMLO saw himself as president, he thought he could have the whole country all for himself to get richer and to eliminate his political adversaries. Camacho Solis saw himself as Secretary of Hacienda, wiring millions of dollars to his personal bank accounts in Europe, Monreal saw himself as Secretary of Energy, positioning himself for the 2012 nomination, Noruña saw himself as in charge of Oportunidades, with plans to brain-wash all the poor people and extend the miserable clientele networks of PRD through our country.

But it is all gone. By, the dream is gone.

And worst, Felipe Calderon will have 207 congressman plus 9 from Nueva Alianza, all he will need to reach mayority will be 30 priistas, and PRD will not be able to block PAN, neither in Congress nor in Senate.

They are toasted and they know it, that explains all the crying and whining from them today.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 23, 2006 02:22 PM

Dream on emptyboxes, your eyes, will never see FECAL as president of Mexico. Their will be a recount, theirs enough cause for that effect. Thats why you, and your kind are so afraid of that happening. And you want to ignore history. The PAN has been a viable politcal force since its inception, along with the PRI, hand in hand, legislating against the masses, creating individuals like Fernadez de Ceballos, and his ocean front properties. Get real, the PAN has been around for 50 years! And u want to convice people that they have had real power for only 6? What a blind person u are, and those that think like U. Hand in hand, the PAN and the PRI, have created the situations that millions of people in Mexico wallow in. Massive underempolyment, terrible public education, huge disparitys in public works. The list is endless. When those who founded the PRD, saw these enquitys, in their own party, they saw to evolve, to improve, thats why they changed to a better option. Is that so unusual? So what if they where from the PRI, their not now, they got wiser, and left. Thats something to admire, not despise, like you and your kind, are so quick to belittle. Real power, the presidential kind can affect change, but in 6 years, the PAN blew it. And you and everybody knows it. Why do other countries, even the fear country of Hugo Chavez have growth? It cant be explained away simply by saying it was because of oil, theirs been oil before in venezuela, and their was no growth. What about here in Mexico? It costs 3 dollers to extract a barrel of oil in Mexico. And its being sold for over 70 bucks. Where is all that profit really going? Ill tell you where it aint, it aint paving no roads here in PANista Lerdo where i live in dgo. It didnt create refinerys anywhere, so that Mexico has to import gasoline from the USA. But the president of the bank of Mexico, Mr Ortiz, whenever hes in NYC, pays ten thousad dollars a night staying in only the finest places. Theirs part of that oil money. The PRI, together with the PAN, have circumnavigated the nation into poverty. Its really sad, how soon PANists forget, when FOX, with donkey ears, demanded a recount, vote by vote. You know who started the massive road blocks to pressure the fedral or state goverments? Yes, the PAN started that fine tradition. So dont give me any of that bull, that oh, oh, the PAN has had only 6 years. If they where not smart enough to figure out how in the last 6 years, history only shows, that they will not further any change at all, they are the status, they want everything to stay as it is. Because they benefit from all the misery that is the real Mexico. You and your kind, go tell a family begging for change in every major intersection in any urban city of any size in Mexico, north or south, that AMLO is a danger to their way of life. The only danger I see is to you and your kind, thats why your so afraid of a recount, because the major news commentators in the west, from all over, are behind a recount, in order to clear the air over the election. Why are you so against a recount? Because fraud was commited, and when the vote by vote recount is done, under the glare of the whole world watching, the truth will come out, that AMLO is the real legitimate president of Mexico. No matter how much you rant and rave, your eyes will never see the day that FECAL has a tri color banner placed on him. A recount will prevent that. And you know it, thats why your so againt it.

Posted by: maya0 | July 23, 2006 03:07 PM

Maya zero are there 15 million racists, fascists and fanatics in Mexico? Because that is how many votes the PAN got. The majority of the citizens in your state (I believe you said you were from Monterrey) voted for Calderon. Are the majority of the citizens of Nuevo Leon fascists? If so, how can you stand to live among them?

Most of the money I earn is in dollars, from San Diego. Economically, AMLO would be the best thing in the world for me, as he would provoke a peso devaluation that would probably allow me to buy the whole block I live on.

As the notorious fascist and El Junque member K Vronna mentioned in an earlier post, hatred and bitterness are no fun. You do not sound like you are having much fun. Not that I greatly care; be miserable if you want. But, the hatred and bitterness toward people who think differently that is emaninating from the PRD is probably the main reason that, when all is said and done, AMLO is going to lose. (And why he did not win by 10 points in the first place, he had this election WON three months ago.)

As to the family on the street begging, they are there for one of two reasons. Either they are drug addicts, in which case no one can help them until they choose to help themselves, or they are unemployed. If they are unemployed they can thank labor laws so anachronistic that job creation in this country is almost impossible, and a union dominated education system that does not educate. Labor and education laws that Fox tried to change. Unlike the PRD, the PAN wants to give these people an opportunity to work, not convert them into dependent clients of a paternalistic government, a la the PRI.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 23, 2006 03:22 PM

There is a secret conspiracy. El Junque is secretly paying money to AMLO to continue his election protests, because the Vatican, the CIA and the Zionists told them that this is the best way to permantly destroy the PRD as a political party. You heard it here first...

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 23, 2006 03:29 PM

Maya0: I need not dream on as you previously stated here. It is already happening, it is Felipe Calderon that is ahead in the numbers, and to the best of my knowledge, AMLO and company have not been able to provide one singe piece of real tangible evidence, it has been all talk and talk and videos that were supposed to be proof and resulted otherwise, and cibernetic fraud that at first existed and there were numerous formulas and equations and algorithms, but not anymore.
International support is at a low as foreign governments and international press learn there is no fraud. Internal support is also eroding as more and more intellectuals are beginning to distance themselves and to critize PRD and AMLO's attitudes and agenda.
Everybody is turning their back on PRD and AMLO, except of course for the radicals, I read yesterday that the EPR from the mountains of Guerrero is supporting AMLO, and so are the many socialist and communist underground parties and groups that populate the south and center of our country.
It is AMLO and his PRD and the radicals against the great mayority of Mexicans. Already these forums and blogs, formerly overcrowded with AMLO supporters, are little by little taken over by supporters of our democracy and institutions.
It is ridiculous that a candidate who obtained only a mere third percent of the votes wants to impose his agenda on the rest of the country. He and his party's future are being compromised by their negative to accept defeat with honor, responsibility and patriotism.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 23, 2006 04:10 PM

Maya0-- Please knock off the FECAL thing. That is disgusting and there is no reason for it. We don't call AMLO any other name other than what his own people call him-- Andres Manuel, Lopez Obrador, AMLO, el peje, etc. Okay, I called him the messiah of Tabasco once, but that is based on his own view of himself and contains no insult.

Now, as for poverty. It is true that Mexico's elite has failed the poor and it is especially sad that Fox did not accomplish more. However, to say he accomplished nothing is not true. He did knock a few percentage points off poverty and he did expand opportunities for people to own houses and enter the middle class.

Where he failed was in playing politics to get the PRI and PRD to pass some of the badly needed reforms that would lead to real job creation in Mexico. Today, Mexicans are lucky to get a factory job where they earn in a day what people in the United States earn in an hour at minimum wage. No wonder people take risks to go north illegally seeking work.

Much of Mexico's economic distress can be traced back to the leftist governments of Echevarria and Lopez Portillo. AMLO talked a good talk about helping the poor, but if he would take Mexico back to those failed policies, the poor would suffer more. Calderon's plan makes more sense. If he can get some PRI senators and diputados to help, he can pass the fiscal, energy and judicial reforms Mexico needs.

Mexico is a rich country full of poor people. It could be another success story, like some Asian nations, by addressing deficiencies in education, public health, tax collection, etc.

Opening the energy sector to private investment so that some of the resources now beyond reach can be exploited would help. But if the money is not spent properly, it will be for nothing. The old PRI operatives hanging around AMLO don't give me much confidence in whatever plan he has, but Calderon seems to have the right ideas and a capable team to carry out his plans.

Posted by: Goyo | July 23, 2006 07:38 PM

"Dream on emptyboxes, your eyes, will never see FECAL as president of Mexico."

What's up Emptyboxes? Are you going to suddenly go blind in the next few days?

maya0: Hijita, I admire your passion, but your logic and name-calling are atrocious. When you use phrases such as "you, and your kind", you do yourself and your candidate a disservice. Don't you remember the "chachalaca" spots and the points the PAN picked up by portraying AMLO as intolerant? This is exactly the tramp you are falling into when you resort to this type of debating, and the worst of it is that the real debate of ideas is lost in the cacophony.

Some earnest questions: Does anyone think that all the profanity and name-calling advances the cause of the PRD one bit? If you want to present your cause as a peaceful and democratic movement, why are so many trying to paint the opposite picture? If the election was a "total pigsty of corruption" as AMLO has said, then why ask for a vote by vote recount if the result has already been decided? And lastly, if the '06 elections were as crooked as the ones in '88, why aren't the guys from CISEN out in front of my house trying to scare my husband and me again?

P.S. - bunburina, we'd never be out in the sun in the zócalo with Patricia Mercado because she'd never be that disrespectful of either her followers or the general public. I was probably marching before a lot of you were out of kindergarten and I doubt that even one of those marches would have had the effect of good old neighbor to neighbor discussions. Democracy is built through person-to-person encounters and bridge building, anything else is ephemeral. There is no easy way, no political Messiah, just old-fashioned hard work.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 23, 2006 07:59 PM

Democracy's most dangerous adversaries are those who seek power in our latinamerican nations on the basis of their asserted moral superiority over their fellow citizens. These politically ambitious guilt trippers are not ignorant or unaware, but they do rely on both the functioning moral code and the historical ignorance of the average latinamerican voter. And increasingly on the prestige of the law and the power of the state where guilt alone has come to lack the power to hold voters in thrall. In their pursuit of power, they risk destroying the very communities they seek to lead. This is the case of AMLO.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 23, 2006 08:39 PM

just when one starts feeling he's living in a civilized society, the ghost of banana republics and drumhead trials comes and haunts mexico. i have to say, ever since this postelectoral thingy started, i've been feeling i'm stuck in century XVIII :(

PRD IS NOT a left-wing party. it didn't even have the balls to have red in its logo. and why is it that there's always swaztikas and hitler references during their marches? that's such a tired,' knee-jerk reaction.

Posted by: carlos | July 23, 2006 08:44 PM

PRD IS NOT a left-wing party.

I would say that even though I do not trust their leadership, Mr. Cardenas was indeed a left-wing leader, but he made a mistake when organizing the PRD for he did not institutionalize a board of counselors or leader to take desicions as a group, a one man party was instead created, the banana-republic element in the equation, and this is what happens when there is no consensus within an organization. While Mr. Cardenas was dreaming, Mr. Lopez Obrador seized power and neutralized all oppossing factions, he first finished with the Cardenistas who were the first to go, then he neutralized the chuchos, making Jesus Ortega a joke of a leader, and then he got these partners with him, Camacho Solis, Monreal, Noruna, Leonel Cota and the others, and now the PRD is his property.
I think he is getting ready to finally oust Mr. Cardenas: He invited him to join him at the next meeting at the zocalo, perfectly knowing he would never attend, I believe the move is to have a reason to attack him and getting him out of the party. I also believe AMLO is preparing for the future, after the judges ratify Calderon, he will make sure Mr. Cardenas cannot come back to PRD and take his leadership away, for he senses many moderate PRD members will be very glad to see Mr. Cardenas lead the party for the next few years.
It will be very interesting to see what AMLO is going to do to remain on top of Marcelo Ebrad during the next years so that he can run again in 2012. AMLO is very smart and uses information he collects about people. I have learned that many PRD members, including Marcelos Ebrard, have certain secrets, as all politicians do, but they perfectly aware the AMLO knows their secrets and can use them against them. I am certain this is the case of people like Claudia Shaunbam or Leonel Cota, they have an attitude when they come out in press conferences, you can see their eyes looking down all the time, I least this is the impression I get, but I might be wrong.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 23, 2006 09:13 PM

"What's up Emptyboxes? Are you going to suddenly go blind in the next few days?"

I would like to go blind and deaf. The post-electoral noise has got me so sick and tired of Mexican politics and I think the same is happening with a lot of people, at work for example, the elections is not a good topic anymore. People would rather talk about something else. It is not the Impugnation from PRD but rather all the noise and campaign they continue with, I wonder why nobody tells them that most Mexicans are already tired of it. They should simply wait for TRIFE to reach a veredict. They would do us a great service.
Here in Monterrey you can witness how incredibly ignorant and selfish some of the PRD local party leaders are, they are posting signs, that are suppose to support the Vote by Vote recount, but that instead are extremely offensive of Felipe Calderon, and they are doing this, in a City that voted for Felipe Calderon 5 times more than AMLO, needless to say some of the locals are destroying those stupid signs and the local PRD is not gaining any sympaties.

One of the most common arguments PRD resorts to when attacking PAN, is that PAN allegedly carried out a dirty campaign agaisnt AMLO, calling him a danger to Mexico, but they tend to forget that AMLO had been attacking PAN consistently for several years, and actually had created the concept of PRIAN in people's mind, and it was just as effective. So PAN had to resort to something very agressive in order to even the campaign and clear the way for Felipe Calderon.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 23, 2006 09:38 PM

Maya0, you make it seem like a populist/socialist can just wave a magic wand and uplift the poor? Where has that ever happened?

Posted by: RC | July 23, 2006 10:08 PM

Here is some food for thought:

Are we a banana republic?
Yes but maybe NO, we have a post-electoral conflict, but
is the peso falling?
Is our stock market stumbling?
Are foreign and domestic capitals and investors leaving?
The answer to these questions is NO. At least until now.
Moreover, the investor community is already talking and discounting any results. Of course they will be more than happy to see Felipe Calderon winning, as long as he.. Is able to create a coalition government to be able to pass the reforms the country needs sometime next year.
But if AMLO wins, they are also betting that once in power, AMLO and PRD will become more pragmatical and will consider pushing the reforms, pretty much like Lula da Silva did in Brasil, and that the PAN will go along with it and there will be reforms sometime next year.
I guess these are optimistical views but I believe these are logical scenarios. Nothing tell us AMLO will be another Hugo Chavez, our closeness to the United States will obligue to some moderation of any leftist government, the reality of the government budget and the prospect of economic crisis and losing the next elections will also make PRD officials become more pragmatical and adopt more market oriented policies.
What is surprising today is how the peso remains strong, is fluctuates up and down but it moves within a normal and expected range. Same for our interest rates, the lowest in history. Same for our stock market, fluctuating, having good and bad days the same. Our federal reserves are the highest in history, 75 b. and protect us from the prospect of any attack to our currency.
So it begs the question again: Are we still a banana republic? Are we a mature democracy?

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 23, 2006 11:22 PM

AMLO reminds me of John Kerry in the 2004 US campaign, who, from time to time would announce that he "would not tolerate" personal attacks from George Bush. This was a signal that an especcially nasty personal attack against Bush (he was a draft dodger, war mongerer, baby eater, Christian nut, etc etc...) was coming up. AMLO is the same way. His followers whine that the PAN is attacking him, yet he feels no compunction about calling Fox a "Traidor a la democracia", and other sweet things...What a worthless hippocrate.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 23, 2006 11:48 PM

Emptyboxes, as you know Fox has been a disaster for Mexico, and is a fascist, racist, classist, fanatic, traitor, and el Junque member. How is it possible that under such a person, Mexico has the lowest interest rates in our lifetimes, the highest foreign reserves, the highest rate of home ownership, and the lowest inflation?

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 23, 2006 11:55 PM

One thing that is starting to bother me is how some people are questioning or even insulting each other's reasons to prefer one candidate or another. I've never questioned Jerry or emptyboxes for voting for Calderón, or Pasilla for voting for AMLO. What we're discussing here, and the main problem is if there was a fraud or not.

Why someone voted for their prefered candidate is another subject and that should be respected. Cada quien habla como le fue en la feria. We can't overlook the fact that some people did great during these last six years under Fox's government. We can't overlook the fact that some people did great under AMLO's government in the DF.

Maya0 is accussing the "rich people" of being scared of AMLO because he represents a threat to their economy. Even if this is true I really don't see where is the problem. If their economy did great during Fox's administration and they feel that AMLO might affect that in a negative way they have all the right in the world to support Calderón. They have the right to defend all that they have worked for and vote for continuity. If some people feel that Fox's government hasn't done anything for them they are entitled to demand a change and if they believed AMLO was the best option for them so be it. That's what democracy is about, that's what pluralism is about. If Banamex's Roberto Hernández or Bimbo's Lorenzo Servitje voted for the PAN or if a poor man living on the street voted for AMLO so be it. A rich man's vote is worth the same as a poor man's vote. That's how democracy works; everyone is equal regardless of their social status (and it works both ways, for the rich and for the poor).

Don't try to make this a discussion about the moral quality of the ideologies represented by each candidate because it would be a neverending story, since both sides, left and right, have pros and cons. Even more, both visions part from different ideals: the right wing support liberty above all maybe sacrificing a little equality on the way (e.g. USA), while the left wing gives more importance to equality maybe resting a bit of liberty (e.g. Cuba, URSS). All of the above, of course, taking in count how purely right or left wing the regime is. (Europe doesn't really count since it is more of a center-left kind of model)

Actually, it would be very interesting to discuss which one suits Mexico better. Jerry, emptyboxes and I kind of had a little debate about it in another blog. But in order to do that we need to drop the whole exlploiter/rich fascists/racist/schizophrenic/name calling argument cause it is not helping to raise the level of debate in here in any way.

Posted by: bunburina | July 24, 2006 01:36 AM


Venezuela is growing despite Chávez, not because of him. Poverty has declined a little since he took office, but it would be almost impossible for it not to with the oil price about seven times higher (SEVEN TIMES) than when he took office (though of course plenty of African governments manage to do it). The fall in poverty should have been larger. Some of his government's poverty reduction programs have results, but, as with the Cuban case, it is not necessary to wreck the economy to institute poverty reduction programs, as has been done recently in Mexico and Brazil. Growth has also been high in the latest years partly because of a rebound from a large fall before, due both to the strike at PDVSA and Chávez's economic policies. Same thing with Argentina. The high growth has a lot to do with the rebound from the crisis, though it might not last much longer if power generation and private businesses in general are not promoted soon by Kirchner. Going back to Venezuela, the murder rate has almost tripled under Chávez, which says a lot about the collapse of already weak institutions due to even less democracy than before.

With respect to Mexico's elections, I believe that if the government had had control of the electoral machinery, it might have cheated the result if it favored López Obrador. Though debatable, the 'desafuero' process seems to me illegitimate (an 'amparo' violation by an authority is not a 'minor' issue as some in the foreign press had it, but it is not either a reason to exclude the leading presidential candidate in a country where the law is not strictly enforced; I would love to see a study that showed how often 'amparos' are violated, to see if it was justice made to order, which is not justice and which I believe was the case, or if the 'desafuero' was valid) and I believe warrants my previous statement. However, the intent in this case is not enough to justify an annulment. Fortunately, there does not seem to be a way for the government to organize a fraud (the main hero here is José Woldemberg). It could only be done by co-opting more than a million people, and in such a case there would surely have arisen some evidence even before the election. There were irregularities in specific places, but that does not amount to fraud (I think it highly irresponsible for the PRD to use the word fraud without hard evidence). Voting station functionaries in some places could have colluded to alter results, but since they were randomly selected from the general population, the cheats could go either way, especially since support between both leading candidates was so evenly divided. I see no reason to suppose PAN supporters had a bigger tendency to cheat than PRD supporters, or that PRI supporters went one way.

Much has been said about possible manipulation of the PREP. The statistical analysis of the likelihood of the way results appeared is interesting, though I am not qualified to give an opinion (interesting, if biased, article of Galbraith's son in the Guardian, quoted by someone above). Its handling by the IFE is certainly suspect and should be addressed later (whether the PRD had no say in the appointments of the IFE heads because of its intransigence and manipulation or if it was mobbed by the other parties, I cannot say). But the PREP results are completely disconnected with the official results, so it is not a central issue. It cannot lead to fraud. Much has been said about Calderón being irresponsible by claiming victory early, but he HAD to, since AMLO had done so previously. In the big leagues it is not possible to be naïve, it is even irresponsible.

As for the proposed full vote recount, it is impractical, not to say impossible (the votes were counted by citizens because it is the most impartial way to do it we have; if they are recounted by an authority, human error should be lower, but so would credibility, which is the whole point in citizens participation, especially since AMLO does not seem to trust anyone and since he has also alleged 'traditional' fraud, like ballot stuffing, against which a recount is useless; if they are recounted by citizens and the results are reversed, Calderón could rightly call for another recount arguing human error, and so ad infinitum). It is illegitimate if not illegal (the fact that the TEPJF has the authority to order a full recount does not mean it should do so without solid justification, which in this case there is not). And it is naïve (it would only lead to annulment, which is clearly what the PRD wants). I am sickened by calls for a recount so that AMLO is pacified. There is no reason for us to try to pacify him and his supporters, it is blackmail. They are a minority. Let them try to wreck the country, so that the left stays in the wilderness for a while longer until it comes back to its senses. I suppose people in the PRD like Ortega, the Cardenas family, Amalia García, Ebrard, etc., are waiting for the TEPJF to issue a ruling to jump ship, being then certain that AMLO would not win, and thus try to minimize the cost to the party without risking having dumped AMLO in the event he happened to win in the ruling.

The PRD has a stronger case for the annulment of the election on the grounds that the Federal Government illegally supported the PAN. Even if it is done in countries like the US, I do not think it is correct in the Mexican case for the president to intervene on behalf of a candidate, not least because for that reason Fox has lost any authority to mediate things now, like the kings of Spain and Thailand can, for example, given their hard won moral authority. The caveat here is that AMLO received huge support also, from the Mexico City government. It is very telling that he blocked public transparency laws for the capital (along with macroeconomic stability and poverty reduction programs, the transparency law and institute are Fox's biggest successes; bear in mind that the illegitimate casino concessions Creel gave Televisa came to light because of this law), and that the big infrastructure projects were directly adjudicated (it was a gem to see Claudia Sheinbaum accepting it was illegal for her to have done it, but that AMLO was clean; never mind that she is of his closest aides). It is obvious that the PRD used the Mexico City government to channel large amounts to its campaign, I would think more dubiously than the Federal Government. The air time was evenly divided, and so spending must have been, and, if not, it was AMLO who got preferential treatment from the TV stations. The PRD complains that businessmen supported Calderón, but remember AMLO received support from many unions. All in all, things were even, and I personally believe that the PAN reacted rather than lead in dubious practices, first versus the PRI at the beginning of Fox's term and then versus the PRD and its practices in the capital's city hall (for PRD internal politics, which is practically a black box to me, see Paco Ignacio Taibo II's article 'Pacto con el Diablo'; well written).

Another reason not to fully recount the votes (not that the above are not enough), and one that is only said in anonymity, is that there exists the possibility of a reversal, if only because human error (unlikely, however; remember that in those booths where there was a recount Calderón increased his votes on average; it is misleading for AMLO to show only cases of counts where he was affected). Under no circumstances should the risk be taken of AMLO winning, especially since, contrary to the 'desafuero' case, the moral case and public opinion are more in the PAN's side. I prefer to have a president not deemed legitimate by a third of the electorate (which should diminish with time, as with Carlos Salinas' case) than having AMLO and his people in the presidency. As 'Catón' rightly said, it is better to have him six months, at the most, in the streets, than six years, at the least, in the presidency. AMLO is dangerous because he wants full power at any cost, amply demonstrated, and because he is a VERY GOOD politician (and manipulator). Add the patronage power of the presidency and the easiness of co-opting PRI deputies, and México barely escaped a very delicate situation. In other words, considering there is not a second round of voting, a particularly able opponent with disturbing characteristics (obviously an approximation, but valid nonetheless), an immature democracy (though not the electoral process itself) and citizenry, and there is a stronger case for realpolitik than for idealism. I can understand the illegitimate and illegal things the PAN has done, like the alliance with Elba Esther Gordillo, and although there are obviously many cases of unjustified moral decline (most obviously Santiago Creel; I feel Marta Sahagún and family started from the bottom, so I see no decline there, though there is in the case of Fox), when faced with such opponents as the PRI and the PRD. The issue is not to be absolutely clean, but to be the least dirty possible without being naïve. For me, so far to vote PAN is a clear-cut case of choosing the lesser evil. I hope that by the next election democracy has taken hold strongly enough for me to be able to vote in terms of decency and not of pragmatism. As in Spain, where, if I were a citizen, I would have switched, as many did, from the PP to Zapatero after Aznar tried to manipulate the Madrid bombings, regardless of their respective programs.

Posted by: bladerunner | July 24, 2006 03:22 AM

In my opinion AMLO is an effective politician who always gets his objectives. That apparently makes him a good candidate. The problem is how he achieves his objectives, he has not respect for institutions. If he ever becomes president, he will use the priviledge information at his disposal to advance his personal goals and those of his partners. The fact that he showed an audiotape of Elba Esther Gordillo talking on the phone with a governor shows how he feels no shame to use spionage as a political weapon. He has done it before and against his own PRD partners.
He threatens, lies, cheats, plays with information and manipulates facts. We saw it all, first when the affair of the allegedly hidden 3 million votes, they were never hidden, Horacion Duarte always knew about it and he consulted the file the very night of July 2, yet AMLO chose to use it mediatically, publicly questioning IFE in an effort to expose an alledged fraud. Then the manipulation at the districts, then the salamanca video tape.
We have seen it all.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 24, 2006 07:07 AM

I disagree. I do not think AMLO is a good politician, if he was, he would be president elect right now. Blowing the lead he had in, say, April, should be impossible. Yet he managed to do it. Part of it was skillful campaigning on Calderon's part, but still....

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 09:41 AM

Gee! For a bunch of people who are fed up with politics, you certainly talk a little bit too much about it. As a matter of fact, you were complaining about people from the left becoming silent. I for one don't comment as much as before because I refuse to keep going on rebuting cyclically your same arguments: the magnificent macroeconomic indicators during the Fox administration (never mind the 53 million people living below the poverty line); the sidewalk psychoanalysis (that thing about the low eyes of PRD interviewees was very funny); the partisan past of PRD members... I find amusing how a passionate , apparently young, defender of the left (from Durango, not Nuevo Leon: you should read carefully), maya0, makes you cringe. Anyway, I will comment when there is something new to comment about.

K.Vronna and Bunburina: I still don't get the "modernity" of your leftism. Your speech sounds to me very close to a center-right, almost PANista, one. FYI, Bunburina, I didn't vote for AMLO; in reality, I couldn't vote for anybody; I was disenfranchised.

PS The comment on the lack of red color in the PRD emblem was truly hilarious. Relax, people (including maya0): things are moving along and life goes on.

Posted by: pasilla | July 24, 2006 11:09 AM

Now AMLO's camp is demanding Felipe Calderon to accept a vote by vote recount, they are doing it so frenetically, in the voice of Lopez Obrador speaking at several interviews, first in TV Azteca with Alatorre last thursday and then the very next day at Diario Monitor with Gutierrez where he suggested AMLO to send a letter to Felipe Calderon, idea that was inmediately taken by AMLO, who is suppossed to be sending such letter to Felipe Calderon today, as it has been cofirmed by Camacho Solis. This appears to be a new shift in AMLO's strategy, otherwise it would beg the question: Why didn't they think about sending the letter to Felipe Calderon before? And I believe this is happening because AMLO is continually shifting strategies, first there was a cibernetic fraud, then he himself denied it and declared the fraud was carried out the old way, by falsifying the tally sheets of the voting polls. I also tells me that perhaps AMLO's legal strategy suffered the same fate, at first we all thought AMLO's legal strategy to revert the results was to nullify enough Casillas that favoured Felipe Calderon so as to change the totals to his favor, but since they lack the Protests sheets that were suppossed to be filed at the polls on election day and that the Court is now requesting from them and of which they do not have any, it seems to me that AMLO's legal strategy has reached a dead end since they only challenged 50 thousand poll sites and now they demand a total recount, their strategy is also contradictory for at the same time they are challening the polls from districts that favored Felipe Calderon to be recounted or anulled, they are also demanding anullment of the whole election on an Abstract basis, that is that the fraud did not occur at the polls, but that the results of the election were influenced by the President, the media, the business community, etc. The contradiction is that if the Court denies the anullment on these basis, then the whole election was legal and therefore Felipe Calderon is the clear winner, and since they don't have enough evidence to support any of these allegations they are finding themselves at a dead end, where they cannot longer guaranteed to convince the Court to either nullify or to recount all the votes.
The only way out is to have the other party, PAN, and more specifically Felipe Calderon, to agree to demand the Court a vote by vote recount, which then will make it easier to bring along the PRI and the rest of the parties, making it impossible for the Court to deny such a total recount.
This probably explains why PRD is slowly but surely moving to a position where they no longer commit to accept the Courts veredict. As a matter of fact, Camacho Solis implied this yesterday in his interview with Denise Dresser. The tone of his threats has come down, and I believe we will see a PRD trying to offer a friendly hand to Felipe Calderon in an effort to have him agree to a total recount.
The other problem for AMLO is that they didn't expect the IFE to come out in defense of the elections and they have done in a strong manner, denying each and everyone of AMLO's allegations of fraud and basically presenting solid evidences that show to the Court that the election was cleaned and implicitly asking the Court to simply reject AMLO's claims and ratify Felipe Calderon. PAN has also presented their defense allegations and evidences showing to demonstrate their clean victory.
Tough luck for AMLO.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 24, 2006 12:09 PM

Correction: Camacho's interview was with Denise Maerker and not with Denise Dresser.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 24, 2006 12:13 PM

All rich are not all bad. That would be generalising people, lumping them all together, and its not fair. But those who have become rich, thru the goverment coffers, thru confilct of intrests, and questionable ethcis, cannot be ignored. Those PANistas here, who comment on how AMLO, and his supporters, and the left, are dangerous, show they are quick in lumping them all together with Castro, and Hugo Chavez purchases of machine guns. You have seen the media blitz that hit AMLO, using profane images and words to link him to danger, and mayhem. Some rich, have benefited, through confilcts of intrests, personal connections to politicians, or becoming politicians, in order to better their own till, and of their cornys. Its obvious that they where scared witless by AMLO and used all their channels to stop him. Visual violence was used by the PAN, by the right wing, yet now its wrong when AMLO and his supporters, defend themselves from a obvious electrol process full of holes. I love how the PAN supporters gleefully use Echeveria, to show what a leftist is. Lucio Cabañas, would have been suprised to know, that the man who had him killed was a leftist for the poor. White brigades, etc. etc. Echeverria was no leftist. Twisting facts is a way of life for most of these PAN supporters, and ignoring history. But history shouldnt be ignored, and the PAN has history that cannot be ignored. Who started the infamous highway blockades, the PAN, who has demanded that the TRIFE, annull elections, demand that ballot boxes be open, when elections havent gone their way? The Pan. The PAN has the current record, over 17 incedents where the PAN, has demanded statisfaction by the TRIFE, and they where complyed. But how dare AMLO, and his supporters, use mass protests, demand recounts from the TRIFE, oh no, it shows a lack of respect, and a lack of patirotisum. Wonder why I call u facists? Its in your actions. You ignore history, you twist facts, and lump all into one. Its ok for PANistas to call for a recount, but not for the PRD. Why? Why are you all so afraid of a recount? Every reasons all of you give, can be shot down one by one. To ignore history is to be condemed to relive it. The PAN wants people to forget its histroy. Its history of demanding recounts, of mass mobilizations, and of course, linking itself with the PRI, in order to benefit from being close to power. Ugalde, Elba Esther, Felipe Calderon, all partied together, PRI and PAN, in the privacys of their own homes. Confilct of intrests? Smells rotton, no matter how you look at it. If it looks wrong, it is wrong. You all cannot be so naive. It takes guts, to look at the facts as they are, and not ignore them, or twist them into someting else. Fact, Mexico has had no growth during Foxs term. Fact, those countries in Latin America that have turn away form the status economic modes, have had growth, and that includes countries that dont have oil. Fact, the peso has fallen shrapley, thru mini devaluations, less shock, yet same effect. Fact, the price of basic needs, like milk, tortillas, bread, etc. etc. have risen shraply also during these PAN years. Perhaps, most of these PAN supporters, send their maids to do the shopping, i dunno, but low intrests rates havent kept the price of tortillas from going thru the roof. A tiny percentage of Mexicans have benefited no doubt, but theirs no trickle down effect here. Fact is, Mexico with the PRI, didnt work, and with the PAN is more of the same. Facts, you cannot ignore facts. Fact is, the TRIFE, not FECAL or AMLO will decide what to do. Seven men who have nothing to lose. Their ten year terms are up, they get paid like royality, in order to keep them clean. They have nothing to lose, and outside experts, clearly state, that favors AMLO. Why are the PANistas so afraid of mass demenstrations, of people calling for a recount, Voto X Voto, casilla X casilla? Must be something to hide. Something that the PANIstas Facistas, and clearly some racistas(cant have no naco indio in the chair)are good at. Hiding from facts, and the truth of history, which if ignored, will condem us to repeat it. FECAL would clearly be condeming Mexico to repeat history again. Zero growth, and high prices for basic needs. No thanks, I pefer to see clearly, and a recount, will help clear the air in Mexico, and isnt that what we all should strive for? If your against a recount, your clearly against Mexico. And thats a fact.

Posted by: maya0 | July 24, 2006 12:23 PM

For all those Fox/Calderon supporters, please GET REAL. You guys better wake up and stop living in the place very well known as "Foxilandia" where people are happy, there's no poverty, there's true democracy, etc.

One question, when was the last time you got a chance and talk with an illegal mexican immigrant and ask him/her about the reasons for coming to this country?

I think the economic model for the last 18 years or more has proven wrong. Why? simple fact IMMIGRATION TO THE US.

I'm a legal resident of this country, but if today we would have a good economic model creating jobs, I'd be the first one packing my stuff and going back to Mexico, but I guess it's good to keep dreaming right?

other question for those PAN/Calderon supporters, when was the last time you visit those areas in Mexico where people could barely cover their needs and many times not even that?

GET REAL!!! we neeed a change in the economic model. I could care less if its the PRD, PAN or even PRI the ones in charge as far as I know all is the same.

Posted by: Get Real | July 24, 2006 12:24 PM

Here we go again. Maya zero, "why wouldn't I call you fascists?" Maybe because you are too uneducated or immature to engage in reasoned discourse with people of good faith who disagree with you.

Please explain to me what "visual violence" is. Does this mean attacking someone with words? Boo Hoo, stop crying, that happens in an election campaign. Are you trying to justify REAL violence, such as the attack on Calderon' car,for example, or possible future real violence as threatened by Camacho Solis (who knows a thing or two about violence, from his days as a PRIista) because someone hurt your idol's feelings? Repeat, boo hoo. Get over it. You insulted me by calling me a fascist. Are you being violent to me? Of course not. If I go out and beat up a perredista in retaliation, am I justified? No, I would simply become a thug.

"loco por loco, mentira por mentira". It goes on and on.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 01:47 PM

Get Real, interesting comments. As a matter of fact, I have visited those areas of Mexico where " people could barely cover their needs and many times not even that". Oaxaca and the Socanusa area of Chiapas, two months ago. It sucks to be them. Big time. You are quite right, they do need a change of economic program. The problem is, and maybe you can point out something I am missing, that AMLO's economic model represents no change from the same failed statist policies of the PRI that got us into this mess in the first place.

What is needed in the poorer states is what is already being tried in the northern states. Real capitalism (something NEVER tried in the south) coupled with democracy. Look at countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong (not a country, I know), Japan after the war. All of them had lower standards of living than Mexico in 1950. All are rich today, courtesy of democratic capitalism. We should try it here. It might work. Nothing else has, and nothing in AMLO's model looks likely to work.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 01:54 PM

Get Real-- You raise some interesting questions, but I wonder what you mean by a change in model? Do you think a populist program based on handing out money to the poor, as AMLO was doing in DF, would work?

Perhaps yo have noticed that in the United States Mexican entrepreneurs thrive? Why is that these industrious people succeed in a foreign land? Because Mexico still has so many barriers to overcome. The answer to Mexico's problems is not to contstruct a socialist system whereby money is redistributed to the poor, but to break down the old system that allows a certain class of elites to run everything. True freedom comes from a system that encourages all citizens to prosper.

If AMLO had been offering that, I would have been all for him. Calderon, however, is the man with a plan to further open Mexico's economy and go well beyond what Fox did. Unfortunately, Fox failed to accomplish much of what he set out to do, largely because he was not skilled politically, but mostly because the dinosaurs of the PRI and PRD blocked every major reform in Congress. For this alone they should be held accoutable by the voters. They played their little political games while Mexico lost ground day-by-day to China and other countries that were more competitive.

Posted by: Goyo | July 24, 2006 02:13 PM

Jerry, I agree with you in the sense that AMLO's proposal is not going to be the solution, BUT i don't see anything in Calderon's one either (other than keeping the same stuff that happened over the last 6 years = NOT MUCH).

Plain and SIMPLE: You need to create balance between rich and poor, if you don't give a hand (JOBS) then it's hard to see how are you going create an economy that could compete in the future with the other countries.

What I see is that without a competent president the immigration is going to continue to the US and now that you want people to get tough on immigration then the possible result is people will start major movilazations (regardless of AMLO). I dare to say that current situation could be out of control even if AMLO thinks he's calling the shots.


Posted by: Get Real | July 24, 2006 02:26 PM


Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 02:31 PM

Sorry for the caps.

I think the immigration issue is about to be solved for Mexico by the US congress. Long term this may be a good thing, because by shutting off the immigration safety valve and the dependency on remittances, tough decisions, like the above mentioned labor law reforms, might finally be taken.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 02:34 PM

Although I believe it is a tough thing to close the border it will certainly force many people to demand better governments and reforms to make our economy grow.
I always find funny how these people from PRD seem to pay a lot of attention to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, and they have actually sent delegations to both countries while their governments were offending ours.
And then they complain when PAN and other people associate them with Hugo Chavez. Well, of course, they are like them and unless they condem those governments for trying to intervene in our internal political situations, and unless they reject their totalitarian political doctrina and ideology, then we will continue associating them to Chavez and Castro.
Right now, Denise Maerker is in her program Atando Cabos, and repeats like a parrot the PRD allegations of fraud. What a biased journalist. This morning I had a chance to see cocaine La Jornada fantasy island writer Julio Hernandez talking about the interim government and Carlos Marin just laughed at him and called his theories of an interim government a mere Masturbation. Last week it was Ciro Gomez Leyva who argued with Julio because of another one of his cocaine conspiracy theories.
I am glad Victor Trujillo is getting more serious analists for his program.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 24, 2006 03:02 PM

Empty boxes, all the talk in the U S about closing the border is fraud, it is impossible and they know it. They talk about it to pretend to the American public that they are doing something. If the US govt really wanted to stop illegal immigration, it could do so overnight, simply by jailing all the American citizens who HIRE the illegals. It could also stop the remittances overnight by demanding proof of legal residency before they can be sent. These two steps would end illegal immigration. And irritate Bush's rich donors, which is why he does not want to do it. Congress, or the individual states, may do it for him, and when they do it is going to force some hard choices on Mexico.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 03:07 PM

I just don't get it. What is the purpose of going on and on and on arguing about the virtues and sins of each candidate and their programs? The time to chose is OVER. Now it's a matter of procedure. All is in the hands of the court. I'm not sure if emptyboxes will ever learn how to respect analysts who voice opinions that he doesn't share. Not living in Northern Mexico, I would also love to hear a coherent description of what, in Jerry Bourbon's opinion, is "real capitalism." I guess here in the US we don't have it. I guess also that the Mexican State and his institutions doesn't play any role whatsoever in El Norte.

Posted by: pasilla | July 24, 2006 03:44 PM

As a Mexican who has lived in the United States and has family there I believe I know that country fairly well and I cannot but feel sad when I see how our politicians look far away in other countries for solutions to our country's problems instead of taking a look at how they do things north of our border.
How can we compare the State of California, to name one, a state that produces a GDP greater than Brazil and Mexico's combined, and similar to that of Germany? How is it possible that 40 million people, and many of them Mexican-americans, produce far more than us and live far better off and with far less resources? Why imitate the failed communist policies of Cuba or Venezuela? How can Mexican people be so blind as to believe in individuals who pursue such failed and totalitarian ideologies? Why? Where is the real revolution happening today? In Cuba, a country that, same as many other communist countries, has contributed nothing to human progress and has not changed at all in the last 3 or 4 decades, or is the real revolution happening in California, in the Silicon Valley, In Los Angeles, in San Francisco, in new technological developments that are coming out of laboratories every and in new social phenomena,making possible blogs such as this one, and great enterprises are being born thanks to the great economical freedoms these people enjoy?
Where have all these things that have changed our lives in the last decades come from? From Cuba? China? Why should we follow a failed path already taken by impoverished countries today? Shouldn't we be taking the path that the richest nations of the world had to take even tough it meant sacrifices?

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 24, 2006 03:45 PM


What is real capitalism? Letting people work freely. Being able to open a business legally in less than ONE day, for under $100, as can be done in California, and without any legal or notorial help, and without having to bribe the authorities for a business licence. Being able to run that business without worrying about a phantom "union" controlled by PRIistas or PRDistas showing up and getting into the profits. Having a private electricity company that actually delivers electricity. Knowing that if you sign a contract, it will be enforced in court. And on and on.

Northern Mexico has by no means reached anywhere near this standard, but it is at least trying. None of this has even been tried in the South, and until it, there will be no progress. Unless AMLO can wave a magic wand and make all the bad rich people go away....

As to the process, there is nothing really to debate. the TRIFE will rule, and, the PAN at least, will obey the ruling. What is there to debate in that?

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 04:00 PM

A couple of points: Yes, the voting is over, but now, while we await the ruling of the TRIFE, we must endure AMLO's threats of social disruption and violence if the magistrates do not rule his way.

Jerry Bourbon and emptyboxes made excellent points. Mexico is on the edge here. It could fall into the failed old statist and populist model or it could build on its gains and move forward into a truly free-market system. The comparisons with Asian success stories are apt because those are the countries with which Mexico must compete. Mexico is a country rich in resources and land, but it has neglected a most important part of the formula for success-- its people. Better education and more opportunities are needed. As Jerry Bourbon notes, many Mexicans with talent and ideas are held back by a system that sets huge barriers in their path.

As for immigration-- I am not sure how effective the US Congress will be in strengthening the border, but I can tell you, based on conversations with many Americans, that the recent PRD-like demonstrations in Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities did more harm than good to the cause of the immigrants. They served as a wake-up call to many Americans that the kind of political spectacle the left has carried on in Mexico has now come north. Most immigrants from Mexico get on well with the Americans and most Americans are sympathetic with immigrants, until they see them carrying American flags upside down, while waving Mexican flags, and demanding rights that Mexico would never grant to foreigners on its soil.

If the United States looks south and sees a reasonable government run by say, Felipe Calderon, there is a chance things can be worked out on immigration. But most Americans would be very scared by AMLO and his crowds waving communist flags and hailing Joseph Stalin as one of their heroes. (In the official documents presented to TRIFE, AMLO's people actually quoted Stalin! What's next, lessons on democracy from Adolf Hitler?)

Americans, for the most part, don't pay much attention to Mexico and its internal politics. Most Americans don't read the Washington Post. But if they did see what is going on now, they would be filled with fear. Americans are very skittish about people who act unstable, whether that is fair or not, it is true. Remember many years ago a candidate--Muskie-- cried a little while speaking and it ended his career! Same thing with Howard Dean a few years ago. He acted a little wild at one rally and people thought he was a nut.

Imagine how American voters would have reacted to a guy like Andres Manuel who runs around crying fraud with no proof and then accuses his own people of taking bribes, again with no proof, and then says one day it was computer fraud and the next day that it was old-school fraud? Maybe Americans are too quick to judge politicians who display emotion, but maybe Mexico is too accepting of people who act kooky.

Posted by: Goyo | July 24, 2006 05:18 PM


You get sad when Mexican politicians follow blindly the models devloped in countries other than the USA... Why then should they blindly follow the US model? Following blindly any model is not very smart. Is privatizacion always good? Look at Salinas re-privatization of banks and the ensuing disaster; all Mexicans are still paying the corruption and ineptitude of pseudo-bankers and businessmen. As usual. How about the highway construction fiasco? You claim to know the US fairly well. Then, you should be aware of the ugly parts too. How about the high proportion of population with no medical insurance? What about poor people? What about bigotry and religious extremism interfering with medical care and education? There is no paradise on earth, and you know it. Is deregulation always good? Well, come tell that to energy consumers in the Washington suburbs, who are experiencing steep hikes in electricity rates. You assume that the PRD will turn the clock back; well I respect your assumption, but is no more than an opinion. Besides, what to do with the immediate needs of the Mexican poor? Do we eliminate them all? Do we let them die? Do we encourage them to go to the US in search of better oportunities? The trickle down policies that you seem to love take time to work, if they ever do.

Jerry Bourbon:

"Having a private electricity company that actually delivers electricity..."

Would you like a model of "real capitalism" like Enron providing electricity to Nuevo Leon, as they did to California?

Of course there are public hospitals and universities in the north of Mexico. This north-south babble is nothing but nonsense. Go tell Cerveceria Modelo that they don't know how to do business, because they are located in Mexico City. Why don't you get real and stop claiming the non-existent northern superiority? Why tourist prefer Cancun to Monterrey? What about oil extraction?

You two seem to believe that money is everything and that non-productive enterprises like art or philosophy are not worth of support. A world without art, music or literature is entirely possible (like the Talibans showed); but I, for one, don't consider it worth living.

Posted by: pasilla | July 24, 2006 05:24 PM

Pasilla, if I was faced with the choice of either the CFE or Enron, I think I would hold my nose and choose Enron. At least they delivered electricity.
"What tourist prefers Monterrey to Cancun"? I do not know, I suppose the kind of tourist that likes industrial cities with no beaches. On the other hand, what COMPANY that wants to create jobs for Mexico prefers Monterrey to Cancun? All of them I would think.
Where do you come up with these sweeping generalizations (called "prejudices", and, as all of us PC types no, prejudices are BAD.) about those of us who do not hew to your statist, corporatist creed? I love the arts. If the government wanted to subsidize heavy metal music, for example, I would love it. What I do not love if for their to be "official" arts and artists, as the PRD has managed to do in the DF, and as the National Endowment for the Arts does in the US. Maybe you like your tax money subsidizing crucifixes in bottles of urine, or bullwhips in anuses, like the NEA has done. I would prefer that connoseurs of that type of art subsidize it themselves.

From your comments, it sounds like you live in or near DC. You ought to investigate the electricity rate hikes in Baltimore, and how they are related to assinine regulatory decisions taken by leftests (democrats) several years ago.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 05:36 PM

Isn't your middle name "Cassandra"? Always talking about imminent danger... You resemble the jealouse husband who doesn't stop insisting that his wife is seeing somebody else. When his irrational harrasment feeds her up and pushes her to have an affair, he smilingly declares: "I knew it, I told you so..."

What's so bad about marching with the effigy of Uncle Joe? Come on! McCarthy is long dead. Even Che Guevara has reached Hollywood...

What American voters have to fear from AMLO winning the election? Frankly, my man, I don't get it.

Posted by: pasilla | July 24, 2006 05:39 PM

Incidentally, NO country is paradise, all have defects. The truly superior countries (and cultures) recognize, do not hide, and try to fix those defects. No one wants Mexico to follow the lead of some mythical "perfect" country, because such a country does not exist. (Although a lot of perredistas think it does, and it is called "Cuba".) The lack of perfection, or the existence of poor people does not negate that in a world of 200 odd countries, some countries have economic systems that work better than others. It behooves us to study those which seem to work better, even if they are not perfect.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 05:40 PM

Most American voters couldn't identify either Calderon or AMLO to save their lives. After the stupidity of May 1, they can indeed identify AMLO style politics.

Why stupidity? Every fence sitting American who saw those demonstrations fell right off the fence and landed in the anti-immigration camp. Before May 1, there was a chance for an immigration deal that favored Mexico. Not anymore.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 05:43 PM

Jerry, Jerry:

You speaking about prejudices?

"official" arts and artists, as the PRD has managed to do in the DF..."

If they opose your ideas, intellectuals, philosophers, artists are... what, half-witted people, in the payroll of the PRD or the Government of Mexico City? Is it soooo difficult to accept that other people have similar ideas among themselves, all of their own, ideas that coincide with PRD militants, but differ from yours? It seems so.

By the way, my previous post was directed to Goyo and his "fear and tremble..."

Posted by: pasilla | July 24, 2006 05:54 PM

"The truly superior countries (and cultures)..."

Wow, Jerry, this sounds a little like an excellent public speaker in Germany, around the 1930's, 1940's...

Isn't an oversimplification to say that immigration reform has stalled because of the demonstrations in the US? Before September 11, 2000 there was talk about immigration reform. What demonstrations happened in September 11, 2000? Don't you want to blame AMLO for global warming? How about blaming him and the PRD for the lost of Texas?

Posted by: pasilla | July 24, 2006 06:04 PM

Ahhhh! And, Jerry, if you were a customer of Enron, you will be in the dark now... Thank CFE.

Posted by: pasilla | July 24, 2006 06:05 PM

Pasilla, are you saying that ALL countries are exactly alike? No one is better than anyone else (or worse)? Was Churchill's England the same, no better or worse, than Hitler's Germany? Is South Korea today no better or worse than North Korea? Should Mexico emulate North Korea? or South Korea. If you think the answer is South Korea, then we will have to recognize that there is a reason, which is that the South Korean economic and political system is superior than the North. Should Mexico not emulate, but take useful bits of information from, Cuba or the U S? Why?

As to Enron, no one that was an Enron customer is in the dark. (If I am wrong, please point out who for me) Many people in popular colonies here in Tijuana remain in the dark because the CFE is under capitalized and cannot wire them. Again, I would prefer Enron.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 06:46 PM

Pasilla-- Good to have you back.

Uncle Joe? The man killed millions of people and enslaved all of eastern Europe. This is a guy you want to quote when you make your presentation to an electoral tribunal?

As for immigration-- Yes, the deal was set way back by September 11, but most Americans were worried about terrorists coming across the border at that point. The debate over the immigration bill earlier this year was focused on two things-- strengthening border security with an eye to keeping illegals out and creating a "guest worker" program. A compromise might have been possible, but the senate rejected any real security measures and focused on what most people could clearly see was an amnesty. In fact, in Mexico it was openly described as "amnistia." Evidently they had not gotten the memo from Senators McCain and Kennedy to call it something else.

What cooked it for that idea, however, was the marching and the threats. Americans are pretty big hearted and they like to think of themselves as a nation of immigrants, so they tend to be supportive of immigrants, even those who cheated and came illegally over the border or over-stayed their visas. Most people are inclined to forgive and forget-- until they see people waving foreign flags and demanding privileges not granted to those who stand in line and do things legally.

So, yes, the PRD-style tactics did backfire. I am not saying immigration reform is dead, because I do think it is a fact of life that will have to be addressed in some form sooner or later. Either the United States gets serious and cracks down on employers who hire (and exploit) illegals or there will be more people coming north to get those jobs.

What does it say about Mexico, though, when so many good people have to leave the country to get a decent job? Keep in mind they are doing menial work and making more than they could make in a coveted office job in Mexico. What is wrong with Mexico?

That is the question Calderon and AMLO tried to address with their separate proposals.

I can understand the resentment against elites who form their own little aristocracy and show no sympathy at all for the poor. But where is there a case in which a country prospered by taking wealth from one group and redistributing it to the poor?

The countries Jerry Bourbon and I cited are prosperous because they have freed themselves of government control, have opened their markets and have promoted changes in society that lead to prosperity.

As for the fear factor-- I really hope I am wrong. If the TRIFE rules against him and AMLO graciously concedes, extending his hand and a pledge of cooperation to Felipe Calderon, then I will admit that I was wrong about him. I think many Mexicans may also conclude that he is not such a bad guy after all and he will then have a better chance at winning six years from now.

But I kind of doubt that will happen. And, yes, I do fear that he will unleash disorder and violence if the ruling goes against him. Will blood in the streets make him feel remorse? Well, as your old buddy Uncle Joe once said, "One death is a tragedy, thousands dead is a statistic."

Posted by: Goyo | July 24, 2006 06:56 PM


"Look at Salinas re-privatization of banks and the ensuing disaster; all Mexicans are still paying the corruption and ineptitude of pseudo-bankers and businessmen"

I never said or stated that I believed what Salinas did was good, quite the opposite, but perhaps you might want to pass this comment over to Camacho Solis, I am sure he knows what really happened and could explain us quite a lot about Salinas and his wrongdoings.

"How about the high proportion of population with no medical insurance?"

In the United States the population without PRIVATE health insurance is of less than 20 % and they are entitled to MEDI-CARE or any other government health care program. Actually it is the only country I know of where you get medical treatment for free provided you do not have the economic means, just walk into a public clinic, you do not even need to be a resident to get it, you are entitled just because you are a human being, period, although some states like California are trying to change this so that illegal inmigrants cannot have access to these benefits, they will not be able because it is a mandate from the constitution. In Mexico, you need to be enrolled in the IMSS and show all kinds of IDs before you get treated and the service is poor.

"What about bigotry and religious extremism interfering with medical care and education?"

Come on Pasilla! Are you going to tell me there is no racism in Mexico. Would you ever marry a Oaxaca Indigenous girl? (I say this with all due respect to anybody from Oaxaca or any indigenous Mexican, but I know I am correct to point this out) How many dark skinned Mexicans have you seen in Mexican TV programs and soup operas? Racism is as natural in any society as prostitution, it exists in the same proportion in Mexico, in Europe, China, Brazil and anywhere else. For all the talk about racism in North America, let me tell you that only .5% of Americans can be considered racists or prejudiced, this according to UN studies.

"Would you like a model of "real capitalism" like Enron providing electricity to Nuevo Leon, as they did to California?"

At least the American taxpayer does not have to pay for the corruption scandals and bankruptcy of Enron. And those price hikes cannot be compared to what we pay in Mexico for electricity, they were called hikes when they compared to them to the regular electricity prices in the United States, where most people live with air-conditioning most of the day and pay less than 40 dollars a month. I have to control my air-conditioning for 5 hours every day and I pay twice as much here in Monterrey.

"Of course there are public hospitals and universities in the north of Mexico. This north-south babble is nothing but nonsense. Go tell Cerveceria Modelo that they don't know how to do business, because they are located in Mexico City. Why don't you get real and stop claiming the non-existent northern superiority? Why tourist prefer Cancun to Monterrey? What about oil extraction?"

Yes, there are many universities, the most famous are ITESM, with campuses and branches all over the country, and UDEM, TEC-MILENIO also has campuses in Mexico city and other places in the country, there is also Universidad del Norte and many other universities we have, and they do not cost you a dime, you do not have to pay with your taxes for their achievements, they are privately funded by very enterprising individuals and organizations who wait for none to get the education we need or want. Hospitals we have many of them the same and are beginning to expand into South Mexico. We don't drink much Corona here in these lands, we drink Carta-Blanca and Tecate, from FEMSA, and the Coca-colas that you drink are probably bottled here or at any of the factories of FEMSA all over the country, the same for the OXXO's, we also have IMSA, ALFA, Protexa, CEMEX, VIAKON, METALSA, CYDSA, VITRO, VILLACERO, HYLSA, BIMBO, GAMESA, Multimedios, Milenio, Reforma, Cigarrera la Moderna and thousands of many other private companies from industrious people who do not depend on government contracts. We have no oil, but I don't believe we need any to create jobs. The fact is, just walk into any convenience store anywhere in the country and in other countries in central and south america and you will find all kinds of brands and products from Monterrey and North Mexico. All these companies I mentioned have opened many factories in south Mexico in the last years, and many of them are international companies, IMSA has presence all over the United States, and in South America, the Same for FEMSA and CEMEX and many others.

"You two seem to believe that money is everything and that non-productive enterprises like art or philosophy are not worth of support. A world without art, music or literature is entirely possible (like the Talibans showed); but I, for one, don't consider it worth living."

You should learn that most of the companies I mentioned before and many others have invested and promoted artists from all over Mexico, not only leftists artists like the DF Government, but all kinds of artists, just ask Cuevas about it, he comes around these lands most of the times to sell his stuff. Come by and visit our museums, again, I can tell you they did not cost you or any other taxpayer a single dime, we have MARCO museum and is rewards artists from all over the world every year.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 24, 2006 08:44 PM

The industry is not what is important about a country but rather the ability of the country to reinvent itself through innovation and enterprised fostered by individuals from all walks of life.

We hear all the time these conspiracy theories about the powerful interests of the American corporations. But the leftist analists who come up with these conspiracy theories and stories and myths cannot tell us who or what these huge and powerful northamerican corporations are.

Are we talking about Microsoft, which was created by Gates 20 years ago in a garage of a house and which was not bigger than Telmex 15 years ago and today has enough cash to buy the entire airline industry of USA? Are we talking about DELL, created by Michael Dell just a few years ago, down in his school dorm? Are we talking about ATT, which was broken into small Bell telephone operators by the Anti-trust regulation? Are we talking about Standard Oil, which suffered the same fate years before?

What is incredible is how difficult is for some people to see how Capitalism has done what no other economical system ever did. It has enable the individual to create his own wealth and to pursue his happiness as he best finds fit.

The collective idealism passed on to us and the prejudices against the individual are still hurting us.

When will ever have universities like Chicago University, with nearly a hundred nobel prizes and the most important school of economics in the world. What about John Hopkins University and their great medicine achievements, or Stanford and its Silicon Valley, that incubated INTEL, GOOGLE.
The problem with countries that are half capitalist, half communist, like Mexico and many other countries, including some in Europe, is that they favor the growth of monopolies, both state and private, that control the local economies and act as technology deterrants because they do not innovate.
What we need in our country is more liberalization of our economy so that we free the power of the individuals, their enterprise, their talent, their ability to create where there is nothing.
State monopolies like Conasupe completely destroyed small farmers by demanding them to produce corn and other cheap crops. Some of my uncles in Los Ramones NL who followed and did business with Conasupo ended up very poor and had to move to the United States while the others who did not obey Conasupo and resisted the pressure from Government officials from the Agriculture Secretary, they continue farming specialized crops and also producing honey. Today they export their products to the United States and Europe, Germans come to visit them and to buy their great quality honey.

It is the power of the individual and it exists everywhere in our country, but the government needs to get its hands off from manipulating their future and provide them with the freedoms and rights to pursue a wealthier life.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 24, 2006 09:23 PM

Sadly it will be a long time before the Mexican economy begins to resemble the American. But, under the PAN it might eventually happen. Under AMLO, we will more likely get the Venezuelan model (Spend money like oil will always be at $75 a barrel!!!) The Venezuelan model has actually been tried in Mexico once, by our favorite wannabe perredista, Jose Lopez Portillo, whose policies, NOT neoliberalism caused all the suffering of the 80's and 90's. (Remember his projections of oil revenue at $100 a barrel?) It worked great, if you like lots of zeros on your money.

As someone mentioned, we can argue about policies all day, but the voting is over. Now we await the TRIFE. I forsee one of the following options:
1.) The TRIFE simply ratifies the election and rejects all of AMLO's videos, corrput PRD poll observers, IFE boycots, cyber frauds, PREP manipulations, source code manipulations, government support, media bias, and the little green martians that snuck into Mexico and voted for the PAN. If this happens, I think AMLO will scream and yell, and so will his hard core supporters, but he will have no national support. His own support will die away. After all, the PRD can do all the "civic resistance" it wants, but only were there are lots of perredistas. If they want to keep tearing things up in Mexico City, too bad for the Chilangos who make up their support base. A meteor could fall on Mexico City and it would not greatly inconvenience the northern section of the country. I do not see "civic resistance" getting very far in Monterrey, or Tijuana, or even Guadalajara, not enough perredistas, and the rest of us and our state governments are not going to put up with it.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 10:15 PM

The second possibility is that the TRIFE orders a recount. In this case it will either favor Calderon or AMLO. If it favors Calderon, I think (despite any promises to the contrary) that AMLO will still not accept it, as the election was inherently "unfair". The rest of the country will though, and will move on. In this case, AMLO's career as a politician is over, unless he moves to Cuba. If the recount goes for AMLO, it will be by a miniscule number (tens of thousands, not hundreds), .59% is at the outer edge of statistical ties. In this case, I have no doubt that (being good hipocrates, like all politicians) the PAN will go for nullification, using exactly the same arguments (DF government influence, union influence, media influence, Bolivarian Circles influence, and little green men) that AMLO is using. If this works see below. If not, we get president AMLO!!! O joy. Of course, the cooperation Fox got from congress will seem like a miracle compared to what AMLO gets. And the vicious personal media attacks that Fox had to (and did) put up with will now be directed at AMLO. How will he react? With Camacho Solis, Bartlett et al in power, expect some dead journalists. I have a feeling that in 3 years a decidedly unfriendly congress will be reelected, and in 6 the PAN will be back, stronger than ever.

If the election is anulled, then the PAN will undoubtably sell a little bit of its soul to the PRI congress block, and elect a PANista as interim president. And, in a year or two we will get Calderon anyway.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 10:24 PM

It seems that the immature, and naive, abound in the PANs rank and file. Am glad that am not the only person to have notice the facist streaks in some of these ppl, and obvious racists comments of others. These people dont read, or read no history. No idea of realpolitic. Cold hard facts are all you need to show flaws in all of their arguments. But its kinda of boring to repeat oneself, especially when most of these people makes one want to slap the silly off their faces. Its time wasting, because their minds have been washed by repetative, mantra, having most grown up in front of a tv.
Their pro USA rants, their forgetfullness of historical facts. Fact, the USA, help murder the very first democratic President of Mexico. Madero, and ever since, with the exception of Lazaro Cardenas,has fully controlled Mexican goverments. What Cuba and Venezuelen intervention in Mexico? How can they compare them with what the USA, has done to Mexico, and contiunes to do. If the so called avarage American citizen got upset with what happen on May 1st well, after 150years, its payback. And theirs a obvious fear that one day, states in what was former Mexico, may choose to balkanise. If one thing, history shows, nothing is set in stone. Things change. And AMLO represents real change, for a country that is stuck in a rut. Living in DGO., am fully aware what life is in the north, and its no diffrent from the south, which i also know well. Of course its more modern, but then again, most of it, with the exception of Mty, is of recent time, and of course, you cant ignore the fact, thats their a hell of a lot less water, than in the south. Its a diffrent type of life, somethings better, somethings not. But these peoples brains are not apt at accepting more than one idea at the same time in their noggins. How they hate Castros Cuba, technically a country at war with the USA, whos has been embargoing and trying to kill its leaders for almost 50 years. Can you blame Castro for cracking down? However, somehow, to show how wrong emptyboxes is, Castros Cuba has better public health, than all of latin america, and most of the USA. Its a fact, infant mortality rates in the USA, are lower than in Cuba! Where does that fit in your conception of the world? And what about Communist China? They dont want to remember China at all. Almost 10 record breaking years of growth. Leaving all them asian, democratic tigers in the dust. And their commmies. I wouldnt want to live that way. It maybe fine for them commies, but not here in Mexico, and to compare AMLO with commies, was a terrible lie. Mexico needs fair capitalism, not every law, tilted toward only a few. Bosses in Mexico, dont want to pay more wages, they are happy to keep paying 4 bucks a day. And thats not going to change with FECAL. It never changed with the PRI, it didnt change with Fox, these terrible wages, will still be, with FECAL. Big money, feared AMLO, mostly because of this. He was willing to try a diffrent economic policy, that would bring higher wages, and a better life for all Mexicans. Wouldnt a better living Mexican, in Mexico be seen as a threat to the USA? Of course it would. How simple and easy the USA, having a slave wages nation right next door. You dont see Canadians going to live in the USA in droves. The USA, needs a poor and ill fed, and ill educated Mexico. This is a fact. Its a way of life for the USA, to regard anything south of them as their backyard. A independent Mexico, is the very last thing the USA needs. And that is why their are against AMLO. AMLO will get his recount, the recount will be allowed by the TRIFE, and the whole world will be watching, and thats terrible for these PANistas, who wanted to keep all of whats happening from ever seeing the light of day. Just like Hitlers nazis wanted the camps hidden from the world. Voto X Voto, Casilla X Casilla. If your pro Mexico, your pro recount. If your against the recount, your a gringo loving running dog, who has little right to be called a Mexican.

Posted by: maya0 | July 24, 2006 10:36 PM

Maya zero, I think I have finally figured you out. You are a PAN troll, posting here to discredit AMLO. Congratulations! Mission accomplished. Even a committed perredista would not emit such illiterate rantings, and confuse calling people fascists, Nazis, running dogs (!) and other sweet things with serious arguement. Now, don't go away angry, just go away.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 10:57 PM

Incidentally, Pasilla, I remember you getting upset with empty boxes calling AMLO a "tortilla eater". You felt this was degrading. Is "tortilla eater" (I am one too, if they contain meat or pork) more or less degrading (or should I say "verbal violence" Boo Hoo) than Communist, Nazi, Fascist, or Mao Tse Tsung's very own "running dog"? Just wondered.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 11:00 PM

"tamale eater" not tortilla eater. I can't eat tortillas anymore, Fox raised the price and my servants can no longer afford to buy them for me!

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 11:03 PM

Maya, if you are not a troll (which, all kidding aside, is a real possibility. You are doing a great job making friends for your party.) you sound like about a third semester university student. Studying on daddy's money, and knowing that when you go home on vacation, the servants in daddy's big house will take care of you. You have a bunch of friends and consider yourselves "revolutionary" because you all think exactly like K.Vronna's friends thought in 1968. You complain about "running dogs for the Americans", but would do about anything for a visa, preferably a student visa, and ideally a visa and scholarship to go study in an American university. You worry about the poor, but have never been hungry, never associated with the poor, except when yelling at your servants, and never will, and would not dream of bringing a poor boy home to meet your parents.

You are a dime a dozen, girl. The festive left, Zapatista support groups, the Che T-shirt, it is all so fun and romantic. Have you noticed that nothing you say or do is new or original? That "running dogs" comment is straight out of Mao's long march in the 1930s. The sad thing is that if AMLO gets into power and brings back inflation, bankruptcies, and business collapse, you are not going to feel it. But the "poor" your profess to love will. Maybe you can hire more servants, they will be cheaper.

Most people grow out of this stage (ie, probably your parents). Hopefully you will too. In the meantime, you might want to allow mommy and daddy to edit your comments, they will probably save you some embarassment.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 24, 2006 11:17 PM

Jerry, isnt what you describe, as my so called life, a mirror to what you know? Your so wrong, your so way out their, its not even funny. Everything i state is true, the fact you dont even try to argue these points that i bring up, you just stick out your tongue, like the baby facist you are. I dont foam at the mouth for no visa, in fact, i was a fine art student at the art institute of chicago, and have had a family member, I wont mention which, who was the head of the acedemy of San Carlos, in Mexico city, the oldest art school on the continent. Am intimate with life on both sides of the border. Your mommas milk is still on your lips, compared to where am coming from. All my facts, that ive stated above are true, historical facts. Not opinions or assumptions, like what you droll on about. Nothing i say, is going to change your way of thinking, your to much of a simpleton, to do that. Your set in your ways. But, am like a mirror, that is held up to refelct, everything, inculding things that arent pretty. And the election proccess in Mexico wasnt pretty, before the election, during, and after. So lets wait for the TRIFE to decide, and quit foaming at the mouth. Voto X Voto, Casilla X Casilla, is the solution. If your against that clearly your against change, and for everything to stay the same. Oh, and jerry, do U have any idea what Maya is? Ha Ha Ha, no, i guess you dont, or you wouldnt think it was a particular gender. It is to laugh.

Posted by: maya0 | July 24, 2006 11:43 PM

be it as it may, though, i gotta hand it to the politicians: mexicans are now more interested in politics than soccer all of a sudden.
regardless of the quality of the opinions, this is healthy for a democracy i guess. and the dude who praised Woldenberg rocks, i'm begining to think he's the only trustworthy mexican during this whole thing. to me , the left Woldenberg represents is what Mexico absolutely needs. however, the best part about these elections was that the next breed of politicians is gonna be rockin'.

if i could adress the state of mexico right now i'd like to remind all mexicans that we're the ones with the ability to you know, TRANSFORM the country and make it a better blah blah.

Posted by: carlos | July 25, 2006 12:13 AM

Ms Maya, a fine art student. Why am I not surprised. What did that cost mommy and daddy? Did they have to reduce the servants' salaries to pay it?

You whine about fascism. When you were not studying art, did you get a chance to read any history? Benito (named after Juarez, by very left wing parents) Mussolini created what he called corporatism by fusing big business, big labor and the state. All businesses in Italy had to join "chambers" and effectively became cartels. Kind of like cement, beer, soft drinks, TV on the private side and oil, and electricity on the public side here. All workers had to join a union, and labor bosses became rich, kind of like Gomez Urrutia and the CTM leaders. Government was all powerful, and Mussolini sure did not have to put up with the personal attacks that Fox has. A cult of personality was created, with a whole clientelistic class dependent on government payouts or contracts. Intellectuals were cultivated, given commissions and glorified. In return, they extolled and praised the government and the leader. Kind of like AMLO's DF.

All in all not a bad country to live in if you are an art student educated in Chicago. Or a labor boss. Or the owner of TELMEX, which may explain why Slim seems to like AMLO. But it kind of sucks to be an ordinary citizen. On the other hand, Mussolini did make the trains run on time, and AMLO's supersonic train to nowhere will probably run on time too.

By the way, in an above post, you talked about "paying back" the "Average American citizen" with those cute demonstrations in May. That is interesting. I personally was not really interested in "paying" anyone back, but would have liked it if the American congress would, if not aprove something beneficial to Mexico, would at least have done nothing. Now, thanks to that "payback", hard times are coming for the Mexican worker in the US. O well, at least it felt good. We will see how good it feels when the remittances stop.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 25, 2006 12:14 AM

Did anyone know that there are something like 100,000 Canadians in Southern California. Workers, not snow birds. And who knows how many more in New York. They apparently do not like paying Canadian tax rates. So much for Canadians not immigrating to the US.

The infant mortality rate in the US is high for two reasons. One, American medicine is actually quite good (Ask any Mexican who has visited an American emergency room, it beats IMSS) As a result a lot of VERY low birth weight premature babies do not get born dead, but actually survive a while. In most countries they would be reported as still births and not affect the infant mortality rate. In the US if they draw even one breath they are counted as a live birth, and when they then die, they count toward infant mortality. Furthermore, as we know the US has something like 12 million illegal immigrants, many in poor health, and further class of drug addicts. When these people have babies, they tend to be sickly, so, again, up goes the mortality rate. Japan, for example, a country with basically no immigrants and no drug addicts does not have to cope with this, and thus has a wonderful birth rate.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 25, 2006 12:22 AM

You know that the during WW2, nazis germans soldiers where also called jerrys? So the name fits. Your losing it man, i can almost see you jumping out of your chair. What is it about art that makes people like you cringe? Hitler also debunked artists during his days. So you keep fine company. I work for a living buddy, stop refelcting your wishfull thinking on what you assume was just taken. Since the age of 16, ive worked for what I have, including my education, and perhaps your ignorant of this, because you no not of The art institute of Chicago, but you dont get in, because of money or who you know, its by talent only, that the school invites you to become a student, you have to show your worth, by your works. As a painter, in the fine tradation, ive have knowed hunger. Parents where no option for me, as I have lived on my own since before I was 18. So when I make statements about the poor, i know what am talking about. I worry about the price of basic nesscitys, like the majority of Mexicans do. Low rates on new car loans, are not things that I or the majority of Mexicans have to ponder. I, unlike you son, have lived in Mexico, and the United States, one foot, here one foot their, for over 20 years. But that was long long ago. Mexico, for my taste, is better for a real Mexican to live in. And with AMLO as president of Mexico, we Mexicans who choose to live in Mexico, will finally see a new begining, not some old tired and used economic failure that FECAL is rehashing. Real Mexicans want a recount, voto x voto, casilla x casilla. The phoney false gringo loving ppl who I wont even call Mexicans, are against a recount. Oh and Jerry, will u quit assuming so much, you even call me Ms. please be so kind as to inform yourself what maya means...its not a gender based name..oh, i get it..its that your head is been in the USA so long, you confuse the name with Maya Angelo the black poet, so you assume that anyone who uses Maya is a female. Like I said, your simple.

Posted by: maya0 | July 25, 2006 12:44 AM

maya0, I stand corrected on my previous post:

Change: "maya0: HijitA, I admire your passion, but your logic and name-calling are atrocious."

To: "maya0: HijitO, I admire your passion, but your logic and name-calling are atrocious."

Jerry, in '68, then as now, I had a rainbow of friends, lots of different outlooks and social classes; ours, my family, were lower middleclass, but our extended family, and I mean big-time catholic family, encompasses just about all the social and political spectrum. What's weird is that some of the poorer ones are the more rightwing of the lot. So, please don't lump all of my friends together like that.

What's also evident is that there existed a dire and eminent need to bring to world attention the repression and corruption of the PRI Gobierno in those times. That's why I can't sympathize with all this alleged fascism of Fox, "Democracy's Traitor". Inept? Child-like grasp of reality? Complacency in the face of internal crises? Letting his spouse run amok? OK, we'll talk those points, but that traitor stuff won't fly. So what's Fidelito, Democracy's Savior?

I broke with the official leftist movements in '68 after the Alexander Dubček-led Czechoslovakia was ruthlessly eliminated by my Soviet brothers. I then went to study in the US on a scholarship and changed my perception of those white capitalist devils. And maya0, when you accuse people of being "gringo loving", I have to admit that during my stay, I did an extraordinary amount of loving gringos, just like a lot of the Mexican boys there did with the gringas. So I guess I'm now confirming my new reputation as a "notorious fascist and El Yunque member". Give it up, maya0, Jerry's on to us as undercover dirty-trickers a la Dick Nixon, working for the PAN.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 25, 2006 01:06 AM

Ms Maya, did you know that the planes the escuadron 201 went off to shoot down during the war were called "zeros"? So, your point is?

Go back to your art institute, compose a nice sculpture of AMLO, and you might even end up with a government job. Meanwhile, the rest of us who work for a living will continue to improve Mexico.

I also notice you did not have much to say about health care, immigration, Canadians, etc. Get out facted?

Incidentally, I had to look up Maya Angelo, as I really am not an intellectual. I can tell you who Bruce Dickenson or Alex Lora is, though. But, enough of that, I just got to look at the fascist TV Azteca news, and what did I see but perredistas attacking other perredistas in Teapa, Tabasco. If this is the way they treat each other, how are they going to treat the rest of us if they get their hands on power. And these were minor league perredistas, what will big leaguers like Camacho Solis, Munoz(fascistiode) Ledo and Bartlett do to any who dare to dissent?

On that happy note, I will bid you, Ms Maya, adieux. If you think you can discuss things without calling people names, by all means try. Until then, as Is said earlier, don't go away mad, just go away.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 25, 2006 01:10 AM

K Vronna, I am being sarcastic. You of all people seem to be more open minded than most, so you will surely remember exactly who I am talking about.

I think the poor have always tended to be more socially conservative, and generally resistant to change. After all, if you have very little, you do not want to risk losing it. Furthermore, I think it was Bunburrina who made some comments supporting gay rights, drug legalization, legalized abortion and other things. These are all worthy causes, but are not really on the radar of someone who is trying to put food on the plate tonight. He will support whoever he thinks is most likely to benefit him economically, and hang the social issues. (This is something the Democrats in the US have not learned, and is why the lower middle class is voting Republican now. Tell an unemployed construction worker about to be evicted that the most pressing issue facing either the US or Mexico is gay marriage and he will hit you with a hammer.)

Wealthier people who have got the essentials covered have more time to dedicate to things like social causes; have you ever met a poor animal rights activist, for example. I have not. Wealthy people with little education and big mouths sadly degenerate into what we are seeing in some of the above posts. And they do not help their own causes, they hinder them, buy turning off other wise open minded people.

PS Does El Junque pay money? Because I want some. Next time you see them to get your secret orders, tell them that, or I will defect to the Vatican.

Now I will go back to my normal Monday night pursuits, which are eating babies and beating my servants.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 25, 2006 01:20 AM

I dont consider name calling the indentification of what a person clearly is. Based on what they believe, many of the above PANistas, clearly show facists tendencys. Especially the double thinking they use, the twisting of facts, and ignoring history. Its important to identify the promblem, if you want to deal with it rationally. Not enough Germans when Hilter and his types where running around, had guts enought to nip that bud in the making. Well here in Mexico, where not willing to allow that to happen. If the name calling wasnt true, it wouldnt hurt. But obviously a sore spot has been touched, and so be it. AMLO tells it like it is, and thats so wrong for the media and big business and its middle class rich wanna bes supporters. AMLO is going to get the recount, or perhaps a annulment. Wont that kill all these ppl? Six of the seven men who are on the TRIFE, will be gone before the next president sits in December. These guys have nothing to lose. Chances are excellent for either a recount or a annulment of the elections. Voto X Voto, Casilla X Casilla. Be a real Mexican, and support a recount, dont be a sellout, and side with evil incarnate, which is what FECAL and his fanatical supporters are all about.

Posted by: maya0 | July 25, 2006 01:38 AM

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 25, 2006 01:45 AM

Again, the jerry, didnt get it. Maya, long before it was a fashionable name for some ppl to use in the USA, was and is the name of a people. The Mayas, and of course if you know a bit about pre colombian history, you would know that the Mayas where the first humans in history to master the concept of zero. Understand? Or was that way over your head Jerry? See how much you lie? You wouldnt have confused maya with a female name, unless you have close intimate contact with the so call gringo culture, which you clearly have. Spend some time with real Mexicans, in real Mexico. Right their in T.J. if you want. But its obvious that you would get lost outside of the campestre you probally live in.

Posted by: maya0 | July 25, 2006 01:50 AM

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 25, 2006 02:02 AM

To think that Mexicos health care systum is terrible, never worked for a living in the USA. Only one job of the many i had while living in the USA, gave health coverage, yet in poor little old Mexico, if you are a worker, for any company worth its wieght, you have health coverage, not the best of the world, but coverage non the less, much more than the avarage american worker gets. Oh, and about Canada, well, sure, theirs lots of Canadians in the USA, its right next door, but their hardly dying to get into the USA, and to compare them with those poor Mexicans who have no choice but to leave their countries with them, is real disrespctful, especially for all those hundreds that have died crossing over. So please dont harp me about name calling, or reminding me of rules of conduct, because ive yet to lie, or persoanlly attack anyone here. I just tell the truth, and it hurts sometimes, and well, that happens in a free country that allows free speech, which in Mexico we enjoy, no matter, what these baby facists want. AMLO will be president of Mexico. Voto X Voto, Casilla X Casilla. Be a real Mexicano, and not a typical vende patria. ¡Viva Mexico! ¡Viva AMLO! Con AMLO todo, con FECAL, nada.

Posted by: maya0 | July 25, 2006 02:05 AM

Oh, i understand Vronna last 2posts now, FECAL is simpley short for FElipe CALderon. However, I understand a lack of imagination, or perhaps a gutter mentality would take the name FECAL out of context. Or could it be, that theirs some truth behind it? One thing is for sure, the election stank. Let the TRIFE sort it out, only one more month to go. Veremos quien aguanta mas.

Posted by: maya0 | July 25, 2006 02:32 AM

Jerry, you are starting to look pathetic. You get cornered and start disqualifying with speculation and innuendo. However, I admire your persistence. But I work for a living and I will follow maya0's suggestion to stop arguing, and go back to work. It's truly amazing the volume of nonsense that you can spew, twisting and turning facts until you end contradicting yourself (e.g. nobody from the north of Mexico wants to open factories in the south, but Monterrey entepreneurs have generously opened factories is southern Mexico like... Cigarrera la Moderna: Wow!). You are so special that you don't drink Corona. That's OK, the most popular Mexican beer in the world, manufactured in Mexico City, probably doesn't suffer that much your sybaritic taste. Anyway.

K. Vronnna, you probably don't care, but I still don't get where you are coming from. What's the deal? What kind of left are you embracing? I'f you are a right-winger, leave the ideological closet behind: it doesn't hurt and can make you good. I may never know...

PS In Spanish, Jerry, is El Yunque (nothing to do with junkies, although, who knows?) Religious intolerance is at the door in Mexico, waiting for the PAN to open it up. Remember Pro-Vida and Serrano Limon...

Posted by: pasilla | July 25, 2006 10:12 AM

Pasilla, you are getting brain dead. Please cite where I said that "nobody wants to open factories in southern Mexico". I doubt you can. Nor did I say I do not drink Corona, although indeed if I am stuck drinking a Modelo product I will choose Pacifico. Finally, El Junque spells both ways, compare different newspapers. And, you forgot to remind us that the PAN wants women barefoot and in the kitchen, preferably pregnant. Just like during the Fox years.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 25, 2006 10:23 AM

Oh, I saw who made the Corona comment. He is actually right, thanks to the cartelization of the Mexican beer market, everyone is exclusive to either Modelo or Cuahtemoc. And, in the north, Modelo is on the losing end of this particular equation. If I actively sought out Corona, I am not sure where I would go to get it, not to the local OXXO or supermarket, they are exclusively Cauhtemoc. Thank the PRI for the beer cartel. Expect AMLO to keep it.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 25, 2006 10:28 AM

Pasilla-- Whether you agree with him or not, you will have to concede that Jerry Bourbon is full of interesting information and insight. I didn't know that Mussolini got his name Benito from Juarez, for example. His explanation on infant mortality rates in the United States was also instructive.

Maya0 also presents some interesting information, but I find it a little shopworn. There is that old rag about how the United States has run Mexico, except for the time when Lazaro Cardenas was president. I guess Roosevelt would have insisted he not nationalize the oil industry had he been a puppet like all the other presidents were. How did he alone manage to cut those strings? That would be a good topic for a historian.

Then there is the tired old bit about how Cuba has such great health care and how Castro is forced to be repressive because he is at war with the United States. What is interesting is how little attention Washington pays to Cuba. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union-- oh, some of those waving Stalin posters and communist flags in the Zocalo may not have heard about that-- the United States has not seen Cuba as much more than a minor annoyance. The same goes for Chavez, really. What can he do? He can try to sell his oil to Europe and have to transport it across the ocean, but clearly it is in his own interest to keep on selling it to his best customer right nearby.

Castro has been using this supposed threat from the United States to justify his repression for decades. He operates with a cold-blooded skill that would have given Machiavelli the shivers. Young leftists all over the world wear Che Guevara tee-shirts and Castro and his little buddy Hugo just went to visit Guevara's home in Argentina. But how many have read the history and put two and two together? How many see that Castro kept sending Che out on these suicide missions hoping he would get killed so that he could make an icon out of him and also eliminate any possibility that he might turn into a problem? He got rid of every other potential rival one way or the other so that the only major figure left from the guerrilla days was his brother and heir to the throne, Raul.

But getting back to Mexico-- That the United States has great influence in Mexico is not surprising. The United States also has great influence in countries that are not on its border. That does not mean that Washington runs the country. Fox, for example, disagreed with Bush on the war in Iraq, along with a lot of Americans, by the way, and I don't think it really mattered much in terms of overall relations. Nations tend to do what is in their best interest-- well, with the exception of Mexico which has often been led by people who would rather see the country sink into the depths of hell than have even the perception that they are subservient to the United States.

As for the "payback." That is another example of how stupid national pride can undermine a people's real interests. Offending the people who were sympathetic to the immigrant cause is not a way to gain friends and political allies. Most Mexicans and Mexican Americans know better than to buy this "reconquista" b.s. Most of them can take a look around Arizona and California and see that the land and resources are the same as they are on the other side of the border. So why is it so much nicer and so much more prosperous north of that line drawn on the map? Could it be that the United States is nation of laws with an open economy and opportunity for individuals with ambition to succeed whereas Mexico is a nation that is still held back by an antiquated legal system where corruption is rampant and statist policies still dominate?

That is why I think Calderon represents the true revolution. His proposed reforms of the judicial system, the fiscal system, the energy sector and others would give Mexico a chance to prosper so that the contrast at the border would not be so stark and perhaps thousands of Mexicans would not see their future living as low-wage workers in a foreign country where their presence gives people like Maya0 pleasure as some sort of "payback."

Posted by: Goyo | July 25, 2006 11:10 AM

note to Bourbon:

The Supreme Court has ruled out that
you have no reasonable expectations of privacy
while posting on this forum.

Posted by: ANO | July 25, 2006 11:16 AM

Pasilla and Maya love to talk about El Yunke and how it is behind the PAN and the right wingers, but they have no idea of what it is.

So far, I have only read about it in the usual cocaine prd-communist writers like Julio Hernandez and most of the loser at La Jornada. But other than that, even Lorenzo Meyer does not venture to mention them, I guess because he knows any serious reader will quickly ask for more detailed information, and there is non.

The fact is the PAN is a real political institutions and is the only one that really practices democracy in its internal elections and desicions. PAN has a real National Committe composed by delegates truly elected at the states they come from. Manuel Espino was elected to be the president of the party and even though he favored and supported Santiago Creel, Felipe Calderon won in an internal election.
It is funny to think that all these young people in the PAN would ever have come from an obscure organization.

PAN has build a solid organization that has lasted over the years, and many things have been said about it, but the organization remains constant and has maintained its political growth year after year.

So in my opinion, El Yunke is nothing but a product of the imagination of PRD people who cannot explain how an political organization does not need a mesianical leader, a all powerful man to dictate its future and take all the desicions.

There is nothing out there, there is no ultra-right in PAN because otherwise they would have never won any states or even the Presidency. It is all propaganda from the left, but it backfires, because by continually attacking PAN and trying to identify the people who support or are behind PAN, and we all know how PRD loves to identify evils with name and surname, and in this process, PRD has stupidly attacked a number of social agents, the business community, the church and its many and very active and financially firm religous organizations, pro-life organizations, private universities and colleges and many other organizations and institutions that do not depend on government help or favors. People in the PAN have a lot to thank AMLO, for many the people who voted for them and are joining them are doing so because of the fear of populism and radical socialist policies.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 25, 2006 12:09 PM

"On the other hand, what COMPANY that wants to create jobs for Mexico prefers Monterrey to Cancun? All of them I would think..."

Sorry, Jerry, but you sound so much alike your buddy emptyboxes... Granted, you didn't mention industry creation in southern Mexico by the all powerful, all smart and decent northern entrepreneurs, helping the backwards Mexicans of the south. But the rest of the comment stands: You look pathetic, disqualifying those who disagree with you with bigoted epithets.

Goyo: You're welcome to drink from Jerry's and emptyboxes "wisdom." I'm out of here.

Posted by: pasilla | July 25, 2006 12:30 PM

ANO (do you know what that means in Portuguese?), what exactly is your point?

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 25, 2006 12:50 PM

Bigoted epithets, Pasilla? Name one, please. That I have said, not been called. Take your time looking...

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 25, 2006 12:57 PM

"K. Vronnna, you probably don't care, but I still don't get where you are coming from. What's the deal? What kind of left are you embracing? I'f you are a right-winger, leave the ideological closet behind: it doesn't hurt and can make you good. I may never know..."

Pasilla, I think it would be useful to reread the posts before commenting so that we who participate in this discussion (that many times degrades into rants and raves from both sides) do not have to repeat ourselves.

1) I do not support AMLO because I believe he has involved himself and his movement with some of the worst of the old priistas that have ZERO ethics and were the biggest traitors of '88. I can't respect a movement that justifies any means to obtain its ends. I'd much rather keep my integrity intact than sell out my convictions just to see a so-called leftist that DOES NOT own the rights to universal leftist philosophy. To even think that there are universal creeds for either the left or the right is a naïve conception; the world changes everyday and dogma is a baggage that will sink any creative thinker.

2) In relation to personal freedoms, I refuse to fall into hypocritical stances that on the one hand, condemn Fox as a traitor to democracy and on the other, embrace regimes that jail people for expressing their views. Castro would take you and put you into a world of hurt if you wanted to express your ideas in Cuba as you do today in Mexico. (This also goes for the rightwing dictatorships that enjoy the backing of apologists from the self-righteous right, infringing on personal freedoms is to be condemned wherever it is practiced.)

3) I don't like large paternalistic governments that only want to secure their own survival and supremacy at the cost of their supporters. They think that we the people are too stupid or "naco" to know how to conduct our lives and economic activities. They interfere with the natural flow of ideas between INDIVIDUALS because they want to impose their ideological program on all and negate any negotiations that they do not control.

4) I went to the States to study and then I returned to work and live in the poorest of pueblos in the SOUTH of Mexico. I've never given up on the people of these pueblos and they have shown me that ready made ideological fixes are not welcome. If I've learned anything in these years of living with the poor, it's that they basically want two things: immediate help for those that have no resources and to be left alone when they're trying to make a life for themselves and their family. In just about all of my run-ins with the local pols in these rural areas, they've only wanted two things, a piece of the action on the earnings of any collective economic activities and the votes of all concerned if we want to be left in peace to build a better future. All 3 of the big parties have been guilty, but curiously the PRD has been the most abusive.

If you think that you can claim the moral high ground from your D.C. pulpit, my question for you is, have you ever lived your ideals and walked the walk by trying to create better situations for the underprivileged by working with them where they are found? Or are you like a lot of these fashionable leftists that like to be seen with the principle actors, but would not know the first thing about hard physical labor EN LOS PUEBLOS. It's offensive to many to hear that AMLO is the self-proclaimed savior of the poor when you see how his operators work in the field. At least with the right-wingers I know where they're coming from, but from the pseudo-left I have to look very closely to see where their true interests really lie, and many times it has nothing to do with the poor.

I'm sure you are disturbed by my positions because they don't fit the mold you have so neatly made for what you consider the "left". If those progressives among us want to see the promotion of fair opportunities for all, we'd better be more careful about whom we choose to represent us politically and most importantly, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND WORK WITH THE PEOPLE AND FORGET ABOUT MARCHES. Marches have never worked so well when it comes to feeding the poor and helping them build the future they deserve.

maya0: That FECAL comment was a new low, if you want to be taken seriously, please raise your level of debate and don't lie about not attacking your rivals, it's all there for all to see.

If there are any AMLO supporters willing to debate rationally without slurs and a minimum of respect for the participants in this blog, PLEASE join the discussion.

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 25, 2006 02:58 PM

K. Vronna:

I certainly believe there is nothing worse than a false prophets and mesianic leaders. They dress themselves in democratic clothes and talk about the poor against the rich.
Today we learn that PRD will press charges against Dr. Ugalde and IFE Counselors. It only comes to show how intolerant they are.
In their claim at the TRIFE, they have accused just about everybody who happened to think different than them, they accussed Oscar Mario Beteta, Pedro Ferriz de Con, Bety la Fea, newspapers and magazines and radio and tv programs alike, they also accussed the President, the IFE, all party representatives. It is incredible how far they are willing to go in the pursue of their goals. Nothing will stop them.

This simply tell us the kind of democrat Mr. Obrador is. Had he arrived to power, he would have probably destroyed Congress, dismissing the elected representatives and create one from only PRD representatives, just like Chavez did in Venezuela, and just the way Castro has done it in Cuba.
Now most Mexicans, and many who voted for AMLO too, can see the kind of danger the PRD has put our Republic in. AMLO is putting all our institutions at a terrible, yet unnecessary test, and many Mexicans pray today that our institutions will be strong enough to resist this criminal assault.
Now this group of ambitious politicians are feeling at a loss. The power and priviledges they seek to get is there no more and their first reaction is of taking their people to the streets and prepare the grounds for violence. Calling the people to the streets and feeding them with hateful accussations agaisnt the IFE, Felipe Calderon and our President, and after that AMLO tells them briefly to take it in peace. Give me a break!
There is violence in their words, there are false accussations of fraud, and as we speak, Claudia Shaunbam and her staff are looking desperately for some proofs of fraud, they have to find them, any little error can be construed as fraud, any video can be interpreted as ballot stuffing or fraudulent activities.
There is no stopping them. They will not stop threatening with mobilizations and other actions. Why? Who gave AMLO any right to decide for the Court whether there must be a recount or not? They are trying to confuse the public opinion by posting some 75 thousand documents of Actas that allegedly show fraud and errors. Yet they should take them to the Court. But they know these are only lies, they bet the simple citizen will not look at it and will believe them. All of the things they are doing now are not for the Court but the make their followers get angrier. They have the NAZI manual of propaganda and mass manipulation strategies.

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 25, 2006 03:30 PM

To paraphrase Spinoza's preface in "Tractatus Theologico-Politicus" - Rational thought has to deal basically with two predominant nonphilosophical institutions: political power and religion. The problem with religion is its tendency to degenerate into superstition while political power degenerates into tyranny. Superstition and tyranny are contrary to rational thought and threaten the existence of philosophical freedom. And this I quote, "Reason is always on the side of peace."

Si el saco te queda .........

Posted by: K. Vronna | July 25, 2006 07:13 PM

Radicalism occurs in both the Right and the Left. The way I see it, both sides bitterly claim the right to set Mexico's course. Internal struggles and old style politicians who failed to recognize the character of the new Mexican voters caused the PRI to go down to the third position. But the Lopez Obrador phenomenon and its nation wide success is more a strike of luck rather than the structured and progressive advancement of the left that so many socialism advocates prefer to believe. If I am right, the Lopez Obrador effect will go as quickly as it arrived and will leave nothing but trouble behind. We know his power structure will begin to crumble as soon as Felipe Calderon is declared Elected President. But the consecuences of PRD not being able to control its own political forces in an institutional way will have a long term effect in their internal relations too. How can the party of Jesus Ortega, Lazaro Cardenas, and Amalia Garcia be reconciliated with Manuel Camacho Solis and Mr. Monreal, or with Marcelo Ebrad for the same matter?
How can they accept the attempts of this people to destroy the IFE and now to blackmail the TRIFE? When will the moderates speak out in defense of IFE and our democratic institutions? It is the very future of their party that is at stake. PAN and the Fox administration will hold steadfast and along side our institutions and will help agaisnt any pressures coming from AMLO and his power-thristy partners and PAN and Fox know for certain that time is on their side. AMLO has invited Mr. Cardenas to attend his next meeting this sunday, at the same time the PRD is attacking his son Cardenas Batel for not helping AMLO win more votes in his state Michoacan. Will Mr. Cardenas, the elder, have the courage to speak out in defense of the IFE and TRIFE? Will he give in, perhaps risking being exposed as traitor by AMLO at his meeting and in front of a million people? Already they sometimes carry signs depicting Cardenas as a traitor.

What will happen to PRD?

Posted by: emptyboxes | July 25, 2006 07:46 PM

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

AND: (11) An on-going analysis of null votes (Walter Mebane and Yuriko Takahashi, of Cornell University --see http://polmeth.wustl.eduy), which is part of their analysis of elections in the
US and now in Mexico, has shown an abnormally high number of null votes in Guanajuato and Nuevo Leon. In these states AMLO's coalition had a low level of representation at the stations (33.9% in Guanajuato). This analysis uncovers a positive correlation between high
numbers of null votes and abnormally low votes for AMLO.

Posted by: Publius | July 26, 2006 01:47 AM

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