Down (But Not Out) in Mexico City

It's getting a little crowded in Mexico City's Zócalo, what with folks dancing, chanting, sleeping, eating and marching in the massive downtown square. The crowds gathered Sunday for the third post-election rally in support of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the populist candidate who thinks the July 2 presidential election was stolen from him by the conservative candidate, Felipe Calderón.

López Obrador protest in Mexico City
Thousands gather July 30 in support of López Obrador at the main Zócalo plaza in Mexico City. (AP Photo)

Demonstrating an appreciation for movie legend James Dean, López Obrador declared: "We're not rebels without a cause."

Just to refresh your memories, when the counting was completed, Calderón was named the winner by a margin of 240,000 votes out of about 41 million cast. López Obrador, a charismatic leftist, is challenging the results alleging widespread fraud and inappropriate interference by President Vicente Fox.

Central to López Obrador's strategy has been a series of big (and bigger) demonstrations that are part political rebellion, part weekend diversion. Organizers of Sunday's rally bragged of crowds in the range of 2 million to 2.5 million people. Police said it might have been half that. The numbers game is all but meaningless, since it is virtually impossible to accurately count that many people moving through downtown streets over the course of an afternoon.

This weekend however, instead of heading home after the rally, demonstrators stayed in the Zócalo, complying with López Obrador's request to establish dozens of semi-permanent protest sites across the country.

More from El Universal: "'I propose to you that we stay here day and night as a permanent assembly until the tribunal orders that all the votes be recounted so that we have a president-elect with the legality that we Mexicans deserve,'" López Obrador told the gathering in the capital's central square, the Zócalo, as well as hundreds of thousands of other demonstrators assembled before video screens placed along adjacent streets.

"The 'permanent assembly' will consist of camps along a stretch of the broad boulevard known as Paseo de Reforma, running from the Historic Center out beyond Chapultepec Park where a monument to the nation's oil industry stands alongside the entrance to the Periférico, the capital's main beltway."

Mexico City's newly elected mayor (and López Obrador ally) Marcelo Ebard and his wife hung out in the Zócalo until the wee hours, singing and showing their support for the demonstrators.

Even the big guy says he'll sleep in the square, believed to be the second or third largest in the world.

López Obrador Protests in Mexico
A view taken on July 31 from inside one of the "resistance camps" of López Obrador supporters at Mexico City's main Zócalo Plaza.(AP Photo)

Within hours of Sunday's rally, the Los Angeles Times spotted tents along Mexico City's two major boulevards -- Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida Juarez. Traffic, already hideous in the capital city, was crawling. But the former mayor and head of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (known by its Spanish abbreviation PRD), made clear the sit-ins should remain peaceful.

"'All the camps must have discipline, respect and cleanliness,'" López Obrador told the crowd, which approved the idea in a show of hands. "'Let's take care of the gardens, the historic monuments. No graffiti on public spaces and avoid provocation.'"

Thus far, the latest twist in Mexico's unresolved election saga is not -- repeat NOT -- dangerous or violent. In fact, one of the more quaint aspects to the civil disobedience is that many of the "protesters" have brought along plastic bags to pick up their own trash. Campaign Conexión also likes the fact that López Obrador, the father of Mexico's latest uprising, is asking doctors to visit the 47 encampments and treat anyone sick or injured.

Still the nervous nellies are fanning the flames of fear. El Universal ran a giant front page headline warning that López Obrador "threatened to strangle" the city and went with the 2 million crowd estimate.

The newspaper Reforma went one better, speculating that downtown workers may have trouble getting home from work with streets clogged by demonstrators. This makes Campaign Conexion wonder, when are Mexico City's streets not jammed?

Analyst and columnist Denise Dresser, in a tsk-tsk tone, quotes none other than Euripides to make her case that López Obrador is losing his grip on reality and even if he succeeds, this is hardly the way to take control of the fledgling democracy.

The Men (and Woman) Who Really Matter

All the marching and sitting-in has been interpreted by many as an effort to put public pressure on the seven-member election tribunal that is working to meet a Sept. 6 deadline to decide whether to ratify the election results, order a recount or nullify the results or schedule a new election.

"'The question is whether the differences will be resolved with mobilizations and pressure, or with reasoning and the law,'" winning candidate Felipe Calderón said in Monday's Mexico edition of the Miami Herald. Calderón also argued to the tribunal judges that there is no legal precedent for the recount López Obrador is requesting. In his appearance, he asked the tribunal to recognize his triumph.

And Calderón allies have been making none-too-favorable comparisons to the 1988 protests over an election many international observers concluded was fraudulent. A spokesman for the López Obrador team says actions by the PAN in 1988 were much more aggressive.

López Obrador has been on the rampage against Mexico's election commission. In an interview with Traci Carl of the Associated Press, he accused the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, of abandoning its neutrality and acting as a tool of Fox's ruling party. "You can't take IFE people seriously," he said. "They don't act according to the law."

But he told the wire service that the tribunal does have the power to order a full recount. "There isn't anything stopping them," he said, "unless they don't have the political will."

"If a recount is ordered, he said he would prefer to see independent observers brought in to carry out the count, instead of IFE," according to AP. "'For millions of Mexicans, this is about survival,' he said of his election. López Obrador said he didn't want the election annulled because he believes a recount will show that he really won, and 'put aside doubts' about the electoral process. He said he also was following the demands of his followers, who largely want a recount."

The never-ending campaign has meant a fresh batch of political ads. Calderón has spots on television, while López Obrador is spreading his message via billboards.

"Even Mexico's elections commission is getting in on the act, with radio ads boasting about the vote's fairness and efficiency. The fiercest and funniest attacks have come in the form of homemade videos distributed on Internet sites like YouTube.com," according to a piece in the Arizona Republic. "In one, Barney the dinosaur and a chorus of children sing a profanity-laden ditty taunting López Obrador. Another video, this one anti-Calderón, offers a primer on 'How To Commit Electronic Vote Fraud.'

Opinionistas

The "hysteria" continues, according to editorial writers at the Houston Chronicle. Even so, the paper acknowledges, López Obrador does have the right to challenge Calderón's razor-thin margin.

"But López Obrador has not spoken out forcefully enough against violence. As a champion of the poor and an effective former mayor of Mexico City, López Obrador has devoted himself to improving the well-being of ordinary Mexicans. Violence, he surely knows, would undermine all he stands for. That is all the more reason for him to sharply repudiate all talk of violence and prepare to accept the tribunal's ruling. Win or lose, López Obrador has a profound role to play in helping Mexico embrace the rule of law."

Columnist Ken Emmonds offers some insights on the markets and politics.

"Unlike many commentators, the markets have been remarkably sanguine about the importune victory claims of presidential candidates, the weighty decision that's before the electoral court, and the emotionally charged gatherings in the Zócalo. They're telling us that investors remain confident that Mexico will work its way through its post-election travails and things will return to normal in due course," he writes, offering a welcome breath of sanity. "The roller-coaster market that prevailed during the week following the elections showed an unsurprising bias in favor of Felipe Calderón, the pro-business candidate of the National Action Party (PAN). It rose and fell as the lead see-sawed between him and his main opponent, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Filtering out the white noise, the markets have remained calm or have actually strengthened over the past couple of weeks."

And columnist Fred Rosen sees value in Calderón's emphasis on jobs, but with a caveat: "But there is no social compact contained in this strategy, no plan for a sustainable future of well-being. Mexico needs the jobs, but it also needs to know that a cost-cutting move from the United States to Mexico is not simply one stop on the road to China," he writes.

"The likely Calderónista strategy to bring 'jobs, jobs, jobs' to Mexico will be linked to a global offensive against all 'inefficient' barriers to profit-making and private investment - including unions, social welfare and environmental protection. It will be supported by transnational manufacturers and by some Mexican workers who now see few alternatives to trekking across the Arizona desert. But it must be accompanied by a broader plan for long-term development."

-- Ceci Connolly

By washingtonpost.com Editors |  August 1, 2006; 3:15 PM ET  | Category:  Campaign Conexión
Previous: Antojitos: Mexico's Moore? | Next: From The Post: AMLO's Determined Defiance

Blogs That Reference This Entry

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/cgi-bin/mt/mtb.cgi/9144

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



The only thing missing in this sad picture is the Atencos swinging their machetes in Reforma.

What an irresponsible bunch of thugs. What about these kids not going to school? What kind of people will bring their babies to such an event? What about these nasty people cooking in the middle of the Zocalo?
What is going on in here? Does AMLO and PRD think this bunch of scumbags represent Mexico? No way Jose! You got to be kidding us. There is no way such lack of respect for the people of Mexico City can take place.

Thousands of small business owner are losing their income. Already the hotels and tourist industry is reporting losses as high as 20 million dollars every single day these bastards remain there.

What kind of Banana Republic allows for this kind of barbaric behaviour? They should send the army and get them out of there and put Mr. Obrador and his thugs in a mad house.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 04:56 PM

I would like to ask everybody, Jerry Bourbon , pasilla,Fco,Goyo,Marco Beteta, Maya0,Goyito, Get Real, Bunburina, K. Vronna, and the others to please be respectul and do not start offending anybody. Let's show we are intelligent enough to discuss in peace.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 05:02 PM

Here, here....

I second the comments as to the unbelievably thuggish nature of the Obrador 'protests'. As a person who spends a considerable amount of time in Mexico I can only say that this is all too typical of political opposition in Mexico. Instead of reasoned debate, people grab machetes, block traffic, and impose their will over those who have nothing whatsoever with the purported cause (in this case a threatened dictatorship as best I can tell).

I agree, Lopez Obrador is on his way to deserving some serious jail time. Let's hope he gets it.

Posted by: Dave Jones | August 1, 2006 05:04 PM

When foreigners see such an event, they smile and say "that's Mexico". It reenforces their view that Mexico is a second of third tier country with an archaic political system. Great damage to the national prestige is being done, but Obrador doesn't care: he has no international vision anyway.

Posted by: Greg | August 1, 2006 05:14 PM

Pasilla.

I'm sorry if I offended your sensitivities. I don't remember having said that I like Chucky's mother any better than the "Green child" or the Cow rat (Moo-rata). I did not defend Calderon's choice of allies. I just mentioned that this would not help the PRD's cause because of the tainted reputations of the people that they think can be their's. I just try to maintain the others in this blog informed of what I hear is going on and give my take on it.

I even agree with you that politics makes strange bed fellows. But, then again I don't think that any politician is infallible. I don't even grant that quality to the Pope on worldly issues.

Posted by: TG | August 1, 2006 05:32 PM

Now, even the intellectuals are beginning to be excluded if they don't follow the official partyline; check this from El Universal:

"A la petición de intelectuales que les han apoyado y que ahora les exigen el retiro del plantón en Reforma, como Carlos Monsiváis, Cota Montaño aclaró que son respetables muchas opiniones y las habrán de valorar, pero están decididos a mantener la resistencia civil."

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 1, 2006 05:33 PM

Lopez Obrador has bragged about not having much interest in the world outside Mexico. He has rarely left the country and once said that he saw no reason to go to Washington if he won the presidency. He said he would concentrate on Mexico, not foreign affairs.

Well, that all sounds nice, but the fact is Mexico is part of the world and the world is growing more interdependent every day. What he is doing now is telling the world-- "do not come here with your jobs, your investment, or your tourist dollars. This city is now under the control of people who may harm you if you try to walk down a street they have decided to block."

As Sergio Sarmiento noted in his column today, the victims of this spectacle are the people of the city, who not only have to put up with the inconvenience, the garbage, the loss of revenue and loss of work, but also have to pay for it with their tax dollars. The PRD government of the distrito federal is funding this whole venture.

I guess if you live in Mexico City and voted for the PRD, you are getting what you deserve. But it is a shame so many others are hurt by the selfish actions of this egomaniac and the fools around him.

Posted by: Goyo | August 1, 2006 05:38 PM

"thugs,nasty people,scumbags,bastards." all above words where posted by emptyboxes, and then emptyboxes asks that nobody start insulting nobody please.
Well, is this not enough proof that double stardards, and down right hypocracy dominate the moral ethics of FECAL, and the PAN and their supporters? Just like now when one watches about Fidel Castro and his failing health, and seeing how some people rejoice at the death, or prospect of death of a man. Death bringing rejoice.
What sickness, who are these people to be even considered human?
Clearly the side that AMLO represents is right, because its against these kind of people that have been running Mexico into the ground, having excess on the backs of millions. This will be tolarated no longer. AMLO is the legitimate President of Mexico. Mexico needs a recount, Voto X Voto. Casilla X Casilla, Con AMLO todo, con FECAL nada ¡Viva AMLO, Viva Fidel!

Posted by: maya0 | August 1, 2006 05:41 PM

This are such a good forum to express our thoughts, congratulations to all and Ceci Connolly.
What I would like to know is the why mexican press haven't spoken anything about the costs of the "megaplanton". I was watching an aerial view from Televisa (Oh My God! does that make me a Panista?) and you can see that the number of people installed in the camps are far less the number of the people that attended last Sunday, very few people are in each camp, those camps are very well organized,and the tents are brand new and definitely you can see that somebody is paying for that service, in Zocalo are not only camps but also sound systems and a stage which also have to be rented, and in Av. Juarez there is a fair with games that of course have to be rented too, Who is paying for all this??? Those things are expensive in Mexico, All those come from our taxes?, Obrador is rich?, What is the real cost of Obrador madness and who is paying for it??

Posted by: P. Valtierra | August 1, 2006 06:51 PM

Here you go again, K. Vronna. Where in the text that you transcribe it says anything about intellectuals being "excluded."? You interpret the challenge to your twisted readings as anger. Not so.

Posted by: pasilla | August 1, 2006 07:35 PM

Maya0, you are right on that double standard thing.

I'm starting to feel kind of concerned about that megaplanton in Mexico City. I wonder if the Federal goverment is thinking in handling that matter later on.

I hope they are not THAT STUPID to repeat a Tlatelolco '68 Part II I'm saying this because I've been reading in other blogs about the presence of militar convoys doing a few rounds. They think Fox is bluffing and I really hope he does.

Posted by: Get Real | August 1, 2006 07:41 PM

These are peaceful demonstrators who want democracy! I don't know where "thugs" came from. As far as kids being at the rallies and not in school, hellooo it's summer time, would you prefer they be working in a sweat shop. Speaking of kids I drove from Vancouver, BC to a gun show in washington state last saturday. Just out of curiosity. Every single person in the place were white males, many of them bring their young boys to play with the AK-47s and other machine guns. Which you can buy without any waiting period or restrictions. While travelling home I noticed the Pro-Iraq war people were occupying all the flyovers on the I-5. Of course they made all the children stand in the pollution all day waving American flags as cars whizzed by them.. They weren't too concerned for their childrens safety were they?

Posted by: manesso | August 1, 2006 08:31 PM

The PRD followers let themselves be fooled by what Encinas keeps saying: "We are not going to use violence to remove them, we do not believe in violence, etc. etc."

The fact is, The DF government was constitutionally elected and that gives them the power to remove by force if neccesary, people illegaly obstructing important avenues where Mexican people who need to go to work cannot pass or drive.
That is not violence or repression, that is only the simple application of the law to something that is illegal.

Only a dumb can imagine that Fox will send the army anytime.
Fox can simply remove the DF Attorney (Procurador) Mr. Batiz and Joel Ortega the Secretary of Security and President Fox can put his people there and have this people remove from the streets, they can always do their thing at the Zocalo or in a park, nobody really cares about that clown anyway.

But being as how our President Fox is such a nice guy, he ceded the right to choose the important officials to Mr. Obrador when he was the DF Governor, something he never appreciated, as it has been his attitude towards our President, same as when the Desafuero, which, in spite of all the rethoric from hypocrite and biased liers like Monsivais and Lorenzo Meyer, the desafuero was not ordered by President Fox but by the Supreme Court, which is independent from way before Fox arrived to power and which ordered the Fiscal Attorney to promote such Desafuero against Mr. Obrador for disobeying a Court Order.

So you see. This is all nonsense.

I guess these bastards know very well that Mr. Calderon has seen how they pay good will and courtesies. Mr. Calderon will appoint himself the next Procurador de Justicia of DF and the next Secretario De Seguridad and they will then apply the law and give the city back to its citizens.

This is why they are jumping. Because they know very well that Mr. Calderon is going to have a mayority in both houses and will be able to remove Marcelo or anybody if they get on the way.

Double standards is what AMLO and those thugs practice everyday.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 09:05 PM

Manesso:

The protestors do not want "democracy". They want Obredor to become President by any means. He is in accord.

Posted by: Greg | August 1, 2006 09:06 PM

The closer the hour gets the AMLO jumps and cryies. This poor fellow can stay quiet one single minute. He has to be yelling all the time like a vegetables vendor at the marketplace.

What a far difference from a man of law and order who paciently waits and goes to meetings with representatives, real representatives of our community. He and his staff offend nobody in their daily activities. He does not call his people to take to the streets even though he got more voters. And he wisely prepares the ground for the national reconciliation to come.

While this thug at the Zocalo spreads his hatred and offends and tryies to blackmail the city by saying: I will not leave until there is a full recount.

What a sad spectacle. Hasn't anybody told him that sometimes is necessary to recognize defeat?

It is the culture of the victim. Oh I am the victim of a desafuero! Oh I am the victim of a fraud! Oh I lost because of Sabritas, don't buy any! Oh I lost because of Jumex don't buy any!, Oh I lost because of Banamex, don't bank there! Oh I lost because of Wal mart, don't shop there!

What is this nonsense? When has a candidate of any party in then whole democratic world blame a whole company and try to affect the people working there just because the shareholders of the company, in the exercise of their constitutional rights, support a particular candidate?

What is this stupidity? Was he planning to destroy these companies had he won? What a destructive mentality.

I ask you fellows who support this clown: How the heck in the world is this guy going to get to be President acting like that?

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 09:22 PM

Hey this is to all of you, both PAN and PRD and to all people who believe in democracy.

That Hypocrite scumbag dictator Fidel Castro who terminated all freedoms in Cuba and has dictated the life of those poor people for 50 years while He and His brother and family and good buddies have been living as kings.

Well this same scumbag Castro is starting the die. The miserable took a while, but his day is coming and all the people in Island are preparing for a beautiful day when this criminal get eaten by the worms.

He will pass the Cuban Crown to his brother, who has the right because of his royal blood, but the positive thing here is that the bastard is going to die soon.

I hope he dies as soon as possible, it will be a better world for all of us.

I am sure we all Mexicans who love democracy will agree. Or Not?

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 09:54 PM

manesso-- So what the heck is your point? There are stupid people everywhere, true.

Perhaps you are late to this blog, so I will bring you up to date-- Our problem is not with Lopez O or any of his people exercising their right to challenge the vote in the tribunal or voice their opinion in the street. They have that right which everyone has everywhere in the western hemisphere with the exception of Cuba, where, with any luck, the old man may be about to exit and change may come.

Our complaint is with the lies, deception and distortions used by AMLO to denigrate Mexico's intitutions and its democracy. It is clear he had no intention of ever accepting any vote that went against him. I remember some weeks before the election hearing a Calderon advisor say that there would be trouble if Felipe failed to win by more than three or four percent. They knew even then that AMLO would challenge any close result and that he would send people to the streets.

Also-- You should recognize that there are protests and then there are disruptive acts of intimidation. The pro-Iraq war people you describe apparently violated no laws and did not impede any traffic. Whether you agree with them or not-- and I find it hard to believe they were really pro-war-- they carried out their right to protest without disrupting other people.

AMLO and his mobs are occupying the main thoroughfare in Mexico City and preventing thousands of people from working, shopping, going to the doctor, etc. That is not what I would call peaceful and lawful protest. Of course the police will do nothing because the PRD runs the city. In most other countries the police would arrest anyone disrupting traffic or blocking access to hotels, clinics, shopping centers, etc.

Posted by: Goyo | August 1, 2006 09:54 PM

I heard from a gentleman today who is 90-some years old. He wanted to go to pay a bill at a store on the other side of Reforma from where he lives. The mob would not let him pass in a taxi, so he had to take a bus, which they did let through.

So here is typical lefty logic-- They will let the peseros and buses through because they are the modes of transportation used by the "people." But what about the poor taxi drivers who are losing business? Aren't they "people," too?

Posted by: Goyo | August 1, 2006 10:00 PM

Again, for the second time, I would like to ask everybody, Jerry Bourbon , pasilla,Fco,Goyo,Marco Beteta, Maya0,Goyito, Get Real, Bunburina, K. Vronna, and the others to please be respectul and do not start offending anybody. Let's show we are intelligent enough to discuss in peace.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 10:09 PM

It seems to me every week AMLO makes another mistake. This new thing about blocking the Reforma and other avenues is now affecting many other people who are begining to get angry at him. Including, no doubt, many of his own supporters.

But the message is clear. He is threatening with unrest. Everytime the case avances at the Court, he makes another move.

One thing is clear to me:
His desicion to call to a permanent stay at the zocalo and on reforma is an economical measure. He does not have the money to make another huge meeting, and the summer vacations are over and he fears another meeting will bring less people, and less. In fact, I do believe the second meeting had more people than this one. This last meeting was carefully studied by several instutions and they counted less than half a million, including Reforma where they did an outstanding investigation proving there were only 360 thousand people.

So I guess two things from this. One, the money is leaving, two, the DF government cannot give too much cash to AMLO because the authority is watching through the banks and this can affect Encinas and many people in DF Government in the future when Calderon takes power. But the DF can provide support through its suppliers who can bring all the things and food needed for the Planton at the zocalo. So this was easier.

I also have my own doubts as to what AMLO really wants. I believe all these calls to Calderon are in reality a message calling him to negotiate a deal. Perhaps money or a political favor. But it does seem rather strange to see him calling on Calderon to accept a recount when he perfectly knows Calderon will never accept it. He will not play to his game. So what does he want, I guess that is the question.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 10:26 PM

Manesso, if we could buy guns with no waiting period in Mexico, I have a feeling the tlatelolco massacre and the 88 fraud would never have happened. Unfortunately the only people in Mexico allowed to have firearms are cops and criminals.

Remember, fear the government that fears your right to bear arms.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 1, 2006 10:26 PM

Borburina: I cannot but feel sorry about what you and many people have to go through because of what Mr. Obrador's endeavours.

Mexico City is such a beatiful place and its enduring and hard working people do not deserve to be treated in such a disrespectful manner.

I am indeed hearten by the hope that these contemptible and inexpiable sit-ins will be the lasts ones of its kind.

We cannot have this disgrace of a President.
I ask:
Where is the democrat?
Where are the Juarez Principles?
Where is the tolerance?
Where is the respect for the law and the constitution?
Where is the care for Democracy?
Where is the hope he represented?
Where is the care for the country?

Who does he think will be affected mostly in case all these situation unfolds into an economic crisis? The Rich who can save their money in foreign banks?

It will all be paid by the poorest people of our country, they will be ones who will end up paying for more debt and crisis and high interest rates and the poor blue collar workers will end up earning less for more work and paying more for less food and goods.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 11:21 PM

Today I had a little taste of hell. I had to do something important in the Polanco area and, what usually takes me 45 minutes to do, took me nearly 3 hours! 3 hours in the heat, hungry and thirsty, without peeing, locked in my car, stuck in traffic! All of course, due to AMLO's megaplantón. The saddest part of all is the disrespect AMLO is treating his supporters. He is making this poor people to stay away from home, he makes them live in the streets, do their necessities in the bushes of Reforma (it does smell bad), then cook in the benches nearby (very higienic) all for a very dubious cause. Primero los pobres... yeah right. If one thing was clear for me today is that he doesn't give a rat's ass about them; for him they are just "carne the cañón". I understand them being mad since their candidate lost. But I don't think they believe there was a fraud; they want to believe that it happened which is a very different thing from reality. And he's taking advantage of that and using them for his greed, for his egotitiscal purposes.

So yeah, thanks AMLO for the Ciudad de la Esperanza.

maya0 - I don't think that posting "viva Fidel" is helping you in any way to support your arguments. Fidel Castro was definetely a hero when he brought Batista down. Every single cuban thought of it. Some good family friends from Cuba, upper middle class, gave my parents a huge painting depicting Mr. Castro as a hero and they couldn't stop thanking them for throwing Batista out. Three years later they fled the country, without a cent, to Miami. If only Fidel Castro had stayed in power two or three years and avoid becoming one of the worst dictators of the 20th century... Fidel Castro is at the same level of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Trujillo. He's been worse than Fulgencia Batista, the man he defeated. Cuba has the saddest history.

Posted by: bunburina | August 1, 2006 11:24 PM

I, for one, don't think anybody is listening to each other any more, why continue pushing the same points over and over? Having said that there are two questions I belive have not been answered by the AMLO supporters:

-As I asked in the previous blog entry's comments: why, if the PRD is not looking for annulment, are they looking to open more than 20% of the electoral packages? This is something that practically gurantees anullment, per the law.

-Why is the PRD not alleging massive fraud on the Senate and Congress vote, which was made under the exact same conditions? They seem pretty content with THAT.

At this point all this looks like a mute point, as the court, which has until August 3 to deal with the Congress and Senate election challenges, has already expressed opinions against a total recount in the decisions that have already been handed down. AMLO has lost and he knows it, the type of struggle he's conducting demonstrates this as he's burning any and all bridges, trying to debilitate all institutions involved, from the President to international observers. He'd be undermining his own ability to govern.

The PRD has lost the vote by vote war, but we still have to look at the vote tally after the successfully challenged polling stations are recounted. I believe they will still be behind after those recounts.

BTW, does Vegas has odds on a recount? I bet they're some long odds.

P.S. Does anybody else detect a hint of preference to AMLO by Ms. Connolly?

Posted by: Ariel R. Orellana | August 1, 2006 11:48 PM

OK, So do you fellows remember how Camacho Solis went to Washington to allegedly gather international support. Well he is back and I have been reading the WPost, NYT, WS and other international and influential newspapers and to no avail. Nothing.

So what was Camacho doing all the way over there?

I believe he was negotiating something with the PAN.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 1, 2006 11:50 PM

-Why is the PRD not alleging massive fraud on the Senate and Congress vote, which was made under the exact same conditions? They seem pretty content with THAT.

That's exaclty what I've been asking myself. If there was a fraud in the presidential election the logical thing would be that it also happened in the Congress voting too. They happened the same day, people voted for president and Congress at the same time. Same thing with the mayor of the DF. It happened at the same time. It would be really cynical for them to say that the only place where the fraud didn't happen was the DF because (guess what) it is ruled by the PRD.

Logic tells me that if the PAN won more seats in the Congress than any other party, then it is pretty logical that they might have cleanly won the presidential election. The PRD seems to be overlooking that since they have just become the second political power in congress for the firts time and they don't want to jeopardize that. Quite convenient not to complain on what you're winning right?

Posted by: bunburina | August 2, 2006 12:07 AM

I think the left is already breaking up, hope more people realize about the insanity of Obrador

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/366098.html

Monsivais himself talking about "insensatez"

Posted by: A. Ramos | August 2, 2006 12:58 AM

bunburina:
"Logic tells me that if the PAN won more seats in the Congress than any other party, then it is pretty logical that they might have cleanly won the presidential election."

And there was much difference there with PAN getting 206 and PRD 160 or less.

But PRD claims to have won 16 electoral districts.
AMLO's indifference to the Northern regions of the country, he berely visited these states and their lack of party infrastructure these almost erased him from these districts.

This was due to the lack of vision of AMLO, he wanted to get huge meetings and that only happened in the DF and the south east states but in the north and some of the central regions his meeting were too small and he did not want to be seen in small meetigns.

Felipe Calderon was campaigning heavily in the south and his meetings looked very lonely but he was doing the right thing, he was campaigning most where AMLO's popularity was higher.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 2, 2006 09:17 AM

God! How much I'm enjoying all this disjointed, futile chattering. emptyboxes should give a try to science fiction writing; he's so good at wild speculation. And bunburina may want to write on alternative, new age philosophy, with that so peculiar "logic" of hers...

Keept at it, fellows, while reality passes you by.

Posted by: pasilla | August 2, 2006 09:44 AM

I was re-reading some of the amazing nonsense; I chose as an example the following:

"Because they know very well that Mr. Calderon is going to have a mayority in both houses and will be able to remove Marcelo or anybody if they get on the way..."

I hope, emptyboxes, that this is one of those that you call "cocaine ideas," and not true PAN plans. Marcelo (Ebrard, I guess) was democratically elected by Mexico City voters. Can you please explain to me how Calderon is going to remove him if "he gets on the way?" Otherwise, I have the right to assume that AMLO was on the way of Calderon's appointment to the Presidency, and PAN has done averything possible, legal or illegal, "to remove him." Is this what you mean?

And bunburina, have you heard about divided voting? Mexico is not a parlamentary democracy, in which the party with the majority in Congress appoints a Prime Minister. People can vote for one party for president and for a completely different party for other offices. There are several other reasons, among them some very practical ones, which may explain why PRD is not contesting other results.

Nobody has come up with the estatute or jurisprudence that indicates that the opening of above 20% of the electoral packages is an automatic cause for election annulment. What I believe is cause of annulment is gross irregularities, NOT THE PROPORTION OR NUMBER OF PACKAGES OPEN. But again, I'm more than willing to be shown wrong, if somebody takes the time to find out, instead of speculating.

Posted by: pasilla | August 2, 2006 10:33 AM

Wow, this is the second time I read this column and it feels as if Miss Conolly is a true AMLO fan. I am really surprised to see this prestigious newspaper allowing her to be the least objective as possible. Please read other columns in different Mexican newspapers so you can have a much clearer pespective of what is hapenning.

Posted by: Lunatico | August 2, 2006 11:32 AM

Funny, Lunatico: is a piece of writing "objective," only if it matches the pre-conceived view of the facts that the reader has? The post we are commenting on looks pretty objective to me; Ceci has put things in perspective: a city of the size of Mexico DF is not "under siege" because 10 km of a boulevard are blocked. Is this disruptive? You bet. But democracy can be messy sometimes. Smart negotiations should be the only way out of the problem.

Posted by: pasilla | August 2, 2006 11:55 AM

The Great Tenochtitlan Commune of 2006 is a pale immitation of the Paris Commune of 1871, though the delusional AMLO fancies himself in that mold. I told people in this blog this would happen, and it did. A Tammany Hall machinery run by the PRD in the capital claims to speak for all Mexicans, RIDICULOUS. The chilangos had it comming for voting for AMLO. They deserve their chaos. Starve the damned beast, move the federal government to another place, and let the navel-gazing Tenochtitlan Comune rot in its own urban stew.

Posted by: Gabriel | August 2, 2006 12:02 PM

Pasilla: You are right

Calderon lost and he and his thuggish right-wingers know that very well.

That is why they are acting to desperately calling of their PAN fanatics and lunatics to do all kinds of cracy things. Felipe Calderon has repeteadly told us that his desperate and cocaine actions to get the presidency were not going to affect the community.
But he is a big lier and we all know. All his right-wing fanatics are now disrupting and affecting our community. That is why people and memebers of our community, business leaders, taxi drivers, even the church and important Mexican Intellectuals are all asking Mr. Calderon to stop his fanatics and brain-washed right-wing followers from doing all these stupid things. Yes, they are free to demonstrate their right-wing aspirations of power and to try to impose their religious and stupid free-market beliefs, but as long as they do it pacifically and without affecting the normal life of the people of Mexico City, who by the way most of the people did not vote for Felipe Calderon, or better, Fecal.

Moreover, the Panistas and this thug Fecal aren't listening either to the international press that has condemned Felipe Calderon's irresponsible attitudes and his resistance to recognize the results that clearly favored Mr. Obrador.

But we know the DF government will act responsibly and obligate this stupid fanatical Panistas and Felipistas righ wingers to do their protests and install their tents on parks and to free the Paseo de la Reforma and other important avenues blocked by these underachievers, who are being manipulated by Felipe irresponsibly and by Televisa and other media networks who are playing the game of the extreme right of our country.

I sincerely believe this is ridiculous, AMLO won and there is no doubt about it, he has the right numbers and he will show them at the right time and on the right media network. Yet he is acting with deep understanding of this critical situation and patience and honor and most important, with high responsibility. Now, that is a real President and not that scumbag of Calderon who does not stop his campaign of lies and continues manipulating his people and taking them to the streets and invading the zocale and creating a mess in the city.

And furthermore Mr. Calderon is throwing away all his political capital and compromising the future aspirations of his party. This only comes to show that all the PRD always said about this man was true.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 2, 2006 12:10 PM

"I told people in this blog this would happen..."

What, exactly, did you tell us was going to happen? Truly, Gabriel, without epithets or hysterics, what is really happening?

Posted by: pasilla | August 2, 2006 12:45 PM

Thanks to Cecil Connolly for an excellent review of the ongoing activities, working hard to gather accurate facts and diverse opinions.

I also hope that these brave and courageous democracy activists in Mexico prove a valuable model for those of us here in the United States, who have mainly been silent while the people sent to manager our elections have been Republican partisan hacks (at best, some allege criminals at worst) with no regard whatsoever to fair voting procedures or, more importantly, the appearance of unchallengeably clean elections.

Posted by: El Cid | August 2, 2006 12:57 PM

The small inconviences that a few are suffering because of the mega planton. Its only for a couple more weeks, nothing lasts forever. Think of it as nothing more than some construction project and adjust your life around it. Its not every street in Mexico City thats affected. So be a adult and adjust, it wont be there forever. Now about Fidel, well, Cuba is at war with the USA for what? almost 50years? How life would have been diffrent had no embargo been put in place, no bay of pigs, no attempts on Fidels life, no bombing in Cuba or of its airlines. Castro is the military solution for any USA invasion, thats why hes lasted so long. The USA is proven a paper tiger time and time again from vietnam to iraq. Since Cuba is free from USA domination, its seen as a threat to the USA hemonagey in Latin America. So if Castro took actions that arent popular, look to the USA for the blame. Just look at the USA and see who is behind Felipe Calderon, Fox, Zeddillo, Salinas, etc. etc. All educated at the top schools of the USA for the ultimate benefit of the USA. This is what makes AMLO so important for Mexican history, hes independent of the USA, he owes them nothing. That is why hes seen as such a threat to the USA and their benefactors, like all these PANistas who post here. So on with the Mega Plantones, and whatever else will be tought up to put the whole world on notice that things are not going to stay the same as always, that a real Mexican is going to take power in Mexico, AMLO the legitimate president of Mexico. Voto X Voto, Casilla X Casilla
Con AMLO todo, con FECAL nada

Posted by: maya0 | August 2, 2006 01:13 PM

pasilla-- "democracy is messy" Yes, but blocking streets is not what comes to my mind when I hear the word democracy. No one is against AMLO's legal challenges or even his speaking out at rallies, but we are against his attempts to undermine institutions like the IFE without sufficient evidence of wrongdoing and his use of disruptive tactics to get his way.

In any case, there are now clear signs that his strategy is starting to unravel. The Monsivais comments are an indication that many people around AMLO are starting to have second thoughts. As the anger builds in DF, the PRD leaders are going to have to start weighing what they may owe to AMLO for his leadership in this election, drawing many people to the polls and substantially increasing the party's presence in Congress against what they stand to lose if they let him go on with this futile rant.

In the end, AMLO will be left alone down in the Zocalo, sitting in a tent with his inner circle, while the rest of the world moves on.

Posted by: Goyo | August 2, 2006 01:40 PM

Pasilla,

I agree with you that people have a right to dissent. But, I thought that pacific civil resistance was the way that the weak confronted a powerful government to correct unjust or illegitimate actions. It has been seen as a method for the victims of abuse to gain some victories because they have the backing of ethical and historical reason.

My main objection to the current situation is that it contradicts the essence of civil resistance. It is obvious that the DF Government is collaborating with the people that decided to block the streets.
This means that instead of a legitimate fight of the weak against the unjust or illegitimate actions of a powerful government, we have a crude fight between two powerful adversaries.

With this blockade the PRD, Lopez Obrador and Government of the DF stop being victims and become executioners because they violate the rights of a defenseless population.

Posted by: TG | August 2, 2006 01:47 PM

Goyo:

You have been predicting doom since one month ago. Ain't happened. Let's wait and see. I'm not sure what you understand by democracy, but in my view in a of democratic society public institutions are not "sacred." They are challenged all the time, because they are constituted by flawed humans, as we all are. The plaintiff in a court of law presents evidence; if it doesn't hold water, it's rejected, and sentence is dictated. Period. He or she has the right to appeal veredicts of lower courts. This is called due process, and in my book is also a critical element of democracy. What does your book say about the right of people to dissent? As I said before, the blocking of streets is inconvenient, but the solution to this problem is negotiation, not violence. Or are you going to demand the "strong hand" so cherrished by neo-PAN politicians? And I make this distinction, because inconvenience was justified when now President Fox blocked highways, or an airport, or when old guard PAN memebers blocked in Chihuahua the international bridges.

Posted by: pasilla | August 2, 2006 02:06 PM

Lunatico:

Reforma, Washington Post, Arizona Republic, El Universal (and the Miami Herald), LA Times, and Houston Chronicle... Ceci uses all these sources, and provides the links. With all due respect... what the heck are you talking about?

Greg:

I don't have a full recollection, but I believe the blocking of the international bridges happened back when Don Luis H Alvarez governed Ciudad Juarez, in protest for the hijacking, by the Federal Government, of monies destined to Juarez; some PAN follower can correct me if I'm wrong...

Goyo:

"Also, back when the PAN carried out such actions, there was a real justification..."

PRD justification is not "real" because you disagree with their claims?

"You will see, in the coming days, how rats start abandoning his ship..."

My great-grandfather was a member of Porfiro Diaz's rural police. One day, the imminent End of the World was announced; it would happen at midnight. My great-grandmother decided to take my grandmother and her other children to a nearby park to watch the event. She announced to my half-sleep great-grandfather that it was time to go. He, having seen so many nasty things in his lifetime, answered: "Go ahead, you tell my about it when you get back," and went back to sleep...

Well, Goyo: you tell me about it when it happen...

Posted by: pasilla | August 2, 2006 02:14 PM

The most worried people in Mexico had better be the leaders of PRD right now - if they look ahead to future elections. Obrador is doing a wonderful job of decreasing popular support for his party. Every day that he inflicts inconvenience on Mexico City, thousands more of his margin supporters are flipping loyalties. If the election were held again tomorrow, I wonder what the new results would be?

Posted by: Greg | August 2, 2006 02:53 PM

Pasilla:

When did PAN block the bridges in CD. Juarez? Are you sure you aren't thinking of the old CDP party and the Zapatistas?

Posted by: Greg | August 2, 2006 02:56 PM

Pasilla, what I am saying is that people should read news from different sources, sources where different perspectives are offered, something I did not perceive reading this column. Probably that would do you some good...

Posted by: Lunatico | August 2, 2006 03:00 PM

Pasilla-- Yes--due process! That is what is taking place now in the tribunal.

You wrote: "The plaintiff in a court of law presents evidence; if it doesn't hold water, it's rejected, and sentence is dictated. Period."

Perhaps you should send that to AMLO, because he thinks the "period" should be followed by "and take to the streets and raise hell if the verdict is not to my liking."

Of course, AMLO did not even wait for due process, he started his blockades before the tribunal even had a chance to sit down and calmly review the evidence.

As for Fox and whatever the PAN did way back when-- First of all, I am not here to defend Fox or the PAN. There are probably a lot of areas where I would disagree with them. I supported Calderon because he was the more reasonable and forward-looking candidate. I did not initially like him and there are still some things about his personality that irritate me, but I think he was the better choice. The same goes for Fox in 2000.

Also, back when the PAN carried out such actions, there was a real justification. At that time the PRI held absolute power-- "the perfect dictatorship" as Mario Vargas Llosa put it. Today the situation is completely different. Had there been no tribunal to which AMLO could appeal, or had the government refused to hear his complaints, then he would have been justified in carrying out protests and maybe even been justified in blocking streets.

You will see, in the coming days, how rats start abandoning his ship.

Posted by: Goyo | August 2, 2006 03:19 PM

Funny. My last comment appears in the queue higher than the comments I'm talking about. I have started to read minds...

Posted by: pasilla | August 2, 2006 04:01 PM

Now Pablo Gomez have given another threat, "If Fox doesn't like our demonstrations he can bring the army in", that make clear who really would like things turn violent, Violence will legitimate PRD aspirations, they dream to be national heroes stopping a new Tlaltelolco, portraying themselves as victims, very good apprentices of Obrador.

Posted by: A. Ramos | August 2, 2006 04:34 PM

Provocateurs

That is what AMLO and his people are. They have been calling on Felipe Calderon every single day to agree to a vote recount. AMLO has been calling the President names so that he responds.

And now the blockings. And the DF is not doing anything of course, waiting for the Federal Government to do it instead.

Pablo Gomez, that hypocrite frustrated congressman, is challenging President Fox to send the Federal Police to take care of the blockade of Paseo de la Reforma.

How imbecile AMLO and his PRD people are. The Reforma blockade is the best thing ever happened to PAN and Felipe Calderon and President Fox in a long time.

These destructive and annoying actions from AMLO only legitimate Presidents Fox intervention in the electoral process to favor Felipe Calderon. The people understand now how correct the President acted by supporting Felipe Calderon. Another problem is that the people start are only talking about the blockade and not about AMLO demands of vote by vote, that comes in second place in the chat. The people can also compare AMLO's actions and threats and offenses (yesterday he said Fox suffers amnesia, today something else) versus Felipe Calderon's messages of prudence and patience and hope and reconciliation.
The Federal Government is also pleased to see that DF Government and AMLO are exposing themselves. First AMLO orders the blockade of Reforma, second Encinas allows it, Third the people get angry at Encinas and his DF government for not acting agaisnt AMLO. People are not even getting angry at AMLO, they know the guy is crazy.

Already there were polls taken last week showing a huge drop in AMLO's popularity and an increase in Felipe's. I can wait to see the new ones after this stupid blockade.

Go on AMLO! Don't stop your blockade. Do not let those Panistas convince you of lifting it. Come on!.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 2, 2006 04:47 PM

Hot of the presses

Amagan con cerrar puentes fronterizos
Buscan presionar al Trife para que cuente voto por voto

Matamoros, México (2 agosto 2006).- El movimiento nacional por la democracia que apoya las movilizaciones postelectorales de la coalición por El Bien de Todos y a su candidato Andrés Manuel López Obrador, amenazó con tomar este viernes los puentes internacionales de Reynosa y Matamoros.

En conferencia de prensa, Jorge de la Rosa, coordinador de la agrupación en Tamaulipas, dijo que con la medida se busca presionar al Tribunal Federal Electoral para que se cuente voto por voto y casilla por casilla esta misma semana y que dé un fallo antes del 6 de septiembre.

"Sabemos que estamos violando la Ley al bloquear una vía federal de comunicación, pero más delito está cometiendo el Gobierno al permitir el megafraude en la elección del 2 de julio", señaló.

En Reynosa se tiene previsto bloquear la vialidad por dos horas o más del puente Benito Juárez, mejor conocido como Reynosa-Hidalgo, mientras que en Matamoros anunció el cierre de la circulación en ambos sentidos del Puente Puerta México, el cual registra la mayor influencia vehicular.

"Lamentamos que se vean personas afectadas, pero parece ser que estas medidas resultan ser el único recurso aceptable para que se haga justicia", precisó.

Posted by: TG | August 2, 2006 04:54 PM

Pasillo:

The Cd. Juarez municipal government threatened at one time to put up their own toll booths on the bridges to, in effect, double the fee for crossing. It was pretty tongue-in-cheek and they never took any action. That may be what you're thinking about.

The defunct CDP blocked a couple of the bridges sporadically back in the 90's and I think the Zapatista's did so once also, but never for more than a couple hours at a time and never more than one bridge. With all the traffic crossing those bridges, such acts are widely unpopular.

The Zapatistas actually got creative once. They took over the Telmex offices in Chihuahua and put a donkey in the lobby!

Posted by: Greg | August 2, 2006 05:54 PM

Pasilla-- I think we are narrowing in on where exactly we disagree. The PRD is not justified in taking the disruptive actions it has taken because there is a legal mechanism open to the party and its candidate. The tribunal has not even ruled yet, so what justification is there for blocking roads?

Just imagine how many people could die as a result of this activity. If someone is on the way to the hospital in an emergency and they cannot get there for three hours because of the traffic jam caused by the road blocks, who is to blame? Not the tribunal, they are following the law and deliberating. Not Felipe Calderon, all he is doing is waiting for the tribunal decision and going about his business in the meantime.

Senor Encinas would be to blame for not enforcing the laws. President Fox would also be to blame for not taking action to prevent lawlessness, even if he would be accused of repression and federal interference in a DF matter. But the man who would be mostly to blame is Lopez Obrador.

Posted by: Goyo | August 2, 2006 06:20 PM

Today we read how Fidel Castro is delegatign his dictatorial powers to his brother, as though Cuba were some kind of kingdom and the Castro Family were the Royal Family with governing rights passed on by the blood.

For all the talk about Cuba, the fact is that graduated Cuban engineers are today working as prostitutes in the Havanna Bars. When you get out of the airport, teenagers, mostly girls quickly approach you to offer you their services, it is sad.

This is a picture of what could have happened to us by putting the wrong person in power in our country.

AMLO has got some psicological problems. He does not recognize authority but his own will and that is a real danger.

He will be remember in history as the very example of what Mexico does not deserve.


Posted by: emptyboxes | August 2, 2006 06:52 PM

emptyboxes I am your father:

Yes of course President Fox intervened. As Encinas did in favor of AMLO and Marcelo "Chucky" Ebrard, I have never denied it and you and Pasilla will thank Fox when this is all over and AMLO ends in a mental hospital.

But in the light of what is happening now, people do not mind Fox supporting Calderon at all. Quite the oppossite, the people, specially those in DF who are now regretting their stupid choice and are asking whether is possible to change their mind.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 2, 2006 07:04 PM

--- These destructive and annoying actions from AMLO only legitimate Presidents Fox intervention in the electoral process to favor Felipe Calderon

Here we go again boy, so you aknowledge that it was ok for Fox put his dirty tricks in action only to avoid AML to win this election. So how in the world is this a fair democracy then?

What the heck is inside that head of yours? I don't longer know you. Your are a total disgrace to our filthy rich family.

Dad

Posted by: Emptyboxes I am your Father | August 2, 2006 07:22 PM

I am very impressed of reading the remarkable viewpoints of people participating in this blog. However, I do not see any one really concerned with the possibility of violent social unrest. I am deeply worried with social breakdown, because it erases everybodys gains in every aspect of life, such as wellbeing, job, money, family and future. Mexico is a society founded in disparity from its very beginning, the winners over the loosers, the whiter skin over de darker, the rich over the poor, the powerful over the subject. The real danger is the spark of this electoral event in the highly explosive fabrics of history.

Posted by: Oldtimer | August 2, 2006 08:18 PM

Oldtimer-- You are right. Mexico has all the volatile elements for class warfare and bloodshed. Most sensible people therefore favor an orderly society of law rather than the rabble in the streets. What AMLO is doing is playing with fire. My impression is that he would rather see the whole country in flames than admit to his own mistakes and the fact that he lost.

His actions of recent days have made it impossible for him to ever run again with any credibility and if he were to become president he would have a hard time getting anything done since he has gone out of his way to offend and alienate almost every important sector.

Let's hope some of the smarter people around him take control soon and put an end to this nonsense.

Posted by: Goyo | August 2, 2006 08:45 PM

So now PAN is having a pic nic. And what was supposed to promote the Vote by Vote thingy, turned out becoming complaints from all the community, even from those not affected by the blocking of Reforma.

The discussion is about Encinas. About an illegal and unpopular blockade and about a man who apparently takes all desicions himself and does not consult with the other people in his party at all.

Even scumbags like Monsivais and other lame mediocre apologists of his lies and blackmail, even them are now "politely asking" for none of them dares to raise their voice to strongly condemn what is clearly an offense to Mexico City and its people.
Of course this not an offense for cocaine people like the morons at La Jornada, specially that mediocre writer Julio Hernandez who is, himself, an offense to any intelligent and reasonable citizen of this country.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 2, 2006 09:22 PM

I don't think that there is going to be violence, I am not AMLO supporter, I don't like him, but I have gone to the camps in Reforma, just to see, what I could saw was that the people are calm, they are not destroying the pavement as some newspapers say, there are children there and lots of "acarreados" from states, but at least none who I can define as violent, there is a lot of verbal violence among politicians more that among people, I think that AMLO is also playing to scare people, specially politicians and of course the Tribunal Judges are his targets, people on the camps are just poor innocent people who are used as cannon meat and pawns.

Posted by: A. Ramos | August 2, 2006 09:26 PM

Mexicans are too machos, that means they bluff a lot but never go to the end, maybe politicians would like to have violence, but few people will follow them that way.

Posted by: Charles R. | August 3, 2006 12:06 AM

Interesting questions. If AMLO had "won" by .6%, and the PAN was alleging fraud, and set up tent cities on Reforma, would Encinas and the GDF tolerate this? Or would the granaderos move in and remove them forthwith?

If AMLO gets annointed president by the TEPJF (doubtful, but nothing is impossible), and, in a year, unhappy citizens are camping on Reforma, will AMLO leave them in peace, to disrupt the life of the DF, or will they be transformed into a "conspiracy" against AMLO, and removed?

Just wondering....

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 12:27 AM

It would seem to me that congress would has the legal right to declare the "disappearance" of government in the DF. (This is what the maestros want them to do in Oaxaca, to get rid of Murat's puppet.) Since, AMLO himself promoted regulations prohibiting street blocking, and the government is obviously not enforcing the law, for political grounds, it is not governing. If this continues much longer, look for Encinas in an unemployment line.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 12:44 AM

HEHE! You read it from me first, this just appeared in El Universal

Alistan recurso para desaparición de poderes en el DF

Preparan organizaciones civiles el documento para presentarlo en el Congreso de la Unión a fin de remover al jefe de Gobierno y el secretario de Seguridad Pública capitalino


Jorge Octavio Ochoa
El Universal
Ciudad de México
Miércoles 2 de agosto de 2006
15:47 Dirigentes de organizaciones civiles preparan un argumento jurídico (que presentarán esta semana) para que la Comisión Permanente del Congreso de la Unión declare la desaparición de poderes en el Distrito Federal por violaciones a los artículos 73 y 74 de la Constitución.

También estudian la posibilidad de pedir al presidente Fox que ejerza su facultad para remover al jefe de la Policía y designar otro con el fin de que éste instruya el desalojo de los manifestantes que bloquean avenida Reforma, entre otras vialidades.

También advierten tener indicios de que el Gobierno del Distrito Federal está patrocinando con recursos y alimentos, las movilizaciones de la coalición Por el Bien de Todos, amén de que hay evidencias del robo de luz directamente del alumbrado público.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 01:53 AM

Just watching the news about the hailstorm and downpour in DF, looks serious. What I didn't see was anything about how the people in the camps made out, has anyone seen anything yet?

The reason for staying in the camps might have been the cost factor; it takes a lot of dough to payroll the marches.

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 3, 2006 03:24 AM

STATISTICIAN: BENFORD'S LAW ANALYSIS OF MEXICAN VOTE RESULTS SUGGESTS RECOUNT NEEDED

First, allow me to apologize for my error above and thank Ceci (and not "Cecil" as I incorrectly typed) for the review.

Walter R. Mebane, Jr., political scientist and scholar in the application of statistical methods to political behavior, has performed a statistical test to the published IFE results and concluded that a recount is likely needed, though of course he is only concluding that the election results have deviated too much from an expected distribution than desirable, and cannot conclude why.

In a paper prepared for 23rd Annual Summer Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology, July 20-22, 2006 he studies election results from Florida in 2004 and from Mexico in 2006.

Below: the address for the Adobe PDF version of the paper:
http://polmeth.wustl.edu/retrieve.php?id=620

Mebane employs a statistical analysis based on Benford's law, which has to do with the observation that in looking to large samples (such as voting or census data), there is actually a predictable distribution of how often the digits (i.e., 0-9) should appear in a certain position (in Mebane's analysis, the 2nd digit from the left), and that if the digits appear to skew very far from the expected distribution, then there may be a problem, such as errors or some type of fraud ('fraud' may include cases in which data is made up or manipulated for other reasons than aiming at a desired result, i.e., no one ever originally gathered the data and they're making it up).

From Introduction:
"In this paper I study a statistical method intended to help detect election fraud. Other methods, using regression- based techniques for outlier detection, have previously been proposed to help detect election anomalies... The method described here is distinctive in that it does not require that we have covariates to which we may reasonably assume the votes are related across political jurisdictions. The method is based on tests of the distribution of the digits in reported vote counts, so all that is needed are the vote counts themselves. Being based on so little information, the method cannot in itself diagnose whether an anomaly it may flag is a consequence of fraud or of some other kind of irregularity. But, as I show, some patterns of fraud will cause the method to trigger. So the method is best understood as an indicator for places where investigations that use other kinds of information -- for instance, audits of election administration records and manual ballot recounts -- might best be targeted."

He concludes that there is enough departure from the expected model at his level of analysis to warrant a manual recount, whether of a sample or, of course, a complete recount.

From Body:
"The 2BL {2nd digit Benford's Law} test results for secciones certainly suggest there are problems with the 2006 presidential vote counts in many Mexican states, although probably not in most of them. More refined analysis is needed to reach sharper conclusions, but the general impression is that more intensive investigation of the election results is in order. That might include doing a manual recount of many -- perhaps all -- of the individual ballots. A cost efficient method may be to begin by recounting a random sample of the ballots -- all the ballots in a sample of secciones -- where the probability that a seccion is selected for recounting is greater in places where the 2BL test results are worse. For such an exercise it may be reasonable to conduct 2BL tests for secciones collected into sets that correspond to the legislative districts they are part of, with sampling for purposes of initial recounting done at the level of districts. Perhaps a two-stage sampling plan could be used, with districts selected at the first stage (weighted by the 2BL test results) and secciones within each district selected at the second stage. If such an initial sampling did identify problems with the vote tabulations, then the case for a comprehensive manual recount would become extremely strong."

Now, Mebane is NOT saying that there is any evidence that the deviation favors one or another party -- in fact a recount may very well favor Calderon, but since manual recounts are a standard tool in democracies, this is no radical recommendation.

Posted by: El Cid | August 3, 2006 08:50 AM

To RC: as to predictions of what may happen after a hypothetical recount, I agree that if a recount favors Calderon then it is possible that there will be further activism by AMLO, but I don't think it will be possible to demand annulment because typically the TEPJF in the same ruling will rule out annulment. (And even if there is an appeal to the Supreme Court, I'm sure they will quickly back any decision by the TEPJF.)

The same question should be posed to the right: if a vote recount favors AMLO, what would they do?

I think both (or more correctly, all) sides should think very seriously about the next stages of their activism no matter what the results are -- for example, let's say that every avenue ends up indicating that AMLO truly lost the election. The right wing and uppermost classes often believe that the only possible outlet for the grassroots activism so far led by AMLO is "thuggery" and violence. But a wise person, which I hope AMLO either is or aspires to be, might think very seriously upon the question of what positive forces such an energetic grassroots left / liberal mobilization might yield. It's not the case that every time that hundreds of thousands or millions of people turn out, that these are merely brainless villagers coming with torches to burn down the castles. Democracy doesn't stop with the filling of official positions: that's where it begins.

Finally, the technical point is absolutely appreciated: a statistical irregularity does not in any way suggest that a recount would change the results.

What a complete, thorough, open, and observed recount would *definitely* do -- in my view -- would be to address the feeling of distrust which has clearly been expressed by many people. And I believe such a recount would help increase trust not just in the results themselves, but in the Mexican institutions involved; yielding a feeling that popular concerns have been listened to and appropriately considered.

Posted by: El Cid | August 3, 2006 09:39 AM

Walter R. Mebane has done a number of reports that "prove", for example, that there was fraud in Ohio in 2004, reports bought and paid for by the Democratic Party. There is no law against this, of course, but no mainstream researcher has backed up his claims. Someone who is pro-democrat in the US is probably pro-PRD in Mexico. So, his report is to be taken with a grain of salt.
"There are lies, dam lies and statistics."

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 11:55 AM

El Cid:

I'm not opposed to a complete recount per se although I suspect AMLO may try to use the inevitable discrepancies to then demand anulment. However, don't put too much faith in statistical studies the suggest irregularities. Some dimwit academic ran a study a the supposedly "proved" anomolous results in the 2004 Presidential election in that New Hampshire, so Green Party candidate Ralph Nader petitioned for a recount and it verified the original results.

Posted by: RC | August 3, 2006 12:25 PM

I have never seen such complicity between a government and his own party eversince the worst times of the PRI, but they weren't as insolent as Encinas is.

This is ridiculous, in their mind they feel they are governing only for those who voted for them and the rest are also their political enemies.

I have seen this same mediocre mentality before when during the problems between Hugo Chavez and President Fox, some journalist asked L. Cota, the president of PRD, whether he felt offended as many Mexicans did and to the shock of the great Mayority of Mexicans he replied: No, I do not feel offended, Chavez didn't offend me, he offended Fox and Fox is not my President.

This is the kind of tribal and dogmatic mentality of the Mexican left where they are suppose to be so intellectuals and end up people like AMLO, Marcelo Ebrard, Camacho Solis and the other expriistas hungry for the power they never got when PRI was governing.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 3, 2006 12:30 PM

To TG:

Wow, do you even care that you just accused a real scholar of using unreliable and ethically questionable data?

No, apparently not. Because, "as you can see", whether or not the PRD ever contacted or spoke with Dr. Mebane, read the following:

From Mebane's Paper, page 20, Footnote 5:

"5. I downloaded official vote count data from the website of the Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE),
http://www.ife.org.mx/, on July 13, 2006."

And what did you say about Mebane's sourcing?

"As you can see, Mr. Mebane's data was provided by the PRD. This was done after Mitofsky declined to participate."

I respectfully request that you apologize for making (perhaps an unintentionally) disrespectful accusation of Dr. Mebane -- in that were your allegation correct, he would suffer the rebuke of his peers for using a questionable and biased source, a rebuke far outweighing the disapproval of internet blog posters.

I also respectfully request that you apologize to me, for your having been so lazy that you didn't even care to download the paper and examine the source of Dr. Mebane's data, which might have taken you 2 minutes to do.

Posted by: El Cid | August 3, 2006 12:38 PM

Here is a nice story, from El Universal, about how the PRD is "helping" the Mexican working class.

Historia del día: El plantón esfuma las propinas

Rubén Castro / ELUNIVERSAL.com.mx
El Universal
Ciudad de México
Jueves 3 de agosto de 2006
12:45 Las mañanas han dejado de ser el lapso de más movimiento para los meseros de Sanborn's de Juárez y Humbolt desde que hace cuatro días tienen a su puerta el plantón de la coalición Por el Bien de Todos. Con la ausencia de clientes, las propinas también se han esfumado.

"A esta hora estaba casi lleno y ahora está vació", menciona Suhey Castañeda, mesera del lugar, quien señala con la mano las mesas con carpetas y cubiertos listos para su uso, pero sin ningún comensal que los ocupe.

Menciona que al haber menos tránsito de clientes, las propinas también se ven mermadas. Calcula que la clientela ha descendido hasta en un 50%.

"Al estar tapada la avenida, la gente no puede pasar y por lo tanto no vienen a consumir", dice.

Desde hace un año, Suhey trabaja cuatro horas diarias en el restaurante. Ese lapso era suficiente para obtener cerca de 50 pesos en propinas para completar su sueldo. Hoy tiene que conformarse con la mitad.

A madrugar

La joven revela que se levanta más temprano de lo habitual para llegar a tiempo al restaurante, donde labora desde las 6 a las 13 horas.

"Vivo en la Roma, tomo un colectivo en Insurgentes pero me deja en Morelos, por lo que tengo que venir caminando. De regreso uso el metro, pero está muy lleno".

Aunque la también estudiante de derecho en la UNAM considera que el PRD tiene derecho a impugnar, cree que el plantón está por encima de los derechos de terceros.

"El PRD tiene derecho de impugnar, pero creo que el plantón rebasa los límites, ya que sus derechos terminan donde comienzan los de los demás".

En la línea de guerra

Al encontrarse en el ojo del huracán (sobre Juárez) la mañana de este jueves le tocó atender a unos simpatizantes de López Obrador.

"Llevaban sus pancartas y todo, venían con la idea de manifestarse en el edificio de la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores y sinceramente me dio mucho coraje, creo que eso ya es excesivo".

Al limpiar una de las mesas del establecimiento, otorga un último comentario: "cada quien tiene sus ideales, pero creo que hay que ser coherentes, ya que no puedes pelear por la legitimidad, cuando ellos hace lo contrario".

Suhey acepta que de continuar la asamblea permanente en un mediano plazo, su sueldo podría verse mermado, por lo que confía que el conflicto post electoral se resuelva lo más pronto posible.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 02:00 PM

Maya0, isn't there some kind of TOEFL requirement for the art institute of chicago? Not only are your postings incoherent, they are illiterate. What, pray tell, does Fidel have to do with the presidential race here in Mexico. I would assume he backs AMLO, but who cares? Why do you bring him up?

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 02:00 PM

Maybe the tribunal will go for a full count to resolve these questions and maybe AMLO will be declared winner as a result. Then Mexico will be faced with six years of this erratic, anti-democratic, above-the-law egotist in power. Of course, his power will be limited because he will not have sufficient votes in Congress and, having offended and scared major segments of society, he will have little support from anyone.

What a nightmare for Mexico!

If AMLO was seen as a danger before this-- his actions of the past week have shown that all those fears were justified.

Posted by: Goyo | August 3, 2006 02:06 PM

Goyo, you HOPE it will be only six years...

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 02:09 PM

The following article is very interesting, from Pravda, excuse me, La Jornada:

It sounds like there is discord within the PRD, as even AMLO has been making noises about no more criminal activity until the TEPJF rules. Monreal would appear to be directly contradicting him. I think that the interests of AMLO (in winning power) are beginning to diverge from those of the PRI thugs who surround him. Monreal, Camacho Solis et al benefit from general instability, this allows them to consolidate their own positions of power. This is all most interesting.


Intensificará coalición acciones de resistencia: Monreal

Agencias

03/08/2006 12:16

México, DF. Ricardo Monreal, coordinador de redes ciudadanas de Andrés Manuel López Obrador, informó que la coalición Por el bien de todos intensificará en los próximos días en el marco de la ley las acciones de resistencia civil pacífica.

Las acciones seguirán, "no nos vamos a esperar" hasta que el Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación resuelva sobre el recuento de votos, subrayó en entrevista.

Según algunas fuentes, se conoció que ayer miércoles Andrés Manuel López Obrador canceló la "toma" de edificios públicos, que comenzaría a las seis de la mañana de hoy jueves, como un gesto de "buena voluntad" hacia el Tribunal; lo que no descarta (la coalición) es la "toma" del Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México.

Al respecto, Monreal comentó: "va a haber muchas cosas todavía; es probable, la resistencia civil tiene muchas variantes, la resistencia civil pacífica seguirá ejerciéndose.

Agregó que todas las medidas de resistencia civil generan molestias, "por eso se llaman así, no son cualquier cosa ", precisó, pero enfatizó que todas las acciones se toman de manera colegiada.

Ninguna de las medidas son cómodas para nadie, tanto para quienes lo padecen como para quienes las integran, pero "el futuro del país está en riesgo, la democracia está en peligro y lo que estamos haciendo es lo correcto para evitar que se consuma un atraco electoral, lo que deseamos es que recuenten los votos".

Andrés Manuel López Obrador frenó ayer en su "asamblea informativa" nuevas acciones de resistencia civil y anunció que esperará de dos a tres días a que resuelva el Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación sobre su pedimento de contar uno a uno los sufragios de la elección presidencial.
Al plantearle que con esas medidas -el bloqueo de la BMV el jueves por la mañana- se pone en entredicho la palabra del político tabasqueño de esperar a que el TEPJF resuelva en torno a la demanda del conteo de voto por voto, casilla por casilla, respondió que "no, porque fue una decisión colegiada nuestra y él la respetó, porque las decisiones las tomamos colegiadamente".

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 02:14 PM

What is wrong with you poeple?
Calling thugs, scumbags and nasty people to all the people that is right now in the Zocalo...
In what country do you live?
Most of the people that are in the Zocalo square, live in such terrible conditions anyway.

Have you even visited the Zocalo recently? I'm sure you haven't becuase you'd realized that reality is very different than its presented in tv news or some newspaper.

Shame on you if you are mexicans. You don't live near the horrible reality that exists in most areas of the country. All those poeple just want a change that was not given by Fox and certeinly will not be given by Calderon since he started making a fraud. Maybe Obrador will not make that change but we'll not let Calderon be president since he didn't won.

I didn't vote for either of them but I am sick tired of being manipulated and not doing anything.

What did you expected from such a big protest?
That everything will remain calm and normal. Can you stand four weeks to work for democracy instead of six whole years of fraud?

Posted by: Djnx | August 3, 2006 02:41 PM

El Cid:

I think your post is related to this report published back on the 26th of July.

Buscan en EU a especialista
Dice el profesor Walter R. Mebane que los contactos han sido informales
26/07/2006

WASHINGTON.- Simpatizantes de Andrés Manuel López Obrador gestionan la asesoría de un connotado experto estadístico estadounidense para reforzar su argumento sobre la inexactitud en el conteo de votos en la elección presidencial del 2 de julio pasado.

Luego del rechazo de Warren Mitofsky, intercambiaron información con el profesor Walter R. Mebane, uno de los más renombrados especialistas en estadística electoral de Estados Unidos.

"Ellos me mandaron datos. Ocurrió que mi investigación estaba en un punto donde pude utilizar los datos mexicanos sobre casillas electorales", indicó el experto de la Universidad de Cornell, quien desarrolla métodos para detectar conteos erróneos de votos.

"Estoy actualmente en la fase de ver si un método mío puede detectar un fraude en las elecciones de EU. Aún no lo sé, pero hay buenas razones en este momento para creer que sí puede detectar un fraude".

Asesor del Partido Demócrata para un análisis sobre el conteo de votos en Ohio en el 2004, Mebane explicó que sus contactos con México son aún informales, a través de académicos de la UNAM y la UAM ligados a la campaña del perredista.

El fin de semana, Mebane utilizó los resultados a nivel casilla de la elección mexicana para una ponencia en la reunión de verano de la Sociedad de Metodología Política de EU, donde concluyó que es necesario un estudio más detallado.

Sugirió que antes de un recuento total de los votos quizá se necesite un conteo parcial en secciones electorales elegidas de forma aleatoria para identificar si hay problemas.

"Si esa muestra inicial identifica problemas con las tabulaciones del voto, entonces un recuento manual total se convertiría en algo extremadamente importante", apuntó.

As you can see, Mr. Mebane's data was provided by the PRD. This was done after Mitofsky declined to participate.

Posted by: TG | August 3, 2006 02:49 PM

I congratulate Ceci Connelly for her objective report about what is happening in Mexico City.

As a concerned an informed citizen who comutes daily to Avenida Reforma to work I want to manifest my full support for the camps of the Coalition.

It is a fact that the protest causes important inconveniences to all of the people who work in the area. Nevertheless some of us have managed to adapt by getting up earlier in the morning or using the subway. I was, in fact, one of the several thousand who got jammed for four hours in yesterdays hailstorm. Beleive me, the camps played a minor role in the chaos generated by obstructed sewers.

For those bloggers who live in Mexico City that work near this area, I extend a sincere apology and hope you understand the importance of this measure.
I quote one of the signs placed by the protesters near Eje Central avenue: "Disculpe las molestias que esta obra pueda ocasionarle. Estamos construyendo democracia".

As for the resources needed for sustaining the camps. The large tents and portable WC's have been paid by Coalition congressmen (and congresswomen) and public administrators out of their personal salaries. The food, tents, chairs, improvised movie theaters, cultural events, etc. have been brought by the very same protesters (this weekend, some comrades and I will prepare 300 tortas to distribute among the campers).

Although local commerce and tourism have reported steep losses, the Mexico City government will implement tax excemptions that will cover most of them.
Also, they plan to open the Diana Cazadora and Ángel de la Independencia glorietas for transit as well as the avenue's "laterales" (already Periferico, Circuito Interior, Rosales-Bucareli, and Eje Central are open to circulation across the camps, while parallel avenues like Chapultepec, Constituyentes, Durango, and Alvaro Obregón provide alternative routes from East to West or viceversa)

Let me point out an important fact: there's a very simple solution to this predicament. If Felipe Calderón agrees to a vote by vote recount, the Coalition will immediately raise the camps and cease the movilizations (note: I am perfectly aware that the implementation of such a measure is an exclusive attribution of the Electoral Tribunal; nevertheless, an agreement between the main political adversaries towards a measure that will restitute certainty (a principle established in the 41st article of the Constitution) will certainly contribute to political distension and may give (should the results favor the PAN candidate) Felipe Calderón the legitimacy he, at present, lacks.

Recent examples (year 2006) of close elections that were resolved with a vote by vote recount:
1. Costa Rica
President Oscar Arias won by a very thin margin over his closest adversary. A vote by vote recount was implemented and Arias won again, this time with a broad sense of legitimacy.
2. Italy
Romano Prodi won by a slight margin of votes over Silvio Berlusconi. The vote by vote recount took place and italians were reassured that his victory was legitimate.

The Coalitions plight to the tribunal is not annulment but a fair recount. There are aproximately 1,600,000 votes with arithmetic inconsistencies that the Coalition believes were stolen.
There are, mainly, four kinds of arithmetic inconsistencies:

1. The total ballots assigned to the "funcionarios de casilla" is not equal, as written on the "actas de casilla", to the sum of the votes for the 5 candidates, plus the null votes, plus the non registered candidates' votes, plus the unused ballots.
There are 1,104,376 votes that fall into this category.

2. The total deposited ballots are not equal to the sum of the votes for the 5 candidates, plus the null votes, plus the non-registered candidates' votes.
There are 199,465 votes that fall into this category.

3. The nominal list of each "casilla" plus 10 (which should be, according to law, equal to the total ballots assigned to the "funcionarios de casilla") is not equal to the sum of the votes for the 5 candidates, plus the null votes, plus the non-registered candidates' votes, plus the unused ballots.
There are 258,822 votes that fall into this category.

4. The nominal list plus 10 is not equal to the sum of the total deposited ballots plus unused ballots.
There are 58,525 votes that fall into this category.

The sum of all 4 arithmetic inconsistencies is equal to 1,621,188 unaccounted votes.

My source is the "Recurso de Impugnación de la Coalición Por el Bien de Todos" which, I might add, has already been recognized by the Electoral Tribunal as valid evidence to support the Coalitions claims.

PAN supporters: let these votes be recounted. If such inconsistencies were human errors commited with no intention to aggravate a particular candidate or party; if the 35%-35% streak is repeated in these unaccounted votes then you will have the evidence to prove that López Obrador was wrong and there was no fraud (during the election). In such a case, even I would recognize Calderón as my legitimate president.

Reasons why the Coalition opposes annulment:
1. The president's mandate would be shortened from 6 to 4 and a half years.
2. The interim president would be elected by the PAN, PANAL, and PRI majority in Congress. This situation translates as an inherent weakness due to lack of independence of the executive before the legislative power. If structural reforms (such as the fiscal, energy or laboral reform which the Coalition defenitively opposes) were promoted, the interim president would be constrained to excercise its right to veto the initiatives.
3. The new electoral process would take place without correcting the "fallas de origen" of the last process:
a) Lack of representation of the left in the Consejo General del IFE
b) Illegal participation of third parties in promotion of candidacies (art. 47, fract. 1 & 13 of the Cofipe)
c) Campaign spending limit breaking
d) Usage of goverment programs for political proselistism
e) Deviation of oil excedents to said goverment programs aimed at political proselitism.
f) Manipulation of the corporatist vote by the SNTE led by Elba Esther Gordillo
g) Illegal posession of confidential personal data contained in the electoral census.
h) Campaign espionage directed by the intelligence services of the Executive Power (Cisen).
i) Manipulation of electoral results via cibernetic alterations on the PREP and "recuento distrital".

Note: Expecting your angry rantings around the points I have just mentioned I'll just state that I have proof of all of the above. However, I'm tired of defending again and again the validity of my sources against obtuse arguments so you'll just have to do your homework.

As for the origin of "civil resistance", the PAN did block the border bridges, did took over important highways and did establish camps as measures to protest electoral fraud in the 80's and 90's. Francisco Barrio Terrazas, Luis H. Álvarez, Manuel J. Clouthier, Vicente Fox Quezada, and, to a lesser extent, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, participated on these measures. I can't believe this party or its followers! They have no historical memory!

Posted by: fco. | August 3, 2006 02:49 PM

Djnx, if you didn't vote, why are you complaining. Non voters deserve whatever they get in the way of government. Many people have posed this question in the past, but, I will pose it again. What change does AMLO and his posse of PRI thugs (and I do not know what other word to use but thug to describe someone like Camacho Solis or Murata.) represent? In what way do they propose anything different than what was already, and disasterously, tried under Lopez Portillo and Echeverria? Please enlighten me? I understand they represent change for the PRI dinasours who will be able to get their hands back into the public treasury again, but what change to they represent for you or I?

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 02:52 PM

Fco, the PAN did indeed involve itself in civil disobedience in the 80's and early 90's. They did so because there was no IFE or TEPJF to appeal to. Now there is. End of discussion. (Unless you think the TEPJF is corrupt, I suppose.)

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 03:05 PM

Fco, your points (and my fascist, racist, sexist, junque influenced responce):

3.A Lack of representation at the IFE. Your people boycotted. Mistake on their part, not mine or IFE's. Your fault, stop whining.

3.B 3rd parties promoting candidates. Prove that PAN was involved. If not, it is not their fault.

3.C Breaking the spending limit? Again, prove it. Also, do you mean breaking limits like Ebrard did in the DF, spending 300 million pesos where the limit was 50?

3.D Political proselitism with government programs? You mean the GDF is finally going to be punished for illegally supporting AMLO????? Say it aint so!!

3.E What????

3.F Gordillo told teachers to vote for Campa. your point is???

3.G Illegal possession of IFE data. All the parties had it.

3.H campaign espionage? And the proof is?

3.I Ciber fraud. AMLO himself said this did not happen, it was a fraud "a la antigua". Was he lying?

Incidentally, you forgot to mention the following points:

AMLO said on July 2 that he won by 500,000 votes, according to "our numbers". What happened to "our numbers"? Why were not "our numbers" ever made public?

AMLO said that the PRD poll watcher who signed off on the videotaped switching of ballots from one urna to another was "corrupted". Why has not this poll watcher been prosecuted?

The observors from the by and large left wing European Union say the election was fair and free. Are they lying?

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 03:19 PM

Jerry B.

I nullified my vote, so I'm not a non-voter.

I don't belive in any of the candidates. And what will AMLO do if he wins, it remains to be seen. However some people are doing this movement in favor of AMLO, but many many others are doing this against fraud, and I'm one of them.

So I can ask you: Do you think there was no fraud?

AMLO followers and people that is against fraud for now have the same goal. To get a clean election.

It depends what kind of change you are looking for. If Calderon stays then we can count with six years of the same old stuff with the country in the hand of Salinas and Elba Ester Gordillo.

If AMLO wins the change will be that people will know that they can make a difference, that their vote counts and you'll have mexicans that are more capable of protest against goverment's bad behaviour instead of no action at all. This change will remain a victory even if AMLO betrays poeple at the end, because by the time the next elections comes, we mexicans will know that we can do something about it.

And it a shame all this movement is being minimzed by the tv and some radio stations and newspapers, becuase if you were there in the Zocalo, it would be easy to realize that people wants to stop yet another fraud and the ambient there is friendship.

And all the poeple there is reading, promoting art and discussing politics and behaving civilized. And you might know how hard is to achieve that, specially to the reading part.

So when you see poeple playing chess, supporting each other and talking to each other no matter if they are stranger, you realize that it oges beyond AMLO.

Posted by: Djnx | August 3, 2006 03:39 PM

Hey FCO, what a bunch of crazy ideas you came up to, First of all, Calderon is Nobody to accept or deny the "vote x vote" idea, that decision can be only taken by the tribunal, and none else!, you can make thousand demonstrations and protests but the judges will decide according to the evidence they have, and nothing else.
Calderon have repeated another thousand times that they will agree with the tribunal decision.
But PAN can't support the IDEA of "vote x vote" because to them there was no fraud, they trust the institutions, accepting that idea as Obrador is saying, it is accepting the idea that there was a fraud,
it's very easy to say, count vote per vote, but first you have to have LEGAL base to do that, if the Tribunal doesn't find any LEGAL excuse to open all the ballots, they don't have to do it just because.
By the way don't dare to compare this stupid resistance with historical resistances like the 68 or Nelson Mandela, This "civil Resistance" CAN'T be called CIVIL, because the City Mayor is part of the system, it's part of the government, and they are using money from our taxes and the same government resources to support this protest.

Posted by: A. Ramos | August 3, 2006 03:43 PM

Lack of real and hard evidence has forced these people from PRD and whoever they can buy to come up with such cocaine theories as the one above described from Walter R. Mebane.

Basically what these ignorants are saying is that it is possible to bribe more than 250,000 people without anybody noticing it and it is also possible to coordinate a group 11 people, IFE Representatives, Party Representatives and sometimes even orbservers, in a little town in Sinaloa, so that they take away 100 votes from AMLO and then coordinate them in real time with another Casilla in Nuevo Leon with same number of people and party representatives so that they will add another 100 votes to Felipe Calderon.

This a stupid idea, when you are talking about 130,000 polling stations, you have got to be under some kind of drugs to even imagine that it is possible to put 100 here and take away 100 there coordination half a million people.

And then the algorythms to try to identify alledged behaviours in the counting.

Get a job!

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 3, 2006 03:44 PM

To Jerry B:
"The observors from the by and large left wing European Union say the election was fair and free. Are they lying?"

Although your question was directed to another poster, allow me to say that since there were only 80 EU observers (left wing or not), it would not have been possible for them to witness the kinds of errors or fraud currently being alleged.

First and foremost, in the case of errors in counting, there are over 130,000 polling sites whose results were counted on election night and then the results written on a tally sheet, and it was that sheet which was given to IFE. If there were errors in counting (and there always are, and it is incredibly important with elections that are this close), it would be impossible for 80 EU observers to have supervised the counting in 130,000+ polling sites.

Second, certain allegations of fraud also affect larger numbers than could be monitored by 80 people.

For example, in one allegation, the PRD holds that in polling places in which they failed (and personally I do emphasize failed) to position observers to the counting of physical ballots, that results not only overwhelmingly favored the PAN candidate but did so (allegedly, I repeat) to the same two hundredths of a percentage. I.e., if ONLY the PAN observed the polling station count, then they always won with 71.47% of the vote, no matter where the polling site was located. This particular example applied (says the PRD) to 2,366 polling sites where only the PAN observed.

Now, whether or not this allegation is true, and whether or not it represents anything improper, I don't know, but it is obvious that it is impossible that a team of 80 observers from the EU could have been at every one of these 2,366 sites.

I think that the kinds of supervision that 80 EU observers could carry out would be to observe general processes, procedures, and the like, and would mainly be applicable to the kinds of errors or manipulations (or appearances of impropriety) visible in very problematic elections.

Posted by: El Cid | August 3, 2006 03:51 PM

And Jerry B. lived happily ever after in that beautiful placed called Foxilandia which later turned into Fecalandia where PANistas saved Mexico and created a super power that was able to compete hand by hand with China. The immigration to the US completely stopped and actually the gringos now started to be the new illegal immigrants for Mexico. So Jerry B. (I wonder if that B stands for Bulls%$) was able to have a pretty illegal Guera cleaning the toilets at his home.

People like you and my own son make me sick.

WAKE UP!!!

Posted by: Emptyboxes I am your Father | August 3, 2006 03:55 PM

This is really ridiculous.
PRD and AMLO himself declared in several interviews that the whole process had been clean. They came up with all these allegations only when and where the results did not favored them.

The European Union Observers, with lots of experience, came and oversaw the whole process and found it very clean.

The United Nations also sent observers and they spoke out defending the IFE.

Other organzations from Canada and the United States also arrived to the same conclusion, the elections were clean and fair.

The only ones complaining and crying fraud are the PRD and AMLO and the dogmatic inconditionals like that hypocrite of Sergio Aguayo who offends Mexico by going to talk about his fraud on Europena and North American media, the coward will never dare to face Mexican journalists who will question his lies. He and Monsivais and La Jornada and the UNAM Radicals are the only ones supporting these thugs.


Posted by: emptyboxes | August 3, 2006 04:00 PM

See what I meant with "obtuse arguments"?

Jerry, Jerry....

Since I am feeling mangnanimous today I will take take some time to divert my attention from important work I have to do and dedicate it to answer your "argumentos necios".

a) Pablo Gómez, in the negotiations for establishing the new 9 member Consejo General (CG-IFE) argued that, in the event of a disputed or controversial political process (ring any bells?) it would be preferable to regard experience and proved neutrality in the selection of the new "consejeros". He proposed that 4 "consejeros " should repeat their terms. The PAN and PRI legislative fractions (the PRI lead by the Elba Esther group), angry at the uncovering of the "Pemexgate" and "Amigos de Fox" electoral scandals and their subsequent punishments decided not to allow any "consejero" to repeat his/her term in office. They imposed their own group of Consejeros led by Luis Carlos Ugalde, a close politician to la Maestra Gordillo. Since together they held the overwhelming majority of Congress the PRD and its allies were tacitly excluded from the negotiations. Gómez thought that abandoning the negotiation table (a risky move) would politically force the two large parties to take his demands into consideration. Regrettably, he was wrong. The "Consejo general was elected" without left-wing representation in spite of the need for objectivity and independence, principles stated in the 41st article of the Consititution.

Making an everyday comparison:
If you leave your house unprotected and your grandmother is kidnapped, whose to blame: you or the kidnapper?

Believe me, the absence of objectivity in the actions of the CG-IFE will weight heavily on the tribunals decision.

b)The PAN does not have to be involved in third party proselitism to make this an illegal action. Nevertheless, these advertisements favored Felipe Calderón's campaign or attacked López Obrador. The refusal of the CG-IFE to remove these ads, even after the Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) ruled in that direction, constitute more proof of lack of objectivity in the CG-IFE's actions.

c)Ebrard did not break the spending limits in the Distrito Federal. Otherwise he would have already been punished by the Electoral Institute of the Distrito Federal (IEDF). As for the excedents in spending on the part of Felipe Calderón, check the Recurso de Impugnación and its sources.

d)Check the news, The Coalition has already been punished by using goverment programs to support its Mexico City campaign. The tribunal charged the coaliton with $147 million pesos. On the other hand, the PAN was also forced to pay $147 million pesos for its use of the "Seguro Popular" to sway voters from Mexico City.
However, this is only at the local level.
The massive use of government programs at the federal level is an issue yet unresolved which trascends any amount of spending at the local level.

e) Once again, do your homework.
The federal government exceeded the budget restrictions on social programs placed by Congress by diverting oil excedents. If the Coalition manages to prove that the object of said programs was to sway poor voters away from the coalition, Vicente Fox will be responsible for serious electoral crimes.

f) Whatch the statistics. Campa only got .3% of the vote while PANAL congressmen got 5%. "La maestra" told the SNTE affiliates to vote for PANAL senators and deputies (to gain registration as a political party) and to vote for Felipe Calderón for president.
¿Te suena el "uno de tres"?

e) Everyone knew who was part of the electoral census and which was his/her casilla. What not everyone knew was each electors' adress, telephone number, electoral preference, social status, age, if such person was benificiary of social programs, or what each persons' face looked like. I know you despise Carmen Aristegui. Nevertheless, you should take a hold of her investigations.

f) Campaign espionage is a recent discovery. As more evidence comes out to the light I'll keep you informed. Be wary, though, cause those implicated go all the way to the very top.

g) Who cares what AMLO said back then about if there existed cibernetic fraud or not. He made a big mistake. We, his supporters, forced him to correct himself. There is ample proof of cibernetic fraud. Look up studies developed by scientists Luis Mochán, Bolivar Huerta, Victor Romero, Francisco Portillo, Rosario Paredes, Raúl Aguilar, Susana Gómez, Humberto Castillo, Luis Rincón, Pilar Alonso, and José Antonio Flores.
And, as I have proved in my previous intervention, there is strong suspicion that points towards a "fraude a la antigüita" (or, if you politically correct people prefer it: "errores e inconsistencias tradicionales")

h) Well, who knows. Actual, more exact accounts reveal that they were not 500,000 but 1,600,000.

i) The "embarazo de urnas" video was another regretful mistake that was hipermagnified by the media. However, is this evidence enough to bring down the house on top of the Coaltions case?

j) Last time I checked, Javier Solana, the equivalent to a "foreign relations minister" of the European Union once belonged to the right-wing Partido Popular of Spain. Even so, some European newspapers (Le Monde amongst them) have recognized that the observers did not delve deep enough into the Mexican process.

Posted by: fco. | August 3, 2006 04:37 PM

emptyboxes:

This is the only thing I will say to you.

Your misleading and ignorant comments are very offending and irrelevant.
You seem to care as little for what the majority of the mexicans (the poor poeple of mexico) thinks and says, just as Calderon or Madrazo or AMLO himself.

I don't know where are you from but you offend a vast quantity of mexicans with your commentaries since you argue that the people at the Zocalo are scumbags and the only supporters of this movement are hypocrites and radicals.

Posted by: Djnx | August 3, 2006 04:40 PM

Looking at things objectively (I think all of Mexico's 3 main candidates are really weak and unfortunately non of them possess the leadership qualities Mexico needs), for Mexico to convince foreign investors that it truly is becoming a true democracy, a vote recount should be performed due to the fact that the results could have gone either way. If Felipe becomes president without a vote recount, he (and Mexico)will not be taken seriously around the world since his legitimacy will be in question for 6 years. Mexico actually has a great opportunity here to show the world how they can handle this issue better than they're powerful neighbor to the North. Mexico is a beautiful country with wonderful people, and it would be a shame if the people don't take this opportunity to show the world they are becoming a true democracy and that they can handle elections issues better than the USA. Mexico impressed foreign investors in 2000---don't let investors down in 2006---do the recount!

Posted by: DCH | August 3, 2006 04:40 PM

A. Ramos,
I will take little time to answer your arguments since I believe you did not pay close attention to my own.

POLITICAL WILL
That´s what Prodi and Arias had that Calderón lacks.

It may not change the tribunal´s decision, nevertheless, it could prove a strong point of distension between both factions if both candidates support a legitimate claim to assure certainty in the electoral results.

As for the CIVIl character of the prostests: ever wonder why the official title of the president is Citizen President of the United States of Mexico? Well, beacause our elected officials are also civilians.

Posted by: fco. | August 3, 2006 04:44 PM

emptyboxes:

Bribing 250,000 "funcionarios de casillas" sounds just as irrational as paying a million people to protest each weekend don't you think?

By the way, if you dislike name-calling, don´t dismiss my arguments as ridiculous right away, before investigating. As an intellectual you might feel close to, Enrique Krauze, might have said: "Let's have a blog without adjectives".

Posted by: fco. | August 3, 2006 04:54 PM

There have been serious allegations on Teleformula and TV Azteca that, not the millions, but the 20,000 campers on Reforma are being paid 250 pesos a day (This works out to half a million a day, not very much in the greater scheme of things). Is this true?

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 04:59 PM

El Cid:

First of all, I tried to post an apology earlier. But, it didn't work. I did not accuse Mr. Mebane of anything. I just stated what he said in his interview. "Ellos me mandaron datos. Ocurrió que mi investigación estaba en un punto donde pude utilizar los datos mexicanos sobre casillas electorales". I supposed that since the PRD had approached him that he was referring to them when he said ellos. Since I hadn't read his article that was the information that I had, at that moment. I posted the newspaper article it because I remembered that I had read it on July 26th.

If almost everyone that has posted something on this log has said that they would agree with the decision that the TEPJF makes on a recount (be it partial or total), I think that it is useless to rehash this issue over and over.

Could you tell me where those supposed voting stations that had only PAN Representatives were? Are they in states where the PRD, PT or Convergencia hardly have any followers like Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua and such? There must have been municipalities in these states where AMLO got zero votes. But, then I would suppose that there were municipalities in Tabasco where Calderon got zero votes.

Although the closeness of the numbers might be interesting as anecdotal evidence, what makes them think that anyone in their right mind would tell their coconspirators to look for a certain percentage and not a number? I would think that it would be easier to tell them to just use up all of the unused votes like they used to in the past. Why not? No one was watching, right?

Posted by: TG | August 3, 2006 05:06 PM

Sorry, the last to paragraphs refer to the voting stations with 71.47% of the vote in faver of the PAN.

Posted by: TG | August 3, 2006 05:18 PM

Well, guess what?
Go to Reforma and pass yourself as a camper. If, at the end of the day, you receive $250, then I'll give you an extra torta.

By the way, are you quoting Radioformula and TV Azteca?

My, you sure have a knack for choosing objective media, don't you?

Posted by: fco. | August 3, 2006 05:19 PM

Fco, would you prefer "objective" media like La Jornada? At least the above mentioned try to present both sides of the argument.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 05:26 PM

J.B.

Tried, but failed...(at least I missed the part were TV Azteca ever placed itself in the left-wing point of view).

And no, I'm not going to fall into the trap were I try to defend La Jornada to give you cause to start an unfertile and pointless discussion.

Posted by: fco. | August 3, 2006 05:43 PM

Fco, of course you are not going to defend anything you say. Why should you? Your idol, AMLO does not, if he did he would have to explain the 500,000 votes that "our numbers" had him winning by, the corrupt PRD poll workers, the no more civil resistance while the BMV is being blockaded, etc etc. To ask you people to defend your positions is rather pointless, and, indeed, is quite probably racist/fascist "verbal violence".

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 06:31 PM

FCO

"POLITICAL WILL", would be retire the entire blockade and stop protests to give space and tranquility to society and so electoral process could end within terms of the law.

and yes about the civil character of resistance you are right, "Technically", but that doesn't change the fact that AMLO use resistance to look like a victim of a giant plot that he simply can't prove.

Posted by: A. Ramos | August 3, 2006 06:36 PM

Here is a question for us all to ponder. We have to assume the TEPJF will rule within a few days. Suppose they rule IN FAVOR of a full recount. How do all of you reading this think that Calderon will react? Will he accept the rule of law? Or will he call his supporters into the streets, and shut down not just Mexico City, but Monterrey, and Guadalajara also? (Also, if he does this, will Encinas in the DF still say that closing public access to public places is a constitutional right?)

Suppose, on the other hand, that the court rules AGAINST a recount, and as a consequence that Calderon is president elect. How will AMLO react? Will he accept the rule of law, or will he order his supporters to stay in the streets? On a related note, even if AMLO does order his supporters to stand down, will they?

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 06:41 PM

One thing I forgot to mention earlier which seems to be a common mistake amongst the comments posted on this blog.
The "impugnaciones" of the coalition include the electoral process for senators and deputies. If the tribunal permits a vote by vote recount, the presidential, and congressional ballots will be recounted.

However, there seems to be little evidence pointing towards widespread fraud in the congressional ballots.
On the other hand, an interesting fact stands out:
On most "casillas" were Calderón was reported winner there seem to be more presidential ballots than congressional ballots.
On most "casillas" were López Obrador was reported winner there seem to be less presidential ballots than congressional ballots.
How can this be?
Didn't all of us receive three (not four nor two, but THREE) different sheets of paper and deposited them on three different boxes?

My sources?

CHECK THE "RECURSO DE IMPUGNACIÓN DE LA COALICIÓN POR EL BIEN DE TODOS"

I know that, being 836 pages long, most of you will feel too lazy to read the whole document.

Then why, oh, why did the "elected" congressmen (and congresswomen) of the Coalition rushed to take part in the Senate and House Comissions' negotiantions?

There's a perfectly reasonable explanation:
Beacause, if the Tribunal annuls or ratifies the current electoral process such congressmen (and congresswomen) will take part on the next transitional or permanent legislature and will need to take part on said comissions to stop PAN, PRI, PANAL, and PVEM's initiatives to pass the fiscal, energy, and laboral reforms.
On the other hand, in the case of annulment, such congressmen (and congresswomen) will be responsible for the election of the interim president. They couldn't leave the PAN, PRI, PANAL and PVEM to take the decision by themselves, could they?

Posted by: fco. | August 3, 2006 06:43 PM

Fco:

Could you be more specific? What does most mean when you say that most of the voting places have more or less votes for congressmen or senators? I don't think that any of us have the spare time to compare all casillas on all three elections.

I think that today is the last day for the TEPJF has to rule on the congressional elections and so far there haven't been any radical changes. Some voting stations have been annulled. But, most if not all of the winning candidates have been confirmed.

Posted by: TG | August 3, 2006 06:54 PM

A. Ramos,

AMLO using the protest to portray himself as a victim of a plot is your assessment of the situation, not a fact.

I invite you to read the 9th article of the Constitution. During the whole process, including the present demonstratrions, the Coalition has not swerved from the laws that govern this country. The camps are a nuisance, that I admit, nevertheless, they are not illegal.

No, the left is tired of being trampled over by the interests of the factical powers of this nation. The demovilization and political assasinations after the 1988 debacle cost the left 20 years of regrouping. This time, we will not make the same mistake. We will meet a forceful imposition with legal manifestations.

However, the moment Felipe Calderón stops pretending that he is a President Elect and recognizes that it is impossible to govern without legitimacy, he is welcome to advocate the vote by vote recount initiative and proceed to start a process of distenssion that will end this senseless confrontation.

Posted by: fco. | August 3, 2006 06:56 PM

Fco, why are we arguing about all of this? At the end of the day, I am not going to decide if there will be a recount. Neither are you. Neither are the people illegally squatting on Reforma (I am really glad I do not live in the DF.) The TEPJF will.

We already know that one candidate has said he will accept whatever the TEPJF rules. Will the other?

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 06:56 PM

I think that the PRD is getting the message:

- Por: Notimex Jueves 3 de Agosto de 2006 | Hora de publicación: 15:35

El Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) analiza levantar el plantón y los bloqueos que efectúa en Paseo de la Reforma, aseveró el diputado federal Alfonso Ramírez Cuéllar.

Luego de las constantes críticas de ciudadanos e intelectuales a esta medida de presión para exigir el recuento voto por voto, dijo que esta "valoración ya la está haciendo la coordinadora de la coalición Por el Bien de Todos".

If I were a PRD advocate, I'd see this as good news. The blocking of streets has not gained them any sympathy, to the contrary, it has probably cost them more than they realize. I still haven't understood the call to block streets when it would have been much more effective to gain public support by maintaining their presence, but without causing problems for so many residents. I was told by an AMLO supporting friend that he was beginning to worry that the campaign was being sabotaged by infiltrated enemies that were continuing with the same kind of policies that wiped-out the big lead AMLO had some months before the elections.

As for paying for the economic losses of the affected businesses, I'd prefer to see those resources go to the poor, the ones who cannot survive a loss of income. The logic seems flawed; if public monies are not to be used in this issue, why cause an unnecessary problem in the first place?

As for the vote by vote issue, I would hope that the Tribunal will be wise enough to make the correct decision strictly based on the evidence. Both candidates should "cool it" and let the judges do their job, more posturing just causes more hatred.

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 3, 2006 07:00 PM

T.G.:

"Could you tell me where those supposed voting stations that had only PAN Representatives were? Are they in states where the PRD, PT or Convergencia hardly have any followers like Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua and such? There must have been municipalities in these states where AMLO got zero votes. But, then I would suppose that there were municipalities in Tabasco where Calderon got zero votes."
----------------------

Unfortunately, I cannot provide any of that information because if it has been released publicly, I haven't found it directly.

For today at least I don't have time to chop up all the downloadable data (you can download the actual casilla por casilla database from IFE) into small enough chunks for my spreadsheet program to be able to handle it, otherwise I could try and 'guess' for myself by reverse-look up based on which casillas matched the suspicious percentages alleged by the PRD. (The database doesn't say who was or was not observing.)

Example: you would create a new column which gave the percentage of the PAN victory, and then sort the table according to that percentage, and see which locations (if any did at all) matched the PRD's alleged magic percentages. You could find the state and then the municipality code and I'm sure there are further instructions on the IFE site on how to find the exact casilla location.

----------------------
"Although the closeness of the numbers might be interesting as anecdotal evidence, what makes them think that anyone in their right mind would tell their coconspirators to look for a certain percentage and not a number? I would think that it would be easier to tell them to just use up all of the unused votes like they used to in the past. Why not? No one was watching, right?"

Well, it all depends on one giant "If." *If* the allegations of the percentages match as alleged by the PRD, and you can literally predict with 100% certainty the result to two decimal places based on which of two parties is observing the count, it doesn't really matter at first glance why someone would do that, yet it would be a very, very clear signal that something was incredibly strange if not impossible.

Making a giant leap and presuming that these allegations are true, then I could only assume that it was something done in haste and without a lot of caution, in which a call or set of calls would be made to specific persons at specific sites. As to why percentages would be used instead of raw numbers, well, it's because presumably each location would vary widely in the number of raw votes, and the only thing which could be communicated quickly would be a desired winning percentage. It would be an extremely strange and dangerous way of carrying out what would otherwise supposedly be a sophisticated, undetectable vote count manipulation, so I would be lost as to why anyone would do that.

But that only matters, of course, if that first *If* is granted.

Finally, I have to return to the fact that like in the U.S., it appears that in Mexico there unfortunately are no provisions to manually recount the election when the results are close to a certain degree.

In my opinion, it should have been the case in both nations that an automatic manual recount is called for when the margin of victory is within some certain limit.

Posted by: El Cid | August 3, 2006 07:03 PM

TV Azteca trying to present both sides of the situation?
When?
No excuse for any media for the minimized coverage of the two big assemblies.

30 seconds for the biggest amount of poeple ever in the Zocalo square and 15 minutes of what Calderon, Ugalde and Fox says.

Thats not trying to present both sides.

Posted by: Djnx | August 3, 2006 07:15 PM

I agree, El Cid:

"Finally, I have to return to the fact that like in the U.S., it appears that in Mexico there unfortunately are no provisions to manually recount the election when the results are close to a certain degree.

In my opinion, it should have been the case in both nations that an automatic manual recount is called for when the margin of victory is within some certain limit."

This, plus a runoff election and we'd be on the road to avoiding this kind of mess in the future.

Posted by: | August 3, 2006 07:16 PM

The above was mine, sorry, I'm trying to do too many things at once. Lots of paperwork to do if you want to run a business.

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 3, 2006 07:21 PM

El Cid, you make an interesting point on recounting the election. The problem is (see Florida, 2000) that there comes a point where the election is just too close for a recount to matter. By that I mean, the, unless God himself comes down and does it, it will be done by humans, and human error will come into play. You could have sat the best intentioned people in the world down in Florida, to count 6 million votes three or four times, and it is statistically probable that each time they would have been off by a thousand votes or so. Not a problem normally, but when the margin is only a few hundred....

We see the same situation now in Mexico. If the 41 million votes were counted by totally disinterested neutral counters say, five, times, I would not at all be surprised if both AMLO and Calderon won at least once.

I freely recognize hipocracy, indeed at times it is useful in politics. If AMLO had won on election eve by 241,000 votes, I do not doubt that he would be defending the integrity of the count, and Calderon would be demanding a vote by vote recount, for the good of us all, of course. This argues strongly for a second round in the next elections, although, of course, if the numbers were this close in a second round we would still have these problems.

Oh, well, it could have been worse. Take 3% away from both AMLO and Calderon and give it to Madrazo, and we would have three self declared presidents right now, not two.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 07:23 PM

Actually, K Vronna, I would disagree. (see above post) With regards to the US, I think the electoral college serves quite well, as, 2000 excepted, there are rarely close elections there. Furthermore, the lack of any federal electoral authority in the US is a good thing, as it makes it impossible for one party to dominate it and do a national fraud. Better individual state frauds than one gigantic national one.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 07:31 PM

For emptyboxes with love. By the way, can I have your RFC?

Evidence of Election Fraud Grows in México
By Chuck Collins and Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on August 2, 2006, Printed on August 2, 2006
http://www.alternet.org/story/39763/


A month after more than 41 million Mexicans went to the polls to elect their next president, the country is still awaiting a result. A preliminary count of polling station tally sheets put conservative Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party (PAN) ahead with a slight lead over left-populist Andres Manuel López Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). Both candidates have claimed victory, with López Obrador and his supporters holding vigils and protests across the country and calling for a vote-by-vote recount.
That hasn't kept a consensus from emerging in the commercial media that Calderón won by a small margin in a squeaky-clean election. In a hyperbolic editorial on July 30 -- one that bordered on the ridiculous -- the Washington Post accused López Obrador, known as AMLO to his supporters, of taking "a lesson from Joseph Stalin" and launching an "anti-democracy campaign" by demanding a manual recount and urging his supporters to take to the streets in peaceful protests. Calling the vote "a success story and a model for other nations," the editors concluded that it's "difficult to overstate the irresponsibility of Mr. López Obrador's actions."
Days after the election, the New York Times irresponsibly declared candidate Calderón the winner, even though no victor had been declared under Mexican law, and just this week, in an article about López Obrador's protests, the Times reported that López Obrador had "escalated his campaign to undo official results."
But there are no "official" results and probably won't be until after Sept. 1. Under Mexican law, the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) is charged with running the elections and counting the vote. But only the country's Election Tribunal, known by its Mexican nickname as the "TRIFE," has the power to declare a victor (See here for background on the TRIFE). They have until Sept. 6 to rule on the election.
It appears that the U.S. media has become so enamored with the construct of the "anti-democratic" left in Latin America -- the ubiquitous "fiery populists" (a term that has described everyone from the centrist Lula da Silva to Hugo Chávez) -- that they are incapable of fulfilling their basic mandate to inform their readers when it comes to the political landscape south of the border. It's nothing short of journalistic malpractice.
But back in the real world, a growing body of credible evidence from mainstream Mexican journalists, independent election observers and respected scholars indicates that an attempt was made to deliver the presidency to Calderón. It includes a pattern of irregularities at the polls, interference by the ruling party and some very suspicious statistical patterns in the "official" results.
The TRIFE is now sifting through 900 pages of formal complaints lodged by López Obrador. Their ruling on those challenges will indicate how well México's electoral process holds up in a closely fought and highly polarized race.
Growing evidence of irregularities and fraud
México has a history of the party in power's using its clout to tip the election in its favor, and strict laws prohibiting ruling party interference were enacted in the 1990s. Election law prevented Vicente Fox, the outgoing PAN president, from making public statements of a partisan or political nature. But he overstepped this line many times in the 2006 campaign, including dozens of speeches reinforcing candidate Felipe Calderón's basic message that López Obrador was a "danger to México." In a well-publicized speech, candidate López Obrador responded, "With all respect, Mr. President, shut up. You sound like a chattering bird." Fox continued with these speeches until election authorities and public commentators warned Fox he was violating election laws.
The Fox administration also ran public service announcements touting government programs and services and promoting the vote. PAN saturated the television airwaves with "swift-boat" style attack ads against López Obrador, comparing him to Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and calling him a "danger to México." Election authorities eventually ordered these commercials off the air on the grounds that they were untrue and maligned the candidate's character, but critics believe they moved too slowly.
Under Mexican law, ruling party interference is a serious charge and grounds for annulling an election. In the last ten years, the same Electoral Tribunal judges that are reviewing AMLO's complaints annulled governors' races in Tabasco and Colima, based on ruling party interference. The Institutional Revolution Party (PRI), which ruled México for seven decades before the system was reformed in the 1990s, made vote buying and voter coercion into a high art form, and there is strong evidence that they were up to their old tricks in the 2006 election. With PRI governors in 17 of México's 31 states, election observers documented a significant number of examples of voters being offered money or receiving food or building materials in exchange for their PRI vote. In a country where half the citizens live in poverty and rely on different forms of government assistance, voters are often told that their public assistance is dependent on voting for the party in power. There are examples of PAN using similar practices, especially a well-documented case of funds diverted from a San Luis Potosi building program into PAN electoral races.
The Mexican electoral system has come a long way in two decades in implementing anti-fraud systems. But there are still several ways that results can be tampered with on election day. López Obrador's campaign and hundreds of independent election observers documented several hundred cases of "old fashioned" election-day fraud in making their case for a recount.
Here's how the system was supposed to work. On July 2, Mexicans voted at over 130,000 different polling stations, casting separate ballots for president, senator and federal deputy. Each political party was encouraged to have registered poll watchers at every polling station to observe the voting process and count at the end of the day. As international and Mexican election observers noted, however, problems emerged when there weren't enough independent and party observers to go around. In regions where one party was dominant, this created opportunities for vote shaving, ballot stuffing, lost ballots and other forms of fraud.
The PRD's strongest case for a recount comes from the fact that ballots in almost one-third of the country were not counted in the presence of independent observers. One analysis of IFE results found that there were 2,366 polling places where only a PAN observer was present. In these districts, Calderón beat López Obrador by a whopping 71-21 margin.
Other elements of PRD's legal challenge include documentation of several ballot boxes found in dumps in the PRD stronghold of México City. They also point to evidence such as the nonpartisan Civic Alliance's report documenting 17 polling sites in PAN-dominated Nuevo León, Michoacan and Querétaro, where the number of votes cast vastly exceeded the number of registered voters at a site.
Reports by international and domestic election observers affiliated with the Civic Alliance and Global Exchange stop short of claiming fraud in the elections. They laud the dedication of most poll workers they monitored and the preparations for the vote in most of the polling places, as well as the orderly and peaceful process overall. But the cumulative evidence is damning in such a closely contested race.
In the weeks after the election, PRD observers again sounded the alarm as sealed ballot packets were being illegally opened at IFE district offices in several PAN-dominated regions. PRD officials accused IFE officials of possibly tampering with ballots or attempting to cover up fraud in the event of a recount. The TRIFE ordered these offices to stop opening vote packets.
While the López Obrador campaign has not made major charges of "cyber fraud," there is an emerging controversy over the IFE's role in reporting who was ahead in the vote count. For the 2006 election, the IFE had developed a sophisticated system to provide preliminary results called the PREP. Relying on results being phoned in from a sample of precincts, the IFE could compile a credible picture of the vote. If the PREP showed one candidate with a clear majority, the system would have allowed Mexicans to go to sleep on election night knowing who their next president would be. But because of the razor close results, the PREP proved to be an inadequate measure.
Now research is emerging to suggest that the PREP results were cooked to create the appearance of a Calderón victory. Physicist Jorge López at the University of Texas, El Paso, conducted a statistical analysis of the PREP results and found that, as the results came in, the differential between the candidates' totals remained almost constant. One would expect that, as results from each party's geographic strongholds were counted, the gap between their totals would rise and would fall. In such a tight election, one would even expect the lead to change back and forth as the count progressed. None of that happened. The results of a third candidate, Roberto Madrazo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), fluctuated as expected.
He also noted that there was very little deviation between the actual results as they came in and the average results; in a normal, natural distribution, one would expect significant differences between the two (it should look something like a squashed bell-shaped curve). Dr. López concluded the pattern was "a clear indication that the data was manufactured by an algorithm and does not stand a chance at passing as data originated at the actual voting."
Luis Mochan, a physicist at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, did similar work. He noted that the PREP data was posted after the first 10,000 reports had been processed, and looked at whether those first 10,000 reports were consistent with the statistical trends for the rest of the day. When he plotted the data backwards, Calderón's vote total originated at zero, as is normal, but López Obrador began the day 126,000 votes in the hole.
Mochan and López both point out that the Calderón began the day building a large percentage lead -- seven points -- that decreased steadily throughout the day. The large early lead would have been handy from a psychological and political perspective, allowing Calderón to claim that he led all day long, but the results had to end in a close result given that polls conducted a week before the tally showed a statistical dead heat.
Mochan also notes gross discrepancies in the number of votes processed late in the evening: "At the end of the plot, we find intervals with more than 1,200 votes per [voting] booth. I understand that no booth was to receive more than 750 votes. Even more worrisome, some data points indicate a negative number of votes per booth."
Mochan notes that these statistical anomalies aren't definitive proof of anything. But economist James Galbraith, reviewing Mochan's data, speculated about a likely scenario that would fit the discrepancies seen that night:
Felipe Calderón started the night with an advantage in total votes, a gift from the authorities.
As the count progressed, this advantage was maintained by misreporting of the actual results. This enabled Calderón to claim that he had led through the entire process -- an argument greatly repeated but spurious in any case because it is only the final count that matters.
Toward the end of the count, further adjustments were made to support the appearance of a victory by Calderón.
Critics suggest that the IFE may have aggressively pushed to swiftly declare Calderón a victor, obviating the need for a poll-by-poll vote recount.
The U.S. media was also confused on the Wednesday after the vote when the IFE ordered all 300 district offices to review the tally sheets. It was widely reported as a "recount," when in fact very few ballots were actually counted. In some cases, such as when a tally sheet was illegible, the sealed ballot packets where opened and recounted. Almost every time that occurred, observers encountered significant errors in the vote count. In the state of México, one tally sheet recorded 88 votes for López Obrador when the recount of ballots found 188 votes. Whether it was human error or intentional vote shaving, in a tight election race, these examples gain heightened significance.
None of these reports in and of themselves constitute a smoking gun. But the questions they raise need to be answered. There is far more evidence pointing to fraud in the Mexican elections in 2006 than was made publicly available about Ukraine's contested vote in 2004. Comparing the media and political establishment's reactions to the two reveals the transparent dishonesty in backing Calderón's claim of victory; in 2004 many of the same voices that are now calling López Obrador "undemocratic" were screaming that the Ukrainian tally had to be annulled and only a new election would assure democracy in the former Soviet satellite. In both instances, the candidate who declared victory was friendly towards a powerful neighboring state; in 2004 that state was Russia, and two years later it's the United States. Forget about threatening México's fragile democratic institutions -- that makes all the difference to the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Washington Post.
According to the Mexican daily La Jornada, over two million supporters of López Obrador gathered in México City on Sunday, July 30, the largest public demonstration in México's history. Millions of voices chanted "vote by vote, poll by poll," calling on the Electoral Tribunal to order a recount. A poll released this week found that Mexicans, by a 20-point margin (48-28), want a vote-by-vote count. López Obrador has said he will call off protests when the Tribunal agrees to a recount and will honor its final decision.
As for the charge in the U.S. media that López Obrador is undermining democracy and the rule of law by calling on his supporters to protest, we believe that the rights of peaceful assembly and free speech are important democratic tenets. Public protests have played a historic part in México's three decade-long transition to democracy.
President and PAN leader Vicente Fox called for direct action when he believed he was victimized by electoral fraud in his race for the governorship of Guanajuato in 1991. Fox called on thousands of supporters to take to the streets and block highways, and the results were eventually overturned. Asked before the 2000 presidential election if he would do the same thing if he suspected fraud, he didn't hesitate to say "we will be very alert to any irregularities, and we will submit the appropriate legal accusations that are necessary. If there is any instability [as a result of those accusations], it will be due to whatever they have done fraudulently to avoid recognizing our victory."
While Calderón has opposed a ballot-by-ballot recount, even some of his staunchest supporters have argued that the process would assure Mexicans' faith in their electoral authorities and strengthen the country's young democracy. In a race where over 64 percent of Mexicans voted against him, Calderón, if he should prove victorious, will need all the legitimacy he can muster.
As México awaits the rulings of the electoral tribunal, tensions are high. The campaign -- often dirty -- and the close results have polarized the country. Given the context, the U.S. media's water-carrying for Calderón's campaign is anything but helpful. The fact that there have been no "official" results is not open to dispute, and until AMLO's allegations have been investigated, there is no way that anyone can say who will come out ahead.
Chuck Collins is the co-author of "Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity" (New Press). He is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and lives in Oaxaca, México. Joshua Holland is an AlterNet staff writer. © 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/39763/

Posted by: Paco Gil | August 3, 2006 07:56 PM

Yawn, one more "independent, unbaised media" story rehashing strange accusations. How independent and unbiased you ask? Here are some other headlines from "alternet":

Lobbying for Armageddon
Sarah Posner, AlterNet
Some influential evangelical leaders are lobbying for an attack on Iran. But it's not about geopolitics -- it's about bringing about the End Times.

Why Bush's Stupidity Is a Threat

Israel's Wall of Horrors

The Growing Threat of Right-Wing Christians

Israel Accused of Using Illegal Weapons

AND, this last, best, one:
Scientist Suspects Bush has Syphilis

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 08:07 PM

Paco,

I suppose that this is to be considered an unbiased account of what all of us in Mexico have lived in the past month.

Posted by: TG | August 3, 2006 08:11 PM

Jerry,

The series between your Toros and my Sultanes is getting interesting. Hope you have a chance to see them in TJ.

Posted by: TG | August 3, 2006 08:15 PM

Potros, not Toros...(The Toros went defunct after 2004). And, I have a dilemma, the Nationals are playing the S D Padres, same weekend, same times on Fri and Sat. (I think I can see both games on Sunday) Choices, choices, what am I to do?>?????

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 08:19 PM

Jerry B:
---------------------
"The problem is (see Florida, 2000) that there comes a point where the election is just too close for a recount to matter. By that I mean, the, unless God himself comes down and does it, it will be done by humans, and human error will come into play. You could have sat the best intentioned people in the world down in Florida, to count 6 million votes three or four times, and it is statistically probable that each time they would have been off by a thousand votes or so. Not a problem normally, but when the margin is only a few hundred....

We see the same situation now in Mexico. If the 41 million votes were counted by totally disinterested neutral counters say, five, times, I would not at all be surprised if both AMLO and Calderon won at least once."
---------------------

That is especially true in cases in which -- like Florida in 2000 *might* have appeared after a manual recount -- the difference between two candidates drops below the statistically significant safety above random error.

I don't think the Mexico election has yet dropped to that tiny of a difference level.

But there are a number of reasons that one does recounts, only one of them being to achieve a "truer" outcome.

Another reason is to recognize that the possibility of errors and intentional flaws / fraud is socially as well as statistically significant, and so manual recounts are attempts to show a good faith effort to address the concerns of a great sector of the population, particularly under conditions of great social division.

And I would argue that in the US in 2000 and 2004 and now in Mexico in 2006, there are serious, serious social divisions even on the matters of trusting the political impartiality of supposedly neutral institutions.

Although neither the US nor Mexican constitution has a provision for such, it would seem that if a manual recount is unable to establish a statistically significant victory, or maybe under other conditions, a run-off election would be a better idea.

But that's in the realm of fantasy, as there's no immediate possibility of such a resolution.

Personally I foresee (unfortunately in my view) that the TEPJF will rule on a bluntly procedural basis and find that the PRD has somehow failed to prove fraud and it will dismiss the request for a recount or an annulment, and the bitterness among many people is just not going to go away, and it will appear in other fashions.

Posted by: El Cid | August 3, 2006 08:23 PM

Jerry,

Sorry for having called your Colts "Potros" Bulls. I went to the first game and they pull it out in the eigth inning. Good luck with your choices. Do the Mexican thing. Support your local team. Why spend your hard earned money on the gringos.

Posted by: TG | August 3, 2006 08:32 PM

El Cid:

"And I would argue that in the US in 2000 and 2004 and now in Mexico in 2006, there are serious, serious social divisions even on the matters of trusting the political impartiality of supposedly neutral institutions."

I totally agree with you, both countries. Unfortunately, a recount is not going to make these problems go away. If AMLO somehow becomes president, the only thing that is going to change is instead of 15 million aggrieved PRDistas, we will now have 15 million aggrieved PANistas.

You mention also "if a manual recount is unable to establish a statistically significant victory" that a runoff is in order. This would seem to me to be the most logical way out of this mess. (And, given AMLO's performance lately, one he would dread.) Unfortunately, ordering a runoff is probably beyond the TEPJF's powers. They do have the power to order an annullment and new election, and, while doubtful, I find this prospect far more likely than ordering a recount.


Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 08:32 PM

El Cid:
You wrote:
"The PRD holds that in polling places in which they failed (and personally I do emphasize failed) to position observers to the counting of physical ballots, that results not only overwhelmingly favored the PAN candidate but did so (allegedly, I repeat) to the same two hundredths of a percentage. I.e., if ONLY the PAN observed the polling station count, then they always won with 71.47% of the vote, no matter where the polling site was located. This particular example applied (says the PRD) to 2,366 polling sites where only the PAN observed.

So by the same logic, there was a huge fraud in the DF where PAN only managed to have about 30 percent of representatives and the voting favored AMLO almost twice as much.According to this silly argument then certainly the absence of PAN representatives will explain the fact that Calderon lost in the DF in such a way.

So according to their logic, if a party wins in a certain polling station and one of the other parties failed to bring a representative, then it was fraud.

What you El Cid and Pasilla cannot explain is how these same people who committed such a fraud gave the PRD all those Congressmen and Senators they got and the PRI those other positions.

There is argument here. The PRD did not have a representative in my Polling station in San Pedro, NL but that is also because they have almost no presence here either. And that does not explain Felipe Calderon's victory in my polling station. It is a simple logical fact and the same happened in many areas of south Mexico where PAN has no presence and where AMLO won most of the votes.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 3, 2006 08:39 PM

Incidentally, the US constitution does have a mechanism for solving disputed elections. If the Florida chaos had gone on, and no one had claimed their electoral votes, niether Bush nor Gore would have had a majority of the electoral votes. In this case, the House of Representatives would have elected the president, with each State having one vote.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 08:43 PM

How nice and careful and thoughtful is this man Mr. Obrador with the same beautiful City that made him Head of Government of the most important city in Mexico. How thankful he is with his inhabitants and how considerate he is with each and everyone of them who gave him several million votes and almost made him president of the country.

Now the rest of the country, specially in central and north states, pray and hope that the TRIFE will not change the desicion of the mayority. And they will not let themselves be blackmailed by such a dangerous thug.

How naive and stupid these people who made this lunatic a Head of Government first and then forgave him all his video-scandals and stupidly believed all his pretensions of being the victim of a plot organized to destroy him. How inmature and ignorant and how much these people in DF who believe his lies again and again.

I never saw any intelligence in AMLO. All his interviews were monologues were he would dodge any difficult or intelligent questions and will only speak about what he was an expert at speaking: the miserable poor rising to power in the form of his person, He even said many times "I represent the hopes of many people" and everytime I heard AMLO saying that I knew he was a lunatic.

Because only a lunatic can pretend to be a messiah today.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 3, 2006 08:56 PM

emptyboxes,

There is no need to insult the people who voted for AMLO. They have exactly the same rights as we do. If they made a mistake, they have more than paid for it already. Calma y nos amanece.

Posted by: TG | August 3, 2006 09:02 PM

I would say that about a million of AMLO's votes belong to the "naive and stupid" (they exist everywhere), and another million or two belong to the hard core Zapatista/Atenco/CGH type of leftist idiot our society has been plagued with. The other 12 million or so were undoubtably decent Mexicans who saw in AMLO the best candidate of the lot. I think they were wrong. But, I do not think they are "not true Mexicans", "vende patrias", or communists. I also wonder how many of these 12 or 13 million voters now regret their vote.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 09:39 PM

Incidentally, TG, just got tix for Saturday and Sunday's games. You all are gonna lose.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 09:45 PM

Oops, TG, didn't see your above post. Problem is I lived in DC for many years, and it is my American "home". I even went back there last year to see the first Nationals game ever, in Philadelphia. So, this is a case not of divided loyalties, but of a stinking time conflict. It has been solved by me going to see the Nats on Friday and Sunday (day game) and the Potros Saturday and Sunday (night game.) As long as the Nats do not go 14 innings or something on Sunday, I am all right.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 09:49 PM

emptyboxes
-------------------
"So by the same logic, there was a huge fraud in the DF where PAN only managed to have about 30 percent of representatives and the voting favored AMLO almost twice as much.According to this silly argument then certainly the absence of PAN representatives will explain the fact that Calderon lost in the DF in such a way.
-------------------

Unfortunately I just wrote a nice, long post, explaining everything clearly, and then accidentally closed the window.

That said let me repeat quickly the main points, but please check an original article which describes what the PRD is alleging.

http://www.elporvenir.com.mx/notas.asp?nota_id=78351

(1) I keep repeating the words allegation, allege, 'if', etc., not just to distance myself from contentious charges, but because I really cannot tell you in the slightest degree if the claim is true.

(2) Regardless of whether or not the charges are true, you need to understand what the PRD is actually charging.

They are NOT alleging that where PBT observers were absent, then Calderon won & won big. That is not only NOT surprising, it is exactly what you would expect to happen in various areas around the country, especially when PBT support is so weak in an area that they can't even find one guy to hang around the polling station watching the vote counts. THAT would be normal, predictable, unsurprising.

They are ALLEGING that when ONLY the PAN, the PANAL, or both the PAN and PANAL together observed the casilla count, that the same exact mathematical percentage resulted each time, in every casilla, predictable to 2 decimal places based on who observed.

The following is a restatement (in English) of what the PRD is ALLEGING. (True or false, I have ZERO idea.)

(a) There were 485 stations in the country in which the only party observer to the count was of the Panal party.
In those 485 stations, the results were exactly that PAN always won with 63.91% of the vote, and AMLO lost with only 29.69% of the vote.
- Again, in 485 different stations under the Panal observers, the winning percentage for PAN was exactly the same to two decimal points.

(b) There were 2,366 stations in the country in which the only party observer to the count was of the conservative PAN party.
In those 2,366 stations, the results were exactly that PAN always won with 71.47% of the vote, and AMLO lost with only 21.47% of the vote.
- Again, in 2,366 different stations under the PAN observers, the winning percentage for PAN was exactly the same to two decimal points.

(c) There were 1,191 stations in the country in which the party observers were exclusively from both the PAN and Panal parties.
In those 1,191 stations, the results were exactly that PAN always won with 80.77% of the vote, and AMLO lost with only 13.02% of the vote.
- Again, in 1,191 different stations under a combined PAN / Panal observation team, the winning percentages for PAN were extremely high (nearly 81%!!!!) and exactly consistent to two decimal places.

*********
Again, in brief, the PRD's claim (a claim only, I don't know if it's true or false) for ANY casilla, anywhere in the country, in which:

(a) Only PANAL observes: Calderon = 63.91%.
- Never 67.05%, or 72.13%, or 83.89%, but 63.91%, every time.
(b) Only PAN observes: Calderon = 71.47%.
- Never 68.33%, or 75.91%, or 91.06%, but 71.47%, every time.
(c) Only PAN + PANAL observes: Calderon = 80.77%.
- Never 62.67%, or 77.48%, or 84.32%, or even 94.55%, but 80.77%, every time.

Now, in my opinion, this is either a GIANT load of crap (a lie or fairy tale gossip) which is about to severely embarass and harm the PRD in front of TEPJF / TRIFE as well as in the public eye; or it's a massive data error by either the PRD or IFE or both; or it's the sign of something impossible and inexplicable requiring further investigations.

The PRD is further specifically charging (and apparently asking for criminal charges) that the mechanism to reproduce these mathematically equivalent results around the nation was directed by Elba Esther Gordillo, former PRI party leader and current leader of the national teachers' union, and now Calderon supporters.

Me, I'm curious about the whole thing, but at the moment I'm most curious if the basic allegations are true: is it the case that in any casilla whose count was observed only by Panal or PAN you always get the exact same mathematical result depending on who observes?

Unfortunately this is either X-Files fiction or totally uninteresting, because I can't seem to find anyone arguing about it one way or the other -- true, false, or irrelevant.

Posted by: El Cid | August 3, 2006 10:24 PM

El Cid, no one prohibited the PRD from posting poll watchers at every polling place in the country. If they did not, for lack of interest or ability, that is no one's fault but their own.

Furthermore, the PAN had very few poll watchers in Tabasco, due to lack of PANistas in Tabasco. Calderon won exactly 3.63% of the vote, according to the official count. This number is insanely low. Is this, too, proof of poll watcher shenanigans?

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 10:28 PM

Before getting back to the political; Go Oaxaca! Watch out for Efrén Espinoza & Juan Enrique Quintanilla. Jerry/TG, are you going to abide by the umpire's decisions or are you going to ask for a recount pitch x pitch, inning x inning?

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 3, 2006 10:30 PM

El Cid, furthermore, since PRD representatives were never prohibited, their lack indicates a lack of perredistas in that particular precint. This is only logical. If the only party to post an observer is the PAN, this would indicate either massive repression, or, more likely, a lack of perredista and priista support. Given that, 71% for the PAN sounds about right.

Do you have any statistics on how polling places with ONLY a PRD representative voted? Somehow I do not think it was overwhelmingly PAN.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 10:32 PM

I heard Camacho Solis at Jose Cardenas repeating his threats of unstability and unrest that nobody believes.

I remember how passionate and full of energy this dumb loser was at the begining to the protests. He was coming out on TV threating of unrests and claiming that AMLO represented some 15 million Mexican voters, he even went as far as to claim it was half of the population.

Now he does not seem so proud. Speaking with Jose Cardenas on his TV Program he did not sound so strong anymore. Now he barely mentioned the word unrest.

This is really patetical. AMLO should just call it off and spare himself the embarrassment of being thrown out of the zocalo by his own party fellows. Because once the Court declares Felipe, and no doubt they will, that will be it for AMLO, everybody will forget about him and his allies and the internal struggle will begin.

We will have a very fragmented PRD after September 6.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 3, 2006 10:34 PM

K Vronna, I like Oaxaca, a lot. I lived for a summer in Puerto Escondido, conducting a highly scientific experiment as to how much beer the human liver can take. I think the Guerreros have, by far, the most fun fans in Mexico, and I go to their games whenever I am down that way. (I went to a game in 2001 during an election, complete with dry law. The beer sellers in the stadium were walking around with buckets full of Pepsis. BUT (big but), hidden under the Pepsi was beer. Bless them. And so much for the dry law.) There is something about attaching military grade bottle rockets to the outfield fence that we just lack up here in the north. In a perfect world, the final will be Potros/Guerreros.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 10:36 PM

Can someone please explain this to me? The DF govt is trying to push this off onto the feds -- to provoke a riot?

(just posted on El Reforma.com)
"Nosotros coadyuvamos en la parte de vialidad, de los impactos a los ciudadanos, pero en todos los casos, donde hay un problema de carácter nacional, quien tiene la conducción de la negociación debe de ser la Secretaría de Gobernación, con la ayuda nuestra". Secretario de Gobierno del Distrito Federal, Ricardo Ruiz.

Posted by: mexelect | August 3, 2006 10:54 PM

It is obvious that, in a perfect world for Encinas and Ebrard, the feds would move in and clear out the protestors. That would solve the local political problem that is being generated for Encinas of Chilangos not being able to move about their city, and, if they were really lucky, blood would be spilled and that would create a wonderful class of martyrs for the PRD.

That is also why Fox is going to have no part in this. If they are forceably removed, I would bet money it will be by GDF forces, not the PFP. After all, the affected merchants and workers know who to blame for allowing this, and it is not Fox.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 10:58 PM

El Cid:
Thanks for your reply.

A lot of people do not really believe these postings that PRD have on their website are really true. Including some very serious and inpartial intellectuals who have taken the time to examine those papers, like Hector Aguilar Camin and others. But forget about these intellectuals, there are also many universities like UNAM, who clearly favor AMLO and these institutions have also investigated these same papers posted by AMLO and presented to the public and they are either skeptical about whatever they found there or did not find anything because they have not come out to say they found anything at all. As good friends of AMLO, they have only remained silence instead of saying the found nothing. But believe me, had they found one single paper that will constitute prove of fraud they would have already denounced it.

Anyways, suppose that what they are stating there and you posted here so kindly is true.


You wrote:

"a)There were 485 stations in the country in which the only party observer to the count was of the Panal party.
In those 485 stations, the results were exactly that PAN always won with 63.91% of the vote, and AMLO lost with only 29.69% of the vote.
- Again, in 485 different stations under the Panal observers, the winning percentage for PAN was exactly the same to two decimal points."

Considering that each Polling station has 6 representatives of the IFE, Poll Station President, Escrutinador one, etc. All totaling 6 representatives of IFE, plus party representatives.

That will mean that somehow in these 485, the 485 Panal Representatives were able to either convince or bribe or force the 6 IFE representatives of each Polling stations to cooperate with the fraud and also to remain silent until this day.

So in total: 485 x 6 = 2910 People bribed by the Panal.
Plus the Panal representatives themselves that give us a total of 3395 Corrupted people who participated in these polling stations.


"b) There were 2,366 stations in the country in which the only party observer to the count was of the conservative PAN party.
In those 2,366 stations, the results were exactly that PAN always won with 71.47% of the vote, and AMLO lost with only 21.47% of the vote.
- Again, in 2,366 different stations under the PAN observers, the winning percentage for PAN was exactly the same to two decimal points."

That's another 14,196 people bribed or forced to violate the law or convinced plus the 2,366 PAN representatives gives us a total of 16562 Corrupted people who participated in these polling stations and cooperated in the fraud and have not spoken out against it until this day.


"c) There were 1,191 stations in the country in which the party observers were exclusively from both the PAN and Panal parties.
In those 1,191 stations, the results were exactly that PAN always won with 80.77% of the vote, and AMLO lost with only 13.02% of the vote.
- Again, in 1,191 different stations under a combined PAN / Panal observation team, the winning percentages for PAN were extremely high (nearly 81%!!!!) and exactly consistent to two decimal places."


That will be another 7,146 people bribed plus 1,191 PAN representative and another 1,191 Panal representatives who forced the others or bribed them or convinced them to participate, cooperate, lie and violate electoral law and who also along with the PAN and Panal representatives total 9528 corrupted people who also remained silenced until now and have not spoken out in support of AMLO.

That will give us a total of about 29,485 people who bribed, cooperated, lied to the voters, participated in violating the law in a huge and complex plot to change the results of the elections and who were silenced.

None of these people have come out of their silence to say what really happened, nor their families or friends, nobody noticed anything other than the PRD people and they did it only after the elections results did not favored them in the Presidential elections. But many people interviewed who participated, including PRD representatives and including the same PRD representative who denied AMLO's allegations of fraud.

The Greeks found images of animals and heroes in the stars. Dan Brown investigated and put together a bunch of findings about Jesus Christs Life. Yet we know all these things are not proven and are far from being truth.

If I start investigating the stars I will probably come up with some algorythm that will explain their position and that will prove to me that the somebody or some superior being designed the universe.

But we know that is not true.

It is easy to come up with many stories about these elections for one simple reason:

1) This election was huge with 130,000 polling stations distributed all over the country and more than a million citizens, all of them adults and consenting, participating on the process and 40 million voters. In such a huge complex operation no doubt you will find many similarities and strange things, and of course some errors too, and you can find crazy stuff if you look around.

So if I say that some Martians came and voted on election day I will probably find some numbers to prove my allegation right.


Posted by: emptyboxes | August 3, 2006 11:15 PM

Jerry:

You are right about that. Encinas and AMLO want President Fox to intervene and use force and get his hands bloody. Something that will reunite the leftists who are getting skeptical about AMLO's success and angry at his methods. As usual AMLO's strategy is to create an scenario where he is the victim.

But Fox and PAN have got some experience. They made some mistakes when the Desafuero and now they know AMLO and they will not let him have his way.

I think Encino put it right on an interview in Milenio Diario the other day, he said the strategy was to create a vacuum around AMLO and his actions, and not respond to him on his terms, where he moves very well.

I would also add that these scenarios that AMLO has been trying to create around the post-electoral conflict have collapsed because they lacked the reaction AMLO expected from Felipe Calderon, from President Fox and from PAN.

AMLO insisted in bringing Felipe Calderon to his territory by asking, demanding him to accept a recount, and Felipe Calderon replied wisely that he was willing to sit down and talk about the situation of the country, to which AMLO also wisely replied that the only condition to sit down and talk was to talk about the recount, knowing perfectly that sitting down with Felipe to talk about the country was the same as recognizing he won.

But AMLO continued trying to bring Calderon to his territory, and did the same with President Fox.

The latest was this huge mistake from AMLO of blocking the Paseo de la Reforma. I guess he had no choice. Putting a tent on a side-walk or a park or even at the zocalo does not really create big news. Blocking Reforma makes big news and puts AMLO in everyone's mouth. So yes, Jerry, in his perfect world, he expected the federal authorities to get scared and react.

It goes back to the time of the Desafuero when after rallying his people at the zocalo. Fox forgave AMLO, and AMLO believed it to be a recognition that he was superior and far more popular than Fox. Big mistake, because when he called Fox chachalaca he learned it was not so. Fox was popular too, and he is The President.

I believe AMLO's mistake was that he stayed in the desafuero time, he did not move forward to create new and different scenarios. Fox and PAN learned and moved forward and now they know how to play the game at the same level.

Our society has learned to deal with populists and provocateurs like AMLO and we should thank him for that.

We are bullet proof and we will never have any Chavez in our government.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 3, 2006 11:45 PM

I made a mistake in my last post. I wrote Encino in the third paragraph when it should have been Espino.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 3, 2006 11:47 PM

emptyboxes:

I find that your response to the PRD allegations of mathematical predictability of casilla results by party observation has one very logical and one much less logical theme.

The logical part is that it appears that there is no mechanism not involving tens of thousands of people and guaranteeing their silence to affect results in the fashion they allege.

The illogical part is to say that IF true, then the predictable results alleged are just a coincidental pattern, just as one might find shapes in the stars.

An election yields numerical results and so social scientists can take the results and make an equation out of it, in which the result (Y) is explained by some combination of different X's. I.e., the age of the voter, the income of the area in which people vote, etc., are combined into an equation that yields a statistical slope of the results. The usual process is to then look to which among the X variables (Xa, Xb, Xc) seem to have the most weight -- i.e., if Y is percentage result for Calderon, maybe the most important X causal variables would be, I don't know, the income of the area, or the level of education, etc. And usually there would be other analysis statisticians would do to refine or check the model.

But if one single variable predicted the result exactly, not just to predict a lopsided result but the exact numerical result, to two decimal places (and remember, since you know population that's the equivalent of predicting the actual number of votes received), every single time, well, there's not a social scientist or statistician in the world who would see it as some sort of uninteresting coincidence.

There's never, never 100% correlation between one causal variable and the outcome. That would mean that NO other factor mattered, or you're dealing with a situation in which you're pretending that it's a variable result while in reality there is an externally governed result. (Like if there's a law that says that at age 18 you absolutely have to register for the army or you're thrown in jail, and you begin looking for variables such as wealth or race or education to predict at what age people will register for the army. Well, unless you actually want to study human psychology about why people don't want to go to jail, you wouldn't look for explanatory variables because you already have it -- the law which forces people to register at age 18.)

No, these allegations are either wrong or completely misinterpreted, or they're true; they're not the result of any kind of happenstance among 42 million voters.

If I had to use my own intuition, then given the appearance of these allegations only in newspapers and the lack of interest in them at all, I'd have to guess (purely guess) on the side of wrong or misinterpretation.

Posted by: El Cid | August 3, 2006 11:50 PM

Fox (especcially) and Calderon may be proving better political actors than I gave them credit for. When someone is killing himself (politically), why take away his gun? Stand back and let him have at it. If these protests in the DF continue for much longer, a lot of real people, not La Jornada intellectuals, are going to suffer real losses, as in the story of the student I posted above this morning. How long will they stand for it? Who will they blame, innocent Fox who has called for calm, Encinas, who actively collaborated in the occupation of Reforma, Ebrard, who has voiced his support for it, or AMLO? Probably not Fox.


Posted by: Jerry B | August 3, 2006 11:51 PM

I am trying to figure out who AMLO thinks he is punishing with these protests. Certainly not me, or TG and Empty Boxes, and the tens of millions of others who live in northern states who voted for the PAN. On the contrary, this whole civil resistance campaign is, for me, something funny to watch on television at night. Nothing more. If this game playing at the BMV were to depress the Peso, the immediate effect of that would be to make Mexico's non oil exports more competitive. And, guess which region of the country produces most exports??? The North. Thank you, AMLO.

From a northern point of view, the stuff going on in the DF is hilarious. We get to feel superior (again) to the Chilangos. The Chilangos themselves are beginning to realize that maybe AMLO really is crazy. AMLO himself is doing the most impressive self-destruction act of a politician that I have ever seen.

From a purely PANista point of view, the longer the TEPJF waits to rule, the better. Because that means more time for the show to go on in the DF. And more time for AMLO's former supporters to really get to know and (not) like him, in the event there is annullment.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 4, 2006 12:04 AM

What I dislike a lot from Obrador is that they use a lot of emotional crap in all his ways, many people get hocked by that as when The Pope came to Mexico last time, that's why people in the tents and the demonstrations feel so jubilant about being part of that movement, lots of good feelings are waisted on this man, and if the court fail against him they are really going to resent it, I don't think that there is going to be a mayor uprising of violence, maybe some isolated cases and some other EPR guerrilla look a like, anyway we already have violence with Narcotrafic, What worries me is the inevitable ungovernability that we are going to face the next 6 years, It is not probably that the Tribunal will order the count of vote by vote, I fear that we have to be prepared to hear AMLO crying as chachalaca the next whole period, any mistake Calderon could make, Perredistas will tell "I told you, AMLO was the answer" what I fear is that if AMLO arrived this time as the Messiah, the next elections he will arrive as GOD himself, sorry for this comment but maybe could have been healthy to have Obrador as president now, that could have served as a vaccine against populism that Mexico needs, nobody will vote for populism again in the future I could assure that.

in other thing, did you know that when they took the BMV installations they did it disobeying orders from Obrador, what the hell happened there? AMLO is loosing control of his own people?

Posted by: A. Ramos | August 4, 2006 01:34 AM

I came back to read if anyone had posted any intelligent remarks. Not so, aside from Paco Gil, a brief cooperation by El Cid, and some baseball small talk I find this blog as uninteresting as always.

Sweet dreams fellows, in the words of another blogger: "...sit tight as reality passes you by."

Posted by: fco. | August 4, 2006 01:48 AM

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 4, 2006 01:48 AM

Before going to sleep, I'll take some time to answer my fan-mail:

Señor Gerardo de Borbón:
I'll tell you some important information: AMLO is as far from being my idol as you are. I have no idols. I follow no leaders. I support whatever cause I think is best for the good of most. You'd be surprised to know that the only two politicians I consider at least half respectable are Javier Corral (panista) and Gónzalez Schmall (convergencia).
On the other hand, I believe I have posted ample evidence of serious irregularities in the electoral process and you and your associates haven't even taken the time to examine or criticize it constructively. You claim that I haven't tried to defend my position. From my part, I claim that you haven´t even tried to attack it intelligently.

TG
Sorry for taking so long to answer, but it seems I had misplaced that item in my databases.

Trying to be more specific:

1. There are 21,177 "casillas" were AMLO's total votes are lower to the amount of votes obtained by Coalition Congress candidates.

a) A sample of 9,312 of these "casillas" presents an irregularly high porcentage of null votes: 3.21% (almost double than the national average!). The difference between AMLO (presidential ballot) and Coalition deputy ballots amounts to 72,876 more votes for the last.

b) In the other 11,865 "casillas", Coalition senatorial ballots sum 108,186 votes more than AMLO. The porcentage of null votes is also irregularly high (2.83%).

Without a recount, these "casillas" raise serious suspicions about their contents.

2. "Casillas" with an irregularly high level of citizen participation (more than 75% of registered voters) favor the PAN

a)National average citizen participation in the electoral process = 58.55%

b)There are 4,342 "casillas" with more than 75% of citizen participation. In these casillas the PAN obtained 763,742 against 569,261 votes by the Coalition. This means that there is a difference of 14.6% of the total votes between PAN and the Coalition. If the whole process reports a difference of 0.6% between both parties, what happened in these "casillas" were the difference is 24 times bigger?

Posted by: fco. | August 4, 2006 03:14 AM

El Cid:

The problem with AMLO's allegations is that according to him:

1) The Tally Sheets were falsified. Which then presuposses the bribing of the 6 IFE Officials and the party representatives present at the Polling station. Because:
a) The Tally Sheets cannot be falsified at the districts or any other place, because after the Polling Stations, they are distributed to the parties and published outside the Polling station and the PRD has more representatives at the districts.

2) It also presuposes that the representatives of the PRI and Alternative were either also bribed or convinced or forced not to show up to the polling stations or the Party themselves were bribed.

3) It presuposses then there were more than half a million people either bribed, convinced or forced to cooperate with the fraud one way or another.

El Cid, after the polling station is closed there is no way to change any results, the Tally sheet produced there is final and all parties have a copy of it and a big Tally sheet is posted outside the Polling station for the people to see the results.

The fraud allegations are not serious. They are not serious for one simple reason:

AMLO and his people improvised the fraud allegations, first they said it was cibernetic fraud, but did not fly because we do not vote electronically, and because he could not get any support from UNAM or UAM or any other serious institutions.

AMLO then switch to the "a la antiguita" fraud and everybody forgot about the cibernetic fraud. But this was 3 weeks after the elections.

What the PRD has to do and it is very simple is to convince the complete staff of a polling station somewhere to come out and speak of what happened in the process, how they were bribed, when?, How much they paid them? How did they force them to cooperate? I am sure regular Mexican people are not so corrupt and I am sure if AMLO's allegations are true, there will be enough evidence and witnesses.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 4, 2006 07:53 AM

Have anyone seen those pictures of Carlos Marx, Vladimir I. Lenin and José Stalin at he zocalo?

It is patetic the level of brain-washing activities happening at the UNAM and other state universities in the area by some cocaine and retrogad profesors and supported by radical communist and Anti-American and Anti-semitic newspapers like La Jornada and Proceso.
These is the same obsolete ideology that makes these PRD imbeciles to block the Mexican Stock Exchange market, thinking their actions will only affect the wealthy people.

In their totalitarian stupidity they do not see how Telmex, Alfa, Bimbo, Bancomer, and all the companies listed in the Mexican Stock Exchange are the same ones that provide well paying jobs for millions of Mexican employees.

The same seems to be happening in Reforma, where already the local businessmen are begining to lay-off hundreds of people, perhaps thousands, who depend on the tourism industry. Those plus the taxi drivers, shoe cleaners, waiters, etc.

So now these imbeciles are now showing what their dwellings are: Lenin, Stalin.

I have no doubt among those morons who put this pictures was Raymundo Riva Palacio, Julio Hernandez, Carlos Monsivais.

I can recognize their radical stupidity and their intentions to collectivize the imbecility.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 4, 2006 10:35 AM

The best way to get out of this mess is to hold new elections, have the PRD organize them, name Encinas as IFE President and have Camacho Solis, Gerardo Carroña and Ricardo Monreal, Jesus Ortega and the rest of PRD top guy to act as IFE General Committe.

There will be no casillas. There will be only one, and AMLO will be there to count the votes. In the end AMLO will give us the results. AMLO will also act as TRIFE and he himself wil qualify the election and declare a winner.

This will guarantee that there are no more fraud, no more conspiracy theories, no more protests, no more blockades, no more pseudo-intellectuals crying out in favor of a recount.

And every body will be happy.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 4, 2006 10:52 AM

emptyboxes:

Even if I were to assume that this particular election in Mexico were 100% correct (as far as is possible), I'm afraid I do not agree with this general sentiment that in this day and age, elections are so complex and so many people are involved that in Mexico or the USA it would simply be impossible to improperly manipulate them, or that any case of improper manipulation would be simplistic, blindingly obvious, and easy to detect by the casual observer. The leaders of nations control hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars of resources, and this alone would be incentive for anyone with ill intent to be just as sophisticated if not more so than the mechanisms intended to prevent electoral manipulation. This is not a conspiracy theory, it's an incentive theory. It would be enormously stupid for any society to think that such illegal activities were now impossible and only something of the past or of some other society.

Not only should there be safeguards against electoral manipulation, there should also be procedures which are ready to help resolve situations in which there is suddenly distrust for presumably neutral institutions; again, that's one reason I see no harm in a manual recount for any close election. Of course, there will always be those who will not be satisfied by any degree of re-examination or verification efforts, but I think you will find that the vast majority of people are looking for good-faith efforts, not absolute perfection.

Even when I'm pretty sure of my money, I occasionally count it twice, just to be sure. And there have been a couple of times in my life that a bank has indeed made a mistake, and fortunately when I pointed it out to them they verified the situation and corrected the error.

I know that there is a very popular view that most street activities by people protesting is a sign of rudeness, of primitiveness, and a prelude to caveman-style violence. The first post on this blog basically equates the Centro Historico protesters as machete-wielding thugs (not exactly, but that is the clear suggestion of the analogy).

I don't know if the protesters in Ukraine were correct that the elections were counted badly; but I do remember that the "Orange Revolution" was portrayed in enormously positive terms in the west.

But let's say that the protesters in Ukraine had been wrong -- let's say there was some sort of recount or other, and it was clearly proven that their feeling that the elections were miscounted were wrong.

Does this suddenly make them thugs who were destroying democracy?

I don't think so; what really mattered were their goals and methods, bearing in mind that no form of popular protest is perfect, and rare is the popular protest which doesn't in some way harm or inconvenience some people, many of whom don't deserve the harm or inconvenience.

It is commonly suggested here that these protesters are inferior, disorderly Southern Mexicans, who are much less refined than their Northern brothers and sisters. Furthermore, it is suggested that they are mere stooges of one politician, AMLO.

Again, this is only my own judgement, I could be wrong, but I don't think so. I think the vast majority of these protesters are thinking for themselves, and if AMLO begins to deviate from what they themselves believe in, then they will make up their own minds instead of following along like robots.

That at least is my judgement, others will have their own.

And finally, there is a further possibility: and that is that even if Calderon is certified into the Presidency, and soon (i.e., within some months) there is no more election-related protests, it is very possible that the movement begun with protest around recounting the votes will become a popular grassroots movement agitating for the kinds of liberal social change that most of the protesters are supporting.

Here in the USA, many people are activists for a certain cause, whether or not a majority of the public supports them or whether or not a particular elected leader supports them. Part of society is doing your best to first decide what is right, and next to act in a democratic fashion so that if you are right then you may change the minds of others.

This will occur with great tension, as different sides equally believe they are right, and there are enormous and risky things at stake.

In the USA, there was a time in which the overwhelming majority of the people (when asked) believed that the Iraq war was justified and that Iraq likely had weapons of mass destruction. At that time it was extremely unpopular to agitate against the war. Now, a majority of the population (when asked) say that the Iraq war was not justified, although there is a variation month to month on opinions about weapons of mass destruction.

Point being not that the people who agitated against the war were correct (although in my opinion we were), but that at the time many people argued that their dissent was actually dangerous, a security threat, a favor to the enemy. And that was a wrong, wrong view. Whether correct or incorrect, those who opposed the war certainly in no way endangered the nation, nor were acting outside a just conception of its intererests. (And certainly many would argue that the anti-war perspective might have kept the nation safer. But I am not assuming that everyone I am writing to agrees with my perspective.)

Posted by: El Cid | August 4, 2006 11:41 AM

Vote x Vote, Poll by Poll

Posted by: alfredo | August 4, 2006 11:54 AM

By the way, as a general statement, let me say that I think it would be a good idea for the Por el Bien de Todos coalition to actually send representatives to the USA (well, I guess you could do it electronically too) to discuss their point of view in newspapers or whatever; I don't think it should only be the job of interested individuals such as myself. It's kind of a big burden to take on and also do my regular job, which has its own pressing needs.

Posted by: El Cid | August 4, 2006 12:02 PM

El Cid:

You state "But if one single variable predicted the result exactly, not just to predict a lopsided result but the exact numerical result". I beg to differ. A percentage is not an exact numerical result. It is a coefficient and is most often used to normalize a variable into a fixed value in relation to its relative population. As I have stated before, to me it seems a very complicated mechanism to propose a conspiracy based on achieving a percentage when looking for a specific number is so damn easy. I have also stated before that not all of the funcionarios have the same academic background. We would have to suppose that this phenomenon happened only where they were schooled enough to understand the basic premise behind the plot which is to give the supposed beneficiary of said plot a certain percentage of the vote. Great theory. But, I'd love to know how it could be implemented in the real world. Sorry, I'm an engineer not a mathematician. Things have to have a practical sense to me. Math without a practical application is equal to mental masturbation.

Fco:

1. There are 21,177 "casillas" were AMLO's total votes are lower to the amount of votes obtained by Coalition Congress candidates.

I think that Pasilla stated somewhere "And bunburina, have you heard about divided voting? Mexico is not a parlamentary democracy, in which the party with the majority in Congress appoints a Prime Minister. People can vote for one party for president and for a completely different party for other offices. There are several other reasons, among them some very practical ones, which may explain why PRD is not contesting other results."

a) A sample of 9,312 of these "casillas" presents an irregularly high percentage of null votes: 3.21% (almost double than the national average!). The difference between AMLO (presidential ballot) and Coalition deputy ballots amounts to 72,876 more votes for the last.

See answer to point number one. Additionally, read comments made by Djnx in this same blog. And I quote, "I nullified my vote, so I'm not a non-voter.

I don't believe in any of the candidates. And what will AMLO do if he wins, it remains to be seen. However some people are doing this movement in favor of AMLO, but many many others are doing this against fraud, and I'm one of them."

What is a high percentage? What does the distribution look like? Is it normal, bimodal, chi squared, etc? If you isolate a sample from its population it could show different behavior. But, what I don't understand is why you have to theorize when you have the data on the total universe. Sorry, trying to remember my statistics classes.

b) In the other 11,865 "casillas", Coalition senatorial ballots sum 108,186 votes more than AMLO. The porcentage of null votes is also irregularly high (2.83%). Without a recount, these "casillas" raise serious suspicions about their contents.

See prior points.

2. "Casillas" with an irregularly high level of citizen participation (more than 75% of registered voters) favor the PAN

Another conclusion could be that AMLO was lucky that there was not a bigger turn out or he would have lost by a wider margin. Seriously, where were these voting stations located?

a)National average citizen participation in the electoral process = 58.55%

b) There are 4,342 "casillas" with more than 75% of citizen participation. In these casillas the PAN obtained 763,742 against 569,261 votes by the Coalition. This means that there is a difference of 14.6% of the total votes between PAN and the Coalition. If the whole process reports a difference of 0.6% between both parties, what happened in these "casillas" were the difference is 24 times bigger?

Does someone have the statistical values on this data (ie mean, variance, std. deviation, range dispersion)? Comparing isolated data points without knowing the behavior of the sample population, in this case the universe is almost impossible. The 58.55% figure is the result of adding all of people who voted and dividing it by total registered voters. If we apply central tendency theory, we could infer that the majority of the data points would be around this value. But, by that same theory some proportion of the population has to be above or below it within a certain range. The 4,342 voting stations represent only 3.34% of the total universe. Without knowing what kind of distribution it is, I could not tell you if this possible or not.

Posted by: TG | August 4, 2006 12:19 PM

T.G.
Listen, I'm no statistical genius. Nevertheless, don't discard my arguments so easily.

1. Of course I am aware of divided voting. My own votes were divided between Coalition, PRI (Beatriz Paredes), and PASC candidates. Yet the issue on this first point is not wether divided voting is an odd behavior or not.
What I'm trying to stress is that in the total "casillas" were the Coaltion received more votes for Congress than for the presidential candidate there is a constant of a highly irregular amount of null votes.
Is this stark evidence of fraud? I don't know.
Are these ballot boxes clean? I don't know either.
All I know is that the only way to find out if there are irregularities present is to open this packages and count the ballots again, since they raise serious doubts.

2. As I said before, I'm not much into statistics.
Yet, you asked where were these "casillas" placed. The curious thing is that they are all over the map. They don't obey the north-south divide that characterizes the whole process.
Even so, I find it very suspicious that on all 75% plus participation level "casillas" the PAN and Coalition difference widened up to 14.6%. I think the expected behavior would be that in these same casillas the 35%-35% streak between both candidates would be repeated with minor fluctuations.
Since there is no hard evidence pointing towards clean ballots or widespread fraud in this "casillas", a pragmatic solution would be to open them and check their contents.

Posted by: fco. | August 4, 2006 01:52 PM

TG:

You are using statistical language the same way a drunkard at night uses a street lamp: to remain standing, not to illuminate...

Granted, many of the allegations are no more than that: allegations. Statistics is used to make inferences when the examination of the universe is practically impossible. In this case, the universe is all the votes, and they can be recounted. So, why recur to statistical theory and sampling (with the unavoidable uncertainty: the "detachment" that I believe you meant) when it is possible to examine the whole universe (voto x voto, casilla x casilla)? Let me give you an example of the superficiality of your statistical interpretation.

"There are 4,342 "casillas" with more than 75% of citizen participation (average participation 58.55%). In these casillas the PAN obtained 763,742 against 569,261 votes by the Coalition. This means that there is a difference of 14.6% of the total votes between PAN and the Coalition. If the whole process reports a difference of 0.6% between both parties, what happened in these "casillas" were the difference is 24 times bigger?

You question the interpretation because the distribution may be non-normal. You're right, but I don't believe that it's too far fetched to assume normality in the absence of knowledge of the true distribution; we do this all the time. But my point here is that you disregard the quid of the argument. In the polling stations mentioned, two highly improbable events were combined: very high turn-out and very high preference for Calderon. I'm sure that a very low probability of these events happening together by chance can be computed. But again, this is but one of the suspect results of the election. I insist, once more, that to ensure transparency in light of these findings and very close numbers between the two leading candidates, a full recount is warranted. But this is only my opinion. Contrary to comment-making machines like emtyboxes, I can respect opinions opposite to mine, without insulting those who don't think like me. emptyboxes starts looking to me a little bit bipolar. On ocassion he asks us not to insult anybody (I don't think that I have done it, it's not my style). But then, when magnanimity wears off, he comes back with insults, failed humor, bigotry and wild speculation.

I appreciate, TG, your effort to argue respectfully. But I'm affraid that statistics may be a subject a tad dry for participants. Besides, I disent from your branding of theoretical math as "mental masturbations." I believe that this branding doesn't really have anything to contribute to the discussion.

One last thing, because you referenced something that I wrote. Your use of my quote is right, but what El Cid refers to is to the well known fact (granted, not an absolute fact) that in presidential elections people tend to vote more for president than for candidates to other offices; the main reason is that they "know" the presidential candidates better. That's all; no science, only observation of human behavior.

Posted by: pasilla | August 4, 2006 02:05 PM

Sorry! I attributed something to El Cid. In reality, fco. said it...

Posted by: pasilla | August 4, 2006 02:10 PM

Pasilla,

When I said that math without practical application was useless I was referring to the theory that El Cid posted about the peculiar behavior of the voting stations that show percentages that are very close. He used his knowledge of math to try to convince and I think I replied in kind.

Sorry, that statistics bores you. But, El Cid and Fco brought it up. I don't take statements made by any political party on faith. That is why I ask. I know that if you present partial results on any data set compared to averages that they don't make any sense and I also know that most people would rather let someone else interpret the data for them. I just happen not to be one of those people.

Again, I apologize if my post bored anyone besides Pasilla.

Fco.

Thanks for your replies

Posted by: TG | August 4, 2006 02:39 PM

Your welcome TG,

Nevertheless, do consider that, although my source is the "Recurso de Impugnación de la Coalición por el bien de todos", the Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) has already accepted said evidence as valid to support the Coalition's claims.

If its good enough for the TEPJF, shouldn't it be good enough for you as well?

Posted by: fco. | August 4, 2006 03:01 PM

By the way, anyone who is curious about the type of allegations I wrote about can download the entire IFE results database in text format, divided by the "|" character.

I only have MS Excel and Access. With 130,000+ rows representing each casilla, Access can open it, but my skills with doing analysis on Access are clearly insufficient. Unfortunately Excel can only handle 65,536 rows at a time, and even when I try and copy and paste some quick sample of 10,000 lines out of Access at a time, my fairly simple computer gets completely frozen up.

Here is the address to download your own copy.

http://www.ife.org.mx/Computos2006/bd_computos06.htm

Friday work deadlines persist and I've done what I could to take a look at this today. I would be curious if anyone could pull this up and take a look at the bases of the particular allegations I mentioned -- although again, you'd have to be guessing for your own curiosity, working backwards from the percentages because there's no indication on the database of which parties were observing.

Otherwise we'll just hear what the TEPJF will rule tomorrow, Saturday 05 August if the reports are true.

My suspicion is that given their rulings so far, the TEPJF will rule against a recount (and similarly against annulments), giving as the main reason a technical objection that the number of actual casillas challenged by PBT being too low (i.e., the ~50K), and the second reason will be mainly institutional in nature, that in their view the evidence having to be of a much, much more clearer indication of failure or wrongdoing in order for them to appear to be challenging the work of IFE.

Posted by: El Cid | August 4, 2006 03:56 PM

Fco:

I don't think that the court has ruled on the validity of the evidence, yet.

This was published today:

Decide mañana TEPJF sobre impugnaciones

A las 10:00 horas iniciará la sesión de los Magistrados del Tribunal Electoral

Ciudad de México (4 agosto 2006).- La sala superior del Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación anunció hoy que mañana sesionará para resolver los incidentes de previo y especial pronunciamiento tramitados en los juicios de inconformidad promovidos por la coalición por el Bien de Todos.

En el comunicado, se menciona que la sesión iniciará a las 10:00 horas.

"Se hace del conocimiento público que, con el objeto de resolver los incidentes de previo y especial pronunciamiento tramitados en los juicios de inconformidad promovidos para impugnar los resultados de los cómputos distritales de la elección de Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, que a continuación se precisan, esta sala celebrará sesión pública, en la sala destinada para ese efecto, el próximo día 5 de agosto del año 2006 , a las 10:00 horas", se lee en el comunicado emitido hoy.

En días previos circuló que antes de que concluyera esta semana, los Magistrados electorales desahogarían la petición de un recuento voto por voto de los comicios presidenciales del 2 de julio.

A partir del proyecto que presente el magistrado presidente Leonel Castillo, los siete integrantes del Tribunal emitirán una sentencia que tendrá el carácter de interlocutoria, no definitiva, sobre la validez de los comicios.

El lunes, el Tribunal difundió una resolución en la que además de "acumular" las distintas demandas presentadas en 230 de los 300 distritos en torno a la del distrito 15, establece el "orden procedimental" en el desahogo del "juicio líder" de la coalición Por el Bien de Todos.

Posted by: TG | August 4, 2006 03:56 PM

El Cid:

I tried to download the information, yesterday. Your comment on the limitations in Excel are correct. We can wait to see what happens with the allegations, tomorrow.

Posted by: TG | August 4, 2006 04:27 PM

Pasilla:

I don't know where you live our how many elections you have participated in. But from what I have observed of human behavior in my part of Mexico in the last seven presidential elections, most people know the candidates for deputies and senators better than they know presidential candidates because they have to be from their state. They are normally people that have held some kind of local political position before. With the exception of Carlos Salinas, who claimed to be a native son and I didn't vote for, none of the other candidates have ever been from Nuevo León.

So can't say I agree with your conclusion that it is "well known fact (granted, not an absolute fact) that in presidential elections people tend to vote more for president than for candidates to other offices; the main reason is that they "know" the presidential candidates better. That's all; no science, only observation of human behavior."

Posted by: TG | August 4, 2006 04:54 PM

This is all very interesting reading, I´ve enjoyed following these blogs for the last few weeks, but I think some of you guys should rein in the insults to one another a bit!

Now, I was just wondering about this "71.47%" statistic which is doing the rounds. Please forgive me if I´m completely wrong about this, but here goes...

Some one above said the most amount of ballots in a single casilla would be 750, my wife, who is Mexican (I´m not) tells me it could be 1,500, so I´ll start at that figure. So if I wanted to fix the ballot to show 71.47% of 1500 votes were for PAN that would mean I would need to ensure there are 1072.05 votes for PAN. Not sure how I´ll mark up .05 of a vote, but anyway.

Now I assume that spoilt votes are not counted in the total of which the percentages are based, so if, say, 300 votes were spoilt, that would leave 1,200 votes for me to rig. Okay, as long as PAN gets 71.47%, the rest of the votes can be split any which way. So, 71.47% of 1,200 is 857.64. Right, I´ll go get myself a .64 of a vote to make things right.

All I´m assuming here (and always remember, Assume makes an ass out of you and me) is that however many unspoilt votes are counted, PAN gets 71.47%, and the rest are split between the other parties. I can´t find any number between 0 and 1,500 where I´m not trying to add in a fraction of a vote to get to the magical 71.47%.

Maybe I´m missing something?

Posted by: PeterN | August 4, 2006 05:44 PM

Oh, I thought there was a science that studied human beahavior and used a lot of statistics. I think its call Sociology which is the scientific study of human social relations or group life.

Posted by: TG | August 4, 2006 05:48 PM

Putting together 2, or 3 or 10 or even 20,000 tally sheets that behaved in a similar way does not constitute evidence of fraud. Because we did not vote in computers, but in a 130 thousand polling sites all over the country.

The elections are organized by IFE and the people who participate as volunteers and who are chosen under the very eyes of all the parties in a random fashion.

But the elections are held in all regions and communities of the country and the results will always behave as chaotical as Mexico can be. I insist, there 130,000 polling sites, more than a million people participating in the organization and counting of the votes, more than 40 million voters, and all of this happened in one single day, when one million people woke up one sunday morning in all regions and communities of Mexico, and arranged the polling site and the voters began coming in and exercising their franchise.

The rest, the numbers, you can play in Excel all you want. None of what you can find will constitute evidence for the court.

Because we do not vote electronically. Then PRD must provide real and hard evidences of fraud and not mere assumptions or similarities or rarities or conclusions.

They must provide the following:

a) One single Acta or Tally Sheet of a polling station which was falsified or counterfeited by either PAN or IFE or PRI or any other party or person. That will constitute a real evidence.

b) They must provide Protests Sheets of Election Day, which were filed by PRD during the counting and that bear witness of an irregularity.

Apparently they have very little of the protests sheets, about 2,300 and those same protests sheets were taken care of at the district countings by opening the ballot boxes and counting the votes again. So they have no more protests sheets.

Tomorrow all these conspiracy and Da Vinci Code theories will go down the drain where they belong. When the judges see the "evidences" of PRD, newspaper notes in favor or a recount, polls results that favored AMLO, underwear from the fellow who impersonated AMLO in El Derecho de Mandar, and photos of Betty La Fea, well, the judges are going to have a laugh for a while. Good Luck!

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 4, 2006 06:31 PM

I downloaded the IFE data (since it's a text file you can split it into multiple XL sheetes).

As for the magic 71.43% -- PAN had a total of 25 casillas, while PRD had 30. With 0%, PAN 240, PRD 91, and with 100%, PAN 1, PRD 4. The PRI was pretty important in the 0% casillas.

So, sorry, that theory doesn't stand up to scrutiny. (And maybe it's because I'm an American, but if I were going to cheat, especially "old school" -- I'd win BIG -- not by under 250,000 votes.)

Posted by: mexelect | August 4, 2006 07:12 PM

In a quick test for curiosity's sake, I took the data for states 24-31 on the IFE database, and they are numbered by alphabetical order of state name (San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatan, Zacatecas).

Of these states, zero casillas had any PAN % victory coming close to the allegedly special 71.47% of votes, jumping from 71.429% to 71.491%.

There were 4 casillas (of these states) which could have been in the 63.91% PAN victory alleged to have resulted from Panal observers.

And there was either 1 or zero casillas, depending on rounding, at 80.777%, close to the 80.77% margin of PAN victory alleged to result when both PAN & Panal observed.

So presumably any large number of casillas fitting the alleged observation pattern described earlier must have been between A (Aguascalientes) and Q (Quintana Roo), because there were only 4 (or 5) such casillas out of these 31,780, which unfortunately is all I have time for today. Thus any surprising pattern as described earlier centering on an exactly predictable result based on who is observing does not seem to hold for states 24-31.

(Average PAN % calculated using # PAN votes over # Votos Validos per casilla. Total votes in this sample 9,449,454. Average Votos Validos per casilla = 205.5. Average Votos Nulos per casilla, 4.5. Average PAN votes per casilla this sample = 119; Average PBT votes per casilla this sample = 42.5.)

Posted by: El Cid | August 4, 2006 07:20 PM

Some thoughts on those polling stations with high turn out / high PAN preference. On the Monday after the vote, my husband & I went bike riding through our town like we usually do when we have the time. We have a pretty pluralistic town with all 3 major parties well represented and the neighborhoods are pretty mixed up except for three, which are the "rich" neighborhoods for us. The tally sheets in these places were incredibly in favor of the PAN and we stopped to talk with a shop owner friend about this. His take was that the true effects of the "Fear Campaign" and its possible intention was not to scare off AMLO backers, but to get out the PAN vote to save the country from a "radical communist". He said he saw some seniors that he thought were long dead, since he hadn't seen them out of their houses in so long, some in wheelchairs, even one lady that was wheeled to the polls in a gurney. This might be a factor to take into account, these are easily scared people.

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 4, 2006 07:22 PM

Yeah, so far the magic percentage allegation based on who's observing seems to hold zero water (based on the downloadable data) and I'm sorry for bringing it up. I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier that the data would be downloadable and the allegation separately calculable. Probably just assuming that someone else already would have, but then, I guess bloggers are truly just as likely to investigate something, if not more likely, than many journalists and 'experts.'

Posted by: El Cid | August 4, 2006 07:32 PM

K. Vronna:

I also believe that contrary to what PRD and their intellectuals are claiming, the Spots agaisnt AMLO had little or no effect at all in AMLO followers, but they were addressed to the PAN most traditional voters, who are many too, to get them scare of AMLO and to force them to come out and vote for their party.

Something of the sort occured in the last presidential elections in the USA where Bush campaigned heavily on the grounds of family values and scaring his hardcore voters witht the idea of a very liberal president who would have pursued Gay-marriage rights and pro-choice and other traditional ideas of the liberals in the USA. He succeded and overcame a high turn out of anti-war voters who tried to get Kerry elected, that and probably those stupid expensive shirts from Kerry and of course the fact that Bush had a ranch in Texas and goes overthere and takes some pictures with the all-American-Cow-boys and his beisball hat on. Stupid Kerry, all his millions and he never got a ranch in Texas to take away those cow-boy votes!

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 4, 2006 08:23 PM

Here is a little advanced payment of what is to come soon for AMLO:

This news are fresh from Reforma.com

El derecho supera caprichos.- Azuela

Ante la controversia generada por los resultados del 2 de julio, Azuela dijo que el Estado de Derecho debe ser salvaguardado

Verónica Jiménez


Pachuca, México (4 agosto 2006).- El Presidente de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, Mariano Azuela, sostuvo este viernes que el derecho y las reglas deben estar por encima de los caprichos individuales, en clara alusión a la controversia generada por los resultados de las elecciones presidenciales del 2 de julio.

"Una de las expresiones más claras de las creatividad humana y uno de los inventos más extraordinarios del ser humano es el derecho que viene a hacer expresión de las reglas, que por encima de caprichos individuales invita a todos a someterse a ella".

Durante su estancia en la capital hidalguense, Azuela refirió que las situaciones políticas, "donde hay un tirano, monarca, o quien sustituye con su voluntad lo que es un derecho, está destinado a desaparecer, y la historia nos muestra que el Estado de Derecho debe ser salvaguardado".

Azuela sostuvo un encuentro con el Gobernador Miguel Ángel Osorio, y juntos presidieron una sesión solemne del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de la entidad.

Ratificó la puesta en marcha del Juzgado Tercero de Distrito, instancia que dirimirá las controversias constitucionales, además de avalar la creación del Consejo de la Judicatura y la permanencia del Tribunal Unitario de Justicia, con sede en Pachuca.

Durante su discurso, el Presidente del máximo tribunal del País demandó el impulso de una cultura jurisdiccional, "que es la de someterse a las normas, aceptarlas, y respetar las decisiones que, derivadas de ellas y a través del debate y el consenso se tomen".

This a clear message to the TRIFE to act based on the what the law says.

"que es la de someterse a las normas, aceptarlas, y respetar las decisiones que, derivadas de ellas y a través del debate y el consenso se tomen".

"To be subjected to the norms, accept them and respect those desicions arising from them and taken through a debate and consensus."

And another message for AMLO to obey
"o quien sustituye con su voluntad lo que es un derecho, está destinado a desaparecer"

"Those who replace with their will what is a right, are bound to dissapear."

Now being as how Mr. Azuela is the President of the Supreme Court, he should know better that anyone else what is really happening inside the TRIFE.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 4, 2006 08:57 PM

Lo tengo que confesar Ya! si, "emptyboxes" es mi Hijo!

Posted by: La Chingada | August 4, 2006 10:06 PM

I'd like to rub this one a little more.

"quien sustituye con su voluntad lo que es un derecho, está destinado a desaparecer"

That comes from the President of The Supreme Court. That is a clear message.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 4, 2006 10:18 PM

I guess it is time to go to the blogs on the Cuban thingy, that crook old man is about to die, I should curse him a little before he kicks the bucket.

Then on to the Lebanon blog, to defend the heroic Israelis who are bombing the hell out of those terrorists.

This blog is losing its allure. All these PRD fellows talk about today is statistical sciences.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 4, 2006 11:26 PM

Statistics? well for me it's very simply, AMLO is crazy, evidence is there all the time, remember that he said "I propose to block the streets" instead of "WE" or "ME and PRD" or "ME, PRD and the counsel", or he could even said "WE THE PRD", instead of all these, he said "I".
he asked to the mob "Do we block the streets?" and the mob answered "YES!", Is that instant democracy??, who dared to say no??, who dared to say, "What is going to happen with all the people that we are going to affect?" or al least... "let's think about it".
Oh man! if you can't see the madness in there, well then you are all f***** up.
it's irrelevant to talk about statistics when madness have taken politics and the streets.

Posted by: Cosme A. | August 5, 2006 12:15 AM

Please visit: http://www.mivotofuelimpio.com/

thanks a lot

Posted by: Benito | August 5, 2006 12:26 AM

It is nice to see the PRD really embracing modernity, globalization, and the world of finance. This is from La Jornada, concerning this mornings two minute hate (remember 1984) in front of the BMV. The words are Marti Batres':

La resistencia civil pacífica recurre a los símbolos. El elegido ayer fue el edificio de la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV). "Este es uno de los símbolos del México que no queremos", expresa Martí Batres, dirigente del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) en la capital del país. "Es el símbolo de la especulación, del poder financiero que no paga impuestos, es un símbolo de la especulación no productiva".

"Este es uno de los símbolos del México que no queremos", expresa Martí Batres

By all means, let us expell all this evil capital. It creates jobs, for God's sake, and the last thing any good perredista wants if for Mexicans to have jobs. It is much better if they are clients of state welfare programs; they are much easier to control that way.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 5, 2006 02:40 AM

Bla bla bla bla....

Anyone else, aside from TG, has any intelligent remarks to post on this blog?

Is there anyone left who is still in touch with reality?

DISTENSION people!!!
Distension is the solution for Mexico´s current debacle. Distension can only be acomplished with legitimacy.

With a full recount that ratifies Calderón as the legitimate winner the left loses its strength and legitimacy.
Without a full recount doubt will clout Calderón's victory. It will be impossible for him to govern. Take de la Rua for instance. In Argentina he won with a minimal margin. Most argentineans were opposed to his candidacy (by the way, Dick Morris, Calderón's campaign strategist, was also responsible for de la Rua's campaign).
Due to street protests and "cacerolazos", de la Rua was forced to resign. After several brief presidencies, Kirchner came to power.
The same happened to Lucio Gutiérrez in Ecuador.

Can't you see, people, that legitimacy is the key issue in this predicament?

Posted by: fco. | August 5, 2006 04:48 AM

Legitimacy does not come from a bunch of people sitting-in at the Zocalo or blocking Reforma. It does not come from leftist intellectuals. It does not come from lies and manipulation. It comes from the mayority.

Salinas legitimacy was compromised because the mayority of Mexicans did not believe the elections had been clean or fair. There was a lot of Ballot stuffing, voter intimidation, and we did not have all the controls we have today and that AMLO and PRD do not seem to give credit to.

Legitimacy comes from a real election and this election was real as the mayority of Mexicans will agree to it.

Felipe Calderon won because he got 250,000 more votes, it could have been 1 more vote or 5 million, and it would have been the same with AMLO.

Felipe Calderon and PAN have acted responsibly, they have not provoked anyone, they have not, as some of the PRD want us to believe, acted as they already won, they had kept a low profile in the words of many because they have not taken people to the streets and they have not been giving all these interviews and calling for all these press conferences and they are not doing anything mediatical.

AMLO's case before the court is very weak. There is no evidence and that is why he and his people resort to take it to the streets. He knows very well the quality of the Court. It is the same Court that forced the SHCP and The Banking Sytems to open and provide financial information of the Amigos de Fox financial operations. These Court was chose by congress and the PRD participated in the process. The Court has already favored AMLO in one of his impugnation: In Tabasco they annuled the elections upon finding real evidence of fraud.

Mariano Azuela is right, the law is the only way to defend our rights.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 5, 2006 07:35 AM

He did not take long.
In a few hours, TRIFE will join a long list of institutions and people who have been part of a greater plot to destroy AMLO's aspirations to save the Mexican people.

The new evils in AMLO´s hatred campaign are the 7 judges that will review and decide on the validity of the elections and on the fate of PRD´s allegations.

In a most cowardly act, as usual in them, the PRD officials have shown the names and photos of these Judges, at the zocalo, while their leader cast doubts on their previous desicions and on the historical desicions from the Courts in Mexico.

Mr. Demagogy has a opened a new target for his misguided followers, the new evils have names and faces, and we can start hating them if they do not favor out causes.

These Judges have got a little taste of what Mr. Demagogy is capable of doing with them.

Now the fanatic and misguided followers know their faces, and so these judges better accept the terms of Mr. Obrador, or face being pictured together with the likes of Salinas de Gortari, and suffer the same fate as Dr. Ugalde did.

Those of you who come here to defend AMLO´s allegations of fraud. What say you about this cowardly and absurd pressure on the Judges of the TRIFE?

Wasn´t it enough to file the complaint at the Court and present whatever evidence AMLO had?

Why this hate? Why these false accusations?

Why is it that AMLO cannot accept any authority at all?

When a judge ordered AMLO to return a piece of land to its original owner. The judge was corrupted by the money from the owner and it was a plot agaisnt his will.

When a higher Court ordered the PGR to press charges against AMLO for disobeying a Court Order. They were part of a plot to destroy him.

When his subordinates, his second hand in DF and his finances director appeared in a video taking millions of pesos and putting them in plastic bags and talking about corruption activities with Carlos Ahumada. The video was produced by CIA, Salinas, Diego Fernandez De Cevallos, the President Fox, el yunque, etc. It was a plot to destroy him, there was not corruption in his government and he was a victim again.

Back in the campaign, when the polls did not favored him, they were part of a plot to destroy him.

When Victor Trujillo wanted to ask him a few questions on general culture, same that the other candidates had answered, he refused and implied it was a trick, it was part of the plot.

When he missed the debate it was because in reality the debate was a trick where the PRI and PAN were going to try to destroy him. Another plot.

When most analysts said that the best expositor at the debate was Felipe Calderon, they were all part of the plot.

When the PREP started showing results and they favored Felipe Calderon. The PREP was part of a plot.

When the Districts counted the votes and the results favored AMLO. IFE and Dr. Ugalde were part of the plot.

When the television networks started interviewing Felipe Calderon as the winner candidate and future president of Mexico. They were part of a Plot.

When the European Union observers and others as well declared the elections clean and fair. They were misinformed and saw nothing. Either that or they were part of the same plot.

When governments of other countries, like Spain, USA, Germany, etc. Congratulated Mr. Calderon. They were misinformed by our foreing relations officials who are part of the same plot.

When the PRD Representative from Salamanca denied AMLO´s allegations of fraud at her polling station, she was sold out to his enemies. She was part of another plot to take away the election from him.

When journalists like Loret de Mola or Victor Trujillo or Lopez Doriga questioned AMLO for his reactions to the adverse results and do not support his allegations of fraud. They are part of the plot.

So now, the outcome of today is pretty predictable:

In a few hours, the TRIFE will join a long list of institutions and people who have been part of a greater plot to destroy AMLO and to take away his victory at the presidential elections.

He is the victim of a huge plot.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 5, 2006 09:52 AM

tic,tac;tic,tac;tic,tac.
To day (saturday): the Tribunal Electoral Federal make a big decision!.
Recuento total o recuento parcial.
Maybe in 10 500 polling places!.
Jejejeje.
tic,tac;tic,tac.
Nation of laws or dictadorship (perfect or no).Viva la democracia, la pluralidad y la tolerancia.
PS: quizas tambien los argumentos y no los insultos y descalificacions. Veremos.

Posted by: Eduardo Valle | August 5, 2006 10:09 AM

Unbelievably poor decision making by the TV channels in Monterrey! While a live session of the TRIJE is available, we're getting stupid clowns, and football, and singing kids and gossip programs. Not a single station is carrying the session.

Posted by: Greg | August 5, 2006 12:38 PM

Well. That's it. Only Casillas will be open, 2 thousand something polling sites in 6 Districts where PRD has got Protest Sheets of inconsistencies filed on Election Day. But the PRD Coalition will have to provide evidences in another 9,000 or so polling sites in some 143 Districts in order to get a recount for them.

Although the fight is not over this is a real blow to the PRD Coalition.

I was very happy to see Mr. Leonel Castillo coming in defense of the CERTAINTY provided by the whole process itself. The citizens, chosen randomly, participate, organize, validate, count and record the process in a formal document Acta de Escrution, which serves as the memory of what happened in the polling station.

There also more filters to guarantee certainty at the districts where political parties have the ability to file complaints and provide evidences of inconsistencies to have the ballot packages reopen and the ballots recounted.

The TRIFE voted unanimously. The TRIFE is behind the citizens. They act on the grounds that the citizens are honest and it is the job of the PRD Coalition or PAN to demonstrate, clearly and firmly, otherwise on each specific polling station. The incosistency of one polling station cannot be related or associated or linked in anyway with the inconsistency in another one or in all of them. Because each polling station represents different citizens in different places accross the country.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 5, 2006 01:17 PM

There won't be total recount, only the 50% of the polls

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/366844.html

PRD simply couldn't prove or give profs for a total recount.

Posted by: A. Ramos | August 5, 2006 01:36 PM

Oh my son, I'm so sad to realize how much we spoiled you through those early years.

Perhaps I've should've send you to visit those dark/poor places around our country instead of sending you to Disneyland in order to have more empathy with people who is 'different'.

You got some of the most expensive education any Mexican could get, nonetheless your stupidity will remain forever.

Dad

Posted by: Emptyboxes I am your Father | August 5, 2006 02:21 PM

Now that the legal issue has been settled,let's see what the partial recount results are. If Lopez Obrador refuses to wait for those results and instead tries to use coercive tactics to get his way, it will only confirm what has now become obvious to most open-minded people, that he is essentially anti-democratic and reckless.

If the recount favors him, then he will be the new president and Mexico will be in for six years of turmoil in which jobs will be lost to more competitive nations. An economic slowdown in the United States will also cutoff that pressure-release valve, forcing millions of Mexicans to stay home and find work where none will exist. What a shame that Mexico would be held back and thrown into turmoil by this selfish and disturbed little man.

On the other hand, there is still time for people to wake up and realize what is at stake. Responsible people need to start moving away from AMLO now so that his threats can be contained.

Posted by: Goyo | August 5, 2006 02:47 PM

Clarifying:

TEPJF has currently ordered manual recounts of 11,839 polling stations ("casillas") out of the 130,000+ total. This represents a nearly 9.07% sample, which should be large enough to detect any systematic errors or manipulations within the general vote population.

Although this is far below what AMLO and many citizens were demanding (a complete manual recount) and for which they were demonstrating, neither is it a complete tossing out and dismissal of their concerns.

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/366854.html

If anyone has a link to the actual ruling it would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I have much work to do today.

Posted by: El Cid | August 5, 2006 02:59 PM

"If the recount favors him, then he will be the new president and Mexico will be in for six years of turmoil in which jobs will be lost to more competitive nations."

According to Fox's governments own figures from INEGI, there has been a net loss of jobs in Mexico over the past 5 years.

So, I guess the question would be, would AMLO lose as many jobs as Fox? More than? Fewer than?

Posted by: El Cid | August 5, 2006 03:16 PM

Goyo,

In your mind Fox is been doing great, right?

I recall his beloved "vocero" said, lots of people immigrate to the US for cultural reasons as well, say just to learn english.

I've been living in the US for 10 years now and I still need to meet a single paisano who tells me he/she came here just for fun (because they deicided to reject all those job opportunities down there).

Fox and his magic land (as well as for many users of this blog)... whatever

Posted by: Get Real | August 5, 2006 03:34 PM

I went back to look at my previous message to see where I mentioned Fox and I see nothing. So why bring up job losses or anything else about the current government?

Mexico has been losing jobs to China and other nations, as I have pointed out here previously, partly because the PRI-PRD alliance in Congress blocked all of the reforms Fox proposed. Mexico has been kept afloat by hardworking immigrants sending money back home. What I am saying is that more jobs will be lost if Lopez Obrador were declared the victor or if the tribunal rules in favor of Calderon and AMLO sends his mobs out to commit violent acts.

The other concern is an economic slowdown in the United States that would affect housing construction or other sectors where lots of immigrants have found employment. Mexican workers could be caught in a tough spot if a recession reduces opportunities on both sides of the border. This would be especially bad if you have a president in office who does not push for necessary reforms and thinks every problem can be solved by calling people to the Zocalo to chant slogans, wave flags and listen to endless speeches.

Posted by: Goyo | August 5, 2006 04:29 PM

Speaking of job losses, am I wrong or is it an absolute disgrace that India is getting hundreds of thousands of call center jobs? Why is India getting these jobs, when they all involve the United States, yet are far away and involve working in the middle of the night, due to time zone differences? Because, India, for all of its problems has made the collective decision that it would be a good idea to educate Indian children in the English language, and has allowed its telephone industry to permit cheap calls to and from the US of A. Not here. Thanks SNTE and Carlos Slim.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 5, 2006 04:38 PM

What the court said and I heard clearly is that they found some 2,200 polling stations to be valid impugnations and therefore to be recounted, and another 9000 or so polling stations that were Partially found with inconsistencies and that the opening and recounting of those polling stations would be up to the Judges who will have to see enough evidence of arithmetical errors or other consistencies.

El Universal is reporting that TRIFE ordered a recount of all 11 thousand Casillas but that isn't true. We can only be sure they will open those Casillas where the PRD Coalition presented a Protest Sheet and those about 2,200. The rest, they will see whether it is necessary and PRD will have to show some more evidences on those if the want them opened.

What is next?
Well, another bunch of cocaine statistic sciences graduates coming out with all kinds of theories about how annulment of so many Casillas will give AMLO his much wanted victory.

But here is the problem in case you fellows are begining to finger yourselves a little. In order to get a Casilla annuled the PRD Coalition will have to show evidence that something extraordinary occured at the casilla. A mere and simple arithmetical error will never make it. It will have to be evidence of Ballot stuffing or voter intimidation or something of the sort, other wise, Felipe Calderon will keep his valid votes and the uphill for AMLO will continue to be too high to reach.

Abstract annulment on the basis of certainty? The same Mr. Leonel Castillo declared the Election itself provided Certainty.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 5, 2006 05:13 PM

I would like to share this video from Obrador
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9RICWsRMeY
seems that we are watching the same old story with this guy.

Posted by: A. Ramos | August 5, 2006 05:14 PM

emptyboxes:
-------------
"What is next?
Well, another bunch of cocaine statistic sciences graduates coming out with all kinds of theories about how annulment of so many Casillas will give AMLO his much wanted victory."

If you are going to attempt to insult people who at least try to use math correctly, could you at least figure out how to use "cocaine" as some sort of adjective? In English, presumably a 'cocaine statistician' would be a scientist who studied statistics involving cocaine.

How about drug-addled? Cocaine-crazed? Cokeheaded? Crackheaded? Drug-addicted? Ice-using? Meth-minded?

I know I can't speak for everyone, but I am very proud of the graduate statistics work I did for my Colombian cocaine cartel bosses.

It is incredibly important that we help our drug baron employers, many of whom now are working in northern Mexico where the government and army are particularly corrupt and purchased.

My drug baron scholarship program focused on the demographics of the cocaine market; my scholarship money was always delivered in a brown paper bag dropped out of a helicopter.

Posted by: El Cid | August 5, 2006 05:43 PM

El Cid,

Since bunburina & I are with Patty Market, we aren't on the same level as the cocaine intellectuals & statisticians of the PRD, we just don't get the same funding since we're a little party, but we try. I was thinking though, that maybe there's a job opening with your bosses for marijuana statisticians. If I'm not at home when they call, it's probably because I'm out having another abortion, just ask for me at the clinic.

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 5, 2006 06:53 PM

"En su discurso señaló que "los magistrados deben rectificar su resolución" y llamó a sus seguidores a una nueva reunión mañana en el emblemático Zócalo capitalino, tomado desde hace seis días."

Does AMLO ever submit to a higher authority than himself?

Posted by: RC | August 5, 2006 09:08 PM

Well, based on his authoritarian and dogmatic style, I hereby propose emptyboxes as the new President of this Blog (without the need for a recount.) Maybe this will be the only way to keep him quiet for a while without further civil disobedience on his part (as per WP guidelines.)

Posted by: Goyito | August 5, 2006 10:41 PM

I will be interesting what Monsivais, Lorenzo Meyer, Gpe. Loaeza, Raymundo Riva palacio, Denise Maerker, Denise Dresser,Ricardo Rocha and the other respectable leftist and biased journalists, painters, writers,intellectuals, artists, gays, lesbians, dentists and diabetical scumbags are going to say tomorrow about the TRIFE's desicion.

I am kind of predicting it already. Some of the them, the lame ones with a few brain cells still standing the cocaine nights, will probably play the dumb victory. The others, like Julio "methamphetamine" Hernandez from La Jornada and Lorenzo "Crack" Meyer will come out with the usual conspiracy theories about El Yunke.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 6, 2006 12:12 AM

This is from the Post's story about today's ruling:

"López Obrador's lawyers may have made a glaring technical error. Tribunal spokesman Alberto Ruiz said the magistrates determined that a full recount was impossible because López Obrador challenged the results from only 174 regional vote tabulation centers. That automatically disqualified from the recount the centers that were not challenged, Ruiz said, as well as 25 centers where the court rejected recount requests."

If someone is to stupid (and how else to you put this?) to properly challenge his own electoral complaints, do we really want him as president?

Posted by: Jerry B | August 6, 2006 01:09 AM

An added quote, from the same story. These are "peaceful and democratic" AMLO supporters.

"It's absurd for them to talk of taking such an extreme, violent position," said Edith Cruz, a 24-year-old law student. Her sister, Mansela Cruz, 21, added: "The movement could get out of control if they don't give us what we want."

The TEPJF is taking violent positions, by not, in a democracy, giving us "what we want"?? Boo Hoo.

Posted by: | August 6, 2006 01:12 AM

Estaba viendo CNN y en una intervencion del analista Alfredo Jalife a quien yo consideraba una persona un poco mas mesurada, el tipo salio casi gritando que la desicion del tribunal era la confirmacion del inicio de una Guerra Civil.
me quede pasmado escuchandolo hablar en ese tono alarmista sin podermelo creer, deberiamos de hacer una lista de todos los comentaristas, intelectuales y lideres de opinion que se estan deschavetando, un dia se los vamos a recordar, por otro lado es super irresponsable que gente asi se preste a este absurdo juego de "a ver quien me cree la mentira" en el blog del sendero del peje estan en pie de guerra, tal parece que los Perredistas ansian urgentemente alguien que les reprima para poder tener la excusa de ahora si luchar por la causa, creo que todos los que no votamos a favor del Peje tenemos la responsabilidad de llamar a la calma, convencer a la gente que siempre habra oportunidad de cambiar las cosas, y que una lucha por lo justo, siempre se gana hablando y negociando y por supuesto no hacer eco a los llamados a la guerra que hace el PRD, Viva la PAZ.

Posted by: chaz | August 6, 2006 01:17 AM

chaz,
Alfredo Jalife's stance is well known, remember he was the one that helped lead the Mexican Communists back into the Soviet/Cuban fold in '73 after the split over the '68 Czech invasion, ZERO moral authority.

Wow! Emptyboxes, if all these people that you're talking about are using drugs, plus your parents, too (from what they post); then it's no wonder that the drug cartels are killing themselves trying to control this lucrative market.

On a serious vein, why wasn't there more emphasis in the campaign on 2 very important issues, namely;

1) The drug BUSINESS that pays NO taxes & fosters government & business CORRUPTION & inter-cartel VIOLENCE, plus pushes its wares of often impure quality that is sometimes fatal, (i.e. the wave of deaths recently in the US from drugs made here in Mexico) and,

2) TERRORISM! Like it or not, our proximity to the States makes us both a TARGET & a CONDUIT for terrorists, principally, Islamic FASCISTS and EXTREMISTS, not to be confused with the vast, vast majority of decent peaceful people of the Muslim faith. This makes our sovereignty a shaky affair; especially after proving that either we're too weak or inept to control the mafias on the border or in the interior either. We'd better get our miércoles together on this one or Uncle Sam will do it for us.

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 6, 2006 01:50 AM

Lopez Obrador achievement:
He will be remembered in History Books as an anti-hero who consolidated Democracy in Mexico by showing mexican countrymen what anarchy looks like.

Now even original followers, the ones with conscience prefer an imperfect democracy to an accomplished 'caudillo' leadership that would only lead the country back to the Nineteenth Century.

Posted by: 2Opinionated | August 6, 2006 02:15 AM

K Vronna, you make a good point. If even one nutball wearing a daiper on his head blows something up in the states, and it is proven later that he came in via Mexico, that will be it for any illegal immigration. or legal, for that matter. The Americans will import Philipinos or someone if they feel the need for cheap labor. And those of us who need to cross the border on a regular basis will be S.O.L.

As to the drugs, I do not think there is a thing we can do about it. Except hope the Americans decide to legalize them. Or start sending shipments of poisoned stuff north, and kill off enough American druggies to scare them away from the Mexican stuff.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 6, 2006 03:43 AM

I'm sorry emptyboxes, did I hear you right?

Did you just call the gay and lesbian community scumbags?

K. Vronna and Bunburina, you voted for PASC, didn't you?

Are you going to let emptyboxes get away with that hate-mongering comment?

Posted by: fco. | August 6, 2006 04:02 AM

Soooooo,
The most awaited Electoral Tribunal (transitorial) ruling has come.

The outcome... plainly unsatisfying.
A decision that would make the most ius-positivist jurists proud; however demonstrating an enormous lack of political sensitivity.

There are more than 72,000 "casillas" with more than 1,600,000 votes with arithmetic inconsistencies.

I guess we will just have to wait to see the results from the 11,800 "casilla" recount.
I truly hope, for your sake, that the results of the recount throw very few errors.
However, be warned. If the 250,000 difference between Calderón and AMLO is shortened considerably, don't be surprised to find an escalation in the intensity of the protests, nationwide.

Posted by: fco. | August 6, 2006 04:31 AM

The TRIFE desicion was really wise because it will clarify any doubts raised by the PRD Coalition, without disqualifying the whole election. We can clearly see from their desicion that they did not accept any pressure from either the homeless at the zocale or the federal government or Felipe.

This should make everyone happy. From my own point of view I am perfectly sure that it will only confirm Fecal's victory. Why:

According to AMLO: All of these Polling Sites fraudulently gave Felipe more votes, not all the votes, but more votes than they should have. Which presuposses several scenarios where the alledged fraud could have occurred:

a) That either the Actas or Tally Sheets were filled with false inoformation to favor Felipe.

b) That some time during the voting somebody or several people came to the Polling Site and deposited many more votes in favor of Felipe.

c) That the Tally Sheets were "Fixed" at the Districts during the counting of the Tally Sheets to favor Felipe.

d) That the IFE, in its counting "Fixed" the election results to favor Felipe.

I cannot see another scenario where Fecal resulted with more votes, however if anyone can see another one, you can post it here but please save your cocaine conspiracy theories for other more suitable blogs like elsenderodelpendejete.com or something like that.

Here is why I do believe this recounting will serve to confirm the results:

Scenarios a) That the Tally Sheets were filled with the wrong numbers to favor Felipe.

This is very unlikely as the votes are counted in front of several people and party representatives and the same occurs with the Tally Sheets, they are filled in front of several people and party representatives. I cannot believe that all these people, 50 or 70 thousand at the very least, were bribed, convinced or forced to participate in a fraud. And that not one single one of them have come out denouncing such fraud. This theory presuposes a very intelligent and diabolical plot from PAN and IFE and President Fox. I believe our politicians have long demonstrated they are too dumb and too lazy for such complex and intelligent operations, If someone demonstrates they did this kind of fraud. I will take my hat off and proudly congratulate myself for having so capable politicians.

b) Ballot Stuffing to favor Felipe.
This presuposes that nobody in the Casilla saw anyone doing the Ballot Stuffing and did not stop it on the spot. It will be easy to prove by checking the number of voters in the IFE list who voted that day and count the number of votes. This is suppossed to be done at the polling site and at the districts the parties hava a chance to check for these kind of inconsistencis. To say that this was a generalized action in the election will mean that a great number of people was also involved in the fraud, including IFE officials who might have provided the Ballot Papers, But the Ballots are signed at the Polling Station by a local IFE Representative and it will be easy to find the one that either falsified his or her signature, or had a different signature.

c) That the Districs fixed the tally sheets to favor Felipe.

This is hard to believe also because the counting of the tallies occurs under the eyes of the party representatives. At the districts the party representatives are not neighbours recruited for the occassion but rather Party Members of Importance and they are professionally trained to defend the votes of the party at the districts. Plus we must remember that in all those districts that favored Felipe the PRD Coalition did everything they could to change the results to favor AMLO.

d) That the IFE in its counting fixed the numbers to favor Felipe.

This is not a possible scenario. The political parties have the copies of the tally sheets from the very Election Day. The IFE does nothing more than supervise and receive the counting from the 300 districts and put them all together. IFE does not intervene in many processes, they merely supervise that the districts do their job correctly and supervise all the process.

Is there another scenario out there that could have modified the results to favor a particular candidate? I do not know. But the electoral process in Mexico is certainly designed to give us certainty.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 6, 2006 07:53 AM

K.Vrona:

To answer your question on those two issues, narcotraffic and terrorism.

1) Narcotraffic is tabu in Mexican or any other latin-american elections, nobody will dare to talk about it in an openly way, it is dangerous to campaign against it, you could have a little accident and be unable to continue you presidential campaign.

2) Terrorism. Narcotraffic and terrorism do not get along very well. Colombia and Mexico have a long history of drug cartels, but not for terrorism, although there have been some car bombs in Colombia, that is related to the guerilla fighters and not to drug cartels.
I believe somehow drug cartels are very territorial and there is always a certain level of communication with the Federal Government, this happens in Mexico and the USA and elsewhere, and that does not fit very well with Terrorists, who are secretive and do not cooperate at all with any government in the region.

I would even suggest that drug cartels have shielded us from terrorism. Though it is a bold statement and probably easily refutable. There is also Afganisthan, where drug cartels and terrorism have always fough each other. Even when the Osama Bin Laden and the crazy regime he helped impose, the drug cartels continue fighting Osama and even openly supported his enemies. Perhaps that will explain why Afganisthan never really became a terrorism power house, like Pakistan or Siria or Iran.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 6, 2006 08:29 AM

The following is merely raving madness from a cocaine scientist, nothing more, and is probably not interesting to those who would make "a bold statement and probably easily refutable".

Now we have 7 federal judges in the highest electoral court in the land unanimously ordering a hand recount of nearly 9% of all polling stations in Mexico, and in Mexico itself this is being seen as a huge rebuke to IFE -- from the judges' point of view, IFE already could have recounted any contested polling station and simply refused to do so, so now the judges had to order it.

It is also true that this is far below what specifically AMLO and the hundreds of thousands of supposedly inferior Southern Mexicans (I believe someone else here called them the Chilangos) were marching about.

But it seems to me to be a far, far more serious verdict than the great, brilliant commentators on this blog were predicting. I myself did not believe (as you can read earlier) that any recount at all would be ordered, and I believed the judges would mainly rule to support IFE. That did not exactly happen.

I seem to remember that before on this very blog it was seen as crazy conspiracy theory to even consider that there was enough possible error or institutional doubt that any recount would be ordered.

No, IFE was a perfect institution, and only "cocaine scientist" X-Files conspiracy maniacs and the 'homeless in the zocalo' thought there were any problems at all.

However, the law often works best when it works to the complete satisfaction of no one -- instead of a 'win-win' situation it often seems that an 'everyone loses a little' situation is more endurable.

And maybe there will not be errors or problems at all, and like many argue the number of Calderon's votes will go up, or stay the same.

But the fact remains: the highest judges in the land for electoral matters found the demands by the Por el Bien de Todos coalition to be serious for around 12,000 polling stations, after following a very high standard that these were to be based on specific polling stations alleged to have specific errors.

Myself, I'm not sure that their lawyers made the 'grave error' of not challenging all 300 districts, because the standards set by the judges were quite high -- they could not simply 'challenge' any given district, they had to actually give serious and specific evidence on each polling station. I don't care whether it's AMLO or Calderon, I think that it would have been very, very difficult no matter how fair or incompetent the election count could have been to quickly assemble specific evidence on 130,477 polling stations.

There is a further empirical test, as well: the judges have not clarified what would happen if serious problems are found.

In a way this is positive no matter what happens; although movements and marches are known for maximalist rhetoric (notice that if people are demonstrating they shout "Freedom Now" as opposed to shouting "We Prefer Some Degree of Freedom Carefully Defined in a Time Period Most Would Consider Prudent"), I believe that many of the liberals who have been seeking a recount in Mexico will be paying close attention to the results of the partial recount.

This should make many of the hostile AMLO-haters happy, too, because if nothing changes, and no significant number of errors or miscounting are found, you can bet that the numbers of people marching on this matter will suddenly shrink.

Posted by: El Cid | August 6, 2006 10:40 AM

El Cid-- You wrote: "... you can bet that the numbers of people marching on this matter will suddenly shrink." Oh, I hope so. Of course, you are right, the recount could reveal some deeper problem and even lead to a wider recount. But then this is one of the points some of us so-called "AMLO haters" have been making-- let the process go forward. Let the judges examine the challenges and decide what needs to be done instead of blocking streets and threatening people.

As I have said here repeatedly, the whole process could end up with Lopez Obrador being pronounced the winner. That would be a sad day for Mexico, however, and I do not say that because I hate him. I don't even know him personally. I say that because he has shown himself to be an irresponsible, anti-democratic, anti-law, anti-capitalism, and anti-progress sort of person. He would also have a very small base of support from which to operate. The PAN would still have the largest bloc of votes in congress. Would you want six years of this kind of government?

Posted by: Goyo | August 6, 2006 11:58 AM

"But then this is one of the points some of us so-called "AMLO haters" have been making-- let the process go forward. Let the judges examine the challenges and decide what needs to be done instead of blocking streets and threatening people."

I will share a judgement, and it is so because we only know the reality which actually happened, not the alternative which could have happened.

In my opinion, it should not be assumed that the protests played no role in determining the seriousness with which the PBT coalition's complaints were viewed.

I think it is highly likely that had no one turned out, had no one seemed to give a damn what the PBT coalition was claiming, had it just been a PBT lawsuit, the TEPJF judges would have simply dismissed the PBT complaints and ordered no recount or review whatsoever.

That is obviously something which is impossible for me to prove. It's just a judgement.

But in the opinion of many, it's not logical to assume that the suit would have been taken as seriously and the large partial recount ordered *without* the demonstrations.

Posted by: El Cid | August 6, 2006 12:11 PM

It is interesting that not one of the casillas impugned by the PRD is in Tabasco. I would assume that the PAN is holding Tabasco in reserve if this recount goes against them, as the numbers (Calderon 3.6%) are simply unbelievable.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 6, 2006 12:58 PM

emptyboxes,

let me get this straight:
By your definition, can a politician be described as capable if he/she is able to perform a fraudulent activity without being discovered?

El Cid,

I completely agree with you on the role the movilizations have played in recent events.

Once again, I extend an apology for those who have been annoyed by the camps.

Posted by: fco. | August 6, 2006 01:06 PM

Fco, we are not annoyed by the camps at all. Most of us who support Calderon do not live in the DF, so we do not have to deal with them. You do. For the rest of us, they are nothing more than free "spots" showing Mexico and the world what an intolerant, latently violent and unhinged man AMLO is. Keep them there, please!!

Posted by: Jerry B | August 6, 2006 01:13 PM

Paco, you wrote:

"I'm sorry emptyboxes, did I hear you right?
Did you just call the gay and lesbian community scumbags?
K. Vronna and Bunburina, you voted for PASC, didn't you?
Are you going to let emptyboxes get away with that hate-mongering comment?"

Give Bunburina & I a break; we're still trying to figure out who these "dentists and diabetical scumbags" are before moving on to these other groups. Have any of you seen any suspicious tooth pulling or maybe some insulin syringes lying around where the summer camps are?

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 6, 2006 04:36 PM

To Whom it may concern:

I have always respected the Dentists rights to live and to pursue their own hapiness according to their own wishes, be them as ludicrous as they might be.

However I am deeply sorry if any dentists got offended by my previous remarks and I'd like to extend my deepest apologies.


Having said that. I would like to move on to the business of today.

El Cid:

I believe the TRIFE did what was right. They addmitted those impugnations were the PRD Coalition presented the due Protests Sheets,which was only 2,200 protests and Addmitted "Partially" Other Impugnations in about 11 thousand Polling sites, But the session was not about dictating a sentence over those polling stations or about how serious the allegations from PRD Coalition for these specific Polling sites were.

The Saturday session was about defining the terms and conditions with which all the allegations of the PRD Coalition.

And yes, the TRIFE accepted a recount on those Polling sites, but they, in their wisdom, left the door open to have more Polling Sites recounted if they consider that necessary.

We must remember they rejected the notion of Vote by Vote, on the grounds that: A Incident in Polling Site A cannot affect or duplicate its effect to Polling Site B. This is why I call those statistics of yours and others "cocaine" because the related all events, I have seen what the PRD is doing with his people, they are convincing them that what occurred at a Polling Site in a little unknown town in Baja California, is related to what occured in downtown Monterrey. That is a cocaine conspiracy theory.

But the Court left the door open. And if they find inconsistencies, errors, fraudulent activities in these Polling Sites on Wednesday, then they will continue opening more Polling Sites Packages.

I say that is a good desicion because it leaves the door open for everybody but does not offend the work of hundreds of thousands of people who participated in the process.

I know many people are skeptical, but I am not. And I am even afraid, to a certain extent, that there might be some errors. But I cannot imagine there is fraud in those polling sites they are going to open.

And there is nothing yet that will lead me to believe there was fraud.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 6, 2006 06:03 PM

El Cid-- You have a right to your opinion and I have to admit there is some chance that the protests played a role in terms of the judges' decision. However, if you look at what they said, they seemed to base their decision on legal points and they seem to be very careful in following the procedures laid out by the law. So it is more likely, in my view, that they would have done what they did whether there were people camped on Reforma or not.

I agree with Jerry that the camps in the DF do more than any PAN ad could ever have done to show what is wrong with Lopez Obrador and why voters were right to reject him. Since I have family in the city, however, I cannot remain impassive about this issue. I hope the PRD stops this nonsense as soon as possible.

Posted by: Goyo | August 6, 2006 06:34 PM

"Give Bunburina & I a break; we're still trying to figure out who these "dentists and diabetical scumbags" are before moving on to these other groups. Have any of you seen any suspicious tooth pulling or maybe some insulin syringes lying around where the summer camps are?"

K.Vronna, you made laugh so hard like you have no idea!

About the TRIFE's decision: Really, anyone following the news can hardly be surprised by this outcome. Their demands simply weren't strong enough. They were demanding a fraud involving "Letty la Fea" soap opera and Sabritas supposedly putting blue marks in their packages in support of Calderón. It is not because the judges were out to get them or because they didn't have good lawyers (their lawyers are absolute experts in electoral matters). The answer is pretty simple: there isn't enough evidence for a total recount.

It's funny how AMLO supporters are demanding a political solution and blaming the TRIFE for being politically unsensitive. The historical problem was that political problems always had political solutions, not legal one. The law was never inforced. If something has damaged our beloved country are those supposed "political solutions". Back in the time of the PRI all was done with "political solutions". We can see a reminisence of that, for example, with Mario Marín and Kamel Nacif, all give or take, trading influences and the law was being flushed down the toilet. Finally we have a legal solution for a political problem and the PRD, like the reencarnation of the PRI that they really are, want a "political solution".

And that attitude can only be explained since the PRD have just lost their two goals: the vote by vote recount and a possible annulment. Both posibilities are dead by now.

AMLO is a sinking ship and the PRDistas better be noticing it now and start running away from the disaster scene. People like Alejandro Encinas (who I feel very very sorry for, since I consider him an honest, intelligent man) and Marcelo Ebrard are being drowned by AMLO who hasn't thought for a minute on the benefits for his party. He has totally lost the point of this: it isn't about convincing the people sleeping in Reforma. They are his voto duro; AMLO has them in his pocket. The question is about convincing the undecided and, so far, he's convincing no one new of the alleged fraud. All that he has achieved is more and more criticism and the resentment of his own main voters, the population of Mexico City.

And the PAN are actually taking advantage of that. The president has the faculty to liberate main avenues and roads, if blocked, in the DF for being the place where the federal powers reside. Is he going to do it? Of course not! He's witnessing how AMLO is comitting political suicide and he's letting him do it. I can bet he's laughing his butt off in Los Pinos. I can't say I agree with his position, I'm sick and tired of the "megaplantón" and I would like it to end as soon as possible but I do have to acknowledge that staying out of this is a smart move from his part.

Posted by: bunburina | August 6, 2006 08:50 PM

Kvroncita,

I just have a plain simple question for you:
"De pura casualidad tienes unas zapatillas de ballet a la mano?"
I hope you know the rest. I have no beef with you, but seems like my son might be doing you a little favor now and then because you need to come up and speak on his behalf, don't you?
Atta boy! ese es Mijo

Posted by: Emptyboxes I am your Father | August 6, 2006 08:52 PM

So now Mr. Obrador will have his meeting outside the TRIFE tomorrow. This thug is really sick.

This makes sense now. What he wanted was not the vote by vote thingy, but rather to destroy the whole election process. He knows he lost and that is why the PRD Coalition is demanding the annulment of the elections.

I found out that, out of the whole 800 pages file of the main impugnation, only a hundred or so are dedicated to the vote recount and the remaining are dedicated to the annulment of the elections.

What a thug. What a hypocrite thug who claims to believe in Benito Juarez and calls himself a democrat.


I sincerely hope when this electoral process is over, that the IFE and TRIFE and FEPADE prosecute some big liers of the PRD Coalition.

Starting with AMLO himself for all his lies.
He lied when he first declared himself winner by 500 thousand votes knowing very well he had lost.
He lied when he first declared publicly that the IFE had lost 3 million votes knowing perfectly that his own IFE Representative Horacio Duarte had seen the inconsistencies files that IFE was not counting in the PREP.
He lied when he demanded a vote by vote reocount on the morning of July 5th as the Districts were begining their counting of the Actas. He knew he had lost and he knew there was not fraud.
He lied when he spoke of cibernetic fraud.
He and Monreal and Duarte lied all together when they presented the Salamanca Video.
Claudia Shaunbam, in an interview with hypocrite Denise Maerker, lied and said there was massive fraud in Tabasco, a state where the PRD did not impugn a single Casilla.

I sincerely hope we hold these liers and electoral criminals accountable and the same for those hypocrite journalists like Carmen Aristegui, Denise Maerker and others accountable for their biased coverage in this whole dirty lie.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 6, 2006 08:58 PM

Uhmm... another "quemón": I just saw a picture of Amalia García in AMLO's meeting. What a disappointment. It seems to me that some people like Amalia García, Alejandro Encinas, even Elena Poniatowska and Carlos Monsiváis are mistaking loyalty to the ideals of the left wing with servilism to AMLO. He's far from a democrat, as he has cleraly shown, and he's far from being a true leftist. (Where is the Robles and the same sex union laws? he froze them both!) How incredibly sad all this is!

Posted by: bunburina | August 6, 2006 09:00 PM

Even more nasty stuff. In name of fairness have a look at this:

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/366964.html

Anti-AMLO e-mails coming out of Los Pinos.

But then again, in name of fairness, where is the money for the "megaplantón" coming from? From my pocket of course, since I'm one of the very few chilangos that pay their taxes in the DF. Both PRD and PAN played the same dirty game. The election took place in equal circumstances for the main candidates.

Posted by: bunburina | August 6, 2006 09:11 PM

K.Vrona:

I also laughed much with your last statement.

But you and are so open minded yourself you are capable of understanding I also laugh at those definitions of people and that I am not serious at all. I am just kidding of course.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 6, 2006 09:15 PM

I read the post about the dirty emails. It is true they came from Pinos, and this news comes to show how FEPADE really works independently and President Fox does not intervene in those processes.

But you cannot imply from there that is was an institutional order to send those emails. I could have been an official or even a group of employees.

Here is what is going to happen with this people, as it usual in President Fox, they will be fired regardless of their position.

But the governmental support, and i am not talking about this event but others, occurred in all sides. The PRI Governors when out to spend their whole budgets to support their candidates. Two PRD Governors have even publicly received complains that they did not help AMLO get more votes in their states, Amalia quickly stated that in her state the PRD got a historical number of votes, twice as much as in the last elections, she clearly forgot she governs the whole state and not only the PRD voters.

And in DF, we are all perfectly sure that all these expensive stuff and the money to pay all these people is coming out of the DF budget.

Here is one error PAN is probably looking forward, they probably think it makes no sense to press charges against Encinas because he will leave in one month anyway. And Encinas knows this perfectly and irresponsibly supports his boss AMLO. It may also be a low blow to Marcelo, who will have to deal with the problems in the budget in the future. But PAN is hoping that all this mess will continue even after Marcelo takes power and once Felipe is president then they will file charges against the DF Government and against Marcelo to put him out of office. They can do this with the help of the PRI and I heard that PRI will be more than happy to make a little come back to the national arena. Enrique Jackson is about to leave his office in congress and he is a likely candidate to be put in charge and PRI will be more than happy to accept this gift from PAN. PAN, PRI and Nueva Alianza will have more than enough votes in congress to get Marcelo out, and they will also have more than enough valid reasons.
Then PAN and Felipe can destroy the headquarters of PRD influence and power.
The moment is good, PRD and AMLO and Marcelo with them are quickly loosing popularity with these blockades and these protests and all the economical problems.
One thing I know people in many cities do not forget, is when a politician affects the image in the city. And AMLO is doing that precisely.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 6, 2006 09:32 PM

Seems that PRD have become masters in spying, the funny part is that they always present their "evidence" after everything happens, Why they didn't present those mails before the TRIFE sentence?
By the way, have you seen those pictures from the protests in Zocalo where there is a huge STALIN face along with the portraits of Lennin and Marx just below Mexican flag??, What a bunch of crazy people.

Posted by: A. Ramos | August 6, 2006 09:56 PM

I propose that in the next elections, candidates for presidency must be asked for a certificate of mental health, everything have become such surrealistic since AMLO got into scene. I can't believe that this is happening in Mexico.

Posted by: Cosme A. | August 6, 2006 10:04 PM

A. Ramos, Yes, those communist Flags make me wonder. What happens in these people's minds.

What kind of radicalism is occurring there in the very Zocalo that promotes an image of Stalin?

And when you look at the meetings this crazy man organizes, how he promotes hatred and anger in his followers, we cannot but worry about what will happen to our country if he ever gets his way.
I am watching Punto de Partida with biased Denisse Maerker, who looks like a propaganda manager of this thug.

She shows these pictures of poor people who do not even know what really happened in these elections.

Carne de Cañon, that is how we call these people. And AMLO is an expert at manipulating them.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 6, 2006 10:12 PM

The Junque influenced Sultanes claim they beat Tijuana. The umpires are corrupt. Tijuana's scoreboard operator was paid to put bad numbers up. Tijuana's first baseman made two bonehead plays, one leading directly to a two run home run. He was corrupted. We demand a recount, entradaXentrada, carreraXcarrera. If we don't get it, we will burn down Tijuana!

Posted by: Jerry B | August 7, 2006 01:09 AM

Yeah, the images of Stalin, Marx, Lenin, Che Guevara etc. are definetely out of place. Someone needs to break the news to the people in the plantón that the Cold War is over. We are not in the 1960's anymore.

Marx is one thing. Whether you agree with him or not, he's an outstanding thinker who changed the way we live today, no one can deny that. Lenin, he was a hero in his country and at his time. But Stalin? Stalin belongs to the same category of monsters like Hitler, Mussolini, Castro, Trujillo and a looooong list of dictators of the 20th century. And the worse thing was that Carlos Monsiváis said in one of the meetings that Stalin, and I quote, "se equivoco de plaza y de país". What!? Was he saying that Stalin should be in the Zocalo, in Mexico City, year 2006 instead of the Red Square, Moscow, 1940's? Really, an unfortunate comment...

If they had posted a picture of Felipe González in the Zocalo, now THAT would have been a completely different thing.

Posted by: bunburina | August 7, 2006 01:14 AM

The funny thing is if you wandered around the Zocalo with a picture of A. Hitler, it would be torn down. Stalin killed easily three times as many human beings as Hitler, maybe more if death figures from the Ukraine famine are to be believed. Maybe free one way tickets to North Korea should be offered to these people, where they can go to (in the words of the Dead Kennedys, about Cambodia under Pol Pot) "a place where they get things done."

Of course, the crowd in the Zocalo would probably rip down a picture of Mother Teresa or the pope.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 7, 2006 01:26 AM

For an AMLO supporter, to parade himself with a picture of Stalin is like for a panista to walk around with a picture of Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ and a famous "kiddie lover". Uh-uh, not ok. That kind of stuff just reduces their credibility.

I just read this, thought I should post it, right from the New York Times: "Mr. López Obrador has also taken pains to discredit the news media, painting reporters as part of the conspiracy against him. One reporter, Heliodoro Cárdenas of the newspaper Milenio, was roughed up by bodyguards when he tried to ask the candidate a question on Sunday. Mr. López Obrador saw the incident but did not acknowledge or stop it."

Here's the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/07/world/americas/07mexico.html

Uhmm... AMLO supporters say that the international press isn't taking notice of what's going on in Mexico. It seems to me that they area actually paying a lot of attention to it.

Posted by: bunburina | August 7, 2006 02:19 AM

It appears that in its ruling, the TEPJF (Electoral Tribunal) blames lazy officials from IFE for having failed to recount the results of polling stations which had 'evident mathematical errors,' most of which being that the number of votes in a given station exceeded the number of voters.

The following is my own translation from the original article in Spanish, please correct where necessary.

----------------------------
Electoral Tribunal Questions How Evident Errors Ignored
Carlos Avilés Allende
El Universal
Monday, 7 August 2006

Emphasize that in most polling stations the number of votes exceeded the number of voters

The Electoral Tribunal reproached the district councils of the IFE in 26 states throughout the country for not having permitted the recount of votes for most of the 11,839 polling stations ("casillas") that the Tribunal ordered reinspected, since the great majority of these failed to coincide the number of citizens who voted with the nominal list, with the ballets deposited in the boxes and the total vote in each one of these.

This situation led to the result that in an indeterminate number of casillas ordered recounted, the registered voting was greater than the number of citizens who came to vote in those same stations.

Such detected errors in the listed voting records "at first glance" was sufficient motivation for the district councils of IFE to have ordered a recount, based on the reason that to this end was established a law of matters in case of "evident errors", as clarified in the words of the Tribunal.

In these polling stations, a simple mathematical operation would have been sufficient, at the moment of the election count, for the district councils of IFE to have carried out the vote recount, even without the need for the Por el Bien de Todos coalition to have challenged them, according to the Electoral Tribunal...

...For example: in District Council 15 of Jalisco, 55 of 170 polling stations which are to be reinvestigated registered a number of votes which exceeded that of voters who came to vote.

In those 55 polling stations, the difference could be from 1 to 10 votes, but also there are cases like that of polling station #236 in which 130 voters were registered as having yielded 223 votes...

...However, according to the tribunal, such evident errors were not taken into account by the IFE district councils, despite the fact that they are covered by the Federal Code of Electoral Institutions and Procedures as a legal cause to carry out a recount of votes.

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion/141447.html

Posted by: El Cid | August 7, 2006 07:24 AM

It appears to me there were many errors in these elections.
But I also believe these errors have always been present in all elections. 50 votes here, 3 overthere, and it has been demonstrated that these errors did not specifically favored PAN or PRD. These little errors take such unprecedent importance in this election because of the close results.

The TRIFE's desicion of selecting those Polling Sites that favored PAN most to be opened will clearly tell us whether there were any fraudulent activities.

I am in favor of such desicion because I believe whoever got the most votes must be the President.

Although I am confident that this partial recount will only confirm Felipe Calderon as President.

He was at a conference yesterday and he and his people were very confident. Even Manuel Espino called him Elected President several times.

On the other hand, AMLO and Ricardo Monreal and others in the PRD Coalition are rejecting the desicion of the TRIFE. I don't see them very enthusiastic about it.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 7, 2006 09:41 AM

Today in El Universal Raymundo Riva Palacio writes a very interesting article comparing AMLO to Humpty Dumpty.

It is usually rare for this guy to criticize AMLO so directly. Most of the times he takes it against Felipe Calderon. But this last one will probably make him lose some of his clientele readers from the PRD Left.

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/columnas/59617.html

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 7, 2006 09:53 AM

Hi everybody.

Last week I was taking dinner with some friends in Queretaro's downtown city and we were sorprised 'cause some people were walking on the street saying "vote by vote" or something like that. Then a man, who was in the same restaurant, standed up saying AMLO people were so disturbed and he were going to move his car. I though the man's attitude was exaggerated. But, after dinner I discovered that some AMLO follower had superposed an AMLO banner over my Calderon party banner.What kind of people is taking the streets? was my question.

Posted by: Elías | August 7, 2006 11:50 AM

The Post article emphasizes the disparity between rich and poor in Mexico, which does exist, and I am sure there are many dark-skinned people supporting AMLO. But perhaps the writer should have also mentioned the Stalin posters and other signs that these fools in the Zocalo do not represent any viable alternative for the poor. They are just a negative force, going nowhere politically, but threatening any chance of progress that would actually reduce poverty and address inequality.

On the other hand, I would not want their concerns to be dismissed. If Calderon is smart, and I think he is, he will see this as an opportunity to open the country and his party to the poor. He should make a huge effort to create opportunities for those who feel marginalized. Creating a larger middle class will create a larger tax base and improve the country in many ways. The more people who see a brighter future ahead, the fewer there will be supporting the Stalinist encampment in the Zocalo.

Posted by: Goyo | August 7, 2006 12:42 PM

bunburina:

I believe I know where these Stalin posters at the Zocalo and those remarks about Stalin from Monsivais are coming from.

Apparently our leftists intellectuals in Mexico have joined a world movement something called Historical revisionism (negationism) and it's a movement to change history facts that was started by many European, specially from eastern europe, leftists intellectuals who after the fall of the soviet union and the demise of communism and socialism with it, were unemployed most of them and ended up teaching at universities and developed a hatred towards the West and its principles, ideal and of course, historians, they have tried to fight back by trying to change the way we look at the world history of the last 80 years or so, more specially, at the history of the Soviet Union itself.

There were some World War II celebrations and conmemorations one or two years ago in Russia. Russian President Putin, who has embraced this movement, invited the Presidents and Ministers of Poland, the Baltic nations, Ukraine, and other nations that were part of the Soviet Union, to pay honors and thank to those soviet soldiers who, in Putin's words, saved the world from Nazism, which is partly true, but the Polish and Baltic Nations and the mayority of ex-soviet states did not attend the celebration, because they do not consider those Russian soldiers heroes of any kind and to the contrary, they consider them invaders.They argue that while Western Europe was really saved from Nazi Terror when Germany was defeated in the hand of the Americans in Western Europe, and the Americans respected the right and independence of the European countries to form their own governments by democratic means, even to the point where socialist political parties were elected in most countries, but at the same time Eastern Europe entered another era of Communist Terror where all liberties were denied and the governments were controlled by Stalin.

This Historical revisionism (negationism) had a little push in Spain media when Zapatero was elected. But there was a strong reaction from the great mayority of serious and reknown intellectuals of Spain. In France they have been partially successful. No so in Germany and Poland and all those states who really suffered first hand the consecuences of Stalin's desicions.

This is what we read in the great mayority of history books today, and it is precisely what this movement of Historical revisionism (negationism) is trying to change.

Some of these Historical revisionism (negationism) advocates even deny the Holocaust or at the very least they minimize the number of victims.

I guess I know where these leftist people are heading to, they will now tell us that Lopez Portillo was the last great president!

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 7, 2006 12:43 PM

Emptyboxes:

Although I generally agree with your position, I have to point out that the British were also involved in World War Two, and in fact it was them who stood alone against the Germans for two years, as Winston Churchill called it, "Our finest hour". Without the Brits holding out against daily bombardments of their capital and other major cities there would have been no place for the USA or anyone to start a counterstrike, and, unknown to many people, the Germans were developing missiles with a range great enough to reach the USA from europe, (where do you think the USA got all the scientists from to build their space programme?).

I know this is not relative to this blog, but try to include all the facts when you, or anyone else quotes history.

And speaking of World War Two, I remember someone else who was great at speaking to crowds in huge public squares, a great orator, he was able to whip them up into an orgy of hate for others in their own country, now what was his name......

Posted by: PeterN | August 7, 2006 02:16 PM

One of the most blatant incongruities of the Coalition is this double standard when it comes to appraising who is a supporter of democracy and who is a traitor. Somehow, Stalin, Lenin and Castro just don't strike me as role models for the promotion of democracy; are they better than Fox in this regard? They are in the magic world of Coalition icons.

Hey Emptyboxes, I just saw your dad out in the street in a tutu and ballet shoes dancing on his tiptoes. He was trying to tell me something about my mother, but the guys from the mental institution came running up and took him back to where he belongs. Have you ever thought of sending him to a better institution where they have better security? He's going to get lost one of these days and end up in a Coalition summer camp and then he might just become a political strategist and advisor. I'm still wondering what kind of medication he's on, a lot of us dope-headed PASC people have an interest in anything that gets you so obviously whacked-out; could you pass us the prescription? And what about your mother, one post under her delusional name and poof! Thank God you were raised by your grandparents!

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 7, 2006 03:36 PM

PeterN:

I believe in my previous post I made a mistake by only mentioning the Americans, but of course our world must still be greatful to Winston Churchill and the British people who heroically stood against the Nazi Regime in Germany.
Curchill was indeed a true leader and one whose poster I will be glad to carry anywhere and for free.
And we must also thank the Canadian, French, Australian and all of those who stood behind the British and the Americans in their fight agaisnt fascism.
Perhaps my comment got mixed up with my feelings: I visited the Normandy American Cemetery (Colleville sur Mer) some years ago before when I got married, and even though I had seen pictures of it and heard about it, I was completely shocked by the great sacrifice the United States did for France and for Europe. I guess that has influenced me deeply.

I cannot fathom why somebody like Monsivais would ever speak of Stalin in those terms. And I find difficult to understand those who denied the history of the world. And specifically, to try to justify and clean the memory of a dictator who was the only one who negotiated with Hitler the terms for the destruction of Poland and its people. This man has passed to history next to the very worst assassin of all times, Adolph Hitler, the picture of one resembles the other one. None has killed more jews than Hitler, but Stalin fought greatly to get that position.
I cannot believe we have the photo of this assassin in our zocalo.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 7, 2006 04:23 PM

I sure wish whoever displayed portraits of Stalin into the Zocalo had been talked out of it. That sure is nutty. I'd bet you money that a few people tried, but I would imagine it fell on deaf ears. (Particularly someone might remembered that Stalin had Leon Trotsky murdered in Mexico.)

On the other hand, I live in a part of the United States in which many of my white neighbors often sport flags and symbols of the Confederacy, a treasonous band of anti-patriotic agrarian elitists which existed entirely to defend actual slavery, which was of course every bit as deadly and totalitarian as Stalin's, but with lower population and industrialization levels.

But I don't freak out every time I see someone with a 'Confederate flag' bumper sticker that they're about to reinstitute totalitarian racism and slavery here, I just think they're wrongly and stupidly nostalgic about some horrible and murderous times.

Posted by: El Cid | August 7, 2006 04:30 PM

K.Vrona: If my family continues to post stuff here and do all these crazy things I am going to lose my PAN membership, they don't like disfunctional families much.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 7, 2006 04:34 PM

Emptyboxes,

Maybe these people are not really your parents; I think they maybe (gasp!) SPURRIOUS mom & dad.

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 7, 2006 05:12 PM

El Cid, you're absolutely right about the Confederate flags. All that people long for the old charming southern lifestyle, low-paced, elegant, with big houses and plantations. It does sound pretty nice if you're a rich, lazy, aristocratic WASP. I doubt black people, who were treated worse than cattle, long for the old south as well. Stalin pictures, Confederate flags... it is either misinformation or an obvious attempt of overlooking the atrocious acts both symbols represent.

Now, back to Mexico, another proof that Mr. Obrador doesn't care about his supporters. Some guy died today in the camps in Reforma. The PRD said he was a homeless man and that he wasn't related in any way to the resistance movement. All said to wash their hands off the responsibility. Turns out the paramedics found in this guy's backpack a lot of flyers in support of AMLO.

And even more... he said yesterday that his enemies, and I quote: "nos ven como chusma, como nacos, como mexicanos de segunda... han alimentado el clasismo, el racismo y la intolerancia".

Is there racism, clasism, intolerance in Mexico? Yes, without a doubt. Is there poverty in our country? Of course, just go out to the streets and watch for yourself. Is there a large part of the population of this country feeling left out of progress? Absolutely. Do we need to take urgent measures to solve this problems? Definetely! Was the PAN promoting the polarization of society? Probably. Is AMLO promoting even more social resentment and a deeper polarization? Certainly yes!

This is exactly one of the many reasons I didn't vote for this guy. He's taking an obvious social problem and profiting from it. He doesn't really care about them.

If you really care about the underdogs you don't place them in an even more vulnerable position, making them live in the streets, making them protest risking them to some rough touch with the police, making them comit crimes like blocking a main avenue of the city. If you really care about the forgotten ones you don't try to manipulate them with blurry videos of "fraud" like the one of Salamanca. You don't lie to them giving them false hope with some "polls" saying you're 10% ahead of your rival when you're not. You don't lie to them saying that you're 500 000 votes ahead when you're not. You don't lie to them saying some votes went missing when you know exactly where they are. You don't lie to them saying their votes didn't count or were stolen when they were not.

If he really cared about the underdogs he'd stop using them as "carne de cañón" and start cooperating with the next government. Calderón said, probably "de dientes para afuera", that he would inforce some of the social proposals of AMLO. So, take his word and make him do it. Work with him. It is good to have your friends close, but it is better to have your enemies even closer.

Obviously he's not going to do it because he really doesn't care about the poor. He doesn't care about democracy either, one thing Mr. Cárdenas did. The only thing he sees on them is his ticket to satisfy his lust for power. That's all he really cares about.

Posted by: bunburina | August 7, 2006 05:50 PM

Emptyboxes,

Maybe these people are not really your parents; I think they maybe (gasp!) SPURRIOUS mom & dad.

That was hilarious!

Emptyboxes, I'd advice you to demand a recount, gene by gene, chromosome by chromosome to see if they really are your parents.

Posted by: bunburina | August 7, 2006 05:52 PM

Well, well. Same old, same old: wild generalizations, twisted facts...

In emptyboxes history of the world (how'bout the history of the galaxy?) there was no Eastern Front in World War II; no Russians died and Berlin was captured by... who knows? Of course, never mind Chamberland and Daladier giving away Checoslovaquia to appease Hitler... But... who cares about the truth? It's a lot easier to rant without putting the mind to good use...

bunburina... was Cardenas taking care of Democracy (with capital D) in his back room negotiations with Salinas the Great?

Posted by: pasilla | August 7, 2006 07:20 PM

Yes, actually he was taking care of democracy. Everyone knows Cárdenas won the 1988 elections but instead of feeding the social resentment and disrupt peace like AMLO is trying to do right now, he chose to step back and negotiate with the government. He didn't take advantage of the anger of the population to take the presidency by any means possible. He chose to calm them down and build a long term system that opened the oportunity for political plurality. Yes, he negotiated with the "devil" himself, the horrible Carlos Salinas de Gortari. But that humbling act proved to be a smart move that allowed important electoral reforms that finally made the PRI to lose power in the year 2000. The same electoral reforms that allowed Cárdenas himself to be mayor of the DF and that allowed AMLO to rise from a low-life to occupy the same charge Cárdenas did.

Cárdenas is a wise politician and a true statesman. AMLO is just an opportunist.

Posted by: bunburina | August 7, 2006 07:31 PM

Here's an editorial by Claudio Lomnitz published in Excélsior today. I found it to be very interesting, check it out:

http://www.nuevoexcelsior.com.mx/Excelsior/macros/GenericNewsWithPhoto.jsp?contentid=10524&version=1

Posted by: bunburina | August 7, 2006 07:45 PM

bunburina:
I am actually thinking about demanding annulment of the whole birth process, it was deceitful before, during and after birth!

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 7, 2006 08:27 PM

A couple comments. El Cid, good point about the yahoos with their rebel flags. A big difference between them and the yahoos in the zocalo, though, is the rebels are not really trying to convince the rest of us of anything, except possibly that they are idiots. The AMLO worshippers ARE trying to convince the 65 million or so Mexicans who did not vote for AMLO. And, photos of Stalin are not the really best way to go about it.

Pasilla, if you want to discuss the heroic Soviet fight in the war, make sure to mention how they stabbed both Poland and Finland in the back (and got the living sh@t kicked out of them by the Finns in the "winter war" of 1939), don't forget to mention the non agression pact with Hitler, and make sure to point out how much of the Russian losses in the first 6 months of the war came about because their best generals had been declared "enemies of the state" and sent off to concentration camps. You might also want to go over the rape of Eastern Europe right after the war.


Bunburrina, I am inclined to agree with you. In 1988, Cardenas faced the option of leading Mexico into a full scale civil war, as I do not really think that "informational assemblies" in the Zocalo were going to be tolerated back then. He chose not to, and may have proven himself to be a true patriot by so doing. In the U S, Nixon had pretty much the same option in 1960, when the Illinois vote was stolen by the Democrats, throughing the electoral college to Kennedy. He also chose not to, but got the last laugh eight years later. AlGore also could have stirred things up six years ago and chose not to. I think all three chose wisely.

Posted by: Jerry B | August 7, 2006 08:44 PM

Humpty Dumpty is outside the TRIFE, there will be some 2 or 3 hundred people, but getting a bunch of people is not a problem anymore, just a little picture and tomorrow that big lier Joel Ortega will say there were about 50 thousand people at the miting.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 7, 2006 08:47 PM

This is a great quote about Alejandro Encinas, and his refusal to apply the Bando 13 law.

"si no puede hacer nada, que se vaya por inútil, si no quiere hacerlo que se vaya por cómplice, y si es un títere de Andrés Manuel López Obrador, que se vaya por dignidad".

Posted by: Jerry B | August 7, 2006 09:37 PM

El Cid
Of course there are some stupid usual bigots driving their equally stupid yellow trucks with their confederate flag sticker in the back. And of course that is equally ignorant to what those people do with those photos of Stalin at the Zocalo.
But history has it in a different way. I have friends from the South who share a family history with that flag and that is why they keep them. Because their ancestors ,the parents of the grandparents of their parents, fought in that war. And they still pay honor to them of course. I don't know much about this particular war but one thing I am certain of is that slavery was not the only issue in that war and certainly it was not the most important. There were other issues, economical and international, the South got support from the British also. The South economic model was outdated. If there was slavery is because it was part of the economic model and geographical and social factors, a high number of french population dedicated to plantations who had many slaves even before Luissiana was ceded by the french. It is true that slavery was a calamity, and international institutions were trying to get rid of it but in those years it was still a common and accepted practice. The north did not need slaves because of their high level of industrialization, they needed skilled workers, so they took on the issue of slavery to destroy the economical basis of the rich southern plantations, the very foundation of the whealty states of the south.

Pasilla: I never denied the soviets fighting against the Germans, but to say today that they were the ones who saved the world from nazi germany is wrong. Most of the weapons they were using when they attacked Berlin were provided, for free, by the Americans, the tanks, the guns and the airplanes and even the food they were eating.
But it is also wrong to deny their contribution and sacrifice.
The problem was that their sacrifice did not yield democracy and freedom for those countries allegedly "liberated"

Now I am sorry about getting out of topic in this blog, which is supposed to be about Humpty Dumpty.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 7, 2006 09:47 PM

Back to Humpty:

How about the new suicide corps of the Coalition? Did they get this from Hamas?

This is from today's Excelsior:

"Rayito de Esperanza, el luchador enmascarado que desde 2002 asiste a todas las presentaciones públicas de Andrés Manuel López Obrador, dijo que esta semana se organizó con un grupo de 593 jóvenes que irán de avanzada a todas las actividades de resistencia civil a las que convoque el candidato tabasqueño, y que están dispuestos a "inmolarse" si el gobierno federal opta por reprimirlos."

Two out of three falls & if I lose I'll set myself aflame? Personality cults, like I posted before, are DANGEROUS!


Emptyboxes,

You forgot to mention the interference from the doctor and the partiality of the IMSS; you should have asked for an annulment of the whole birth-process.

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 7, 2006 09:57 PM

K.Vrona:
Yes I must confess I am a bit worried about those yellow suicide corps.
I was listening Ciro Gomez Leyva today on the radio. I could not listen to the whole program because I was busy but the little while I heard he said that AMLO was already out of the constitutional road and that his actions were already turning subversive.
Now I know Ciro is very, very careful and moderate, and he was a steadfast supporter of AMLO, I will bet the farm he voted for him. In the fist weeks, he said, no problem , AMLO is not doing anything wrong, he is following the legal course and he also has the right to make a protests, there is no violence there. He is OK. He will be OK.
Ciro repetead this for about a month. But now he has lost his patience with him and he is losing his style and discrediting his movement.
How long does it take an intellectual to change his mind?

Now Monsivais has got a little thingy with AMLO and his Reforma blockade and Monsivais is actively writing against it. But the PRD Coalition cannot see or hear anyone who dares to think different to AMLO.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 7, 2006 10:21 PM

This is a leader (op/ed)in the United Kingdoms Telegraph newspaper which also supports K.Vronnas last post about personality cults.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/08/08/dl0802.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/08/08/ixopinion.html

For fainess, I must say, The Telegraph is, for those who don´t know, a right of centre newspaper (some might say that was putting it mildly).

Anyway, it shows that the world is paying attention.

Posted by: PeterN | August 7, 2006 10:28 PM

I read the article from telegraph also.
I guess this comes to show that the press has also grown. The PRD Coalition thought that by simply denouncing fraud the international press would join them in the fraudulent allegations.

Their dirty tricks were noticed from far away in Europe and other countries. I am so sorry for the PRD because they will pay a very high price for what they are doing.

They are being exposed everyday by the press, both locally and internationaly.

The people who follow them are less and less everyday. Those tents at the zocalo and on Reforma are empty most of the time. Only the radicals and those dumb enough to believe them.

Intellectuals are also leaving them everyday, Denisse Dresser and Raymundo Riva palacion and other analysts who usually wrote in favor of their cause are now drawing a line and separating from them, Lidia Cacho excused herself from the protests, Monsivais is also drawing a line, Jose Luis Cuevas had an interview with Felipe Calderon and we have not seen him around AMLO anymore. Last week they published a petition for a vote by vote recount allegedly signed by many intellectuals but some of them say they never signed such petition.

AMLO continues insulting everyone who is not on his side. President Fox, IFE, TRIFE, Supreme Court, His own party representatives, He has insulted the European Union observers by stating that they did not see anything. During the campaign he insulted the companies that did the vote intention polls like Mitowsky and others. He has insulted just about everyone I guess.

This is insane. There has to be a certain level of moderation in the PRD. I cannot believe the whole PRD is supporting this insane thug.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 7, 2006 10:59 PM

If PANistas were doing this:

"Las agresiones hacia los representantes de los medios de comunicación continuaron esta tarde en la asamblea informativa que encabezó Andrés Manuel López Obrador a las puertas del Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación (TEPJF).

Antes de que comenzara el mitin del perredista, alrededor de las 18:40 horas, un grupo de periodistas fue rodeado por simpatizantes de López Obrador, que reclamaban veracidad en la información que se está difundiendo en los medios de comunicación.

Sin embargo, minutos después, al reportero de radio Miguel Ángel Martínez le fue arrebatado su teléfono celular que utiliza para transmitir sus noticias en el Grupo IMER.

Las agresiones hacia los representantes de los medios de comunicación no han cejado, por lo menos en las dos últimas semanas."

who here thinks that Elena Poniawatski and her intellectual friends would be screaming about "fascistic" PANistas?

On a related note, can Pasilla, or somebody find any incidences of reporters being assaulted by PANistas? Just one?

Posted by: Jerry B | August 7, 2006 11:06 PM

I'm sharing another article from Sergio Sarmiento it's very interesting:

Recuento parcial
"Se desestima la pretensión consistente de un nuevo escrutinio y cómputo".
Leonel Castillo

En realidad la decisión del Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación es altamente beneficiosa para Andrés Manuel López Obrador. La reapertura de todos los paquetes y el recuento de todos los votos casi seguramente habrían ratificado el resultado oficial de la elección del 2 de julio. En cambio, la apertura de 11 mil 839 paquetes electorales, procedentes de 149 distritos, especialmente de lugares en que Felipe Calderón obtuvo el triunfo, genera una importante oportunidad para que se modifique el resultado.

Los magistrados, sin embargo, están actuando estrictamente conforme a la ley. Ante una propuesta del magistrado presidente Leonel Castillo, acordaron por unanimidad rechazar el recuento de todos los votos, ya que determinaron que la elección del 2 de julio cumplió con el principio de certeza que establece el artículo 41 de la Constitución. Sólo el incumplimiento de ese principio habría podido justificar el recuento de todas las boletas en todos los paquetes electorales sin importar que no se cumplieran las condiciones que establece la ley.

Los magistrados sólo han ordenado la apertura de paquetes en casos en que la ley lo permite: cuando hay discrepancias significativas entre las actas, cuando hay alteraciones evidentes, cuando no hay acta en el paquete o cuando hay errores de cómputo en las actas. Los magistrados no podían ordenar la reapertura de todos los paquetes en su revisión caso por caso porque ni siquiera lo pidió la coalición Por el Bien de Todos en sus juicios. López Obrador no se puede dar por sorprendido de que los magistrados no le concedan lo que él ha pedido a gritos, pero no jurídicamente.

El número de paquetes que serán reabiertos, sin embargo, es bastante alto. Representa el 9.07 por ciento del total de las casillas instaladas en el País. Implicará un recuento de más de 3 millones de votos en una elección que se ha definido por 244 mil. No puede descartarse que este recuento modifique el resultado de la elección.

Lo que preocupa es que no se trata de una muestra representativa o siquiera aleatoria de las casillas. La mayoría de los paquetes que se reabrirán proceden de casillas ubicadas en estados donde Felipe Calderón triunfó de manera muy clara, como Baja California y Jalisco. Son muy pocos los paquetes, en cambio, que se abrirán en el Distrito Federal y ninguno en Tabasco, donde triunfó de manera abrumadora López Obrador. La razón es que la apertura es consecuencia de las denuncias presentadas por la coalición Por el Bien de Todos. La apertura de paquetes en que gana mayoritariamente Calderón es la mejor oportunidad que podría haber tenido el PRD de cambiar el rumbo de la elección.

Sin embargo, poco le importó a López Obrador que el fallo de los magistrados le haya resultado incluso más beneficioso de lo que él o sus abogados habían pedido. Este sábado pasado, unas horas después de que se dio a conocer la decisión, el candidato afirmó que ésta es "legalmente endeble" porque, según él, no son solamente 11 mil 839 casillas las que tienen errores aritméticos sino 72 mil. El candidato está anunciando, por lo tanto, que continuará sus acciones en contra de los ciudadanos del Distrito Federal y en particular que mantendrá el bloqueo sobre el Paseo de la Reforma, Juárez, Madero y otras calles. Además, seguramente sumará al Tribunal Electoral a las instituciones que supuestamente se han aliado en el complot en su contra.

Sólo hay dos posibles razones por las que López Obrador está rechazando públicamente una resolución que en realidad le es altamente favorable. Una es que no la entienda, pero es difícil creerlo a estas alturas del partido. La otra, mucho más inquietante, es que desde el principio él haya estado consciente de que ha perdido la elección, por lo que la exigencia del recuento voto por voto no era más que una excusa para cuestionar toda la elección. Eso explicaría por qué los perredistas no presentaron impugnaciones en todas las casillas. No querían realmente que los magistrados ordenaran el recuento voto por voto porque eso les habría quitado su bandera política.

López Obrador, por supuesto, aceptará la validez del recuento de los 11 mil 839 paquetes si, a base de modificaciones y anulaciones en casillas que ha ganado el PAN, se le da a él el triunfo. Pero como no es seguro que esto ocurra, ha optado por descalificar de antemano el recuento ordenado por el Tribunal Electoral.

Nos encontramos así ante un candidato que no está dispuesto a aceptar ningún fallo que no lo favorezca. López Obrador considera que sólo puede haber un resultado posible en una elección en la que él participe: un triunfo suyo. Cada vez es más claro que la sociedad mexicana no se está enfrentando a un candidato racional o a un demócrata, sino a un hombre profundamente autoritario para el cual obtener el poder es una ambición que supera cualquier otra consideración.

Sergio Sarmiento, El Norte
sarmiento.jaquemate@gmail.com

==========================

Posted by: A. Ramos | August 8, 2006 01:13 AM

The leaders of the PAN in both houses have been elected in due process. Nothing stopped the selection of Santiago Creel as leader of their senate representatives and Hector Larios as leader of congress representatives.

The did not have to wait to see what happened with the Presidential Election, they belong to a diferent government body. They did ask Felipe Calderon for his opinion or waited to see when he was in a good mood to agree to the process, they did not even call him to let him know the process was going to start and their very names, Santiago Creel and Hector Larios, tell us what has always been a democratic practice in the PAN. The workings of their senate and congressmen are not influenced by their President, both their congressmen and senators are independent to choose their leaders and now that they did, we can clearly see that the senators and congressmen paid respect to their real party leader, Mr. Manuel Espino. This is the way a democractical institution works.

Manuel Espino, who no doubt supports Felipe Calderon, but maintains a healthy distance from him. As it should.

The PRI chose its leaders based on some obscure negotiations between groups of powers, they call that Unity and it is nothing but an euphemism, in PRI language, for "dedazo".
The PRD, showing their old priista heart deep in their souls, are doing exactly the same, Mr. Humpty Dumpty will get to choose the leaders of the PRD members of the legislative houses.
As we speak, the PRD leaders are fighting for the nomination of these positions, that is why we see Jesus Ortega and Ricardo Monreal right next to Humpty Dumpty everytime, Humpty Dumpty knows this and as usual, blackmails them to his advantage. There is no dignity in that organization, they are all waiting for Humpty Dumpty to decide. So far he has not decided who the leaders will be and he has told them they will have to wait for the presidential election process to end. What a humiliation for the PRD senators and congressmen.

PAN is a democratic party and its internal processes and workings are not a mistery as in the PRI and the PRD, where the presidential candidates are also the leaders and the masters and select at their will who the senators and congressmen will be and who their leaders in congress can be.

I am so proud of how PAN has consistently shown its internal democratical practices. Instead of being the party of a "cacique" it is a party of thinking and free people who do not depend on a master.

I sincerely hope more political parties act in this way. I know PRD, PRI, PT, Convergencia and partido verde does not do this, they are little feudal institutions where the one with most powers dominates. Nueva Alianza is a fiasco of a political party, everybody knows Elba Esther Gordillo is the real boss and she decides, period. What a shame!
I have seen a start of democracy in Alternativa, that their meetings have been open to public scrutiny tell us that they have chosen the democratic road to solve their internal conflict. I hope they will continue this road.

However I believe PAN and the other parties, Alternativa included, must advance in their democraticals practices and start electing their candidates of all levels by direct open vote of the people and not only by the PAN members. That will guarantee more political successess for them an more competetive elections.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 8, 2006 06:08 AM

Jerry:

I have not heard about any PAN follower attacking media representatives; however, I have read about a savage ramming his pick up truck several times against the makeshift camps of PRD followers. A use of different tools, with different intentions, I guess. The democratic PANistas appear more sophisticated in their attacks...

Posted by: pasilla | August 8, 2006 10:15 AM

Pasilla. I heard about the savage too. Some news reports say he was drunk. If true, he is still to blame, but certainly not the PAN. On the other hand, maybe he was a (sober) PANista. If so he is still a savage. But unless their is some kind of proof that someone sent him to ram into the encampments, what does this prove? On the other hand, LARGE crowds of people attacking journalists, at times in fromt of AMLO (who according to the NY Times, not really a bastion of fascism, to put it mildly), at times including his bodyguards proves quite a bit about AMLO.

Posted by: Jerry N | August 8, 2006 10:36 AM

Lopez Obrador's meditations on such issues as the role of the free press in a modern democratic society reflect his choice of nightly reading material. Every night he curls up on his cot under the canvas roof of his tent in the Zocalo with some of his favorite books-- by Marx, Lenin, Monsivais...

As the PRD's favorite democrat Joe Stalin said about the free press -- "what free press?"

Posted by: Goyo | August 8, 2006 11:00 AM

Jerry... N? B?

When a crazed PAN follower does something stupid, we should not blame PAN; when a self-proclaimed AMLO follower, in a wildly diverse, democratic, progressive but loosely organized popular movement, not a political party, does something non-kosher... We have irrefutable proof that AMLO is a lunatic, controlling the feeble minds of their robotic symphathizers... Does somebody hear double standard (or worst) here?

Posted by: pasilla | August 8, 2006 11:42 AM

Goyo:

Horror of horrors! Somebody reading Marx, Lenin and... Monsivais? Aren't those authors in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum? Perhaps when PAN gets full power, everybody will be reading only the Bible and biographies of saints...

I'm glad that I live in a country in which I can read Monsivais at any hour (as I'm doing it now at night, "Dias de guardar") or the other authors if so pleases me...

Posted by: pasilla | August 8, 2006 11:54 AM

Pasilla:
It is ridiculous to blame PAN for what that driver did, there is absolutely no evidence to relate him with PAN at all.
And to say that if PAN gets full power everybody will be reading the Bible and biographies of saints, are you saying that PAN will try to control the free press? Do you mean like Fidel Castro does in Cuba? or like Stalin did in the USSR? or like Mao did in China? Precisely some of the people whose posters the PRD followers love to carry around.

Posted by: emptyboxes | August 8, 2006 12:45 PM

Maybe AMLO should Animal Farm by George Orwell instead.

Posted by: PeterN | August 8, 2006 02:15 PM

Shold have posted "Maybe AMLO should read Animal Farm by George Orwell instead"

oops

Posted by: PeterN | August 8, 2006 02:25 PM

Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo dijo: "Ahora que desbloqueamos las casetas se enojan. Primero se enojan porque bloqueamos la avenida Paseo de la Reforma y ahora abrimos las casetas y se enojan, quién los entiende".

What is not taken into account with these types of actions is that there is a big hit on taxes, taxes to pay for social programs for the underprivileged, for infrastructure so the rural population can have access to markets, etc., etc. Both actions referred to in Acosta Naranjo's statement have reduced the influx of these taxes because the leaders (or Leader) of the movement haven't enough intelligence to come up with means of protesting that doesn't affect the innocent population. Or could it be that they really could care less about the general population?

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 8, 2006 03:03 PM

Pasilla-- I just set down my "Lives of the Saints" to check the blog again before it is time to read from the Bible and the holy book of PAN.

Anyone can read anything they want, but if someone sleeps every night under a poster of Joe Stalin, the murdering autocrat and founder of the Soviet Gulag, then we have a right to judge him for that. (This is in reference to earlier blog entries about Stalin images on posters in the Zocalo)

As Sarmiento so ably demonstrated in his column today, Lopez Obrador only follows laws that he approves of and only respects court rulings that are in his favor. This is the kind of attitude that leads to Stalin-like behavior once such a person gains power.

And don't start with the "PAN people are just as bad!" That is irrelevant. Besides I don't recall Calderon marching under the banner of Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson or Vlad, the Impaler or any other monster.

Posted by: Goyo | August 8, 2006 05:00 PM

If AMLO is just causing problems then why are the authories and Calderon/Fox afraid of a total recount?? Is it so hard for all of you with your blinders on to believe that fraud was committed in Mexico?? Why is a full recount bad? As far as Fidel Castro goes, you Americans sure got him.. It may have taken you "FIFTY YEARS" but your wearing him down.. I bet another 20 years or so and he'll be toast..

Long Live Fidel Castro
Long Live CUBA

Posted by: Manesso | August 8, 2006 07:39 PM

I just want to say that if the washington post decides to call the "comments" page a blog, that doesn't make it so!

Posted by: man no war | August 8, 2006 07:47 PM

Goyo,
I communicate better in Spanish: NI AL CASO!

Posted by: robles | August 8, 2006 08:53 PM

Manesso, was fraud committed in Mexico? Do you have evidence? If so, is it better than the evidence of the PRD that the TEPJF already rejected? Do you even live in Mexico?

Posted by: Jerry B | August 8, 2006 09:44 PM

"Long Live Fidel Castro
Long Live CUBA"

Long live Cuba's democracy & freedom of the press!
Castro demands vote x vote, polling place x polling place recount in tight election against his shadow! Who will win? Cuban electoral institute in crisis!

Posted by: K. Vronna | August 8, 2006 10:49 PM

We are very fortunate that Mexico has had such stern defenders here in the comments section, saving the nation from Stalin, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro.

I think AMLO is not the only commentator in or regarding Mexico capable of grand overstatement.

Posted by: El Cid | August 8, 2006 11:10 PM

Top 10 reasons why Calderon is the best choice for Mexico:

1. First and foremost, Calderon will make sure that Mexico continues the trend set out by Echeverria, Lopez Portillo, De la Madrid, Salinas and Fox. What trend is that? The trend of a long list of accomplishments occurred in the last 30 yrs. of PRI-PAN government.

2. Calderon will make sure that 50% of Mexicans remain with an income of less than $1 dollar a day.

3. Calderon will make sure that the exodus of millions of unemployed Mexicans continue going to the USA.

4. Calderon will make sure that the lack of gains in science and technology occurred during the Echeverria, Lopez Portillo, De La Madrid, Salinas and Fox continue.

5. Calderon will make sure that Mexico remains a 3rd world country.

6. Calderon will make sure that none of the participants of the bank frauds committed every sexenio are brought to justice.

7. Calderon will make sure that the Durazos, Hank Gonzalez and Salinas are able to steal with absolute impunity.

8. Calderon will make sure that the income and social disparities between the Mexican north and south increase.

9. Calderon will make sure that millions of young Mexicans have limited access to quality education.

10. There has been absolutely no improvement in the living conditions in Mexico for the past 30 yrs. But thank God we have Calderon to maintain the status quo.

God bless you.

Posted by: Top 10 !!!! | August 9, 2006 11:16 AM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




 
 

© 2006 The Washington Post Company