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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #50 on: June 18, 2006, 09:50:50 AM »

?Mas noticias de la eleccion?  Aqui se lee que las encuestas dice que AMLO y Calderon son iguales en apoyo.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2006, 04:37:39 PM »

The Spread of Mexico's Drug Wars
Mexican authorities recovered four beheaded bodies from a vacant lot near the U.S. border in Tijuana the night of June 21, pulling the heads from the nearby Tijuana River. The victims, three local police officials and a civilian, reportedly had been abducted by a convoy of heavily armed men. Three days later, the bodies of four police officers kidnapped the week before were found near the resort city of Acapulco in southern Mexico's Guerrero state. One of the victims had been beheaded. These attacks appear to confirm the escalation -- and spread -- of Mexico's drug wars.

In Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana, and, more recently, Acapulco, rival drug cartels are using heavier and more powerful weapons to carry out increasingly brazen attacks against one other, and any local police officers who get in their way. In Guerrero state, two police posts at the Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo tourist resorts came under simultaneous attack with automatic weapons and grenades June 24.

The attacks against the police posts occurred during a violent weekend in Guerrero state that saw a total of 11 people killed. In addition to the four police officers, the bodies of a businessman and a former police officer were discovered in Acapulco. Four more bodies were found in plastic bags on the outskirts of Acapulco, in Pie de la Cuesta, while another shooting victim was discovered bound and wrapped in a black plastic bag in another nearby town.

Until recently, beheadings had been rare in Mexico, despite the numerous deadly wars between drug cartels going back decades. The change in tactics suggests a new element has entered into the equation, most likely from Central or South America. It also is possible that local enforcers have adopted some of the tactics that have been so effective in Iraq and elsewhere.

Deputy Attorney General for Organized Crime Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos said the beheadings in Tijuana were likely carried out by members of the Mara Salvatrucha crime gang working as enforcers for the Sinaloa drug cartel. Vasconcelos himself, however, has been accused repeatedly in the Mexican media of having a direct connection to some of the cartels. It is a fact, though, that while the Maras can be extremely violent, they are not known to behead their victims.

The real culprits, then, could be Kaibiles, former Guatemalan special forces soldiers who have signed on as cartel enforcers. The Mexican media, citing the April beheadings of two police officers in Acapulco, have claimed that Kaibiles have been active in Mexico over the past few months. Some Guerrero state officials have publicly said they believe the Kaibiles to be behind the attacks, while others have requested information from the Guatemalan army about possible former Kaibiles participating with drug-traffickers. A Guatemalan army spokesman said Mexico requested information on three specific individuals, one of whom was positively identified as a former Kaibil.

The Mexican government has tried various tactics throughout the years to stem the violence associated with the cartels -- to no avail. With presidential elections set for July 2, the new administration and its security services will face the same old problems of internal police corruption and outgunned forces -- and likely will be unable to stem the escalating violence in Mexico. The introduction of enforcers from outside the country indicates that, as the stakes rise, the cartels are responding with increasing violence.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #52 on: July 01, 2006, 07:36:45 PM »

?Algun comentario sobre los procesos legales en contra de Luis Echeverria Alvarez por los acontecimientos del Masacre de Tlatelolco?

?Quien va a ganar la elecion-- AMLO o Calderon?
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Dog Mauricio
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« Reply #53 on: July 04, 2006, 04:15:39 PM »

Pues parece ser que por las escuestas el que ganar? sera Calderon, pero hay en la ma?ana escuche por televisi?n que los dirigentes del PRD aun se encuentran optimistas y tienen fe en que con los votos que faltan por recabar alcancen para que AMLO tenga el triunfo como presidente pero mucha gente lo duda. Para jefe de gobierno lo mas seguro es que quede Marcelo E. Ma?ana miercoles se definir? todo.

Saludos
Mauricio
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Dog Mauricio
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« Reply #54 on: July 04, 2006, 04:16:31 PM »

Pues parece ser que por las encuestas el que ganar? sera Calderon, pero hay en la ma?ana escuche por televisi?n que los dirigentes del PRD aun se encuentran optimistas y tienen fe en que con los votos que faltan por recabar alcancen para que AMLO tenga el triunfo como presidente pero mucha gente lo duda. Para jefe de gobierno lo mas seguro es que quede Marcelo E. del PRD. Ma?ana miercoles se definir? todo.

Saludos
Mauricio
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #55 on: July 05, 2006, 05:28:12 PM »

http://www.eleccionesmexico.com.mx
 
http://www.felipe-calderon.org/fc/html/index.htm
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Dog Mauricio
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« Reply #56 on: July 06, 2006, 04:08:41 PM »

Aun hoy Jueves en la ma?ana hab?a 8 casillas que no contabilizaban sus votos, peroya en la tarde se tienen el 100% de los votos que son:

VOTOS TOTALES:  41,758,191

VOTOS NO REGISTRADOS:  297,960

VOTOS POR CADITATOS A LA PRESIDENCIA DE LA REP?BLICA:

- Felipe Calder?n (PAN)                          35.88%
- Andres Manuel L?pez Obrador (PRD)     35.31%

     Es decir que la diferencia entre los dos candidatos es del 0.57%, peero AMLO no esta conforme y esta pidiendo que se cuente voto por voto para verificar. FC dio las gracias a los otros candidatos que fueron sus contrincantes durante el periodo electoral y tabi?n contesto a AMLO que ese voto a voto ya se realizo el Domingo.

     Aun hay mecanismos para hacer protestar referente a los resultados y posteriomente se daran respuestas.

     De momento es todo.

Saludos Cordiales
Prof. Mauricio S?nchez
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #57 on: July 06, 2006, 07:09:28 PM »

Uds. esta'n viviendo un momento histo'rica.  Yo me acuerdo viajando por todo Mexico en mi motocicleta en 1976 viendo los anuncios por Jose Lopez Portillo-- el candidato del PRI , , , y los demas partidos, y ahora el Presidente es del PAN, y en la eleccion el PRI esta' en tercero lugar y hay una democracia verdadera.

Absolutamente increible.

!Gracias por mantenernos al momento!
=================================

Mexico: Facing Its Greatest Democratic Test
Summary

Mexico's July 2 presidential election was the closest in the country's history. Conservative Felipe Calderon got an advantage in the preliminary vote count, which has just been ratified; the official tally gives Calderon a lead of about 0.56 percent over left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. However, Lopez Obrador has decided not to recognize the results and instead to challenge them officially in the election court. Despite Lopez Obrador's challenge, the country remains calm. Mexico's electoral authorities and the electorate are likely to accept the election results in what could be the ultimate test of Mexico's 20-year-old democratic process.

Analysis

Mexico's presidential election July 2 was the closest in the country's history. Just as opinion polls had predicted before the election, there was a negligible amount of difference between support for National Action Party (PAN) candidate Felipe Calderon and for Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. On July 6, with 99.96 percent of the votes counted, Calderon maintained an advantage of 0.56 percent over Lopez Obrador.

After decades of suspicious electoral processes, one of Mexico's main political transformations during the past 15 years was the decision to build a reliable and independent electoral structure: the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), an independent body in charge of organizing federal elections in Mexico since 1994. The 1994 and 2000 Mexican presidential elections were regarded as clean, and in 1996 the IFE achieved total autonomy from the government and the Federal Electoral Court (TEPJF) was created just to handle electoral issues. However, since the beginning of this election season, Lopez Obrador has cast doubt on the IFE and refused to commit to recognizing the election results if he lost. Since Calderon's lead appears to be holding, Lopez Obrador announced the morning of July 6 that he and the PRD are challenging the election results and calling for a manual recount of the votes.

Given that Calderon and Lopez Obrador each have more than 14 million votes, either candidate would be able to mobilize supporters if needed -- yet Mexico has remained calm in spite of Lopez Obrador's challenge. Even though Lopez Obrador's contention is not with possible fraud but simply with the vote tabulations, this election could be the greatest test Mexico's democratic institutions have faced.

The legal path is certain, if lengthy: Votes were counted on election day, and the official tally and registration began July 5. IFE is set to announce an official result July 6 (as of this writing, the result has not yet been announced). The results will then be sent to the TEPJF for certification. That is the point at which the political parties can challenge the election in the court. After that, the worst-case scenario is that the TEPJF will take the maximum time allowed by law to certify the results, and the election will not be finalized until Sept. 7. Given the PRD's request for a total recount, it is very probable that Mexico will not have an official president-elect for several weeks, though the process is not likely to drag on to the latest possible date. Even after the court makes its decision, the PRD has not clearly signaled that it will accept the results even if the recount shows that Lopez Obrador lost the election.

This election is a test not only for Mexico's electoral authorities, but also for the political actors' negotiation and conciliation abilities. The results indicate that the country is deeply divided; exit polls show that Calderon got most of the votes among the richest two-fifths of the population and tied with Lopez Obrador among voters in the poorest fifth of the population. In geographic terms, Calderon won 16 states, all but two of which were in the north and western regions of the country. Lopez Obrador also won 16 states, all but two of which were in southern and central Mexico. Despite the closeness of the overall election results, few states were divided; Lopez Obrador won more than 60 percent of the votes in Mexico City, and Calderon did the same in several states like Guanajuato and Jalisco.

Given that around 35 percent of Mexico's voters supported Lopez Obrador, Calderon will need to shore up support from other segments of the population. This is especially important given that the July 2 congressional election left no party with an overall majority in either congressional house, though Calderon's PAN will have the relative majority in both the Senate and the House. Support from the once-powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) could prove critical. Robert Madrazo, PRI's presidential candidate, came in third, just as opinion polls forecast; however, it was a very distant third. The PRI also lost its relative majority in the House and Senate and is relegated to third place in Congress. However, the PRI still has the support of about 25 percent of the population and thus could give Calderon a credibility boost and political support. Madrazo has already recognized his defeat and called the presidential election "fair, legal and legitimate." A negotiation with the PRI could not only help legitimize Calderon's victory, it could also help build a coalition in Congress to pass reforms once Calderon assumes power. However, a revolt to renew the leadership has started inside the PRI; the party's ability to show the electorate a commitment to change will be critical for the PRI's survival.

Calderon will face a tough healing process, though he indicated even before the election that he would seek to create some kind of coalition government. Even if the PRD loses its challenge -- as the results seem to indicate will happen -- it won its largest share of the vote ever and will become the second-largest force in Congress, with more seats than it has previously held.

Calderon will be declared the winner July 6, although the results will still not be official until the TEPJF validates and certifies the election. It will take several more days to resolve any PRD challenges. However, Calderon's victory has now been confirmed by the preliminary and official vote counts. If Lopez Obrador clearly states that he is committed to recognizing the final results, there will not necessarily be a problem if the election's certification is delayed a few days. However, as expected, Lopez Obrador has yet to make a declaration in which he says he will accept the results. He will face increasing pressure from the business sector, media and the population in general to accept the results, especially because he does not seem to have a strong case for overturning the results; if the court accepts a recount, Lopez Obrador will have no case at all. Violence has not erupted over the hotly contested election, and it seems very likely that both the electoral authorities and the populace will pass what could be Mexico's greatest democratic test to date.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2006, 08:39:48 AM »

El prestigioso Wall Street Journal dice que el sistema de elecciones en Mexico es mas honesto que lo del EEUU-- y otro articulo sobre la eleccion.
=====================

JOHN FUND ON THE TRAIL

How to Run a Clean Election
What Mexico can teach the United States.

Monday, July 10, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

Mexico is likely to weather the controversy over its photo-finish election despite the protestors that losing candidate Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador brought into the streets on Saturday to claim the election had been stolen. Mexico's nonpartisan National Election Commission has built up a decade of credibility in running clean elections and international observers have certified the count as fair. Indeed, in its successful efforts to overcome its old reputation for corrupt vote-counting Mexico has a lot to teach the United States.

Mexico has developed an elaborate system of safeguards to prevent voter fraud. Absentee ballots, which are cast outside the view of election officials and represent the easiest way to commit fraud, are much harder to apply for than in the U.S. Voters must present a valid voter ID card with a photo and imbedded security codes. After they cast a ballot voters--just like those famously pictured in Iraq last year--also have a finger or thumb dipped in indelible purple ink to prevent them from voting again.

In the U.S. opponents of such anti-fraud measures as photo ID laws claim they will disenfranchise many voters and reduce voter turnout. But John Lott, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, notes that in the three presidential elections Mexico has conducted since the National Election Commission reformed the election laws "68% of eligible citizens have voted, compared to only 59% in the three elections prior to the rule changes." People are more likely to vote if they believe their ballot will be fairly counted.





But in the U.S. a growing percentage of people have doubts their votes are recorded properly, whether those doubts stem from concerns about new electronic voting machines or old-style political machines with a reputation for corruption. Residents of cities such as Philadelphia, where there are more registered voters than the number of adults over the age of 18, routinely note that "voting early and often" is a time-honored--and all too real--tradition.
Photo ID laws are considered one of the most basic and necessary election safeguards by a host of countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Britain, India and South Africa. But less than half of U.S. states have any kind of photo ID laws. Opponents continue to claim they are discriminatory. Just last week, a federal judge in Georgia blocked that state's new photo ID law from taking effect.

Andrew Young, the former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador, doesn't see what all the fuss over photo ID is about. In an era when people have to show ID to rent a DVD at Blockbuster or cash a check he told me "requiring ID can help poor people." He noted that Georgia is deploying a mobile bus to issue voter IDs and allowing groups like the NAACP to arrange for it to go to specific sites such as nursing homes.

Last year, the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform headed by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker proposed a national photo ID requirement. They noted the importance of clean election rolls and the usefulness a photo ID law could provide in ensuring that the person arriving at a polling site is the same one that is named on the registration list. They also proposed that all states use their best efforts to obtain proof of citizenship before registering voters.

During the Senate's May debate on immigration reform, Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell noted that with 12 million illegal immigrants in the country it made sense to have a national law to have voters show a photo ID before they vote and have them indicate if someone is a citizen. He proposed an amendment to the immigration bill that would have included a grant to ensure that states could afford to provide a free ID to anyone who needed one. Requiring someone to show a photo ID would cut down on potential fraud and misrepresentation at the polls, especially in states such as Wisconsin where voters can register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day with no waiting period. "Last I checked, the constitutional right to rent a movie or buy motor oil in bulk was conspicuously absent. However, the constitution is replete, as is the U.S. Code, with protections of the franchise of all Americans," Sen. McConnell told colleagues.

The floor debate over the McConnell proposal was revealing. Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois inexplicably claimed the proposal was a solution without a problem because there was no voter fraud in the country. Coming from a man who represents Chicago, his statement left some colleagues in slack-jawed amazement. Almost as unbelievable were claims by Sen. Ted Kennedy that a photo ID requirement would bring back the equivalent of a poll tax on voters. "How can it be a poll tax, if anyone can get the ID for free?" shot back Mr. McConnell.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in April found that 80% of Americans favored a photo ID requirement, with only 7% opposed. Nonetheless, every Democratic senator lined up in opposition to the McConnell amendment--a clear sign that key liberal interest groups must feel threatened by the idea of ballot security. Mr. McConnell's amendment survived an attempt to strip it from the immigration bill by a vote of only 49 to 48. Its prospects for becoming law this year are dim.

But it's important that the battle continue. After two bitterly fought and close presidential elections in 2000 and 2004, Americans need to improve both sloppy election laws that may needlessly hinder people from voting and also ensure the results are accepted by all but the most die-hard partisans. That means more oversight and stricter standards for the new electronic voting machines that more and more Americans are using. It should include photo ID laws that are uniform across state lines. It should mean states rethinking rules that in states such as California and Washington state routinely have more than a third of voters casting absentee ballots--thus changing the very meaning of an Election Day in which everyone votes at the same time with the same information.





Make no mistake. Close elections are becoming more common everywhere. In addition to Mexico, this spring Italy had a nail biter election that was decided by less than 22,000 votes nationwide. The Czech Republic is still struggling to break a deadlock from an election last month that left both sides with exactly 100 seats each in parliament. Last year, Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats took two months to acknowledge that Angela Merkel had narrowly won and had the right to become the country's first female Chancellor.
Michael Barone, the co-author of the authoritative Almanac of American Politics, spent a week in Mexico reporting on its election and the safeguards it has taken to ensure an accurate vote. "I have more confidence in Mexico's election procedures than I do in those in much of the United States," he concluded.

Americans should be ashamed that in a much richer country that has a much longer democratic tradition, too many states still have slipshod and defective security protections. In the 1960s, Americans fought a civil rights battle to ensure the right of everyone to vote. But every American also has an equal civil right not to have their ballot canceled out by someone who shouldn't be voting, is voting twice or in some case has long since died.

Mexico is ahead of the U.S. in ensuring its elections are both free and accurate. We should ask ourselves if we can afford to let that stunning contrast continue. Our next painfully close presidential election may be only a little over two years away. The time to act is now.

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Leftist Is to Press Challenge
Of Mexico's Election

L?pez Obrador Readies
Effort to Reverse Defeat,
Declaring 'This Isn't Over'
By JOHN LYONS and JOS? DE C?RDOBA
July 10, 2006; Page A3

MEXICO CITY -- Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador, the left-wing candidate narrowly defeated in Mexico's presidential race, was expected to launch a legal campaign late last night to overturn the results, mixing allegations of vote fraud with broader claims that the election process was unfair.

The legal challenges were slated to come a day after Mr. L?pez Obrador held a rally in Mexico City, kicking off the first of several protests he hopes will pressure election authorities to accede to his demands. Mr. L?pez Obrador wants to nullify the results from more than a third of the 130,500 polling stations, and is demanding that all 41 million ballots be hand-counted a second time.

 
The 52-year-old former Mexico City mayor lost a July 2 vote by a slim margin -- around 240,000 votes -- to Felipe Calder?n, 43, the candidate of President Vicente Fox's pro-market National Action Party, according to an official hand count conducted by Mexican poll workers and party representatives. Although he initially said the vote was clean, Mr. L?pez Obrador has lashed out at election officials, Mr. Calder?n, President Fox, and big business since the results were announced, claiming they formed a conspiracy to deny him victory.

"I won the presidency," Mr. L?pez Obrador said early yesterday at a news conference. "I am going to defend our victory. This isn't over." The message was partly meant for the stream of heads of state, including Spain's socialist Prime Minister Jos? Luis Rodr?guez Zapatero and President Bush, who have extended congratulations to Mr. Calder?n.

Despite his rhetoric, analysts say the veteran politician faces an uphill battle both to win a court ruling to overturn the election as well as to galvanize Mexicans into taking to the streets to support him. "L?pez Obrador is now in the uncomfortable position of complaining about things that he said were fine at the time," said Federico Reyes-Heroles, a political analyst and writer in Mexico City.

 
Whatever the outcome, the dispute is likely to further polarize a divided nation, making governing more tricky for the next president.

Mr. L?pez Obrador's legal challenges mark the first major test for the nation's special electoral tribunal, set up in the 1990s as the ultimate authority on electoral disputes as part of an effort to stamp out fraud. The court earned a reputation for flexing its muscle in 2000, when it annulled a local election in Mr. L?pez Obrador's home state of Tabasco.

Now, the leftist is asking the electoral court to order a recount. In his legal complaint, due to be delivered to the court late yesterday, he was expected to ask that the results from as many as 50,000 polling stations be thrown out for reasons including vote buying. He also was expected to ask the court to rule that the election was unfairly tilted against him by the meddling of President Fox and the collusion of electoral officials.

Mr. L?pez Obrador's camp argues that Mr. Fox illegally campaigned for Mr. Calder?n through government-sponsored advertisements touting the achievements of his government. Under Mexican law, a president can't endorse or campaign for a candidate. Mr. L?pez Obrador may also argue that the Calder?n camp surpassed spending limits to launch an illegal negative advertising campaign.

FURTHER READING

 
? L?pez Obrador May Lack Support for Vote Protest
07/08/06
 
While the court may agree to review some ballot boxes, most analysts say it won't agree to the blanket recount that Mr. L?pez Obrador wants. Mexico's electoral system requires parties to observe and then sign off on almost every step of the process -- which Mr. L?pez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party did.

Mr. L?pez Obrador's vow to fill the streets with protestors worries many Mexicans, who fear their young democracy may be in for a period of uncertainty that could push new electoral institutions beyond the breaking point. Mr. L?pez Obrador's tone has become harsh, calling Mr. Fox a "traitor to democracy" during his speech yesterday, and declaring that the "stability of the nation" is at risk unless his demands are met.

Observers say these new attacks on the president may ultimately backfire with middle-class voters who still hold Mr. Fox in high esteem. What's more, observers say Mr. L?pez Obrador's first rally failed to pack the punch he was hoping to deliver, suggesting that his ability to stage massive rallies may dissipate over coming weeks.

Mexico City officials, seen as sympathetic to the former city mayor, said that 280,000 people attended Saturday's rally. News agencies put the number at closer to 100,000. That is about half as much as Mr. L?pez Obrador was hoping to attract -- and many times smaller than the one million supporters police say he gathered in a rally last year. Mr. L?pez Obrador called yesterday for supporters from across the nation to start walking toward Mexico City and attend a second rally in the plaza on July 16.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #59 on: July 11, 2006, 11:23:50 PM »

?Noticias de la eleccion?  ?Se mantiene la aventaja de Calderon?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2006, 09:45:02 AM »

Videos, Doubts, and a Backlash in Mexico Vote
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By GINGER THOMPSON and JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
Published: July 14, 2006
MEXICO CITY, July 13 ? To an untrained eye, the scenes captured on video certainly looked like Mexico?s bad old days when votes were stolen instead of won. There was a man inside a polling station stuffing one vote after another into a ballot box.

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Agence France-Presse ? Getty Images
Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador, the presidential candidate, playing a video that he says shows a poll worker stuffing a ballot box. But election officials, and a member of his own campaign, reject that characterization.

Related
In a Presidential Tone, Calder?n Rejects Recount (July 14, 2006) Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador, the embattled leftist candidate for president, showed the video to a crowd of reporters on Monday morning and called it proof that poll workers had taken part in a conspiracy of fraud that robbed him of victory and handed it to his conservative rival, Felipe Calder?n.

That night, the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, and Mr. L?pez Obrador?s own representative at the polling station said Mr. L?pez Obrador was misrepresenting the video. The tape, they said, showed a poll worker putting misplaced ballots where they belonged, a common procedure that was perfectly legal.

By then, however, doubt had already been planted. Mr. L?pez Obrador has bet his political future that it will not take much to make that doubt grow into a national call for a recount in a country where rigging elections was once a kind of national pastime. His opponents in Mr. Calder?n?s camp are betting people will see things the way they do: that the only one playing dirty these days is Mr. L?pez Obrador.

In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Calder?n, who election officials say squeaked out a victory by 0.6 percent of the vote, said that Mr. L?pez Obrador had not kept his promise during the campaign to accept the election results, win or lose.

?It seems to me that the responsible thing to do is to respect the authorities,? said Mr. Calder?n, who has yet to be formally certified as the winner, ?and not to heighten tensions in the political atmosphere.?

?I don?t want to launch a personal attack on him,? Mr. Calder?n added. ?What I do think is that Mexico has a solid democratic system, credible institutions, like the electoral institute and the electoral tribunal, and that it?s not right that they be discredited, especially without proof.?

In the 11 days since the closest election in Mexican history, Mr. L?pez Obrador has tried to discredit those institutions and the election on two fronts. Last weekend he filed a massive complaint ? including nine boxes of documents and tapes ? to the Federal Electoral Tribunal, alleging irregularities at more 52,000 polling places and calling for a recount.

At the same time, he opened a campaign to cast doubt on the election, feeding the media daily doses of scandal in videotapes and what he describes as secret recordings and tally sheets with incorrect numbers.

On Saturday in the Z?calo, Mexico City?s historic plaza, a confident Mr. L?pez Obrador regaled some 150,000 supporters with a recording of a conversation that he said proved collusion by rival political parties.

He followed up at the press conference on Monday with the now disputed video that he said proved poll workers had inflated vote counts for his rival. He screened another video on Tuesday that he said showed electoral officials illegally tampering with ballot boxes. And on Wednesday, he played a video that he said showed poll workers recording more inflated tallies for Mr. Calder?n.

While the tapes were tantalizing, legal experts said they hardly made Mr. L?pez Obrador?s case for systematic violations that would support his demand for a vote-by-vote recount, and many analysts were concluding that the campaign was more smoke than fire.

The Federal Electoral Institute has fired back with a campaign of its own, including public service announcements and full-page advertisements in Mexico?s major daily newspapers. In a recent press conference, Hugo Concha, a spokesman for IFE, said there was no evidence of fraud in any of the videos.

Nor, he said, were they recorded in secret. Cameras were allowed in district offices during the official vote tallying, Mr. Concha said. And he said the videos screened by Mr. L?pez Obrador showed normal, legal activities.

?In other words,? Mr. Concha said, ?he is misusing the information.?

That seems to be the way Juliana Barr?n Vallejo sees things. She is a former factory worker in Guanajuato State who represented Mr. L?pez Obrador?s campaign at the polling place where the video shown on Monday had been recorded.

?There was no fraud,? she said in a telephone interview. ?Everything was clean.? Then, referring to Mr. L?pez Obrador, she said, ?I think he is angry because he lost, and so he is inventing things.?

Comments like those from Ms. Barr?n, which have also been reported here in the newspaper Reforma, stung the L?pez Obrador campaign. But Mr. L?pez Obrador?s response shook his supporters? confidence even further, as he refused to back away from the video and implied that his own campaign worker had been corrupted.


In a Presidential Tone, Calder?n Rejects Recount (July 14, 2006) ?I cannot say that all my representatives acted honestly,? Mr. L?pez Obrador said at a press conference on Tuesday. ?There is a lot of money out there. Unfortunately, some people are willing to sell their dignity.?

As for the Federal Electoral Institute, Mr. L?pez Obrador said: ?The IFE is trying to cover up an embarrassment that is making news around the world. What we are showing is that in this election we have not moved forward. We have moved backward.?

Some, including the leftist scholar Roger Bartra, say that Mr. L?pez Obrador has not only damaged himself, but that he has also set Mexico on a dangerous course.

Other political analysts, like Jorge Monta?o, say Mr. L?pez Obrador has capitalized on the overwhelming lack of confidence most Mexicans feel toward their institutions, and has shifted the debate from one about who won the election, to one about whether to reopen the ballots.

?Public confidence has fallen so low,? Mr. Monta?o said, ?that it is almost inevitable there will have to be some kind of verification that Felipe Calder?n won the presidency.?

Mr. L?pez Obrador?s appearances at press conferences and on television this week indicated that he was prepared for a long fight. That became clear in a heated exchange between Mr. L?pez Obrador, the populist former Mexico City mayor, and Mexico?s leading news anchor, Joaqu?n L?pez-D?riga, Tuesday night:

Mr. L?pez-D?riga: Where is this going to end, Andr?s Manuel? How far are you going to take it?

Mr. L?pez Obrador: To the people.

Mr. L?pez-D?riga: How far is that?

Mr. L?pez Obrador: As far as the people want and decide.

Mr. L?pez-D?riga: But you are driving this process.

Mr. L?pez Obrador: Yes, but we are going to drive it democratically.

Mr. Calder?n?s aides contend that what Mr. L?pez Obrador really wants is to use a recount as the first step to annulling the election. Echoing analyses by electoral officials, they say it is unlikely that a recount would change the results because the candidates would be likely to gain and lose votes in similar proportions.

But any broad recount, Mr. Calder?n?s aides say, is bound to uncover human errors, and perhaps isolated, but not systematic, cases of fraud, that could be used to throw out all the returns. ?The tactic might be a recount, but the endgame is annulment,? said Arturo Sarukh?n, an aide to Mr. Calder?n.

Mr. L?pez Obrador, 53, has repeatedly denied he wants a new election. He won this one, he said, adding, ?I am more and more convinced of this.?

For his part, Mr. Calder?n has stood firm, planning a tour of the country, sending aides to calm anxieties abroad, appointing officials to lead a transition team and playing down the demonstrations in favor of Mr. L?pez Obrador.

?Elections are won at the polls,? Mr. Calder?n said, ?not on the streets.?
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« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2006, 06:27:53 PM »

Hola a todos, mucha efervecencia en Mexico por lo de las elecciones, la Jornada (un periodico de Mexico), en este viernes presentaba varios articulos que ni por equivocacion veran en los noticiros de television:

Continua la apertura ilegal de paquetes electorales por los empleados del IFE, para igualar cifras del PREP

Posible el fraude cibernetico, declaran cientificos de la UNAM

Sugieren academicos de la UNAM al tribunal electora conteo con maquinas y personal distinto

Es bueno aclarar que cuando Marc mensiona su viaje por mexico durante las eleciones de Portillo el sistema tenia impunidad absoluta  dentro y fuera del pais, en ese entonces estabamos en la etapa de farsa electoral, pues se hacia todo el proceso electoral, pero no se respetaba el resultado (dudo que siquiera se contara), las urnas ya llegaban llenas  o  votaba varias veces un grupo de personas. Cuando se crea el IFE como organo "independiente" del gobierno (en mi opinion no se puede ser independiente si se recibe un presupuesto del gobierno), comenso la etapa de fraude elctoral, en esta epoca si los informes de la votacion eran contrarios al PRI se disparaba contra la casilla y las personas que esperaban  su turno para votar, o se robaban las urnas o como sucedio en 1988 se cae el sistema de computo y curiosamente ya no puede volverse a contar pues los paquetes electorales fueron quemados. La eleccion del 2000 fue una muestra de que al ser los esultados favorables para los intereses del sistema el mismo presidente saltandose al tribunal electoral anuncia el triunfo "absoluto de Fox"

La pasada eleccion fue ejemplar, pues las personas independientemente de sus preferencias realmente salieron a votar, los funcionarios de casilla actuaron honestamente y los paquetes se entregaron sin falta a las oficinas del IFE; sin embargo el computo, la captura, es lo fraudulento, se mensiona que al ingresar los datos de AMLO la base de datos resta 4 votos por casilla, hagan el ejercicio de restar los votos por el numero de casilla y tendran el triunfo de Calderon.

Despues comentamos mas

Omar
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« Reply #62 on: July 17, 2006, 06:52:49 PM »

Hola de nuevo  Smiley , mas informacion sobre el estado de las elecciones en Mexico, este es un articulo del periodista Julio Hernandez, del diario la Jornada, cada dia se habla mas del fraude cibernetico, a ver que comentamos:

Pruebas matem?ticas
- El mundo hildebr?ndico
- Manipulaciones cibern?ticas
- An?malos, el PREP y lo distrital
Astillero
Julio Hern?ndez L?pez
A?n cuando son muchos los testimonios del fraude electoral en su fase manual (premoderna), la clave del gran enga?o est? en la manipulaci?n cibern?tica de los procesos de captaci?n y difusi?n de los datos comiciales. Por m?s evidencias de manipulaciones que se logren juntar (y vaya que hay suficientes) y por m?s litigios ante tribunales electorales que se lleguen a plantear, la esencia del atraco est? en el mundo de lo hildebr?ndico: en el sistema computacional que posibilit? la instalaci?n del reino de las percepciones que ha hecho creer a las masas manipulables medi?tica y ?cient?ficamente? que Felipe Calder?n realmente gan? la contienda electoral./
La diferencia entre lo manual y lo computacional, entre lo real y lo virtual, parece no ser entendida adecuadamente por el lopezobradorismo. Tal vez porque varios de sus principales estrategas nutrieron sus conocimientos electorales de la fuente del priismo cl?sico es que ahora se ha puesto el acento de las denuncias p?blicas m?s en los aspectos tradicionales de la defraudaci?n (el embarazo de urnas, las diferencias num?ricas en actas, por ejemplo) que en los estudios de cient?ficos mexicanos que consideran imposibles, o inviables, o incre?bles matem?ticamente tanto los resultados electorales preliminares y de los conteos distritales como su expresi?n ante los medios de comunicaci?n y los ciudadanos en general./

La noche del pasado mi?rcoles, por ejemplo, esta columna recibi?, en horario que le hac?a imposible incluirlo en la entrega de ese d?a, el an?lisis estad?stico que de las elecciones 2006 hicieron diez acad?micos de la UNAM (los doctores V?ctor Romero, Ra?l Aguilar, Humberto Carrillo, Susana G?mez, Rosario Paredes, Luis Rinc?n y Francisco Portillo, y los maestros Pilar Alonso, Jos? Antonio Flores y Bol?var Huerta). Las observaciones de esa decena de especialistas (que hoy se publican en La Jornada, en una nota de Roberto Gardu?o, y est?n disponibles ?ntegramente en www.juliohernandez.com.mx) establecen que ?se present? una manipulaci?n en el c?mputo de los votos tanto del PREP como del conteo distrital, v?a la alteraci?n de los resultados o la administraci?n de las muestras de casillas tomadas que supuestamente deb?an ser aleatorias. S?lo mediante una manipulaci?n cibern?tica en el ?rea inform?tica del IFE dichos comportamientos anormales e improbables pudieron suceder?. La diferencia oficial de votos entre Calder?n y AMLO fue de ?s?lo dos votos por casilla?, pero ?una manipulaci?n de 30 votos en el 10 % de las casillas permitir?a revertir ese resultado?. Sin embargo (de lo manual a lo cibern?tico, de lo real a lo virtual), ?de igual manera, la manipulaci?n de las cifras en las computadoras del IFE pudo cambiar el resultado final de la votaci?n?. Por ello, los acad?micos de la UNAM recomiendan que se realice ?un nuevo conteo en todas las casillas electorales, usando un sistema de c?mputo distinto al que ha usado el IFE?./
Uno de esos diez acad?micos, V?ctor Romero Roch?n, ha dicho a t?tulo personal que ?las conclusiones respecto al conteo distrital son esencialmente las mismas que en el caso del PREP? y que ?lo que provoca mayor sorpresa es el orden, ascendente o descendente, del n?mero de votos conforme se contabilizan nuevas casillas, siendo que las muestras son independientes unas de las otras (...) un orden de esta naturaleza no puede descartarse en t?rminos estad?sticos, aunque si as? fuera tendr?a una probabilidad incre?blemente peque?a?. De all? se desprende ?la posibilidad final, que no puede ni debe descartarse a la ligera, de la intervenci?n de un agente externo al sistema de c?mputo del IFE?, por lo que un eventual nuevo conteo de votos tendr?a como ?condici?n necesaria? evitar que ?la informaci?n se vuelva a centralizar en las mismas computadoras? del IFE./
El an?lisis colectivo fue conocido en lo general por el propio L?pez Obrador una semana atr?s (el pasado viernes, cuando se preparaba para una entrevista en Televisa con Joaqu?n L?pez D?riga que ese d?a fue pospuesta). Los acad?micos trabajaron s?bado y domingo hasta la madrugada para alcanzar las consideraciones finales y buscaron hacerlas llegar a AMLO por la v?a de Federico Arreola, C?sar Y??ez u Octavio Romero, pero nada consiguieron. Claudia Sheinbaum s? conoci? el texto pero nada sucedi? porque la burocracia alrededor de L?pez Obrador sigue empe?ada en una batalla jur?dico-electoral al estilo antiguo./
No son, los de esos diez acad?micos, los ?nicos estudios sobre la materia. Ya aqu? se han difundido los trabajos de Jaime Ruiz Garc?a y Luis Moch?n. ?ste, en la versi?n m?s actualizada, establece en sus conclusiones que, con lo que ha analizado hasta ahora ?no es razonable creer que no haya habido una manipulaci?n de los resultados reportados por el PREP; se me ha dicho que el trabajo que he realizado es irrelevante pues a fin de cuentas el PREP no tiene validez legal, pues los datos importantes son los del conteo distrital. Sin embargo, me resisto a creer que el PREP haya puesto a nuestra disposici?n toda la informaci?n detallada de la elecci?n con el prop?sito de que nos entretengamos la noche de la elecci?n o que juguemos a las quinielas?./
La batalla c?vica por la defensa del voto debe pasar, desde luego, por el ?mbito jur?dico y por la movilizaci?n social, pero tambi?n debe apoyarse en estos an?lisis matem?ticos (difundiendo esos estudios, convirti?ndolos en argumento pol?tico y social, inaugurando rutas de litigio judicial a partir de consideraciones cient?ficas). De otra manera, el combate se quedar? en un campo acaso ya reorganizado con las mismas trampas cibern?ticas y manuales, como lo sugiere el manoseo de paquetes electorales que ha realizado el IFE en sedes distritales y que podr?a permitir al calderonismo el golpe efectista de anunciar su disposici?n a que sean contados uno a uno los votos de determinadas casillas en las que el tr?o Felipe-Hildebrando-IFE (FelHiFE) no hubiese aplicado (o ya hubiese disimulado) sus artes de magia./
Hoy, a partir de las once horas, en la Escuela Nacional de Antropolog?a (a un lado de la sala Ollin Yoliztli) este tecleador en una mesa redonda con Guillermo Almeyra, H?ctor D?az Polanco y Consuelo S?nchez. El pr?ximo viernes, en la Universidad de Guadalajara... ?Feliz fin de semana y... nos vemos el domingo, en la marcha! (fin)
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« Reply #63 on: July 17, 2006, 09:28:10 PM »

Gracias Omar, muy interesante.

He aqui la interpretacion de hoy del Stratfor:
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Mexico: Lopez Obrador's Risky Hard Line
Summary

Left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) candidate who lost Mexico's July 2 presidential election, continued his increasingly radical path in a July 16 speech, calling for "civil resistance" unless he gets a complete recount of votes. He also said he would refuse to recognize conservative National Action Party (PAN) candidate Felipe Calderon's win, even if the recount confirms the PAN candidate's victory. Though Lopez Obrador's intransigence does risk polarizing PRD and PAN supporters, continuing to contest the election will cost Lopez Obrador support, and he could find himself with depleted political capital.

Analysis

Left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who lost Mexico's July 2 presidential election to conservative candidate Felipe Calderon, called on his followers to mount a "civil resistance" movement if his petition for a recount of all votes cast in the election fails. Now Mexico's Federal Election Court (TEPJF) will decide whether such a recount will be held.

Lopez Obrador's statements have created a Catch-22. On one hand, he has demanded a full recount. On the other, he has said he will not recognize Calderon's win, even if the recount confirms Calderon's 0.58 percent victory. True, the left-wing candidate has also said he wants the civil resistance movement to be peaceful, and that he will call it off if there is a full recount. But given Lopez Obrador's statement that he will not accept a Calderon win, he will probably seek to continue his massive rallies, and some of his supporters might also stage road closings. This intransigence gives rise to a potentially dangerous radicalization and polarization of supporters on both sides. Ultimately, however, Lopez Obrador could find himself with depleted political capital.

Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) presented the election results July 6, handing the victory to National Action Party (PAN) candidate Felipe Calderon. That outcome matched the preliminary results IFE released on election day, which were based on quick counts and exit polls. Shortly after the election, Lopez Obrador demanded a complete recount. While politically a recount makes sense, Mexican law says only TEPJF can determine whether to hold one.

Lopez Obrador's representatives wanted PAN to agree to a recount with or without TEPJF's permission. But doing so without TEPJF's authorization would create legal grounds for invalidating the entire election. PAN and Calderon wisely refused to make such a deal, arguing that it was not their decision. Lopez Obrador has sought to spin that as proof Calderon has something to fear from a recount.

The TEPJF sessions to hear and revise political parties' complaints about the July 2 presidential and congressional elections began July 14. Once the TEPJF reviews those complaints and rules on them, it will announce the official election results and declare the winning candidate president-elect. Essentially, Lopez Obrador has said that either he should be declared winner or the election should be declared invalid. In court, the PRD has asked the TEPJF to conduct a recount in only about 55,000 of the more than 130,000 Mexican precincts. However, on the street the party has demanded a recount of all votes in all precincts.

Even if the TEPJF acceded to all of the PRD's requests, it would still fall short of Lopez Obrador's insistence on a complete recount. And while the TEPJF has the legal authority to order the full recount, it is unlikely to do so if no political party has petitioned for such a move. Yet another inconsistency in Lopez Obrador's push for a recount is the PRD's failure to follow the proper legal procedures in asking for one. This hamstrung Lopez Obrador's recount petition before it was even submitted. Lopez Obrador has justified his demands by saying the electoral process was unjust, the results were not transparent and the election was rigged. Despite these claims, no party filed any complaints of irregularities anywhere in Mexico on election day, and even international election observers dubbed the election fair. Moreover, Lopez Obrador did not object to unfairness in Mexico's concurrent legislative elections, in which the PRD made a strong showing.

These inconsistencies have begun to produce a negative backlash against Lopez Obrador in the media and the already hostile business sector. And while Lopez Obrador may have managed to fill the Zocalo -- Mexico City's main plaza -- with backers, the hardening of his position has come at the expense of support from the wider population -- and perhaps at the expense of his political future. Some polls have shown that between 60 percent and 65 percent of the population wants Lopez Obrador to accept the IFE results and trust the electoral authorities. And while Lopez Obrador still has the backing of the majority of the 35 percent of Mexicans who voted for him, many are starting to have second thoughts. Still, he can create his civil resistance movement if only a small fraction of his initial supporters continue to follow him.

The TEPJF has until the end of August to verify all the evidence and until Sept. 6 to declare a president-elect. The length of the process will spawn uncertainty and allow Lopez Obrador to continue mobilizing his hardcore supporters. The sooner TEPJF certifies the election, the better.

Until then, Lopez Obrador will continue to press his case in the public arena. After the ruling, he will need to decide whether to accept the result or continue with his threats of a resistance movement. That moment will test the real strength of his support. In the meantime, Calderon will need to engage in heavy political bridge-building, especially with the once dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which came in third in this election but still has the support of about one-quarter of the electorate. More likely than not, the PRI will give its support to Calderon. But he will also need to reach out to elements inside the PRD who are not fond of Lopez Obrador, such as Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, who ran as the PRD candidate in the last three presidential elections.

Since Lopez Obrador will probably not change his position, political isolation would be the best way to deal with him. His movement will be loud and designed to gain maximum visibility, but he will lose support rapidly, and he could find himself isolated. And if he continues on this radical path, Lopez Obrador could even become a liability for many inside the PRD, which enjoyed its strongest performance ever in the legislative elections.
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« Reply #64 on: July 19, 2006, 07:55:44 PM »

Mexico's Long Hot Political Summer
Summary

Felipe Calderon, the apparent winner of Mexico's presidential election, was heckled by angry protesters in downtown Mexico City on July 18. Polarizing public opinion is one of the objectives of defeated presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's call for "civil resistance" unless the Federal Election Court awards him the election. While Lopez Obrador cannot actually close down the government, since his party controls less than one-third of the newly elected Congress, he can attempt other tactics like closing down oil facilities and blocking roads. He has engaged in such activities before and would not hesitate in doing it again.

Analysis

The apparent winner of Mexico's July 2 presidential election, Felipe Calderon, was heckled July 18 by about a dozen angry protesters in downtown Mexico City. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who was defeated in the presidential election, had on July 16 called for a "civil resistance" movement to protest the election results in which he lost by 0.58 percent. Polarization of public opinion is one of Lopez Obrador's objectives.

Lopez Obrador maintains that he won the election, yet he has discounted the entire process, calling it unfair and undemocratic. His legal complaints to Mexico's Federal Election Court (TEPJF) simultaneously seek a recount and the invalidation of the election. Since a full recount probably could not give him enough votes to overcome Calderon, Lopez Obrador will use demonstrations and other actions to try to press the TEPFJ to call a new election. He likely will use some of the tactics he has used in the past, such as closing oil facilities, as part of his "civil resistance" movement.

This is not the first time Lopez Obrador has used "civil resistance" to try to overturn an election. In 1994, Lopez Obrador ran for the governorship of his home state, Tabasco, and lost to Roberto Madrazo -- who was the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate in the July 2 presidential election. Madrazo had spent far beyond the allowed limits in the 1994 campaign, and Lopez Obrador used the occasion to claim fraud and start a "civil resistance" movement. He led groups of supporters to block the entry to several oil rigs and other Pemex facilities in Tabasco for several months. He also staged demonstrations and caravans to Mexico City. Lopez Obrador did not succeed in reversing the election, but he gained enough visibility to position himself as the next national chairman of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and then as mayor of Mexico City. Now, Lopez Obrador is almost at the political peak; there is nothing beyond the presidency, so he does not have much to lose.

This time, Lopez Obrador has said his movement is peaceful and does not aim to affect Mexico's citizens; he has created citizens' committees, resembling those of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, which will dictate the spread and scope of the movement. Thus, he would have deniability in case his supporters turn violent -- which is not out of the question. When he first issued the call for "civil resistance," Lopez Obrador asked Calderon to accept a full recount for "the well being of you, your family and your loved ones." The next day, one of Lopez Obrador's lieutenants, former Mexico City mayor and PRI defector Manuel Camacho Solis, warned that "all these people who are now smiling will raise their fists" if Lopez Obrador is not granted victory. The day after that, Calderon was heckled in Mexico City. Lopez Obrador said he did not condemn the heckling but did condemn the "electoral fraud."

Lopez Obrador could be planning to repeat his 1994 performance and close oil facilities, an act that would directly affect the government. The citizens' committees could also plan standard roadblocks and demonstrations as well as symbolic boycotts of businesses and media. Although highly visible and disruptive, demonstrations and blockades are not as problematic as some alternatives. Taking over oil facilities and using rhetoric to incite incidents like the heckling in Mexico City are more dangerous. Disrupting oil facilities would have a visible economic effect, and the use of violent language can easily spin out of control.

There are possible signs of growing disagreement inside Lopez Obrador's party about the route to follow and the intensity of the resistance. After Lopez Obrador's initial outburst, the PRD released a milder statement in the evening. On the morning of July 19, Mexico City Mayor Alejandro Encinas, another prominent member of the PRD, explicitly condemned the aggression against Calderon.

Lopez Obrador has chosen a course on which he either will be declared winner or will try to prevent Calderon from assuming power. Since there are others inside the PRD who might attempt a run for the presidency in six years, Lopez Obrador might feel that this is his only chance. However, by further radicalizing his position, Lopez Obrador has started to lose popularity and erode his political capital. The most likely outcome is that he will find himself isolated. The PRI has expressed its support to the TEPJF and the election authorities and wants the election results to stand. And while Calderon might not have much to offer Lopez Obrador personally, he has a lot to offer the PRD, which had its strongest performance ever in the July 2 congressional elections. If the PRD is thinking of the future, it might find that Lopez Obrador's actions are detrimental to its interests.

Lopez Obrador's movement is likely to fizzle, but it will take time and there will still be several "civil resistance" acts. It will still be a long and hot summer for Mexico.
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« Reply #65 on: July 22, 2006, 05:34:20 AM »

Mexico: Acapulco as a Main Front in the Drug Wars
July 21, 2006 17 31  GMT



Gunmen killed former Mexican legislator Juan Jose Nogueda on July 19 after abducting him from Acapulco's main beachside street in broad daylight. The killing marks the latest incident of violence in the escalating drug war in Mexico's Pacific resort city. The war is making the popular resort destination increasingly dangerous as it continues to spread to other parts of the country.

Nogueda, a businessman in the construction industry and former federal deputy for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, was snatched in plain view of tourists by several gunmen driving a sport utility vehicle. A few hours later, he was found slumped against a wall under some palm trees along the Cerrada de Cumbres road leading to the famous La Quebrada high-diving cliffs. He had been shot three times in the chest and groin -- a gesture meant to send a signal about what happens to people who cross the cartels.

The Sinaloa cartel is fighting a turf war against the Gulf cartel for control of Acapulco, and both sides are using enforcers from inside and outside of Mexico. According to Mexican media reports, Nogueda's killing is believed to have been carried out by members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, or the Kaibiles from Guatemala. The Maras reportedly are used as enforcers by the Sinaloa cartel, while the Kaibiles are on the Gulf cartel's payroll. The Gulf cartel also is known to use the muscle of Los Zetas, a group of former Mexican airborne troops.

Violence involving rival drug cartels has been increasing around Acapulco for several months, but has escalated dramatically over the past two weeks. On July 10, the chief of security for the Acapulco city government, Eusebio Palacios Ortiz, was grabbed by unknown gunmen while he drove with his wife and daughter on Miguel Aleman Coastal Avenue, the main tourist area. Hours later, another man, Oswaldo Moreno, was shot four times within yards of City Hall after exiting his car and trying to flee his attackers on foot. Two days later, two of Acapulco Mayor Felix Salgado's security guards were brutally beaten, suffocated and left in a car.

In Mexico's climate of political corruption, police officers, officials, businesspeople and politicians have increasing links to organized crime, while the drug cartels are heavily entrenched in many of Mexico's local and state governments. Nogueda could have been targeted because of dealings with a rival cartel either through his business or former political connections. The police and security officers might have been attacked either because they obstructed the cartels' efforts to establish themselves in the area, or because they were working with a rival cartel.

This kind of violence has not been limited to Acapulco. A few weeks ago, in an operation similar to the one that occurred in the border city of Nuevo Laredo in June 2005, almost the entire municipal police force of Apatzingan in the western state of Michoacan was interrogated on suspicion of collaborating with the cartels following a July 12 sting operation. Of the 220 officers interrogated, 27 were arraigned on charges, while another 40 never returned to work.

The violence associated with Mexico's drug wars is spreading to Acapulco and other areas not previously involved in the conflict. On July 17, the governor of the state of Tabasco requested that the Mexican army be deployed there in response to armed attacks against police, purportedly by Los Zetas. In response, the army established patrols in the cities of Cardenas, Cunduacan and the state capital, Villahermosa.

The attacks in once-peaceful Acapulco are occurring closer to tourist areas, while the gangs are growing increasingly brazen in their actions -- as the daylight attacks and targeting of police officials indicate. It seems only a matter of time before a tourist is caught in the crossfire, or perhaps even directly attacked as a result of the increasingly violent drug wars.
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« Reply #66 on: July 31, 2006, 09:12:15 AM »

MEXICO CITY, July 30 ? Four weeks after a very close election plunged this country into political crisis, the leftist candidate escalated his campaign to undo the official results, telling a mass rally of his supporters on Sunday that they must engage in civil disobedience to ?defend democracy? and force the recognition of ?my triumph as president.?

?Mexico does not deserve to be governed by an illegitimate president,? said the candidate, Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor who election officials say lost the national election by a mere 243,000 votes of 41 million cast.

A special electoral court has yet to ratify the results and Mr. L?pez Obrador has challenged the official tally, contending that there were widespread irregularities, human errors and, in some instances, fraud. He and his supporters want all the ballots counted again.

Felipe Calder?n, a conservative candidate who officials say received the most votes, contends that recounting all the votes is unnecessary and illegal. Poll workers, chosen at random like jurors and trained for the job, counted the ballots the night of the election in the presence of party officials and signed formal tally sheets.

While Mr. L?pez Obrador led a third huge march down Reforma Avenue to the Z?calo, Mexico City?s central square, on Sunday, Mr. Calder?n appeared before the Federal Electoral Tribunal to counter the leftist?s arguments that the vote count was flawed. ?We won cleanly,? he told reporters after an audience with judges. ?And we are not going to let these millions of votes be canceled.?

Mr. Calder?n also said Mr. L?pez Obrador could not win in court with sit-ins and other acts of civil disobedience. ?We believe in the force of the law,? he said.

The tribunal has until Sept. 6 to resolve the legal challenges and declare the president-elect. Mr. L?pez Obrador said he would not accept anything less than a full recount and promised to wage a campaign of civil disobedience until he got one.

The city police, whose commanders have political ties to Mr. L?pez Obrador, estimated that about 1.2 million people attended the march, making it one of the largest in the country?s history.

The estimate could not be confirmed by other means, but the central square, which holds about 100,000 people, was packed, a sea of people wearing the bright yellow of Mr. L?pez Obrador?s Party of the Democratic Revolution. The crowd spilled into nearby streets, filling major avenues for a half-mile in every direction.

The multitude ? farmers and working-class people bused from rural towns, as well as left-leaning urban professionals ? thundered the chant, ?Vote by vote, polling place by polling place,? as Mr. L?pez Obrador took the stage.

In interviews, protesters said Mr. L?pez Obrador had convinced them that the National Action Party, the party of President Vicente Fox and Mr. Calder?n, and its allies among business leaders had rigged the election.

?If there was no fraud, they would agree to a vote by vote recount,? said Gregorio Ruiz, a 33-year-old farmer from the southern state of Guerrero, who had a mouthful of silver-rimmed teeth.

Brenda Fern?ndez, a 33-year-old homemaker, said as she marched past the Palacio de Bellas Artes that she expected the court to deny Mr. L?pez Obrador?s request and that violence would erupt afterward. ?Look, there was already one revolution, why not another?? she said. ?We are at the point of violence, and the government better understand that.?

Mr. L?pez Obrador called for 32 sit-ins across the city, another step in his campaign to ratchet up pressure on the court to order a recount and on his opponent to accept it. So far, the protests and marches he has led have been peaceful, though he said Sunday that more acts of civil disobedience would be planned.

His court case rests largely on arithmetic errors he maintains he found in about 72,000 polling places. In some cases the number of votes exceeded the number of ballots delivered, he maintains. In others, ballots were delivered and never accounted for in the totals. In others, there were more votes than people registered.

But he also charges that poll workers manipulated the count to pad Mr. Calder?n?s advantage in polling places where Mr. L?pez Obrador had no representatives.

Election officials say most of the arithmetic problems can be explained by human error on election night, as poll workers reported numbers to election officials. The official tally three days later cleared up most of those mistakes, officials say.

Fraud is also highly unlikely, they say. One would have to bribe four polling officials, all chosen at random from lists of registered voters, to falsify results at a polling place.

Still, most of Mr. L?pez Obrador?s followers say not much has changed since the 1980?s, when the government controlled and manipulated the vote count to make sure members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party remained in power. That party ruled Mexico with only token opposition until Mr. Fox?s historic victory in 2000, after the Federal Election Institute became independent.

Indeed, many marchers said they believed the National Action Party had teamed up with the former governing party to commit fraud and give Mr. Calder?n a razor-thin advantage in northern states. Many said they saw both parties as stooges of big business and the United States.

For his part, Mr. L?pez Obrador, 52, has said his campaign for a recount is not an attempt to seize power, but a selfless drive to save Mexico?s fledgling democracy from what he sees as impure influences, like Mr. Fox?s use of his bully pulpit to help his party?s candidate and attack advertisements against Mr. L?pez Obrador paid for by business groups.

?I want to stress the cause we are defending is fundamental,? he said. ?I want to tell you that it goes beyond the fact that they should recognize my triumph as president of the republic.?

Then he added: ?I am not a vulgar opportunist. Money does not motivate me nor interest me. Power only makes sense when it is put at the service of others.?

Antonio Betancourt contributed reporting for this article.
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Dog Mauricio
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« Reply #67 on: July 31, 2006, 10:51:20 AM »

Hola Guro Marc y todos

     Pues por ac? la situaci?n esta tremenda, ayer me encontraba en el centro de la ciudad de M?xico y la verdad es un caos, ya que por las marchas de AMLO las calles estan cerradas, interrumpen el las v?as p?blicas y el transito vehicular esta terrible, adem?s de que llegan muchos camiones de provincia con gente que apoya las marchas y los estacionan cruzados en plena calle y por todos lados estorbando; haaa, y algo que me molesta mucho es que toda esa gente deja todo un basurero por todo el centro hist?rico, es el colmo por lo menos que no sean cerdos.

     El d?a de hoy la gente cerro avenida Reforma, que como sabemos es una calle super transitable que la gente ocupa para llegar a sus trabajos. El se?or AMLO pidio a la gente que se queden en campamentos d?a y noche hasta que se les de una soluci?n respecto al recuento de los votos para la presidencia del pa?s.

Saludos
Mauricio
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« Reply #68 on: August 02, 2006, 04:05:34 PM »

?Se va a mantener la paz/orden social?
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« Reply #69 on: August 03, 2006, 05:21:52 PM »

Global Market Brief: Ripple Effects of Mexico's Contested Election
August 03, 2006 20 51  GMT



Supporters of Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is still contesting his failed bid in the July 2 Mexican presidential elections, surrounded the Mexican stock exchange in Mexico City for several hours Aug. 3, blocking workers from entering but having little effect on actual trading on the floor. The demonstrators, many of whom have been camped out along Zocalo Square and Reforma Boulevard during the week, have threatened to return again Aug. 4, and continue demonstrating and disrupting traffic in Mexico City until there is a total recount of the extremely close election.

As we noted in our June 29 Global Market Brief, the Mexican elections would have left congress divided no matter who won, which would then lead to difficulties in passing economic policies. The electoral margin between victor Felipe Calderon of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) and second-place finisher Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) was razor thin -- just 0.56 percent, or 244,000 votes. Lopez Obrador has strongly contested the election, declaring himself the victim of massive fraud, and has vowed to stir public protests until there is a total recount or he is declared president.

Lopez Obrador's supporters have thus far remained relatively peaceful in their actions, though they are causing traffic disruptions in the capital. The second-place finisher has other options available, however, if he cannot achieve his goals through sit-ins in Mexico City. Two short-term risks are foremost. First, Lopez Obrador has created "citizens' committees" within his support base. This allows for more localized and self-directed action by his supporters, which would give the movement opportunities to expand and alter its characteristics throughout Mexico (or at least in those areas where Lopez Obrador has the most support). But the devolution of authority to the local committees also creates a situation where local groups, independently or with tacit central support, shift from the current non-violent actions to a more aggressive approach. The buffer of the citizen committee structure then insulates Lopez Obrador from direct responsibility should violence break out.

The second possibility is that Lopez Obrador takes his protests to a more economically significant target -- Mexico's oil fields. In 1994, after losing in gubernatorial elections in Tabasco state to Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Roberto Madrazo (who coincidentally ran against Lopez Obrador and Calderon in the July presidential election), Lopez Obrador claimed fraud and launched a civil resistance movement in protest. He led caravans to Mexico City to protest, but more significantly he led supporters to block access to several oil rigs and other Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) facilities in Tabasco. The blockades lasted several months before Lopez Obrador finally relented.

Oil exports and related taxes account for some 40 percent of federal revenues in Mexico, and should Lopez Obrador shift tack and repeat his earlier course of action, there could be a more substantive impact on Mexico than traffic jams in Mexico City.

Such action would also resonate beyond Mexico. Even if the blockage of a few Mexican oil rigs would not substantively affect Mexico's overall oil output, it would certainly add to the psychological pressures on international oil prices. Oil is currently better than $75 a barrel, and while not at record highs, nor yet seriously affecting the U.S. economy, a crisis in the oil fields of the fifth-largest oil producer and ninth-largest exporter would add another premium on an already premium-heavy oil market.

But Mexico also faces a longer-term problem with its oil industry, one that was part of the election battle. Amid debates over Mexico's future economic policies, one of the trickiest is the question of energy. While Lopez Obrador's PRD remains strongly opposed to any change in the national nature of the oil industry, both PAN and PRI have presented options to open the oil sector slowly to private investments, potentially even foreign investment. Calderon has offered specific proposals to allow mixed partnerships in offshore oil and gas exploration and other ventures, for example.

Mexico's oil infrastructure, while not nearly as run down as Venezuela's, is in need of vitalization. While the Mexican economy has diversified during the past two decades, the government remains highly dependent upon oil exports for state revenues. As such, little of the money Pemex collects from exports is reinvested into Pemex. This practice weakens the company's ability to explore new oil fields, exploit existing resources or process and refine crude. There is a serious lack of investments, and it is showing in the declining proven reserves. Calderon has proposed opening up the system for complementary private investment while keeping Pemex under state control, but he will have a hard time convincing a divided congress to make the change. The new government's first priority will likely revolve around tax reform, leaving energy reform for later.

And given the divisions in the Mexican congress, the privatization of Mexico's oil industry -- even if on a limited scale -- will be a very contentious and difficult issue. With the PRD making a strong showing in the congressional elections, and PAN and PRI traditional competitors, Calderon is unlikely to try for a quick change in regulations surrounding private investment in Mexico's oil industry. And this delay will only continue the slow erosion of Mexico's position among oil producers.
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« Reply #70 on: August 11, 2006, 05:09:24 PM »

Hola a todos:

Pues a mi tambien me sorprendio la medida que se decidio, durante la asamblea masiva un dia antes yo vote en contra de la medida, pero la mayoria coreo la propuesta con un rotundo si. Aun el lunes no estaba convensido, pienso que lo ultimo que conviene es darle armas a los medios para que manipulen la informacion y la descontextualicen, pero como detienes a toda esa gente que ve como unica opcion esas medidas para ser tomada en cuenta?, el propio Monsivaes que una semana antes elogiaba la estrategia de resistencia civil, censuro duramente a AMLO, pero el martes otro intelectual le recordo que es mas desastroso la imposiscion de un presidente ilegitimo a un bloqueo (aun de esas dimensiones), otro intelectual (mas bien analista politico), Ramon Pieza Rugarcia menciono cosas muy importantes:

-El jodido, el que piensa distinto, el indigena, el campesino, el comunista, el pauperrimo, ?que medio real tiene de expresion?- ... -el IFE es acosado con plantones de "cuello blanco" por la COPARMEX, las televisoras, el clero, la derecha, etc, ?porque nadie se escandaliza por ello?, sera porque los simpatizantes de AMLO se instalaron en la esquina del barrio "nice" llevando la desigualdad social a sus propios balcones y los otros llaman con su telefono satelital desde un BMW o un rascacielos de cristal?-... -?que tiene que ver el bloqueo de una calle con la democracia?-... -la violencia se inicia se desarrolla y se desencadena desde un hecho inicial, porque ningun intelectual se escandalizo por el inedito e ilegal desafuero a un gobernante electo?, o porque ninguno paro la campa?a del miedo y la intervencion del presidente de la republica durante la campa?a electoral?-

Gandhi mismo fue desacreditado en su tiempo y hoy es el ejemplo de lo que tiene que hacer un politico bajo "medios pacificos", pero Gandhi no solo hizo huelgas de hambre, lo mas importante es que busco atacar economicamente al imperio britanico, paralizo con su tantica la venta de la industria salinera y la industria textil; en ese tiempo no solo era campa?a del miedo sino ballonetas y fusiles sobre personas desarmadas.

En cuanto a la paz social, si se rompe (espero que el IFE, el PAN y TRIFE, sean sensibles), no va a ser de parte de AMLO, pues La Jornada ha publicado dos articulos donde alerta sobre la movilizacion de soldados vestidos de campesinos y "chavos banda", alginas fotos muestran como esperan en los alrededores de la lagunilla varios veiculos militares y en ellos estas personas evidentemente militares pero con ropa de calle. Esto me atemoriza en particular pues es la misma tactica que utilizaron los Halcones en el 71.

Cierro con unas lineas de la Jornada:

La zona esta acordonada con mecates de pl?stico que la gente llama lazos y estos delimitan una cuadra de extensi?n que el s?bado al amanecer fue agredida furiosamente por un joven panista, Manuel Cosio Ramos, de 27 a?os, que en un acto de locura envisti? con su camioneta de lujo una decena de tiendas de campa?a, lastimando a varias personas antes de ser detenido por los elementos de una patrulla, a quienes dijo que era ?ayudante? de Manuel Espino, el presidente nacional del PAN.

Ahora en homenaje al muchacho, quien llevaba las placas de su veh?culo en la guantera ?lo que habla de premeditaci?n, alevos?a y mucho, mucho odio de clase de su parte-, una cartulina advierte ante las sillas de pl?stico partidas en cachitos: ?estos son los destrozos de un pacifico panista que trato de matarnos?[/
i]

La jornada, lunes 7 de agosto

Omar
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #71 on: August 11, 2006, 08:30:09 PM »

Omar:


1)  Casi lo entendi, pero al final de cuentas no entendi nada smiley  ?Un resumen por favor?

2)  He aqui las palabras de AMLO en ingles como aparecieron en el NY Times:

CD
===============


Recounting Our Way to Democracy
               E-MailPrint Save
 
By ANDR?S MANUEL L?PEZ OBRADOR
Published: August 11, 2006
Mexico City

NOT since 1910, when another controversial election sparked a revolution, has Mexico been so fraught with political tension.

The largest demonstrations in our history are daily proof that millions of Mexicans want a full accounting of last month?s presidential election. My opponent, Felipe Calder?n, currently holds a razor-thin lead of 243,000 votes out of 41 million cast, but Mexicans are still waiting for a president to be declared.

Unfortunately, the electoral tribunal responsible for ratifying the election results thwarted the wishes of many Mexicans and refused to approve a nationwide recount. Instead, their narrow ruling last Saturday allows for ballot boxes in only about 9 percent of polling places to be opened and reviewed.

This is simply insufficient for a national election where the margin was less than one percentage point ? and where the tribunal itself acknowledged evidence of arithmetic mistakes and fraud, noting that there were errors at nearly 12,000 polling stations in 26 states.

It?s worth reviewing the history of this election. For months, voters were subjected to a campaign of fear. President Vicente Fox, who backed Mr. Calder?n, told Mexicans to change the rider, but not the horse ? a clear rebuke to the social policies to help the poor and disenfranchised that were at the heart of my campaign. Business groups spent millions of dollars in television and radio advertising that warned of an economic crisis were I to win.

It?s my contention that government programs were directed toward key states in the hope of garnering votes for Mr. Calder?n. The United Nations Development Program went so far as to warn that such actions could improperly influence voters. Where support for my coalition was strong, applicants for government assistance were reportedly required to surrender their voter registration cards, thereby leaving them disenfranchised.

And then came the election. Final pre-election polls showed my coalition in the lead or tied with Mr. Calder?n?s National Action Party. I believe that on election day there was direct manipulation of votes and tally sheets. Irregularities were apparent in tens of thousands of tally sheets. Without a crystal-clear recount, Mexico will have a president who lacks the moral authority to govern.

Public opinion backs this diagnosis. Polls show that at least a third of Mexican voters believe the election was fraudulent and nearly half support a full recount.

And yet the electoral tribunal has ordered an inexplicably restrictive recount. This defies comprehension, for if tally sheet alterations were widespread, the outcome could change with a handful of votes per station.

Our tribunals ? unlike those in the United States ? have been traditionally subordinated to political power. Mexico has a history of corrupt elections where the will of the people has been subverted by the wealthy and powerful. Grievances have now accumulated in the national consciousness, and this time we are not walking away from the problem. The citizens gathered with me in peaceful protest in the Z?calo, the capital?s grand central plaza, speak loudly and clearly: Enough is enough.

In the spirit of Gandhi and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we seek to make our voices heard. We lack millions for advertising to make our case. We can only communicate our demand to count all the votes by peaceful protest.

After all, our aim is to strengthen, not damage, Mexico?s institutions, to force them to adopt greater transparency. Mexico?s credibility in the world will only increase if we clarify the results of this election.

We need the goodwill and support of those in the international community with a personal, philosophical or commercial interest in Mexico to encourage it to do the right thing and allow a full recount that will show, once and for all, that democracy is alive and well in this republic.

Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador, the mayor of Mexico City from 2001 to 2005, was a candidate for president in 2006, representing a coalition led by his Party of the Democratic Revolution. This article was translated from the Spanish by Rogelio Ram?rez de la O.


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arpulpo
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« Reply #72 on: August 14, 2006, 07:00:46 PM »

Que tal Foro:

Es la primera vez que escribo en este foro por lo que me presento antes que nada:

Mi nombre es Arturo Garc?a y soy alumno del profesor Muaricio Sanchez de Sistemas Integrados de Combate. Tengo aprox. un a?o y cachito de estar practicando el sistema ( y en general artes marciales) por lo que no me siento todavia listo para aportar en ese t?pico pero si en la parte de politica sobre M?xico.

Bueno, pues alla vamos:

Primero que nada es muy grato para mi saber que Marc se interesa tanto en nuestro pais. Espero que mis aportaciones te sean de utilidad.

El dia de ayer terminando el entrenamiento surgio un peque?o debate con el Super-Javier acerca de la situaci?n pos-electoral en el pais. Fue muy interesante oir su opini?n, ya que tenia tiempo de no encontrar a alguien que estuviera con la propuesta de Madrazo-PRI. El debate se ha polarizado tanto entre el PRD-PAN (la izquierda y la derecha) que es raro cuando alguien tiene una tercera ?propuesta? (perdon Javier por los signos de interrogacion pero si a  algun ex-candidato conozco bien es a el, porque trabaje en su campa?a interna del 2000).

Yo soy militante de izquierda desde mi etapa de licenciatura (estudie ingenieria en la UNAM), por lo que deduciran cual es mi posici?n ahora,  que es la de apoyo total a AMLO.

No soy una persona que se haya convencido en la campa?a electoral de el o piense que es la opci?n "menos peor". Estoy convencido de sus propuestas, estoy convencido de su proyecto de naci?n y creo que es el politico mas congruente que ha surgido en nuestro pais en las ultimas decadas.

Mucha gente se ha acercado conmigo para preguntarme si apoyo los plantones que desde hace unas semanas afectan a la capital...y creo que se han quedado mudos con mi respuesta...Si, si los apoyo. Y ahi comienza el debate.

Mi justificaci?n se las enviare en mi pr?xima participaci?n ya que debo de trabajar un poco.

Saludos a todos.

Arturo.

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Dog Mauricio
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« Reply #73 on: August 15, 2006, 01:18:49 PM »


     Gracias por tus comentarios Arturo, espero un buen debate de este tema. Que bueno que hay en el foro alguien que no teme expresar su opini?n, espero tambi?n lo hagas en la cuasti?n de las Artes Marciales, no importa el tiempo que lleves entrenando. Espero tambi?n los comentarios de Javier.

Saludos cordiales y nos vemos en el entrenamiento.

Prof. Mauricio S?nchez
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« Reply #74 on: August 15, 2006, 08:06:19 PM »

Guau Arturo:

Esperamos tus justificaciones  smiley

CD
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« Reply #75 on: August 16, 2006, 09:00:01 AM »

1119 GMT -- MEXICO -- Mexico's apparent President-elect Felipe Calderon will be placed "under siege" and unable to operate outside his office if he is declared the winner of the election, a spokesman for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolutionary Party said Aug. 16. Official election results are due Sept. 6.

Lo que tengo entendido (corrigame si me equivoco por favor) es que AMLO se ha producido muy poca evidencia; que y "complete recount" seria fuera de la ley; y que la Comision Elector si' esta' cumpliendo sus deberes segun la ley.

Por lo cual, AMLO me esta' paraciendo un hombre a quien le importa mas su ambicion que el bienestar de Mexico y su democracia.
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« Reply #76 on: August 16, 2006, 04:16:35 PM »

Hola a todos, quisiera expresar algunos comentarios y reflexiones, mas que establecer una postura respecto a los resultados electorales y la pol?tica actual en el pais, pues a mi en lo personal no me convenc?an de inicio ni el proyecto PRD ni el proyecto PAN.

Marc, coincido contigo respecto a que el Se?or Andres Manuel Busca la presidencia m?s por un fin de ambici?n personal, que por los "nobles fines" que proclama.

En el intento de plant?n que llevaron a cabo los perredistas, los Diputados y Senadores del PRD se comportaron como unos porros y v?ndalos (quiz? por su extracci?n porril) mas que como lo que son funcionarios p?blicos. En esta ocasi?n, al igual que en el resto de los actos de descontento con el resultado electoral, provocan a la autoridad al transgredirla, incluso sus propias directrices (como el vando informativo 13 del a?o 2000), y al obtener la l?gica respuesta de la autoridad, lloran, y se quejan de que no son respetados como lo que son??? y presentan cargos por haber sido reprimidos, mientras que AMLO dice que no van a caer en provocaciones por parte del gobierno federal, ?Qui?n provoca a qui?n?

Me parece que el "noble acto" de las Dadivas del herario p?blico que se dan a los adultos mayores, a las madres trabajadoras y los programas de ?tilies escoolares (condicionado por cierto, a presentarse en las manifestaciones del PRD, y a formar parte de las redes de apoyo ciudadano) son mas un paliativo que una soluci?n de fondo, pues prefiero tener un trabajo que me de opci?n a una vida digna que recibir el trato de un vil acarreado.

Que el se?or AMLO Dijo desde que se enter? del resultado preliminar de las votaci?n que ten?a pruebas de un supuesto fraude (del cual no me consta que hubo o no tal), para declarar posteriormente en una entrevista para la cadena Univisi?n, que en los primeros dias posteriores s?lo era una sospecha infundada, pero que para el momento de dicha entrevista, ya ten?a todas las pruebas del fraude electoral.

Con situaciones como estas, ?C?mo creer que quiere gobernar para el bien de los mexicanos y no del beneficio propio?

Mas reflexiones y hechos del PRD y las propias del PAN en otro post, hay que trabajar.
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« Reply #77 on: August 17, 2006, 02:36:23 PM »

Que tal Foro:

He leido algunos de los mensajes al foro de Omar muy interesantes y bien documentados, por lo que voy a tratar unicamente de dar mi perspectiva del problema sin calificar de si esta bien o mal. Ahi va:

Si analizamos la situaci?n actual sin tomar en cuenta el contexto o la historia "democratica" de nuestro pais y tomarlo como un hecho aislado de un hombre y sus seguidores, creo que nos formaremos una opinion erronea de la situaci?n, por lo que les pido un poco de paciencia para analizar lo siguiente:
- Yo soy militante de izquierda desde mis a?os en la Universidad. Tome parte semi-activa en la promocion del voto para la opci?n de Cuauhtemoc Cardenas en la elecci?n de 1988. En aquel movimiento, se lograron juntar un universo de organizaciones y opiniones para "derrocar" de forma democratica a la "dictadura perfecta" (Mario Vargas Lllosa dixit) que ejercio el PRI por mas de 70 a?os. En esa epoca se llevo a cabo el fraude mas descomunal en la historia moderna de Mexico.
- En ese tiempo, toda la opinion publica se volco contra el fraude. Estaba en boca de todos. Y muchos estabamos listos en aquel entonces para defender el voto. Y no solo por el hecho de cambiar de partido en el gobierno. Sino porque ya era hora de un cambio real en la situaci?n de nuestro pais: marginaci?n, pobreza extrema, corrupcion a niveles grotescos, y un largo etc........
- En esos tiempos muy, muy tensos ocurrio el "accidente" del candidato del PAN (Manuel J. Clouthier) en una carretera y en una situaci?n muy, muy oscura.
- Para no "desestabilizar mas al  pais" Cuauhtemoc Cardenas decide no elevar mas la protesta y abdica. No es necesario que les describa la desilusion que causo en muchos de nosotros.

- Pasaron 18 laaaargos a?os para que una persona pudiera nuevamente tomar un liderazgo de todas esas propuestas y necesidades de muchos mexicanos marginados. Muchos se preguntan, que tiene ese tabasque?o que se traga las "s" que atrae tanto a las "masas"?? que atrae al "pueblo"?? que no quiere  negociar con las cupulas empresariales su llegada al poder? que se niega a las privatizaciones? y una larga lista de preguntas...

- Con mal o buen gobierno, con programas "populistas" o no (todas las propuestas, obras de gobierno, programas sociales los comentare en mi siguiente correo para tambien comentar un poco sobre el correo de Javier) comenzo a convencer a muchisima gente de diversas capas de la socieda en su propuesta y comenzo a hacerse de muchos seguidores.

-Y ahi fuen cuando COMENZO REALMENTE EL PROBLEMA. El gobierno panista del peor presidente que hemos tenido en la historia moderna de Mexico se dio cuenta de esta situaci?n y que estaban en riesgo muchisimos intereses (que tambien comentare en otro correo) si este "populista" llegaba al poder. Y comenzo con su campa?a ILEGAL para sacarlo de la contienda presidencial. Se de buena fuente (trabaje en la PGR) que el gobierno busco y rebsuco algo que pudira sacarlo de la contienda con algun argumento leguleyo. Y encontro el argumento mas estupido: no parar la obras por un mandato judicial extra?o  en la construccion de una carretera para acceder a un hospital (privado, si, pero al fin hospital).

- Busco un argumento legal para quitarle el fuero constitucional y poderlo llevar a juicio o abrirle proceso penal y asi dejarlo fuera de la carrera presidencial. Mas de un millon de personas marchamos para impedir esto. El presidente, sabiendose acorralado busco un chivo expiatorio (el director de la PGR) y echo todo para atras.

- La sociedad se dio cuenta en ese momento que el gobierno iba a hacer hasta lo imposible para que Lopez Obrador no llegara a la presidencia. Por lo que opto por llevar a cabo una campa?a mediatica negra para desprestigiar a AMLO y crear un ambiente de miedo contra ?l (algo parecido a la estrategia de Bush en EU con la campa?a terrorista). Algunas empresas incurrieron en DELITOS ELECTORALES al financiar spots en contra de AMLO. Esto esta PROHIBIDO por la legislaci?n mexicana. Fox en sus discursos no dejo de apoyar a su candidato (tambien prohibido por la ley), algo que el, a?os atras, habia combatido ferozmente contra Zedillo. Como todo en este sexenio, un doble discurso.

-Llegando el dia de la eleccion, hay una serie de irregularidades (que tambien puedo comentar en otro correo si gustan, para no alargar mas este). Muchos nos damos cuenta que efectivamente, el gobierno de Fox habia cumplido su promesa de no permitir que AMLO llegara a la presidencia. Pero nunca conto con lo que siguio.

- Marchamos mas de un millon y medio de personas (la mas grande manifestacion que haya habido en la hsitoria moderna de Mexico) para que se limpiera la eleccion. Que se contaran nuevamente los votos. Habia algun pecado o faltas en la ley en ello?? no se si otras personas que lean esto estuvieron en esa marcha. Yo si. Y reafirmo is convicciones. Me armo de paciencia y valor porque ahi nos dimos cuenta que la lucha iba a ser larga y apenas comenzaba.

-Y que paso?? el gobierno minimizo la marcha. Cifras oficiales decian que habiamos asistido cerca de 300 mil personas. Falso. Soy ingeniero de profesion. Se algo de numeros. Los medios minimizaron las propuestas y la cantidad de personas, asi como el tama?o de la protesta, que ahora ya llaman "insurreccion" y comenzo una campa?a  de linchamiento y desprestigio en contra de AMLO. Pero lo que no calcularon, lo que no se dieron cuenta es que no estaban desprestigiando a un hombre. Estaban desprestigiando a millones de mexicanos que lo apoyamos y que nos sentimos vendidos y robados. Que nos defraudaron nuevamente.

- Cual era el siguiente paso si no eramos escuchados?? si nos minimizaban...si decian que eramos unos cuantos "porros" (Javier dixit)??...se llego a la accion de bloquear Reforma.

Por eso mis amigos...apoyo el planton. No estoy de acuerdo tal vez en la forma pero, que seguia??...y ahora muchos dicen "es que habia otras formas"...puedo preguntar cuales?? seguir marchando??...quedarnos en la via legal??...cual legalidad??...renglones arriba menciono quien violo la ley primero en completa impunidad.

Ufff...creo que ya me colgue demasiado en este correo. Seguire en el proximo.

Saludos y muchs gracias por perimitirme expresar en este foro.

Un saludo.


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« Reply #78 on: August 17, 2006, 02:43:16 PM »


MEXICO: Mexico's highest electoral court rejected complaints about the July congressional elections, which gave conservative candidate Felipe Calderon's party, the ruling National Action Party (PAN), the largest stake in the legislature. PAN will have 52 seats in the senate and the rival Institutional Revolutionary Party will have 33 seats. Defeated presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolutionary Party will have 28 seats.
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« Reply #79 on: August 22, 2006, 06:09:13 PM »

Texas Sheriffs Say Texas Sheriffs Say Terrorists Entering US from Mexico
By Kevin Mooney
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
August 21, 2006

(CNSNews.com) - The chief law enforcement officers of several Texas counties along the southern U.S. border warn that Arabic-speaking individuals are learning Spanish and integrating into Mexican culture before paying smugglers to sneak them into the United States. The Texas Sheriffs' Border Coalition believes those individuals are likely terrorists and that drug cartels and some members of the Mexican military are helping them get across the border.

Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez of Zapata County, Texas told Cybercast News Service that Iranian currency, military badges in Arabic, jackets and other clothing are among the items that have been discovered along the banks of the Rio Grande River. The sheriff also said there are a substantial number of individuals crossing the southern border into the U.S. who are not Mexican. He described the individuals in question as well-funded and able to pay so-called "coyotes" - human smugglers - large sums of money for help gaining illegal entry into the U.S.

Although many of the non-Mexican illegal aliens are fluent in Spanish, Gonzalez said they speak with an accent that is not native.

"It's clear these people are coming in for reasons other than employment," Gonzalez said.

That sentiment is shared by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.).

"For years, Muslims and other 'Special Interest Aliens' from places other than Mexico have been streaming into the U.S. across our porous border," Tancredo told Cybercast News Service. "These people are not paying $50,000 or more a head just to 'take jobs no American will do.'

"Terrorists are working round the clock to infiltrate the United States," he added. "Congress and this administration must address this gaping hole in our national security and they must do it now."

Some of the more high profile pieces of evidence pointing to terrorist infiltration of the U.S. have been uncovered in Jim Hogg County, Texas, which experiences a high volume of smuggling activity, according to local law enforcement.

"We see patches on jackets from countries where we know al Qaeda to be active," Gonzalez explained.

The patches appear to be military badges with Arabic lettering. One patch in particular, discovered this past December, caught the attention of federal homeland security officials, according to Gonzalez and local officials familiar with the investigation.



Sheriff Wayne Jernigan of Valverde County, Texas, told members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in March about one patch that read "midnight mission" and displayed an airplane flying over a building heading towards a tower. Translators with DHS have said some of the various phrases and slogans on the items could mean "martyr," "way to eternal life," or "way to immortality."

Gonzalez told the House International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation in July that the terrorists are getting smarter.

"To avoid apprehension, we feel many of these terrorists attempt to blend in with persons of Hispanic origin when entering the country." Gonzalez stated. "We feel that terrorists are already here and continue to enter our country on a daily basis."


Sheriff Arvin West of Hudspeth County, Texas, told Cybercast News Service that he believes some Mexican soldiers are operating in concert with the drug cartels to aid the terrorists.

"There's no doubt in my mind," he said, "although the Mexican government and our government adamantly deny it."

Statistics made available through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) show more than 40,000 illegal aliens from countries "Other Than Mexico," designated as OTMs, were apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in the period ranging from October 2003 to June 2004, as they attempted to cross the southwestern border. An overview of border security challenges produced through the office of Texas Gov. Rick Perry indicates that almost 120,000 OTMs were apprehended while attempting to cross into the state from January through July 2005.

Local authorities are particularly concerned about illegal aliens arriving from Special Interest Countries (SICs) where a radical version of Islam is known to flourish. Perry's office cites Iraq, Iran, Indonesia and Bangladesh among those countries. A Tancredo spokesperson said the list also includes Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.

As Cybercast News Service previously reported an internal audit of DHS that combines the number of illegal aliens arriving from SICs with the documented instances of illegal aliens arriving from countries identified as being state sponsors of terrorism (SSTs) yields a grand total of over 90,000 such illegal aliens who have been apprehended during the five year period from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2005.

The border security report delivered by Perry's office focuses attention on the "Triborder region" of Latin America, which spans an area between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

"The Triborder Region is a focal point of Islamic extremism," the report states. "Al Qaeda leadership plans to use criminal alien smuggling organizations to bring terrorist operatives across the border into the U.S."

Carlos Espinosa, a press spokesman for Tancredo, said his office is aware of a training camp in Brazil that actually teaches people from outside of Latin America how they can assimilate into the Mexican culture.

"They come up as illegal aliens and disguise themselves as potential migrant workers," Espinosa said.
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« Reply #80 on: August 22, 2006, 06:48:52 PM »

Hola a todos, primeramente el resumen para Marc:

en general lo que expreso es un sistem?tico ataque en contra de AMLO, sobre todo de las televisoras y el radio, pasan todos los ?destrosos?, los ?retrasos? y ?perdidas? a causa del ?ilegal bloqueo?, pero no dicen una palabra de la serie de irregularidades que est?n siendo expuestas con el conteo parcial los unicos medios imparciales son el ?peri?dico la Jornada y el semanario Proceso. Comento lo de Gandhi para dar un par?metro real de lo que es una resistencia civil pacifica, la cual no significa la ausencia de ?da?os a terceros?, sino que es una protesta donde se evidencia la terquedad, despotismo e insensibilidad del poder ante demandas justas. Por ?ltimo dejo clara la imposibilidad de presi?n o expresi?n del individuo com?n, aquel que no tiene dinero, ni amigos poderosos ni dinero para pagar spots en los medios oficiales. Ademas la cuestion de la violencia, los medios siempre pasan "la pelicula reeditada", es como si vieramos la pelicula de Bruce Lee Chinesse Conetion en la escena cuando Chen "ataca violentamente" a los indefensos japoneses que aseaban el Dojo, sin tener previamente el contexto de la accion de Chen, si cualquiera de los LopezDoriga-Alatorres-Latapis (is the same tingh), nos comentaran la pelicula dijeran -con lujo de violencia un joven chino ataco despiadadamente a 5 trabajadores japoneses indefensos-, abviamente las personas pacificas y de buena voluntad dirian -ese chino es un salvaje, esta loco, deberian encerrarlo, o mejor aun fusilarlo-; es lo mismo en TODA protesta donde se ataque aunque sea infimamente los intereses de los poderosos, van a descalificar la legitimidad de una protesta y a cuestionar los mediso de DEFENSA, del que no tiene otra forma de ser tomado en cuenta. Resumiendo hay dos formas de violencia, la causa y la efecto, los plantones, huelgas, marchas,etc, son ACCIONES DE DEFENSA, no de ataque.

En segundo lugar una noticia alarmante:

La Brigada ?2 de julio

El 31 de julio el presidente Fox encabezo en el campo militar numero uno el abanderamiento de la unidad de infanter?a ligera Brigada 2 de julio, con una capacidad de casi mil 700 hombres dedicados a conflictos de baja intensidad (CBI), esto es, disturbios sociales, principalmente en el valle de M?xico.

De acuerdo con los dos funcionarios consultados, parte de esta unidad es la que esta siendo disfrazada como si se tratara de elementos de la PFP.

A finales del a?o pasado, la SEDENA solicito 3 mil 300 millones de pesos para impulsar 70 acciones, una de las cuales consist?a en equipar una brigada de la polic?a militar ?en funciones de seguridad p?blica?.

A diferencia de otras unidades militares, esta tiene gran capacidad de movilizaci?n en zonas urbanas y dispone de artiller?a ligera, metralletas, granadas e incluso de armas de calibre menores a los utilizados por el ejercito. Cuenta con un grupo entrenado en el manejo y control de masas, otro de reacci?n inmediata, uno mas de rastreo y un ?rea de inteligencia militar.

En el abanderamiento de esta unidad el presidente Fox expreso: ?M?xico cuenta y contara siempre con sus ejercito para defender las instituciones, la soberan?a, la democracia, la legalidad y la justicia? el secretario de defensa por sumarte enfatizo: ?M?xico es un pa?s de instituciones solidas, serenas y fuertes.

Al frente de este cuerpo militar estar? el general Rub?n Venzor Arellano, agregado militar en Cuba durante el mandato de Carlos Salinas.


En tercer lugar comentarios a otros comentarios:

Es valido el recuento voto por voto cuando en la muestra escogida por el TRIFE (10% de las casillas), se encuentren (como se han encontrado) irregularidades sistematicas, por lo tanto es perfectamente legal la peticion voto por voto.

Me es curioso porque siempre se reduce una protesta a "ambiciones personales", concediendo el beneficio de la duda a esta afirmacion, por que no hacerla hacia el otro lado: que ambicion lleva a Felipe Calderon a obstinarse en negar el conteo voto por voto, generando la polarizacion del pais?, si gano ?a que le teme?, no daria mas muestra de civilidad adoptando esa postura? no evidenciaria la cerrazon e incivilidad de su adversario y le quitaria los argumentos para su bloqueo y sus protestas?

Trabajo desde el 2000 en el gobierno, en el area de participacion ciudadana y desde hace tres a?os en desarrollo social, desde el gobierno JAMAS HE PRESENCIADO condicionamiento alguno de los beneficios como becas, utiles escolares, pensiones alimenticias, servicios medicos... a nuestra manera tenemos nuestra "KGB" interna, se llama contraloria y es implacable en relacion a estos abusos. Sin embargo siempre hay un mal servidor publico y malos compa?eros de partido que no pueden olvidar su pasado priista y continuan con esas practicas pero les puedo asegurar desde dentro que cuando se saben no son toleradas.

Quien o que nos asegura un futuro mejor con Calderon o lo opuesto con AMLO?, despues de 70 a?os nos liberamos del sistema priista y tan solo en 6 a?os la gran mayoria (segun yo) y un gran porcentaje (segun el IFE), decidio que el sistema PANISTA no garantiza desarrollo y se la jugo con el candidato de la izquierda, entonces porque no dar certidumbre al proceso electoral?, porque no arriesgarnos a consolidar la alternancia ahora con un gobierno de izquierda? el mismo IFE mensiona en sus manuales que - si no nos sentimos bien con el gobierno electo, tenemos seis a?os para reconsiderar y cambiar nuestra decision en la proxima eleccion-. Beneficios economicos?: cuanto ha aumentado su sueldo el trabajador ordinario con la politica economica de Fox, podemos argumentar miles de cosas pero cuando veas tu cheque o recibo de pago ahi esta la realidad cuantro trabajas en tiempo y cuanto ganas.. Muchos analistas han resumido el gobierno de Fox asi: un gobierno de empresarios para empresarios.

Otra cosa que tambien me llama la atension es porque insistir en decir que las personas son acarreadas, en las marchas y mitines mucha gente lleva un cartel: -Yo no vine por mis tortas, vine por mis huevos- y saben lo curioso de las cosas? al platicar con esa gente te das cuenta que no son siquiera del PRD, son ciudadanos comunes, a eso le tiene miedo Calderon a que la mayoria de gente que protesta no tiene partido, son ciudadanos. Durante la votacion (fui representanbte del PRD), los ancianos y algunos discapasitados, incluso ciegos llegaban por su propio pie, andadera o silla de ruedas, no vi el microbus de acarreados como en los tiempos priistas o al coyote espieando que votaran por tal o cual.

Si quieren ver un verdadero bloqueo dense una vuelta por la estacion TAPO, o el metro Candelaria, las rejas de casi dos metros bloquean el libre transito a los vecinos de los edificios de esa zona, se catea inconstitucionalmente al bajar en los puentes de la zona (dentro de una caseta "en lo obscurito"), se interrumpe el transito hacia una importante zona industrial y habitacional al cerrar inconstitucionalmente (ningun cuerpo policiaco y menos militar puede inpedir el libre transito sin una previa declaracion de guerra de un pais vecino), dos vias rapidas de la ciudad; ademas de que  hay cerca de 200 tanquetas del ejercito (perdon de la PFP). Quien esta recurriendo a la violencia? y de nuevo a la estrategia del miedo?... les recomiendo a las personas que vivan en el DF que salgan y vean, que pregunten , que no se queden con los noticireros y lo que dice la tele, salgan y hablen con su gente, con la gente real.

Finalmente si no creen en el poder de la television y los medios vean la pelicula "Wave Dog (escandalo en la casa blanca)", actuan Dustin Hoffman y Robert De Niro y denle el beneficio de la duda.

Un abrazo

Omar
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« Reply #81 on: August 31, 2006, 07:37:18 AM »

Del primero plano (page one) del Wall Street Journal de hoy:

 
 
Disorderly Conduct
As Mexico Awaits Vote Decision,
Social Upheaval Is on the Rise

Calder?n, the Likely President,
Will Face Mass Protests,
Challenge to State Authority
Radical Takeover in Oaxaca
By DAVID LUHNOW and JOHN LYONS
August 31, 2006; Page A1

MEXICO CITY -- With conservative Felipe Calder?n now all but certain to become Mexico's next president, he faces a critical issue that will determine the success of his six-year term: How to prevent growing political confrontation from undermining the country's transition to democracy and free markets.

 
Mexico is coming off its version of the Florida 2000 election battle. Mr. Calder?n's narrow July 2 defeat of his leftist opponent Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador also landed in a court, which this week rejected Mr. L?pez Obrador's contention that the balloting was marked by fraud. The electoral court is now widely expected to name Mr. Calder?n the president by the legal deadline of Sept. 6. But unlike 2000, when former vice president Al Gore accepted the Supreme Court's ruling on the election, Mr. L?pez Obrador refuses to recognize judicial power. Instead, the former Mexico City mayor is promising to make the country ungovernable. It's as if Al Gore had called for revolution instead of calm.

On top of dealing with his election opponent, Mr. Calder?n faces other violent challenges. Radical leftist groups have taken control of Oaxaca, one of Mexico's most famous Colonial-era cities, shutting down the local government in an attempt to force out the elected governor. And in a sign of the growing reach of the drug trade, decapitated bodies turn up regularly in cities where frightened local authorities have largely given up police work.

The 44-year-old Mr. Calder?n promises to deal with these challenges through a combination of carrots and sticks. He wants to reach out to Mr. L?pez Obrador's supporters among the poor by promoting policies aimed at creating a more equal society, including expanding to poor urban areas a successful rural-welfare program that requires families to keep their children in school to receive aid. At the same time, he vows to strengthen a weakened Mexican state by confronting growing mob rule, using police to crack down on political and drug-related lawlessness around the country.

"I understand that people have the right to protest things, but only so long as they don't infringe upon the rights of others," Mr. Calder?n said this week in a speech to women business leaders. During his campaign, he promised he would not let groups of people "with machetes" interfere with his government.

Mr. Calder?n's first challenge will be simply getting to the presidential chair. Mr. L?pez Obrador's supporters have blockaded key roads in Mexico City for the past month, and plan to step up their campaign of civil disobedience. They pledge to block the country's annual armed forces parade during Independence Day celebrations on Sept. 16, and to prevent Mr. Calder?n from being sworn in at Congress on Dec. 1.

 
Mr. Calder?n's success in toning down political confrontation will shape his presidency, and determine whether he has the political skills to tackle some of the long-term problems that have stunted Mexico's development. Among them: reforming the energy sector, confronting monopolists and union bosses who have an iron grip on the country's largest industries, and asserting the rule of law in a country where police, courts and Congress are often dismissed as unjust or corrupt. The outcome will also determine whether the U.S. has a politically stable and prosperous neighbor next door or has yet another headache in its growing list of global problems.

Despite hard talk by the former energy minister, his camp is still debating how tough to get with Mr. L?pez Obrador's protest movement, according to people familiar with the discussions. One key issue on the table: Whether to urge President Vicente Fox to use force to clear Mr. L?pez Obrador's tent villages from Mexico City's main boulevard and the central square.

While some advisers think a crackdown could ease Mr. Calder?n's transition to government, others worry that confrontation would play into his rival's hands by inflaming a movement that is losing public support. Polls show support for the protest movement waning and moderates in Mr. Calder?n's camp believe Mr. L?pez Obrador's supporters in his Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, are likely to distance themselves from the increasingly unpopular leader.

Meanwhile, Mr. Calder?n faces some political weakness himself. Polls show that a third of the voters believe he won through fraud. And ideological inclusiveness doesn't come naturally to his National Action Party, or PAN, a buttoned-down Catholic organization that's tight with the business elite and often criticized as out of touch with broader Mexico.

Before the vote, Mexicans and foreigners alike assumed that Mexico's peaceful transition to a democracy was a done deal, completed when President Fox ousted the former ruling party six years ago. The prevailing wisdom was that the next government's challenge was how to transform a sluggish economy to compete with more dynamic Asian rivals. Even with Mr. L?pez Obrador's ongoing challenge, the peso and stock markets remain firm and foreign investors don't seem overly concerned.

But the bitter post-electoral fight has revealed a side of Mexico that many assumed was the stuff of history books. Mexico's political transformation during the past decade is the country's third attempt to build a lasting democracy, says Enrique Krauze, one of Mexico's most prominent historians and a L?pez Obrador critic. The first attempt, by President Benito Ju?rez, lasted nearly a decade but didn't survive his 1872 death in office. The second was the brief tenure of Francisco Madero, which ended in 1913 with his assassination and a complete breakdown in order, sparking one of the most violent stretches of the period Mexicans now call their "revolution."

"There should be no doubt that Mr. L?pez Obrador represents a revolutionary threat," Mr. Krauze argues. "This is no joke. I hope that he will not succeed and democracy will prevail. But nevertheless, it's important that people realize what the stakes are."

Political analysts say the provincial politician from the rural state of Tabasco is looking to re-enact recent events in Latin American nations like Bolivia and Ecuador, where radical protest movements forced out democratically elected leaders. In Bolivia, the leader of those protests, Evo Morales, went on to win an election last year and is now that country's president.

 
Indeed, Mr. L?pez Obrador, 52, openly says Mexico "needs a revolution" and has vowed to keep his protest movement going until the nation's "simulated republic" is brought down. He has promised to use mass protests to prevent Mr. Calder?n from carrying out his agenda -- saying, for instance, that he will block moves to allow private industry to have a greater participation in everything from oil and electricity production to pension funds. According to polls, about 16% of Mexicans say they would be willing to take part in actions like blockading roads or airports to help Mr. L?pez Obrador.

C?sar Y??ez, a spokesman for Mr. L?pez Obrador, says the movement intends to use street protests to force Mr. Calder?n to respond to the leftist's goals, such as ensuring that natural resources like oil remain in the hands of the state. He rejected comparisons with Bolivia and said there are no plans to use violence to bring down the Calder?n government. "For us, the Calder?n government will be illegitimate, but that's not the same thing as saying there will be violence," he said.

Protest movements like Mr. L?pez Obrador's have flourished in recent years, finding fertile territory in a new democratic landscape swept clean of the harsh tactics of the old authoritarian regime. The graceful colonial city of Oaxaca offers a glimpse of the kinds of tactics available to Mr. L?pez Obrador. There, a protest movement is trying to force out a democratically elected governor. For the past three months, the 70,000-strong teacher union has laid siege to the city demanding a wage hike. It has occupied the downtown area with roadblocks and prevented all three branches of government from working by blocking government buildings with protesters armed with sticks, pipes and machetes.

Hotels in the one-time tourism magnet are largely empty and the city is lawless. Small gangs of student radicals, their faces covered in bandanas, roam the city center and question passersby whom they deem "suspicious." Taking photographs is now banned. Police don't dare work -- no one answers the local equivalent of 911 -- the state Congress meets secretly at a hotel, and judges stay at home.

Oaxaca state governor Ulises Ruiz, from the former ruling PRI party, tried to clear the protesters from the city in mid-June, but the mob easily beat back his police, several of whom were briefly taken hostage. After the attempted crackdown, the protesters got more radical, demanding the governor resign as a precondition for talks. They also burned buses and cars, stormed eight privately run radio stations to urge citizens to take to the streets, briefly blockaded the city airport and set a 10 p.m. curfew. Mr. Ruiz now wants federal police to intervene, but Mr. Fox has indicated he doesn't want to get involved.

"This place is no man's land," says Elpirio Vel?zquez, who owns a stall that sells school supplies in the city's central market. Mr. Vel?zquez says he supported the teachers' wage demands but thinks they've gone way too far in taking up violence and calling for the governor's ouster. "If they kick him out, then what happens? They just kick out any governor they don't like?"

The parallels are striking between the Oaxaca protests and Mr. L?pez Obrador's Mexico City sit-in. Mr. Ruiz won a 2004 gubernatorial race by a very narrow margin over his rival, a candidate of Mr. L?pez Obrador's PRD, which claimed the loss was due to fraud and threatened to organize street protests.

Mr. Calder?n's PAN party supported the PRD's candidate in the state race two years ago against Mr. Ruiz, but is now throwing its weight behind the embattled governor, arguing that his resignation would undermine the rule of law. Top PAN officials also argue allowing Mr. Ruiz to step down might encourage Mr. L?pez Obrador to continue his protests in the hopes of eventually forcing Mr. Calder?n from office. "What's happening in Oaxaca is a blueprint for the PRD to try to force Calder?n from office," says Dagoberto Carre?o, the PAN's secretary general in Oaxaca.

Mr. Calder?n will have to make some tough decisions about the use of public force that his recent predecessors have shied away from. The government's reluctance to use force is partly explained by history. A 1968 massacre of hundreds of protesters in Mexico City is the country's version of Tiananmen Square. Mexicans tend to view the use of force by the government as repression rather than law and order. When President Fox took power in 2000, polls showed that 80% of Mexicans were opposed to the government's use of force to put down dissent. That figure has since dropped, but is still high at 60%.

Under Mr. Fox, the government's unwillingness to consider force had its cost. Consider what happened to Mr. Fox's plans for a new six-runway airport near Mexico City, a glittering symbol of Mexico's climb into the global economy. Shortly after work on the project began in 2002, peasants who were due to be relocated to make room for the airport picked up machetes, blocked construction crews and took 15 state officials hostage, threatening to set them ablaze unless construction was halted. They won.

After Mr. Fox killed the project, the Mexican press was rich with debate about whether the move was a win for democracy or set a troubling precedent for mob rule. Emboldened by their win, the airport protesters next ran the mayor and police force out of the nearby town of Atenco, and started a regular campaign of highway blockades to demand goods and services. But when a newly elected governor, Enrique Pe?a, decided to end the airport group's road blockades with force this year, results were mixed. Ill-trained and under-equipped police battled protesters for two days in a bloody confrontation. The protest leaders were later jailed, but Mr. Pe?a's career suffered after he was forced to respond to charges of brutality and even sexual assaults by the police.

Mr. Calder?n hopes to set a different tone, starting in the interim period before his Dec. 1 inauguration. During that time, Mr. Fox remains as a lame-duck president but must work with a new Congress, which will be sworn in Sept. 1. Mr. Calder?n wants to work with Mr. Fox to pass some high-profile measures and show he can govern despite the turmoil on the streets. Among the possibilities are a reform of the state-owned oil company's corporate finances and a shake-up in the federal police.

Many political observers say he must go far beyond that to send strong signals that he is serious about addressing the core issues of poverty and scarce job opportunity that gave rise to Mr. L?pez Obrador's movement. In private conversations, some business executives are even urging Mr. Calder?n to go after some of the sacred cows of the Mexican economy, such as limiting the reach of the privately held Mexican monopolies. They argue that this would prove that he is not afraid to disappoint constituents in order to unblock logjams to entrepreneurship and growth.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2006, 08:19:24 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #82 on: September 02, 2006, 01:04:34 AM »

Mexico: Politics and the Potential for Unrest
Mexican President Vicente Fox is set to give his annual State of the Union speech at the Palacio Legislativo de San Lazaro on the evening of Sept. 1. This will be the first in a series of critical events coming up in Mexico over the next several weeks that could aggravate recent tensions caused by the July presidential election. Protests, along with political and social instability, could increase during this time.

Political tensions in Mexico rose after former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador lost the July 2 presidential election by a margin of 0.58 percent. Lopez Obrador's supporters claim the election was rife with fraud and voting irregularities. Thousands of his followers have been camped out along Mexico City's main avenues, Paseo de la Reforma, Juarez Avenue and Madero Avenue, from Chapultepec Park to the Zocalo, the city's main square. The camps are blocking traffic for five miles at the heart of the capital.




Fox's speech will be a rallying point for Lopez Obrador's supporters to voice their opposition to the election results. Though interruptions during presidential speeches are common in Mexico, the Sept. 1 address could see interruptions of an unprecedented degree. The intention would be to signal that the country is in chaos and that Fox -- who belongs to the same party as the apparent winner of the presidential election, Felipe Calderon -- cannot even deliver a State of the Union address. At least five protest marches are scheduled to converge on the Mexican Congress building the night of Fox's speech. If Lopez Obrador himself makes an appearance at the address, the assembly likely will descend into chaos. This could further destabilize the situation and raise tensions. To avoid this, Fox could submit his address to Congress in writing, as is permitted by the country's constitution, rather than risk being shouted down while trying to speak.

The next critical date is Sept. 6, the deadline for Mexico's election court to formally declare a winner in the presidential race. This announcement can come any time before that date, but the court is likely to wait until the last possible minute.

The third critical event will be Mexico's independence celebrations Sept. 15-16. Even if Lopez Obrador's supporters are no longer actively demonstrating by then, the large public gatherings in towns and cities all over Mexico will provide multiple opportunities for dissent to be stirred up. Starting Sept. 15, Mexicans will gather to celebrate the beginning of the country's struggle for independence from Spain. The celebrations are to begin at 11 p.m. local time, when Fox will re-enact Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla's 1810 call for independence by ringing the country's historic liberty bell at the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City's Zocalo, which could still be occupied by Lopez Obrador supporters.

The celebration culminates the next day with a military parade through the capital -- along the Paseo de la Reforma, which is currently blocked by protesters. Lopez Obrador's supporters previously threatened to block the parade but later backed down. In addition, Lopez Obrador has called for an opposition national convention Sept. 16 to declare himself the "true" president of Mexico and urge the country not to recognize the "impostor" Calderon. This would basically be calling for revolution.

If Lopez Obrador is willing to go that far, armed groups could enter the equation. In Mexico City, his party has effective control over some potentially violent groups, such as the Francisco Villa group, and others in Milpa Alta and Tlahuac on the southern outskirts of the capital, Iztapalapa in the Federal District and Atenco in Mexico state. When he resigned as mayor of Mexico City, Lopez Obrador designated his close political associate and friend, former Mexico City Police Chief Marcelo Ebrard, as his replacement. Based on old alliances and relationships, Lopez Obrador and Mayor-elect Ebrard could influence the municipal police to support his cause, or at least not to interfere with his movement.

At any point, Mexican federal authorities could react with force to attempts to further disrupt the capital, especially after the electoral court makes its official ruling. Police presence has increased in Mexico City. Municipal, state and federal police have taken up positions at the Palacio Legislativo and many of Mexico City's other important landmarks. Since a violent crackdown on student demonstrators in October 1968, Mexican authorities have been reluctant to use force against demonstrations. However, the size of the protests following the July 2 election -- an estimated 1.2 million people at one point -- is unprecedented, and could solicit an unprecedented response.

Mexico City and its outlying areas -- one of the world's largest urban areas, with a population in excess of 21 million -- is the center of gravity for this entire situation. The demonstrations and controversy have not taken on an anti-U.S. or anti-foreigner theme, but any large-scale demonstrations that elicit a heavy-handed response by federal security forces could result in chaos in the capital. If the situation erupts, foreign businesses could get caught in the turmoil. Businesses could suffer damage and employees might be unable to get to work. Sound contingency planning is the best way for multinational corporations to mitigate this disruption.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #83 on: September 02, 2006, 01:37:51 AM »

Uno mas de www.stratfor.com

Summary

In a pivotal Aug. 28 ruling, the Mexican electoral court settled all claims made by Democratic Revolution Party presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador about the July 2 presidential election, paving the way for National Action Party candidate Felipe Calderon to be declared president. Lopez Obrador has vowed to continue his protest, and his supporters have announced that they will prevent outgoing President Vicente Fox from delivering his final address to the nation in Mexico City on Sept. 1.

Analysis

Mexico's Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary Power (TEPJF) ruled Aug. 28 to nullify about 237,000 votes from the partial recount that was called in August due to irregularities. The nullified votes affected candidates Felipe Calderon and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador proportionately; the gap between them closed by only about 4,000 votes. The ruling effectively certified that there were no major voting irregularities -- disputing Lopez Obrador's contentions -- and that Calderon did, in fact, garner more votes in the election. The TEPJF did not confirm Calderon's win since it still needs to release the complete findings of the partial recount to prove Lopez Obrador's loss and rule on the general fairness -- a factor that has been strongly question by Lopez Obrador and his Democratic Revolution Party (PRD).

Since Lopez Obrador clearly did not win a majority of the votes, his -- and his party's -- ultimate objective is the nullification of the entire election. But nullification is extremely unlikely, given the rulings already made by the TEPJF. The final deadline for the TEPJF to make its unappealable ruling and declare the National Action Party's (PAN's) Calderon president is Sept. 6. The TEPJF is likely to wait until the deadline to make the announcement, though all eyes are focused on the court for an earlier ruling.

After the TEPJF's ruling, Lopez Obrador will have no more legal avenues for protest. He has called for a national convention Sept. 16, at which he will declare himself Mexico's "true" president and Calderon an "impostor." Lopez Obrador also will announce the continuation of his civil resistance campaign and will likely offer details for his planned resistance government. But without legal avenues, one question remains: Will Lopez Obrador's political coalition hold together? The answer is probably not.

Sept. 1 is a key day in the electoral conflict. Outgoing PAN President Vicente Fox will deliver his final State of the Nation address to the newly seated Congress from Mexico City at 7 p.m. local time. Lopez Obrador's supporters have promised to disrupt the speech at all costs. Though legislators from opposing parties have often interrupted presidential addresses, interruptions for the Sept. 1 speech are rumored to be unprecedented and involve much more than simple yelling; there could be confrontations with the Presidential Guard, an appearance by Lopez Obrador or a walkout by PRD legislators and their allies (who account for 159 of 500 lower seats and 36 of 128 senate seats). Though Mexico's federal government historically has been reluctant to use force to settle political protests, it recently broke this trend when federal forces used tear gas on Lopez Obrador supporters attempting to block the entrance to the Mexican Congress building. Security has been stepped up significantly for Fox's State of the Union speech -- an indication that the government may be less squeamish about sending in troops.

A walkout, with Lopez Obrador supporters facing off against security forces outside the congressional building, is the most likely scenario. By disrupting the president's speech in such a manner, the PRD intends to signal that the country is in chaos and that Fox is not in control. Though Fox is legally allowed to deliver his address via television or a written report, his camp has said he will publicly deliver his speech regardless of potential disruptions from Lopez Obrador supporters.

However impassioned his followers might be, and even if PRD Congress members are willing to stage a walkout during Fox's address, Lopez Obrador is not likely to be able to maintain a cohesive political coalition after the TEPJF announcement. Many moderates inside the PRD might feel the political costs of supporting Lopez Obrador after the TEPJF ruling are unbearable. Among those moderates are Gov. Amalia Garcia from Zacatecas, a frequent visitor to the United States who is in very good standing with many U.S. governors, and Gov. Lazaro Cardenas of Michoacan, son of historic PRD leader Cuauhtemoc Cardenas.

If the PRD divides after the TEPJF ruling, Lopez Obrador's movement will weaken, but his protest is not likely to end soon. Regardless of the loss of support from PRD moderates, Lopez Obrador still maintains support from radicals and control of Mexico City's streets; the city's current mayor, Alejandro Encinas, and incoming Mayor Marcelo Ebrard are both PRD members and strong Lopez Obrador allies. But if Lopez Obrador loses the support of Mexico City -- and the fiscal backing that comes with it -- his movement will almost certainly stall. Fox's speech and the conflict that is bound to arise will clarify where the PRD stands in relation to its allies and how significant Lopez Obrador's future protests will be.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #84 on: September 02, 2006, 10:15:59 AM »

Del NY Times de hoy:
============
Protest Keeps Fox From Giving State of the Union Speech
 Marcos Delgado/European Pressphoto Agency
Lawmakers from the Democratic Revolution Party took over the podium in the chamber of deputies before President Vicente Fox was to speak.

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By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
Published: September 2, 2006
MEXICO CITY, Sept. 1 ? Leftist lawmakers who have charged that fraud marred the presidential election in July staged a protest inside Congress that prevented President Vicente Fox from making his final state of the union speech to lawmakers on Friday, ending a tense day of political brinksmanship here.

Federal riot police officers and soldiers with water cannons had sealed off the Mexican Congress with miles of steel fence to protect Mr. Fox from thousands of leftist protesters camped out in the city?s center.

The president had vowed he would give his last state of the union message, despite threats from the leftist candidate, Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador, and his followers to stop him.

At the last minute, however, Mr. L?pez Obrador backed down. In front of at least 5,000 supporters in the capital?s central square, Mr. L?pez Obrador, the former mayor of this sprawling city, told his followers it would be a mistake to confront the barricades and the police surrounding Congress. He said the ?fascist? government of Mr. Fox would seize on any clashes between the police and the protesters to justify the brutal repression of his movement.

?We are not going to fall into any trap, we are not going to fall into any provocation,? he told the crowd, which had waited through a rainstorm to hear him speak. ?Only those who are not in the right resort to force and violence, and we are in the right.?

Still, lawmakers from Mr. L?pez Obrador?s Democratic Revolution Party protested inside the Chamber of Deputies, taking over the podium just before President Fox was to speak at 7 p.m. Several waved Mexican flags and signs calling Mr. Fox ?a traitor to democracy.? The president of the chamber, Deputy Jorge Zermi?o, was forced to call a recess.

Mr. Fox arrived 15 minutes later. As he entered the chamber, wearing the traditional red, white and green presidential sash, leaders of his party said it would be impossible for him to speak. He dropped off his yearly report, turned on his heel and left.

At 9 p.m., the government broadcast a recorded version of the president?s speech, complete with pictures of happy citizens to illustrate the gains his government has made in housing, education and health care.

Mr. Fox staunchly defended the balance of powers and the government institutions Mr. L?pez Obrador claims are corrupt, notably the Federal Election Institute and the electoral tribunal. He also stressed that the rule of law was the basis of democracy and he took a veiled shot at Mr. L?pez Obrador, saying ?no one should try to corral democracy through intransigence and violence.?

?Whoever attacks our laws and institutions, attacks our history, attacks Mexico,? he said.

Mr. L?pez Obrador claims he won the election, even though an official count, vetted by the country?s highest electoral tribunal, showed that the candidate from Mr. Fox?s National Action Party, Felipe Calder?n, eked out a razor-thin victory.

Rather than concede, Mr. L?pez Obrador has promised to convene his own national assembly and set up a parallel government this month. He has said that he will never recognize Mr. Calder?n?s victory and has declared that Mr. Fox violated Mexican election law by campaigning for Mr. Calder?n, as did various business leaders who spent millions on attack ads against Mr. L?pez Obrador in the last days of the campaign.

He also claimed that his opponents stuffed ballot boxes with votes for Mr. Calder?n and disposed of votes for him in some states, a charge Mr. Calder?n?s aides called absurd.

On Friday, at least 6,000 police officers in riot gear ringed the congressional building with steel barricades and blocked nearby subway stations to discourage demonstrations. Before the lawmakers? protest, the only demonstration occurred just before 6 p.m., when a small group from the Francisco Villa Popular Front, a militant group allied with Mr. L?pez Obrador, painted antigovernment slogans on the fence and threw rocks at the wall and at the police, who ignored them.

For more than a month, thousands of Mr. L?pez Obrador?s supporters have blocked the major avenue running through the city, Paseo de la Reforma, and camped out in the main square, Plaza de la Constitution.

Newly elected lawmakers from Mr. L?pez Obrador?s party arrived en masse at the legislative building about 1 p.m., broke through one of the barricades, marched into the chamber and denounced the presence of the president?s federal police.

?This is unforgivable,? announced Senator Carlos Navarette. ?The chambers should not be invaded by the federal police. This is the house of the deputies, not of the president.?

Mr. Navarette later led the protest among the lawmakers, denouncing the ring of police officers outside as an infringement on Mexicans? right to protest as his partisans rushed the dais and occupied it.

Earlier this week, an electoral tribunal charged with ratifying the election and resolving challenges threw out most of Mr. L?pez Obrador?s arguments that there was widespread fraud. The court still must rule on his request to annul the election on grounds that the president and private businesses interfered too much in the campaign.

Aides to Mr. L?pez Obrador said he had acknowledged privately that the court would probably name Mr. Calder?n president-elect next week.

What form Mr. L?pez Obrador?s protest movement will now take remains unclear, but it is certain to keep him in the public eye for the next six years and make it hard for Mr. Calder?n to govern.

?He?s saying to the government, ?Everything that I am going to do is going to give you trouble,? ? a close adviser said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Antonio Betancourt and Marc Lacey contributed reporting for this article.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #85 on: September 09, 2006, 12:13:01 AM »

The Temptation of Don Felipe

By MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY
September 8, 2006; Page A15

With so much attention focused on Mexico's disputed presidential election, it's been easy to miss another story in Mexican court which may tell more about the challenges faced by President-elect Felipe Calder?n than do the anti-democratic antics of his losing rival Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador.

We refer here to four injunctions filed in Mexican federal court last month by companies owned by billionaire media mogul Ricardo Salinas Pliego. All four of the actions are against articles in a new securities law that protect minority investors, regulate insider trading, increase disclosure, mandate an all-independent audit committee and give the national banking and securities commission broader supervisory and investigative powers.

Mr. Salinas Pliego's attempt to destroy modern securities legislation in a fledgling democracy is worth paying attention to, as is the latest move in Mexican politics to grant, yet again, special treatment to telecom tycoon Carlos Slim. Both are symptomatic of the culture of privilege that has stifled Mexican growth and left a good part of the country so poor that it bought into the siren song of the authoritarian L?pez Obrador.

Mr. Calder?n is now wrestling with the clamor from the elite for more socialism in order to neutralize the radicalized Mr. L?pez Obrador, who has refused to accept defeat. The president-elect has even suggested that he is ready to lean to port as a counteroffensive to his former rival's intransigence. Last month Mr. Calder?n said that in order to address cries of illegitimacy coming from AMLO's tent-city protest movement, "from the government, we are going to pass them on the left." This week Reuters quoted Calder?n aide Juan Camilo Mouri?o saying that "Without a doubt the next government of Mexico must have a clear social leaning. Without a doubt this must be one of the priorities, if not the priority."

This is an alarming development from a president-elect who ran on a platform to make the country fairer, more competitive and more prosperous -- and won. To adopt AMLO's platform of redistributing wealth would not only be a betrayal of those who voted for him. It would also be a recipe for disaster.

Modern economics already widely acknowledges that developing countries need 5-6% annual growth rates for at least a decade to alter the poverty profile. Decades of empirical evidence show that growth, not an expansion of entitlement programs, is what will make Mexicans better-off.

To that end, Mr. Calder?n can best defeat the left by spending his political capital going against the country's notoriously anti-competitive cartels. As the World Bank's 2007 "Doing Business" report -- released this week -- notes, he will have the highest chance of success if he pushes reform early in his tenure. If he succeeds, greater competition and transparency will drive down the cost of doing business in Mexico. As the country becomes more attractive to investors, productivity, incomes and government revenues will all rise. The president will then have the resources to help the truly needy.

If Mr. Calder?n feels the need to compete with AMLO's rhetoric, he can tell Mexico's poor that, as their champion, he is about to end the culture of privilege that has left them behind. What he must not do, though, is shrink from the confrontation with the titans who think they own Mexico. As Mr. Salinas Pliego is now showing, it won't be easy.

The World Bank report -- which measures the business climate in 175 countries -- applauds the new securities legislation that Mr. Salinas Pliego now hopes to destroy. In the category of "protecting investors," the bank bumps Mexico up 100 places, from a ranking of 133rd in the world last year to 33rd, citing this reform. Mexico's modernizers expect the law to make the country more attractive to investors, both domestic and foreign.

But Mr. Salinas doesn't seem to like oversight. Last year the U.S. SEC filed fraud charges against his company TV Azteca and two of its executives. He denied the charges and took his company out of the U.S., citing "excessive regulation." Last year in Mexico, using his special interest clout, he nearly killed the same legislation relating to minority shareholder protections as it was being born. He also used his television station to attack the integrity of one of the architects of the law. Those efforts failed. Now he's taken the case to court.

Mr. Salinas is not the only Mexican tycoon digging in his heels as Mexico tries to modernize. Telecom magnate Carlos Slim, who still controls 95% of Mexico's fixed-line telephone industry and almost all data traffic, has used the injunction process for years to stonewall deregulation and competition. Without competition, Mexico's telecom costs make the country unattractive to investors, a fact that drives up joblessness and poverty. It partly explains why China is eating Mexico's lunch in manufacturing.

Mr. Slim, who claims to be an advocate for the poor, seems to be pretty good at defending his own agenda. His former employee Pedro Cerisola is now President Vicente Fox's telecom minister and has been allegedly protecting Telmex's interests from inside the executive branch. This week Mr. Cerisola tried to unilaterally grant Telmex rights to the cable television market even though its license does not allow for such a privilege. The decision sparked a heated, public confrontation between Mr. Fox's pro-competition Treasury Secretary Francisco Gil Diaz, who objected to the deal, and Mr. Cerisola. Mexico's competition commission took Mr. Gil Diaz's side.

Mr. Calder?n is not lacking political capital to spend. A poll conducted by Mexico's Reforma newspaper last week showed that if the election were held today, he would win handily with 54% of the vote and AMLO would run a distant second with 30%. That more people are now putting their hopes in Mr. Calder?n's modern, civil and democratic vision for Mexico than in Mr. L?pez Obrador's authoritarian path of vengeance is something to celebrate in North America's youngest democracy.

But now Mr. Calder?n must allocate that capital to its highest use. Rather than spend it mimicking the messianic militant in the tent, he should make a big down payment on a future assault on privilege.
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xxxaviergs
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« Reply #86 on: September 12, 2006, 03:19:16 PM »

hola a todos.

He tenido d?as muy ocupados y por esa raz?n no hab?a podido escribir en el foro.

 Le? un par de intervencionespor parte de compa?eros y ex-compa?eros de entrenamiento a los que les causo escozor mi mensaje anterior.

Tengo que decirles que yo no estoy a favor del gobierno panista, que hace seis a?os presento a un candidato mesi?nico que nos iba a hacer crecer de manera brutal, que iba a reducir impuestos, que nos promet?a cosas irreales, bravuc?n, pagado de si y con un proyecto m?gico; muy similar a la estrategia que uso AMLO en las pasadas campa?as electorales -creo incluso que usaron a los mismos asesores de imagen-

Este gobierno fue carente de decisi?n, incluso para destruir a AMLO, como bien lo menciona Arturo, pues aunque tuvieronn la oportunidad y los elementos desde el CISEN(no s?lo los que dieron a conocer) les faltaron elementos para ejecutar sus planes, lo mismo sucedi? con el combate a la delincuencia, la creaci?n de empleos e incluso el control sobre su familia politica, ya que los hijos de la se?ora Martha se beneficiaron de manera brutal con el programa oportunidades.

Asi mismo menciona Arturo al Ingeniero C?rdenas, personaje politico al cual respeto much?simo y quien cont? con mi voto durante las elecciones para el gobierno del DF en su momento ( que adem?s resulto una bocanada de aire fresco despues de la porqueria de gobierno de Espinoza Villareal), y tal como lo menciona, en el cupo la mesura y la inteligencia para que los proyectos de su campa?a (como el IFE y la ley electoral) se llevaran a cabo empujandolos desde una trinchera diferente; y no sacando a la gente a la calle para polarizar a la sociedad y haciendo berrinches y pataletas, autoproclamandose presidente de Pejelandia. Lo molesto no es que cierre una avenida, o tres (que si es grave, pues apuesto que mis compa?eros aunque creen en el proyecto de la "izquierda mexicana" no estan en la zona de camping de reforma), el problema es que no le interesan los excelentes proyectos que presentaba en su campa?a, le interesa ser presidente.

Tienes raz?n en la marcha no fueron 300mil ciudadanos, y quiz? fueron m?s de dos millones de ciudadanos (que no de electores) pero en un pais donde gobierna la minor?a m?s grande y no la mayor?a de los ciudadanos (por errores en el sistema electoral mexicano) no podemos hacer lo que menos del 2% de la poblaci?n exige fuera del marco de la ley que ellos ayudaron a formar, tambi?n v? los carteles que menciona Omar, creo que tienen raz?n, los acarreados que iban por sus tortas son cosa del pasado, ahora ven por sus casas, sus permisos para taxi, por el dinero en efectivo, y no por sus tortas. Si hay ciudadanos como ustedes que creen en AMLO y lo apoyan de manera incondicional, pero tambi?n existen los grupos pagados que se mueven por interese personales y no colectivos.

Porro, si, creo que AMLO opera como tal, provocando, da?ando a la poblaci?n y no al los hoteleros de cadenal multinacionales, al Presidente en funciones y menos al reci?n electo; sino a esos mismos que no tienen representaci?n,  los que se tienen que perder una hora de sue?o y otra de convivencia familiar por el plant?n, los boleros, lo voceadores y todos los changarros que viven al d?a de sus ventas y que tampoco salen en la TV.
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omar
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« Reply #87 on: September 13, 2006, 06:40:48 PM »

Hola a todos:

Una correccion la pelicual recomendada no es Wave Dog sino Wag the Dog, una disculpa.

Del informe aca otras cosas curiosas de nuestra "joven democracia":

El perimetro de "seguridad" al rededor del congreso se esxtendio cerca de 6 km, se impedia el acceso y libre transito a los vecinos de la zona.
En las azoteas de la zona aleda?a al congreso se apostaron francotiradores.
Una cosa muy grave, al mismo recinto parlamentario se les permitio la entrada a francotiradores.
Empiezan a correr rumores de que cada magistrado recibieron 6 millones de pesos para el fallo a favor de Calderon.


Parafraseando a Fox, en efecto el problema NO se reduce a una calle, biene la mano dura y el ser "sospechoso de ser sospechoso", primero van a detener a los perredistas, pero despues pueden seguir con cualquiera que no piense como ellos.

Para terminar, sigo con la curiosidad porque se rechaza que se le de dinero a la gente en programas sociales?, Dinamarca, Suecia, Espa?a y otros paises europeos otorgan esos beneficios. El mismo Estados Unidos subsidia a sus campesinos (por eso ellos no emigran), aqui se condena que se le den ap?yos a la gente pero se olvida que un fraude bancario fue convertido en deuda publica, que segun los analistas se terminara de pagar hasta los hijos de nuestros nietos; al primero se le llama populismo, y al segundo como lo llamariamos empresariarismo?. Insisto en mi rechazo a que se plantara la gente en las calles de la ciudad, pero un fraude y una simulacion electoral es aun mas terrible. Ningun politico tiene la razon ni es la salvacion pero los cambios politicos son procesos que se efectuan a traves de coyunturas, hay coyunturas que abren oportunidad a que la gente participe en la toma de deciciones y hay otras que retrazan este proceso, de primera mano se de la apertura que se dio a la gente durante la administracion de AMLO, para que se decidieran cosas en materia de seguridad y se ejercieran partidas presupuestales, pero sera que las personas seguimos actuando como lo describia Simon Bolivar? -Libere pueblos y aboli la tirania y con horror vi como la misma gente reconstruia la tirania- (cito de memoria). En estos procesos? me decia mi maestro se condensa lo mejor de la sociadad pero tambien lo peor, no nos enga?emos pensando en movimientos puros o en lideres incorruptibles, todos tenemos clarobscuros, la mision es participar y en la medida de lo posible impedir que los corruptos tomen el control.En mi opinion un gobierno panista retraza el proceso, pero eso ya lo veremos en seis a?os.

Un Saludo

Omar

 
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captainccs
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« Reply #88 on: September 13, 2006, 08:58:24 PM »

La izquierda despu?s de Hugo Ch?vez y L?pez Obrador

Ra?l Tortolero

Ciudad de Mexico 13.09.06 | Ante sus seguidores, o mejor, ante sus ?groupies?, Mr Hugo Ch?vez declar? ayer que no ?reconoc?a? como leg?timo presidente electo de M?xico a Felipe Calder?n, porque notaba que hab?an sucedido ?cosas? extra?as o raras en los pasados comicios del 2 de julio en M?xico. Bueno, esto no es ning?n problema. Porque los ?nicos que deben reconocer o no reconocer al presidente electo son los mexicanos. Y Mr Hugo Ch?vez no es mexicano.

Resulta, empero, extraordinario ?aunque mucho de lo que hace el presidente venezolano lo es- que un mandatario extranjero se autoerija como una suerte de juez electoral internacional, capaz de legitimar con su palmada en la espalda a otros jefes de estado, seg?n lo que le convenga.

Lo bueno es que siempre, en todo momento, neg? toda relaci?n con el PRD mexicano. Pero ahora aboga por el ?Peje?. Que su gobierno no ten?a nada qu? ver, que no hab?a enviado aqu? a su ficha el embajador Vladimir Villegas ?quien apareci? en actos de campa?a del PRD del ahora jefe de gobierno de la Ciudad de M?xico Marcelo Ebrard, violando la ley mexicana de no intervenci?n en pol?tica interior- a ayudar a formar los c?rculos bolivarianos para que se asociaran con las redes ciudadanas. Pero ahora lo apoya, y se suma a la campa?a de inestabilidad pol?tica encabezada en M?xico por unos cuantos a?oradores de una izquierda dogm?tica, estalinista y sumamente autoritaria. Que son personas que portan en la bloqueada calle Reforma estandartes de Lenin y de Stalin (a las fotos me remito). Y eso quiere decir que, en primer lugar, ya no est?n pensando, ya no est?n reflexionando seriamente. Stalin dej? un muerto casi en cada familia durante su gobierno, y esto suma al menos 10 millones de muertos. Eso es lo que admiran y enarbolan estos trasnochados de una izquierda que ya no existe sino en sus cabezas urgidas de figuras autocr?ticas. Esta gente es profundamente antidemocr?tica y, de hecho, as? como en Alemania est?n prohibidas las manifestaciones de neonazis, deber?an estar aqu? prohibidas las manifestaciones de neoestalinistas. No saben lo que dicen estas personas. Alzan en vilo a un carnicero. No necesitamos carnicer?as por ning?n ideal en M?xico. La carnicer?a no es lo que ayudar? a los pobres a comer y a educarse. La carnicer?a no es un m?todo de crecimiento econ?mico. Pero la carnicer?a s? es una mala terapia para el desahogo de la frustraci?n y el resentimiento social de quienes siempre han estado oprimidos y ahora no buscan qui?n se las debe sino qui?n se las pague. Pero no. Las carnicer?as no son lo que les dijeron en los adoctrinamientos: nada justifica que muera nadie. No se puede construir un pa?s dejando en la espalda una carnicer?a. Lo que est?n haciendo es demoler a la verdadera izquierda y tratar de sustituirla por un sistema amparado en la violencia y la sangre.

Ch?vez decidi? expl?citamente apoyar a Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador con estas versiones. Con ello, la verdad, lo ?nico que logra es reactivar las amplias sospechas de que hubo respaldo log?stico, pol?tico y econ?mico suyo al tabasque?o durante la campa?a electoral pasada. Ahora no quedan muchas dudas sobre la cercan?a entre ambas partes. M?s bien, ninguna duda.

?De qu? informaci?n dispone este mandatario sudamericano para descalificar lo que el Tribunal Federal Electoral en M?xico revis? y aprob?? Qui?n sabe, porque nunca lo aclar?.

?Cu?les son las ?cosas raras? que advierte?

No me imagino a Felipe Calder?n, por panista que sea, de centro-derecha si ustedes quieren, declarando que no reconoce como presidente a Hugo Ch?vez. No parece algo sensato. ?C?mo puede alguien estar por encima de lo que un pueblo ha decidido en votaciones legales?

Han sido tantas las agresiones que ha recibido M?xico de parte de Mr Ch?vez que no podemos imaginar qu? sigue. Tal vez le gustar?a invadir M?xico de alguna forma. Organizar algo. O a todos los pa?ses cuyos gobiernos no le cuadran. Pero s?lo deber?a ocuparse de sus propios negocios y dejar en paz a los mexicanos. Nosotros no nos ocupamos de ?l sino cuando primero ?l relanza en su agenda el tema M?xico, y habitualmente esto significa insultos, descalificaciones ?como la reciente del presidente electo- y hasta ciertas amenazas veladas.

Para los chavistas uno no puede sentirse libre de expresar sus opiniones en medios democr?ticos y respetuosos del mundo. No puede nadie pensar diferente. Por ejemplo, la Coordinadora Continental Bolivariana, Cap?tulo M?xico, hace al que esto escribe responsable de no s? qu? campa?as. De paso quiero aclararles a los se?ores de esa organizaci?n que yo no encabezo ninguna campa?a contra nadie, ni la secundo, y tambi?n, que no me gusta que Hugo Ch?vez insulte a M?xico, a nuestros gobernantes de cualquier nivel o partido pol?tico y que estoy en mi derecho constitucional de expresar mis opiniones libremente. A ustedes no los conozco. No tengo nada contra ustedes, que quede bien claro, ni mucho menos contra el gran Sim?n Bol?var, pero otra cosa son los caudillos. Y si se sienten iluminados, peor. Eso es todo. Y tambi?n aprovecho para recalcar que no pertenezco ni al PRD, ni al PAN, ni al PRI ni a ninguna otra organizaci?n o gobierno.

Pulverizando a la izquierda

Lo que s? percibo con claridad es que la actitud descalificatoria de Ch?vez, aunada a las molestias de L?pez Obrador contra la propia ciudadan?a que hubiera votado por ?l debidas a los bloqueos, son claros ejemplos no de una lucha inteligente y creativa, sino de la demolici?n total de la izquierda. Al menos de la izquierda moderna, creativa, institucional, pol?tica, moderada. Es antipropaganda plena.

La izquierda extremista no es democr?tica, es autoritaria e implica una franca inestabilidad econ?mica y la entronizaci?n del m?s acendrado autocratismo. Ambos personajes son, en realidad, enemigos de la izquierda internacional. No les preocupa que la ciudadan?a termine repudi?ndolos a ellos y a sus m?todos, porque creen que est?n por encima de las instituciones y a?n de las ideolog?as.

Pero no, no es as?. ?Por qu?? Porque simplemente no existe una ideolog?a que sea impulsada por ellos. ?Cu?l es la ideolog?a de Hugo Ch?vez? ?El bolivarismo? No puede ser, ya que no le interesa la uni?n latinoamericana, de los pueblos, y prueba de esto es que descarta a los gobiernos que no se ajustan a sus intereses. ?Y la de L?pez Obrador? Ganar las elecciones presidenciales. En el fondo, lo que hay en ambos es una fuerte palpitaci?n por el regreso de un seudosocialismo setentero que no puede regresar, ya sea en programas populistas sociales de vivienda, de apoyo clientelar a ancianos o desamparados, como t?cnicas de publicidad personal y s?lo personal.

Habr?a que ver qu? queda de la izquierda latinoamericana luego de Ch?vez y luego de L?pez Obrador. Cenizas. Ser? exactamente lo mismo que en Cuba luego de Fidel. Nadie querr? jam?s saber nada de ese sistema se le llame como se le llame. Qu? puede importar una supuesta "ideolog?a" si la gente no come, no hay luz, agua, ropa, nada. (?Y Fidel en la lista Forbes de los m?s ricos del mundo, bendita igualdad!).

Ya nadie votar? ingenuamente por seguir en tales caminos. En M?xico, s?lo basta consultar en las calles a la gente. Ahora s? supimos los alcances de la otrora noble paloma que daba sus conferencias a las 6 de la ma?ana con voz suave y buen humor. Es la misma palomita que no le importa si los enfermos mueren en las ambulancias por su bloqueo de Reforma. Que cientos de meseros y garroteros y empleados se tengan que ir a Estados Unidos porque est?n quebrando los establecimientos. Que se hayan perdido 368 millones de d?lares, seg?n estimaciones del Consejo Nacional Empresarial Tur?stico (CNET) de la Ciudad de M?xico. ?stas son las secuelas arrojadas por un ex pol?tico, l?der de una coalici?n que se nombr? ?por el bien de todos?. Qu? decepci?n. Y qu? lecci?n.


http://vcrisis.com/index.php?content=esp/200609131522


Coordinadora Continental Bolivariana, Cap?tulo M?xico
http://www.conbolivar.org/conbol/institucional/comunicados/mexico/mex-prononcia-crisis-11-08-06.htm

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« Reply #89 on: September 14, 2006, 03:11:26 PM »

Lopez Obrador Weighing His Next Move
The Mexican opposition leader must decide whether to form a shadow government or try to push reforms through protests.
By Sam Enriquez and Carlos Mart?nez, LA Times Staff Writers
September 14, 2006


MEXICO CITY ? Losing presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will ask his followers Saturday whether they want him to head a parallel government or just chip away at the old one with a long campaign of civil disobedience.

A week after the nation's elections tribunal declared Felipe Calderon the president-elect, the summer-long protest movement by Lopez Obrador supporters demanding a national recount is fading. Tents pitched by demonstrators on Paseo de la Reforma, the capital's central boulevard, have started to disappear.

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Despite apparently dwindling popular support, Lopez Obrador maintains a firm grip on a loyal core eager to reshape Mexico for its legions of poor.

He's expected to chart their next move at Saturday's National Democratic Convention, which he called to protest the July 2 election, narrowly won by Calderon, and to revamp the nation's institutions.

Lopez Obrador knows he lost the election fight, most analysts said. What he wants now is a permanent opposition to the Calderon government, and a lever to nudge his Democratic Revolution Party cohorts in Congress.

"He's trying to force changes on a double path: one within the institutions and the other one on the street," said Roger Bartra, a sociologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

But Lopez Obrador will have to continue shaping hundreds of thousands of election protesters into a thriving leftist movement that can demand the attention of his party's congressional bloc, the second largest in the Senate and the lower house.

More than half a million delegates have signed up for Saturday's convention, organizers said, and tens of thousands more are expected to attend the event in the capital's central square, or Zocalo.

Delegates will decide whether they want to reform the government or start a new one ? a choice loaded with patriotic symbolism when offered on Mexico's Independence Day.

Simply declaring a new government doesn't give it any legitimacy. But followers of the charismatic Lopez Obrador don't seem worried.

The buzz among those rooting for a parallel government here is not whether the military will squash a nascent leftist rebellion or what to include in a reworked Mexican Constitution or even whether it's legal. It's over what to call their leader.

The longest thread on the convention's website forum concerns whether to declare Lopez Obrador the president of Mexico or name him "head of the resistance."

*

A Broader Debate

There's more to the discussion than a name: The many comments, protected by the forum's online anonymity, echo a broader debate over how far left to steer Mexico's new movement.

"He should be named 'Legitimate President' because it would be a very annoying counterbalance to Felipe Calderon," wrote "Hackal," who added, "He's already head of the resistance."

Others said they preferred a less provocative title than president, arguing that a direct challenge to the Mexican government was asking for trouble and reflected badly on their leader, who is often referred to by his initials.

"It's makes AMLO look like a dictator," said "Neon-Insurgents." "The key to the campaign of defamation against AMLO is to make him seem like a crazy person or a radical?. It's important that we're not so much a reactionary left but a left of center."

Rafael Hernandez Estrada, a member of the convention's organizing committee, said he believed delegates would favor naming Lopez Obrador the "elected president."

"We're also going to ask to create a parallel Cabinet," he said. "We won't vote on who'll be on the Cabinet. That will be up to the president."


None of the organizers could say what such a government would do next, or how they planned to govern. Lopez Obrador said the convention would draw its authority from Article 39 of the Mexican Constitution, which gives citizens the right to decide on their form of government.

But legal experts said the document does not envision changing the constitution by a show of hands on a public square, as planned for Saturday.

"Of course you can modify the form of government, but it has to be through established legal mechanisms," said Raul Carranca y Rivas, a law professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The registration of delegates, and their participation in the convention, keeps a tether on supporters and a ready-made contact list for Lopez Obrador as his recount campaign winds down. Some polls show his support fading.

Delegates could vote to keep the street blockades, but it's more likely protesters will go home next week, freeing up the Zocalo and several miles of Reforma after weeks of detours and worse-than-usual traffic jams, said Jose Agustin Ortiz Pinchetti, a member of the convention's organizing committee.

"We'll probably have new forms of civil resistance, but always peaceful ones," he said.

Lopez Obrador has not disclosed any plans beyond those that echo his campaign ? to narrow the income gap between rich and poor, and revamp the nation's justice system. Speaking to supporters this week, he promised a "true purification" of politics that would oust "domineering, ridiculous, mediocre, thieving politicians."

Lopez Obrador only hinted at using the pincer strategy of street protests and the PRD congressional bloc to implement his agenda. "We'll govern with one hand and transform with the other," he said in a speech Tuesday.

Bartra and other analysts are skeptical. "Lopez Obrador runs the risk of losing his influence over the PRD," Bartra said. "He's setting up all kind of confrontations, like when senators try to negotiate with other political parties."

Neither President Vicente Fox nor President-elect Calderon have had much to say about the planned convention. They have tried to drum up national pride during a week of Independence Day celebrations and turn attention away from Lopez Obrador's claim that the vote was fixed in favor of Calderon.

The threat of violent confrontation dimmed this week when Lopez Obrador agreed to keep protesters from the path of Saturday's Independence Day military parades in the Zocalo.

*

A Showdown of Sorts

Despite conceding the Zocalo to the military, however, he threatened a symbolic showdown with Fox on Friday night.

Fox, like most Mexican presidents, is to give the grito, or shout of independence, Friday night from the balcony of the National Palace.

Lopez Obrador, whose megawatt sound system and stage have stood all summer in front of the balcony where Fox is supposed to appear, says he may issue his own grito.

Calderon, who will take office Dec. 1, is on vacation until Monday, his spokesman said.

*


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sam.enriquez@latimes.com
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« Reply #90 on: September 14, 2006, 03:15:46 PM »

y, cambiando el tema completamente, uno mas:

Source: http://www.nbc10.com/news/9850095/detail.html

NBC10.com

'Dog' Arrested At Mexico's Request 

POSTED: 1:54 pm EDT September 14, 2006
UPDATED: 4:02 pm EDT September 14, 2006

MSNBC has learned that U.S. officials have arrested TV reality star Duane "Dog" Chapman and two family members in Hawaii for extradition to Mexico.

Chapman's wife told MSNBC's Rita Cosby that heavily armed U.S. marshals arrived at the family's house today and took away Chapman, his brother, Tim, and son, Leland.
"I was getting the children ready for school and the U.S. marshals burst in our door and they just came right in and took him," said Beth Chapman on MSNBC.

"He was in shock. He was, he was shocked. He was shocked and he was amazed that the marshal's service that came to get him didn't even treat him as kind as he treats his own prisoners."

A representative from the Marshal's office had a different version of what happened in Hawaii. "There were 7 deputy marshals who went to Chapman's home," said Jay Beber, from the U.S. marshal's office in Hawaii. "We knocked on the door to announce that we were U.S. marshals. ? Mr. Chapman was compliant and very respectful."

The Chapmans were in custody and expected to remain in custody for three days until a bond hearing is held. Cosby said she was told that Mexican government officials wanted the three men sent back there in relation to a three-year-old case.

In 2003, the Chapmans went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to retrieve Max Factor heir Andrew Luster, who was wanted in the U.S. on rape charges. Bounty hunting is considered a crime in Mexico. At that time, Mexican prosecutors maintained that Luster's capture violated their sovereignty.

The Chapmans each could face up to 8 years in prison if they are returned to Mexico and convicted on kidnapping charges.
Luster is now in jail, serving a 124-year term, but at the time, the Chapmans were also jailed by Mexican authorities for a brief time three years ago.

The three returned to the United States after posting bail of their own.

Copyright 2006 by NBC10.com.


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« Reply #91 on: September 15, 2006, 07:20:28 AM »

Writing May Be Oldest in Western Hemisphere
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By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
Published: September 15, 2006
A stone slab bearing 3,000-year-old writing previously unknown to scholars has been found in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and archaeologists say it is an example of the oldest script ever discovered in the Western Hemisphere.

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Courtesy of Stephen Houston
Sixty-two distinct signs are inscribed on the stone slab, which was discovered in the state of Veracruz in Mexico.

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Oldest Writing in the New World (Science)The Mexican discoverers and their colleagues from the United States reported yesterday that the order and pattern of carved symbols appeared to be that of a true writing system and that it had characteristics strikingly similar to imagery of the Olmec civilization, considered the earliest in the Americas.

Finding a heretofore unknown writing system is rare. One of the last major ones to come to light, scholars say, was the Indus Valley script, recognized from excavations in 1924.

Now, scholars are tantalized by a message in stone in a script unlike any other and a text they cannot read. They are excited by the prospect of finding more of this writing, and eventually deciphering it, to crack open a window on one of the most enigmatic ancient civilizations.

The inscription on the Mexican stone, with 28 distinct signs, some of which are repeated, for a total of 62, has been tentatively dated from at least 900 B.C., possibly earlier. That is 400 or more years before writing was known to have existed in Mesoamerica, the region from central Mexico through much of Central America, and by extension, anywhere in the hemisphere.

Previously, no script had been associated unambiguously with the Olmec culture, which flourished along the Gulf of Mexico in Veracruz and Tabasco well before the Zapotec and Maya people rose to prominence elsewhere in the region. Until now, the Olmec were known mainly for the colossal stone heads they sculptured and displayed at monumental buildings in their ruling cities.

The stone was discovered by Mar?a del Carmen Rodr?guez of the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico and Ponciano Ort?z of Veracruz University. The archaeologists, a married couple, are the lead authors of the report of the discovery, which is being published today in the journal Science.

The signs incised on the 26-pound stone, the researchers said in the report, ?link the Olmec to literacy, document an unsuspected writing system and reveal a new complexity to this civilization.?

Noting that the text ?conforms to all expectations of writing,? the researchers wrote that the sequences of signs reflected ?patterns of language, with the probable presence of syntax and language-dependent word orders.?

Several paired sequences of signs, scholars said, have even prompted speculation that the text contained poetic couplets.

Experts who have examined the Olmec symbols said they would need many more examples before they could hope to read what is written on the stone. They said it appeared that the symbols in the inscription were unrelated to later Mesoamerican scripts, suggesting that this Olmec writing might have been practiced for only a few generations and never spread to surrounding cultures.

Stephen D. Houston of Brown University, a co-author of the report and an authority on ancient writings, acknowledged that the apparent singularity of the script was a puzzle and would probably be emphasized by some scholars who question the influence of the Olmec on the course of later Mesoamerican cultures.

But Dr. Houston said the discovery ?could be the beginning of a new era of focus on the Olmec civilization.?

Other participants in the research include Michael D. Coe of Yale; Richard A. Diehl of the University of Alabama; Karl A. Taube of the University of California, Riverside; and Alfredo Delgado Calder?n, also of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

Mesoamerican researchers not involved in the discovery agreed that the signs appeared to represent a true script and that their appearance could be expected to inspire more intensive exploration of the Olmec past. The civilization emerged about 1200 B.C. and virtually disappeared around 400 B.C.

In an accompanying article in Science, Mary Pohl, an anthropologist at Florida State University who has excavated Olmec ruins, was quoted as saying, ?This is an exciting discovery of great significance.?

A few other researchers were skeptical of the inscription?s date because the stone was uncovered in a gravel quarry where it and other artifacts were jumbled and possibly out of their original context.

The discovery team said that ceramic shards, clay figurines and other broken artifacts accompanying the stone appeared to be from a phase of Olmec culture ending about 900 B.C. They conceded, though, that the disarray at the site made it impossible to determine if the stone was in a place relating to the governing elite or a religious ceremony.

Dr. Diehl, a specialist in Olmec research, said, ?My colleagues and I are absolutely convinced the stone is authentic.?

Road builders digging gravel came across the stone in debris from an ancient mound at Cascajal, a place the discoverers said was in the ?Olmec heartland.? The village is on an island in southern Veracruz and about a mile from the ruins of San Lorenzo, the site of the dominant Olmec city from 1200 B.C. to 900 B.C.

That was in 1999, and Dr. Rodr?guez and Dr. Ort?z were called in, and they quickly recognized the potential importance of the find.

Only after years of further excavations, in which they hoped to find more writing specimens, and comparative analysis with Olmec iconography did the two invite other Mesoamerican scholars to join the study. After a few reports in recent years of Olmec ?writing? that failed to hold up, the team decided earlier this year that the Cascajal stone, as it is being called, was the real thing.

The tiny, delicate signs are incised on a block of soft serpentine stone 14 inches long, 8 inches wide and 5 inches thick. The inscription is on the stone?s concave top surface.

Dr. Houston, who was a leader in the decipherment of Maya writing, examined the stone with an eye to clues that this was true writing and not just iconography unrelated to a language. He said in an interview that he had detected regular patterns and order suggesting ?a text segmented into what almost look like sentences, with clear beginnings and clear endings.?

Some pictographic signs were frequently repeated, Dr. Houston said, particularly ones that looked like an insect or a lizard. He suspected that these were signs alerting the reader to the use of words that sound alike but have different meanings ? as in the difference in English of ?I? and ?eye.?

All in all, Dr. Houston concluded, ?the linear sequencing, the regularity of signs, the clear patterns of ordering, they tell me this is writing, but we don?t know what it says.?
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« Reply #92 on: October 06, 2006, 08:07:14 AM »

Geopolitical Diary: Flyovers, Troops and the Oaxacan Protests

Mexican military planes and helicopters flew over protesters in the colonial city of Oaxaca for the second consecutive day Oct. 1. The months-old protest in Oaxaca has continued to escalate. What arose as an annual labor dispute by public school teachers demanding higher wages has been forcefully suppressed by Oaxacan Gov. Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and hijacked by radical fringe groups to form the People's Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO).

Meanwhile, a large contingent of Oaxacan protesters that began marching Sept. 22 is expected to complete the 300-mile trek and arrive in Mexico City on Oct. 3. Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon has called for President Vicente Fox to hand over a peaceful, conflict-free government Nov. 30. Still, Fox has been pressed from all sides to do something about the protests. However, he has shown little inclination to do anything.

Mexico has had a strong aversion to the federal use of force since an Oct. 2, 1968, student protest was put down violently in Mexico City with as many as 300 students killed. Even during recent protests in Mexico City triggered by the narrow defeat of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the presidential election, crowds were getting out of hand directly in front of an important government building before any forceful action was taken. Things would have to go very badly for a skittish federal government to use force against the Oaxacan protesters, especially since Oct. 2 marks the 38th anniversary of the government violence against student protesters a few days before the beginning of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

However, tanks and troop transport trucks were seen arriving Oct. 1 in Huatulco, 150 miles from Oaxaca. Taken along with the military flyovers, this is certainly a significant development. Nevertheless, military intervention is far from a foregone conclusion. While the government's claim that the overflights are routine supply missions is questionable, they may be little more than an attempt to intimidate the protesters.

While fringe groups may have taken control of the protests, the people of Oaxaca do not have long-standing, intractable disputes with the government that would lead them to insurrection. The APPO is not Hezbollah. When "unidentified gunmen" -- likely to have been the governor's henchmen -- took potshots at protesters, there was no return fire. And while barricades have been built and buses set aflame, the protesters are not armed in any meaningful way.

Nevertheless, it is force that got the problem started in the first place. An annual strike took a new turn when the teachers made far-reaching demands about the rezoning of Oaxaca, but it did not become what it is until the governor used force to suppress it. (?Que debe de haber hecho entonces?)The protests have since centered around a call for Ruiz Ortiz's resignation. The governor has had ample opportunity to muster what local forces he has available, but he wants federal involvement. However, the only military activity we have seen thus far is hardly preparation for a push into Oaxaca -- military overflights and the movement of a small contingent of troops hardly constitutes preparation for military move against the Oaxacan protesters.
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« Reply #93 on: October 15, 2006, 12:31:36 PM »

Mexican Leftists Watching Tabasco Election
Today's gubernatorial vote may determine the political fate of former presidential candidate Lopez Obrador and that of his movement.
By Sam Enriquez, Times Staff Writer
October 15, 2006


TACOTALPA, Mexico ? If you ask Cesar Ascencio, there isn't much to cheer about in this sun-baked southern town. Jobs are scarce and even shade is hard to come by after trees in the central plaza were chopped down for a renovation that's stalled halfway to nowhere.

"We live in one of the worst pueblos in Mexico," the 72-year-old retiree said. "This place is dead."

ADVERTISEMENTA couple of hours later, it came to life, if only for a little while, when hundreds of townspeople gathered at the plaza to hear leftist politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promise to bring help to the nation's poor and vengeance on its rich. The crowd roared.

Lopez Obrador, who lost the July 2 presidential election to free-market candidate Felipe Calderon, isn't running for office. But his political future, and that of his fledgling leftist movement, may rest on today's gubernatorial election in Tabasco, Lopez Obrador's home state. He has spent the last several weeks campaigning for Cesar Raul Ojeda, a fellow member of the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, who's making an uphill third bid for governor.

A win by Ojeda, 54, would also be a triumph for Lopez Obrador, whose followers barricaded Mexico City's main boulevard for weeks this summer to protest the national election. Lopez Obrador, who says Calderon won by fraud, plans to install himself as the "legitimate" president in an unofficial inauguration next month. But his fight may be an uphill one too, against perceptions that he'll bring Mexico more trouble than hope.

Support for Lopez Obrador has dwindled since protesters closed down their Mexico City encampments a month ago after judges rejected demands for a national recount. So the former Mexico City mayor returned to Tabasco and has since filled plazas in his bid to secure a victory for Ojeda ? and keep his message alive.

"Lopez Obrador is trying to use Tabasco as a catapult for his movement," said Andres Granier, the 58-year-old former mayor of Villahermosa, the state capital, and Ojeda's opponent. "But it's not going to work."

Granier, who holds a lead of 9 percentage points in polls, is a candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which has run the state for seven decades. He has waged an aggressive campaign and was a well-liked mayor, but that doesn't fully explain his advantage.

Lopez Obrador won 56% of the presidential vote in Tabasco and remains wildly popular here. The trouble is, his so-called campaign of civil resistance has scared people off, including admirers such as Gilberto Macias.

Macias was in no mood to talk politics as he waited for his overheated car to cool down off a road just outside town. But he quickly rattled off a wish list for the next governor: better salaries, more jobs, safer streets, more hospitals, new roads.

"The minimum wage here is 44 pesos a day [about $4], and food is expensive, electricity is expensive, toll roads are expensive," he said. "We all want help, but now people are afraid of the 'hard left.' We're not sure anymore if we're talking about Allende in Chile or some kind of totalitarian state."

The takeover of the capital of nearby Oaxaca state this summer by striking teachers has people rethinking their support of Mexico's emerging left, he said. "We don't want any kind of trouble like that here," the 53-year-old taxi driver said.

Another Tabascan, Ciro Perez Gomez, said Lopez Obrador was "a good man who's taken the wrong road."

Ojeda said a vote for him was a vote for Lopez Obrador and for the fight to steer Mexico toward a moderate left that uses government spending and private investment to make jobs, that pays subsidies to farmers to keep them from fleeing to the United States.

"It's a modern left," he said, "with government shouldering its responsibility to the people. How can the state have so much money and yet have so many poor?"

He disagreed that losing the election would hurt Lopez Obrador.

"This movement has its own life," Ojeda said. "A loss would give opponents the chance to say it's over, but I believe the roots are deep."

His PRI opponents, he said, were up to the same old political shenanigans that had kept them in power and soured voters on the party's presidential candidate, former Tabasco Gov. Roberto Madrazo, who finished a distant third in the national election.

Ojeda supporters posted a video on YouTube.com that shows a warehouse with hundreds of new bikes that they allege the PRI had planned to give to voters. The video, indexed under "mapacheo," slang for vote-buying, shows the warehouse being emptied within minutes by passersby after its discovery by Ojeda campaigners.

A PRI spokesman said voter giveaways ? which included cooking pans and food ? were humanitarian aid. He would not say whether the bicycles were the PRI's.





"They think they can buy the vote of the people," Ojeda said. "But we have more dignity than that."

The PRI warned last week that Lopez Obrador and the PRD had recruited more than 2,000 radicals to start trouble at the polls. On Friday, authorities announced the arrests of several out-of-state PRD supporters who acknowledged that they had planned to disrupt voting. One man was injured in a jailhouse fall before his confession, police said.

Granier has campaigned on a platform of unity and promises to bring potable water, as well as jobs, schools and clinics to outlying towns.

"There are two distinct roads: ours, which is one of accord; and theirs, of provocation," he said Wednesday in his closing campaign speech.

Later that night, Lopez Obrador boarded the last flight to Mexico City. An aide brought him a cup of coffee and Lopez Obrador begged off a last interview.

"It's over, and I'm tired," he said.

He answered one question: Does he really believe he and his movement will survive a loss in Tabasco?

"Yes, I do," he said. "I believe it in my heart."
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« Reply #94 on: October 25, 2006, 08:36:16 PM »

Mexico's Cartel Wars: The Threat Beyond the U.S. Border
October 25, 2006 20 52  GMT



By Fred Burton

The U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security subcommittee recently issued a report on the increasing security risks along the U.S.-Mexican border. The report, which focuses on the Mexican drug cartels and the threat they pose to citizens and law enforcement on the U.S. side of the border, cites the cartels' use of military weapons and mercenaries with advanced military training, as well as their affinity for brutality and gratuitous violence.

Violence stemming from the drug cartels has existed for decades in many parts of Mexico. What is new is the fact that cartel violence is now spilling over onto the U.S. side of the border. However, although the House report -- by the Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations -- focuses on the current risks in the border area, the threat posed by the cartels already is making its way farther north. If left unchecked, the fighting can eventually be expected to erupt more widely in nonborder areas, affecting unprepared law enforcement agencies and even civilians.

Much of the violence is a result of the ongoing struggle between the three main drug cartels -- Gulf, Tijuana and Sinaloa -- for control of lucrative narcotics- and human-smuggling routes stretching from Mexico into the United States. Although the Mexican government has made efforts to stem the bloodshed, two main factors have impeded any major progress in this area. First is internal police corruption. Beyond the police commanders and officers who gladly accept money in exchange for providing the cartels with protection are those who face the choice between "plata o plomo," -- "silver or lead" -- meaning take a bribe or take a bullet. Second is the fact that federal and local security services are way outgunned -- both in terms of the types of weapons used and the training level of the people using them.

President-elect Felipe Calderon has vowed to end corruption in Mexico, but his administration will face the same issues as did its predecessors, and there is no indication it will have any more success at stemming the escalating violence. Indeed, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City issued a statement Sept. 15 warning U.S. citizens of the rising level of "brutal violence in areas of Mexico," specifically the persistent violence along the U.S. border in Nuevo Laredo.

Escalating Violence

In one recent and particularly gruesome incident that illustrates the current level of violence in Mexico, a group of masked gunmen entered the Light and Shadow nightclub in Uruapan, Michoacan state, on Sept. 6, fired weapons into the air and then tossed five severed human heads onto the dance floor. Beheadings had already reached the U.S. border in June, when Mexican authorities recovered four beheaded bodies from a vacant lot in Tijuana, and then pulled the heads from the nearby Tijuana River. The victims were three local police officials and a civilian.

Mexican drug gangs, who used the beheadings tactic for the first time in April, are sending a clear message that they are willing to go to any lengths to get what they want -- and that anyone who gets in their way is doomed. This same message also has been delivered via a number of attacks using grenades and assault rifles in other parts of Mexico, including the U.S. border cities of Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana and Juarez.

Another example of the escalation in violence is the Sept. 22 firefight in an upscale neighborhood of Nuevo Laredo between enforcers for the Gulf cartel and the security forces of an assassination target (presumably from the Sinaloa cartel). The engagement, which raged on for some 40 minutes and involved anti-tank weapons, hand grenades and automatic weapons fire, reportedly resulted in the deaths of five Gulf cartel enforcers and five other people.

The Mexican government has tried various tactics throughout the years to stem the violence and corruption associated with cartels, including dispatching military troops to Nuevo Laredo and other border cities. In June 2005, a string of events in Nuevo Laredo -- including the killing of two police chiefs in the city, the second of which occurred only a few hours after he was sworn into office -- prompted the Mexican government to dispatch army troops and federal agents to the town. The army and federal agents detained all 700 officers of the Nuevo Laredo police force and temporarily assumed their duties until some semblance of order could be restored. Following interviews and drug tests, only 150 of the police officers retained their jobs; the rest were terminated or arrested. More recently, in March, the Mexican government assigned an additional 600 members of the Federal Preventative Police to Nuevo Laredo as part of another program to fight increased violence related to the drug trade. Such solutions, however, have failed to stem the corruption and violence. As evidenced by the major firefight Sept. 22, Nuevo Laredo remains a hotbed of cartel activity.

The Ongoing Cartel Wars

Because of its geographical position beneath the United States, Mexico long has been used as a staging and transshipment point for narcotics, illegal aliens and other contraband destined for U.S. markets from Mexico, South America and elsewhere. Turf battles have flared up as various criminal organizations have moved to take control of smuggling routes, or "plazas," that lead into the United States. Over time, the balance of power between the various cartels has shifted as new cartels emerge or older organizations weaken, shrink or collapse -- creating temporary power vacuums that competitors rush to fill. Vacuums sometimes are created by law enforcement successes against a particular cartel; indeed, cartels will often attempt to use law enforcement against each other, either by bribing Mexican officials to take action against a rival or by leaking intelligence about a rival's operations to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

These kinds of tensions and frictions often can lead to inter-cartel warfare. The February 2002 death of Tijuana cartel leader and chief enforcer Ramon Arellano Felix, who was killed in a shootout with police in Mazatlan, and the March 14, 2003, capture of Gulf cartel leader Osiel Cardenas Guillen in Matamoros sparked the current period of particularly brutal warfare among the three cartels, which aim to take territory from one another. This war is being waged not only for control of Mexico's incoming drug shipments, in cities such as Acapulco and Cancun, but also for control of the outgoing network, where border towns have been focal points for violence.

The New Enforcers

The likely reason for the most dramatic changes between the drug wars of the past and the current intra-cartel violence is the makeup of the enforcing teams and the weapons they use. Though the cartels historically did their own dirty work, they now have started subcontracting out the violence to enforcers who apparently know no boundaries when it comes to who, how or where they strike.

This escalation has an obvious root cause: Some cartel leaders (notably from the Tijuana cartel) use active or retired police against their enemies, which has forced the targeted cartels to find enforcers capable of countering this strength. As a result, the Gulf cartel hired Los Zetas, a group of elite anti-drug paratroopers and intelligence operatives who deserted their federal Special Air Mobile Force Group in 1991. The Sinaloa cartel, meanwhile, formed a similar armed force called Los Pelones, literally meaning "the baldies" but typically understood to mean "new soldiers" for the shaved heads normally sported by military recruits. Because of attrition, the cartels have recently begun to reach out to bring in fresh muscle to the fight. Los Zetas has expanded to include former police and even motivated civilians. The group also has formed relationships with former members of the Guatemalan special forces known as Kaibiles and with members of the brutal Mara Salvatrucha street gang.

Though cartel enforcers have almost always had ready access to military weapons such as assault rifles, Los Zetas, Los Pelones and the Kaibiles are comprised of highly trained special forces soldiers who are able to use these weapons with deadly effectiveness. Assault rifles in the hands of untrained thugs are dangerous, but if those same rifles are placed in the hands of highly trained special forces soldiers who can operate as a fire team, they can be overwhelmingly powerful -- not only to enemies and other intended targets but also to law enforcement officers who attempt to interfere with their operations.

In addition to powerful handguns and assault rifles (which are frequently smuggled into Mexico from the United States), Los Zetas and Los Pelones are also known to possess and employ rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades and improvised explosive devices, and have used them in attacks in several parts of Mexico. Such weapons are not confined to the Mexican side of the border, though. On Feb. 3, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that government agents operating in Laredo seized a large cache of weapons that included dynamite, grenades and materials for making improvised explosive devices. These weapons were associated with the drug cartels.

The various enforcer groups have targeted Mexican government officials protecting rival cartels, the leadership of the rival cartels and members of those cartels' enforcement arms. Some extremely brutal executions of members of Los Zetas and Los Pelones by their contemporaries have occurred, including not only beheading but also a tactic called "necklacing," in which a tire is placed around a victim's neck and set ablaze. (The tactic was made famous by the African National Congress in South Africa).

The drug cartels also conduct intimidation campaigns and reprisal attacks against noncriminal groups such as police, government security forces and journalists -- anyone who is seen as a threat to their business. Such attacks are quite significant, and gruesome executions are often the norm. That said, the crime gangs are not always precise in their targeting. At times, they have mowed down police on the streets with assault rifles or attacked police stations with grenades and other heavy weapons, causing considerable collateral damage.

The Future

In addition to their network of tactical operators, Los Zetas and Los Pelones also have provided the cartels with an advanced intelligence and surveillance capability. This network operates on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border and has been used to protect drug shipments from law enforcement interdiction and the forces of competing cartels. They also are accomplished at countersurveillance operations and at avoiding the countersurveillance activities of their rivals.

Law enforcement officers along the U.S. border have reported many encounters with armed smugglers who do not hesitate to shoot. In one encounter last summer, two deputy sheriffs in Hidalgo County, Texas, were attacked as they patrolled the north bank of the Rio Grande. They reported that their assailants fired 300 to 400 rounds from automatic weapons at them before withdrawing.

To date, the violence associated with this intra-cartel warfare has been much more severe in Mexico than on the U.S. side of the border. Although this trend will continue, violence can be expected to increase on the U.S. side as targeted criminals and others search for safe hiding places. Perhaps as a sign of problems to come, the Los Angeles Times reported Oct. 23 that cartel-related corruption has been "rising dramatically" on the U.S. side of the border. With corruption spreading north, it is only a matter of time before more violence follows -- particularly because the cartels are especially adept at parlaying their power to corrupt into opportunities to commit violence.

Traditionally, when violence has spiked, cartel figures have used U.S. cities such as Laredo and San Diego as rest and recreation spots, calculating that the umbrella of U.S. law enforcement would protect them from being targeted for assassination by their enemies. This is beginning to change, however, as the bolder Mexican cartel hit men carry out assassinations on the U.S. side of the border in places such as Laredo, Rio Bravo and even Dallas, where law enforcement contacts indicate Los Zetas members are believed to have assassinated at least three people.

This change will likely cause high-value cartel targets to move even deeper into the United States to avoid attack, though their enemies' brazen and sophisticated assassins will likely follow. Judging from their history in Mexico and along the border, these assassins will have no qualms about engaging law enforcement personnel who get in their way, or about causing collateral damage. Their intelligence network will be bolstered by their alliances with street gangs such as Mara Salvatrucha and Calle 18, which have affiliates in many large cities throughout the United States. These allies can either provide them with intelligence or, in some cases, be contracted to conduct assassinations.

Though the House report warns of the dangers to law enforcement and civilians on the border, the spread of this cartel violence beyond the border region could catch many law enforcement officers by surprise. Patrol officers conducting a traffic stop on a group of Los Zetas members who are preparing to conduct an assassination in, say, Los Angeles, Chicago or northern Virginia could quickly find themselves heavily outgunned and under fire. Additionally, because of their low regard for human life and disdain for innocent bystanders, any assassination attempts cartel members do manage to launch might be very messy and could result in collateral deaths of innocent people and responding law enforcement officers.

U.S. law enforcement officers along the border are aware of the problem of Mexican cartel violence and have made efforts to mitigate it, though they have found they cannot completely prevent it or root it out. This same reality will apply to the violence that will soon be seen farther inside the United States. The roots of this problem lie in Mexico, and the solution will also need to be found there.
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« Reply #95 on: October 26, 2006, 08:28:53 AM »

Uno mas con el mismo tema.  Es del NY Times hoy.

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URUAPAN, Mexico ? Norte?o music was blaring at the Sol y Sombra bar on Sept. 6 when several men in military garb broke up the late night party. Waving high-powered machine guns, they screamed at the crowd to stay put and then dumped the contents of a heavy plastic bag on the dance floor. Five human heads rolled to a bloody stop.

?This is not something you see every day,? said a bartender, who asked not to be named for fear of losing his own head. ?Very ugly.?

An underworld war between drug gangs is raging in Mexico, medieval in its barbarity, its foot soldiers operating with little fear of interference from the police, its scope and brutality unprecedented, even in a country accustomed to high levels of drug violence.

In recent months the violence has included a total of two dozen beheadings, a raid on a local police station by men with grenades and a bazooka, and daytime kidnappings of top law enforcement officials. At least 123 law enforcement officials, among them 2 judges and 3 prosecutors, have been gunned down or tortured to death. Five police officers were among those beheaded.

In all, the violence has claimed more than 1,700 civilian lives this year, and federal officials say the killings are on course to top the estimated 1,800 underworld killings last year. Those death tolls compare with 1,304 in 2004 and 1,080 in 2001, these officials say.

Mexico?s law enforcement officials maintain that the violence is a sign that they have made progress dismantling the major organized crime families in the country. The arrests of several drug cartel leaders and their top lieutenants have set off a violent struggle among second-rank mobsters for trade routes, federal prosecutors say. The old order has been fractured, and the remaining drug dealers are killing one another or making new alliances.

?These alliances are happening because none of the organizations can control, on its own, the territory it used to control, and that speaks to the crisis that they are in,? said Jos? Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, the top federal prosecutor for organized crime.

Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca said a steadily rising tide of drug addiction within Mexico had spurred some of the murders, as dealers fought for local markets. At the same time, more and more honest police officers are trying to enforce the law rather than turn a blind eye to drug traffickers, often paying with their lives, prosecutors say.

But those assessments, other authorities say, are overly rosy and may explain only part of the picture. Some experts say the Mexican police forces, weakened by corruption and cowed by assassinations, are simply not up to the task of countering the underworld feuds unleashed by the arrests of cartel leaders over the last six years.

Many of the dead made their living in the drug trade and perished in a larger struggle for territory between a federation of cartels based in Sinaloa, on the Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf Cartel from the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, federal prosecutors say.

The five men beheaded in Uruapan, in Michoac?n, were street-level methamphetamine dealers, addicted themselves to the synthetic drug. They were linked loosely to the Valencia family, which once controlled most of the drug trade in the state and is a part of the Sinaloa group, the police say. The killers came from a gang called The Family, believed to be allied with the Gulf Cartel.

A day before, the killers had kidnapped the five men from a mechanic?s shop they had been using as a front for selling ?ice,? as crystal methamphetamine is called on the street. They sawed their victims? heads off with a bowie knife while they were still alive shortly before going to the bar, law enforcement officials said.

?You don?t do something like that unless you want to send a big message,? said one United States law enforcement official here, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The beheadings, in fact, have become a signature form of intimidation aimed at both criminal rivals and federal and local authorities. In the tourist town of Acapulco, killers from one drug gang decapitated the commander of a special strike force, Mario N??ez Maga?a, in April, along with one of his agents, Jes?s Alberto Ibarra Vel?zquez.

They jammed the heads in a fence in front of the municipal police station. ?So you will learn to respect,? said a red note next to them.

Page 2 of 2)


?This year has been one to forget, a black year,? said Jorge Valdez, a spokesman for the Acapulco police. ?It?s the most violent year in the last 50 years, and the acts are barbaric, bloody, with no trace of humanity.?

The dumping of five men?s heads last month at Sol y Sombra, a club in Uruapan, was just another grisly turn in the drug wars raging in Mexico.
The violence is by no means limited to Acapulco. In mid-July, about 15 gunmen attacked a small-town police station in Tabasco State at dawn with grenades, a bazooka and machine guns in an attempt to liberate two of their gang members, who were arrested after a bar fight the night before.

Two police officers died in the assault. The authorities said the attackers were dressed in the commando outfits of federal agents and belonged to the Zetas, former soldiers who work for the Gulf Cartel.

One reason for the wave of law enforcement killings is that the Mexican police do a poor job of protecting their own. Arrests have been made in only a handful of the assassinations of police officers this year. The overwhelming majority remain unsolved because witnesses fear testifying against drug traffickers. Even seasoned investigators are afraid to dig too deep into the murders.

?There is an atmosphere that affects us, of distrust, of terror inside the police force,? said Jes?s Alem?n del Carmen, the head of the state police in Guerrero, where 22 law enforcement officials have been brutally assassinated this year.

One of the officers killed was Gonzalo Dom?nguez D?az, the state police commander in P?tzcuaro, Michoac?n. In February, he received a death threat from a local businessman who law enforcement officials say has links to the Valencia crime family.

The threat came just minutes after Commander Dom?nguez arrested two men on weapons possession charges. He arrived home that night pale and shaken, said his widow, Fanny Carranza Dom?nguez. His anxiety grew over time, after prosecutors released the men he had arrested, for a lack of evidence, his wife said.

In early May, he told his wife that he had heard on the street that gunmen were looking for him. ?He said, ?I know that if I arrest them I am risking my life,? ? she recalled. ? ?I bring them to the capital, and they let them go.? ?

On May 8, a car cut off Commander Dom?nguez?s police car as he was driving home alone about 6:30 p.m. Within minutes, he was shot point blank in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun and twice in the chest with an AK-47. He never unholstered his sidearm. So far, prosecutors have made no progress in solving his murder. He was 47, the father of three.

?I think the commanders that haven?t been killed are in the game, and the ones that have been killed, it is because they attacked crime,? Mrs. Carranza Dom?nguez said.

?The prosecutor seems asleep here,? she added. ?He doesn?t do anything but collect his salary and go home.?

Commander Dom?nguez was one of 16 state and federal police commanders assassinated this year across Mexico, along with 2 judges handling drug cases and 2 federal prosecutors. Local police chiefs have also been targets. Eight have been murdered, most of them in Michoac?n.

Most were ambushed in their cars or outside their homes by men with machine guns. A few were kidnapped by men posing as federal agents. In these cases, the bodies were found later, shot full of holes, often showing signs of torture.

Commander C?ndido Vargas, 40, the second in command of the state police in Uruapan, died that way in August. Prosecutors say he was walking to his car when he was surrounded by about 15 heavily armed men dressed in black commando outfits like those used by federal agents. It was 3:30 in the afternoon, and he was just 100 yards from the police headquarters.

The men hustled him into one of their vehicles and sped off. He was found the next day on a nearby ranch, shot 25 times. A sign next to his body read: ?For playing with two bands.?

No one from the police department visited his wife and three children, who live in another town, to tell them of his death. ?We found out through the newspaper,? said Paula Vargas, his wife of 23 years. ?It was as if the whole world fell down on me.?

The state prosecutor in Uruapan, Ram?n Ponce, says he has found no evidence of Commander Vargas?s being corrupt. Neither does he have any leads, he said. ?The atmosphere is very tense,? Mr. Ponce said. ?It?s very difficult.?

While attacks on the police have risen, they have been far outpaced by grisly gangland killings. In Michoac?n, The Family is believed to be responsible for the beheadings of a dozen people besides the ones they delivered to the Sol y Sombra bar. The heads have often been accompanied by cryptic messages declaring the killings divine justice, accusing the victims of crimes, or daring their rivals to send more henchmen.

Nearly every day, new victims are found in states along the major drug shipment routes, especially Quintana Roo, Michoac?n, Guerrero, Tamaulipas and Baja California. Most are bound, gagged and shot to death, their bodies dumped on lonely roads.

In the towns hardest hit by the gangland warfare, the fear is palpable. For two years now, Nuevo Laredo has been the main battleground for a fight between gunmen loyal to Joaqu?n (Chapo) Guzm?n of Sinaloa and the remnants of the Gulf Cartel, whose leader, Osiel C?rdenas, is in prison awaiting trial.

?I wouldn?t be human if I said I wasn?t afraid,? acknowledged Elizabeth Hern?ndez Arredone, a state prosecutor in Nuevo Laredo who has taped to her door a photograph of a female judge who recently disappeared.

The effects are everywhere. Many local journalists have stopped covering drug violence for fear they may become targets themselves. Tourists used to spill across the border from Laredo, Tex., to swig tequila, buy trinkets and run wild. Not anymore.

Church attendance is down, said the Rev. Alberto Monteras Monjar?s of Santo Ni?o Church, because even a Sunday morning can be dangerous.

?People used to sleep outside on the porch if it got too hot,? he said. ?Not anymore. You stay inside, and you put three or four locks on the door.?
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« Reply #96 on: October 30, 2006, 06:41:04 PM »

Supuestamente este foro esta' en espanol-- pero para que sea asi, necesitamos mas apoyo de los quienes de nosotros tengan mas fuentes en espanol.  tongue  Pues, he aqui lo presente sobre la situacion en Oaxaca.
====================================

MORNING INTELLIGENCE BRIEF
10.30.2006
www.stratfor.com



Geopolitical Diary: A Mexican Standoff Worsens

Mexican federal police advanced into the center of Oaxaca City on Sunday, firing tear gas and water cannons at protesters who have been camping there for months. The demonstrators, from the People's Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), are calling -- among other things -- for the resignation of Gov. Ulises Ruiz, and their protest, which started out in May as an annual teachers' strike, has grown increasingly violent and widespread of late. By late Sunday, police were advancing on a group in the central plaza who were slowing their advance by burning tires and trash and, occasionally, throwing rocks.

The political action is intensifying at a key moment -- for both talks aimed at ending the standoff and the upcoming presidential transition.

On one level, the growing tensions point to the division between the teachers groups that initially took up demonstrations and the separate radical groups that attached themselves to the teachers' cause, uniting as APPO, in June. Both groups have favored calls for Ruiz's resignation, but beyond that they had little in common: The teachers demanded education reforms, while APPO's cause is, at its root, anti-government. With so little to bind them, then, it is hardly surprising that they splintered after entering into negotiations with the federal government. On Oct. 27, the teachers agreed to a deal that would allow classes to resume Oct. 30 -- and made no mention of Ruiz's resignation, a point to which APPO is holding firm.

In recent days, the protests have taken on a more serious tone. At least four people, including an American journalist, were killed when shots were fired in Oaxaca during the weekend, and demonstrations have been taken up in Mexico City as well. In fact, APPO members in the capital on Sunday surrounded a hotel where Ruiz allegedly was staying, demanding to see the guest list -- to prove he was not there -- before dispersing.

Given the rising violence and the break between APPO and the teachers' groups, it appears that President Vicente Fox has had enough. Fox has been notoriously hesitant to use federal security forces in the Oaxaca situation, though the option has been on the table for weeks. The military began conducting flyovers of Oaxaca City on Oct. 1 -- a show of force that temporarily quieted the unrest -- while soldiers assembled in a nearby city. But with supporters outside Oaxaca state taking up APPO's political cause and the clock ticking down toward President-elect Felipe Calderon's swearing-in ceremony, the government cannot afford to let the situation fester any longer.

A negotiated truce between the APPO and police is unlikely: The protest movement has been a rag-tag coalition since its inception, and the poorly organized leadership at this point is having trouble getting supporters to comply even with requests to stop throwing rocks. The stage seems set for more violence. That said, given historical aversions to using federal police to resolve domestic matters, it seems unlikely that government troops will resort to lethal force to quell the unrest.

Fox is attempting to make good on his promise to resolve the crisis before his term ends, but the operation likely has only just begun.
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« Reply #97 on: October 31, 2006, 10:35:21 AM »

MEXICO: Both houses of the Mexican Congress asked Oaxacan Gov. Ulises Ruiz to step down in order to end the months-old crisis in his state, which recently saw federal riot police removing protesters from the Oaxaca city center. Before the request, Ruiz had repeatedly ruled out resigning.

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« Reply #98 on: November 02, 2006, 10:18:39 AM »

MEXICO: The Mexican Federal Preventive Police moved against protesters in Oaxaca as the police took the Channel 9 news building, which was previously besieged by the protesters, and worked to clear the highway of barricades. Hundreds of Molotov cocktails and dozens of homemade rockets were found in the news building; Mexican authorities are preparing charges of interruption of federal communications and explosives possession against the protesters.
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« Reply #99 on: November 06, 2006, 10:04:20 AM »

MEXICO: Three bombs exploded simultaneously outside of the headquarters of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, a ScotiaBank branch and the Federal Electoral Tribunal building in Mexico City. Another homemade device was deactivated outside a separate ScotiaBank branch. No serious injuries have been reported.
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www.newschannel5.tv/pdf/investigations.pdf
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