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(en) Mexico, Zapatistas and the Other Campaign - The Pedestrians of History, Part III

Date Sun, 01 Oct 2006 09:44:46 +0200


The longest day of the longest year.
1. The year 2006 starts in the month of January... 2004. Fox's
mediocrity as federal executive and his consort Martha Sahagun´s
personal ambition not only led the dispute around succession to advance
but also made it cheeky and imprudent beyond precedent.
In any case, the basic "laws" of the political class of above were
always clear. The stage was, and is, neoliberal politics. The actors can
move from one extreme to another (in fact, this was what they did), but
without leaving the established script (that's to say, to maintain and
strengthen "the macroeconomic variables"). The politics of above were,
and are, about restricted access, where only political parties can be
involved and the citizen's role is to be a silent spectator that watches
scandals pass by (only applauding or hissing on voting day). What's
more, all of these political "actors" (one usually uses this name as a
last resort, but it has never fit better) should recognise that
mainstream media communication is the only place for them. And polls as
well, since the media constructs the new point of reference in modern
democracy. As such, polls have become the post-modern version of the
"applause-o-meter". There wasn't and isn't a single political actor that
doesn't follow them.

As one will recall, the struggle for presidential succession takes on a
stronger tone as of the beginning of 2004. By medium of a series of home
videos, the mass media use the former boss of the PRD, Carlos Ahumada,
to fight with López Obrador. People close to the Obrador administration
were seen by millions of people gambling in Las Vegas and receiving huge
sums of money. In what was obviously the handiwork of the "Coyota" Diego
Fernandez de Cevallos, the mass media (markedly electronic media)
substituted the public minister's functions, signaled, judged and
condemned... with the greatest sentence that there is for the Mexican
political class: a bad media reputation.



Although this scandal began with the family clan of the Partido Verde
Ecologista (Green Ecological Party), the blow principally struck the
real leader according to the IFE (Federal Electoral Institute) (that is,
according to polls): Andres Manuel López Obrador. And he, in order to
defend himself, turned to what would become his most useful resource and
his favourite saying: "it's a conspiracy."



And it was. The filming, just as much as its earlier handling, was part
of the handiwork of a reoccurring coup. The "presidential couple" was
starting to buy into a particular phobia: the Lópezobrador-fobia, and it
used all the apparatus at its disposal and the "disinterested" help of
some of the mainstream media in order to "heal itself" (it would have
been cheaper in every sense, to go to a psychoanalyst, but Lady Martha
was determined to do whatever necessary for one simple reason, to show
that she was in command).



However, neither López Obrador nor the PRD (nor the many apologisers
that arose from then on) responded to the fundamental questions: Why
were these people accepting multiple bribes and making use of the public
treasury? And why were these people close to the perredista? The most
offensive thing about this immediate handiwork against AMLO is that it
would impede questioning.



Following this was the attempted removal of López Obrador's political
privileges. Fox not only failed here, but also converted López Obrador
into a strong contender, at the national level, for the presidential seat.



2. A long, long 3rd of July. If 2006 is the longest year, then the 3rd
of July (the day it would be know who would become the new president)
was the most prolonged. Fraud executed by the Mexican government and
aided by the largest sector of shareholders and some of the mainstream
media, pushed the PAN´s Felipe Calderon Hinojosa to the Mexican Presidency.



The 3rd of July began on the 2nd, at 1500 hours. (3pm), and it was
extended until the 4th of September, the day when, in the Federal
Electoral Tribunal (TRIFE), 7 people usurped the vote of millions of
Mexicans. Along with the verdict of the TRIFE (a true "jewel" of
juridical stupidity: "yes, there was cheating, but that doesn't affect
the result") arrived the most acute point in the self-named crisis of
"representative democracy" (that is, electoral) of the Mexican political
system.



After the spending of millions of dollars on laughable campaigns; after
all types of speeches, spots, acts and declarations by electoral actors
(markedly those belonging to the criminal mafia otherwise known as the
"Federal Electoral Institute") regarding the value of the vote and the
importance of citizen participation; after the deaths, disappearances,
prisoners, those physically beaten in the struggle for the legitimate
right to democracy; after the reforms and developments; after the
"citizenization" of the electoral body, it turns out that the designated
title of federal executive wasn't decided by winning more votes, but by
the decision of the 7 "judges."



If it took more than two months for the electoral fraud to be
concreteized, it owed this to a significant extent, to the actions of
resistance taken by the citizen's resistance that Andres Manuel López
Obrador leads and represents.



Regarding the fraud, on the 3rd of July at 20 00 hours on the radio
program "Politica de Banqueta" (by the Frente del Pueblo- UNIOS,
adherent to the Sixth Declaration), we revealed the number of
manipulated votes (one and a half million). This provoked an order from
Los Pinos that forced the owner of the station to cancel the program
(afterwards we learned that the veto had been extended to all of the
radio networks and that, curiously, it was lifted after the TRIFE
declared the election valid). The denouncement (and the subsequent
cancellation of the program) deserved the mere scorn of the "cultured
lópezobradorism" and, a little more than a week later, the leaders were
just beginning to realise, and complain, that this had occurred.



What we present here is what we know of a part of the history of one of
the clumsiest and dirtiest frauds in the extended life of the Mexican
political class. The information came from people "from the inside" that
were direct witnesses. Although it's not possible to confirm the
information (there are no videos or recordings), one can corroborate by
"crossing" facts contributed by diverse citizens without party
affiliation that have been made public.



The day of the 2nd of July, 2006 1500hours. The final surveys show how
the winning candidate from the so-called "Coalicion por el bien de
todos" (Coalition for good of everyone), Andres Manuel López Obrador,
with the advantage of a million or 1.5 million votes over the PAN
candidate, Felipe Calderon Hinojosa. Inside the official residence, Los
Pinos, the "presidential couple" receive notice with revealing
expressions on their faces. The calculations had failed. According to
these, the enormous campaign against López Obrador, along with the very
original handiwork of Lady Macbeth (Elba Esther Gordillo) to shift votes
cast for the PRI to the PAN, should have been enough to beat AMLO with
close to a million votes. But Plan "A" for Calderon's imposition failed.



Plan "A". According to Los Pino´s calculations, in a cosmos with close
to 40 million electors (with the 40% abstention rate expected by all
political actors weeks before the election), López Obrador would obtain
around 15 million votes, and Calderon and Madrazo around 13 million.
However, " the teacher" had promised the "transport" of 3 million votes,
"expropriated" from Madrazo to the PAN's count. The result would be
tight: 16 million to Calderon, no more than 15 million to López Obrador
(and Madrazo with 10 or less). With good media management, "legitimate"
status would be achieved because it would be "clean" handiwork, without
the vices that marked the electoral processes of the PRI before the
"Fox's era": not "ratones locos", nor "casillas zapatos", nor "operation
tamale", nor the theft of ballot boxes, nor any of the etceteras that
should be left in the past.



But the numbers weren't coming out right: this 2nd of July López Obrador
could gain 15 million and a half votes, and Calderon wouldn't reach 14
million. But there was no time to recruit and rehabilitate the old
"alchemists" of the PRI (additionally, some–like Jose Guadarrama—were
PRD candidates).





Plan "B". Brimming with hysteria, Fox's Martha Sahagun pressures the
self-titled Mexican president, Vicente Fox Quesada, to get in touch
with " la maestra" Elba Esther Gordillo. Fox, as is his custom, obeys
the Lady Sahagun and the "red telephone" puts him in direct contact
with Gordillo. She confirms the information: "López Obrador will come
out with an advantage of around one million votes. " What do we do?"
asks Fox. "I want to speak with Felipe", Elba Esther responds. The
hands of the clock hadn't reached half past when the three way
conversation begins:



Vincente Fox: - Maestra, Felipe is on the other line.

Elba Esther Gordillo: - Felipe?

Felipe Calderon: - Yes?

Elba Esther Gordillo: - I am going to make you an offer that you can't
refuse...



Finishing the phone call, Plan B goes into effect. Following the
instructions of Gordillo, Mr. Fox makes another phone call, now to Mr.
Ugalde, President of the IFE (the Federal Electoral Tribunal). He asks
that the PREP (vote counting) be administered so that, first and in
adequate doses, results would begin appearing that show Felipe Calderon
ahead of López Obrador (for this reason the strange and abnormal
behaviour in the results "curves" – denounced by various specialists and
addressed, above all, in the column "Astillero" by journalist Julio
Hernandez López in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada).



A new call made to the huge media consortium confirms their silence
about the results of the final surveys. The version agreed upon was that
a result couldn't be given, that one would have to wait for the IFE
(ha!) to give the results. Crafty. The mainstream media had done as they
pleased with the "electoral institutions" and had imposed (with the
agreement of ALL parties and ALL candidates) the culture of poll surveys
as a "democratic model." It is infinitely laughable that Joaquin López
Doriga (Televisa anchor and de facto minister of communication) and
Javier López Doriga (TV Azteca anchor), like their "mirrors" in radio
and the press, would call for people to wait for the official resolution
by "electoral authorities."



In the end, the objective of all of this was the gain something
fundamental: time.



"Time, I need time", Elba Esther Gordillo, "la maestra", said at the end
of the three way phone call with Fox and Calderon. " Give me a few
hours, I'll take care of it", she declared just before ending the phone
conversation.



So Gordillo began to activate the telephone directory (including via
satellite) that had been setup for "cases of extreme necessity". " La
Maestra" gives orders to her operators around the key points of
electoral geography. The order is simple: modify the results.



The absence of representatives from the so-called "Coalicion por el bien
de todos" at the ballot boxes, for one part, helped a lot. Journalists
Gloria Leticia Diaz and Daniel Lizarraga from the Mexican publication
Proceso (#1549. June 9 2006, "Las redes, un fracaso") indicate that the
so-called "redes ciudadanas" (citizen networks) complicated the
participation of the Coalition in the surveillance of ballot booths,
also AMLO´s distrust of the PRD´s structure and the buying and selling
of guards: "in agreement with official information from the PRD, a major
part of the resources, some 300 million pesos, were directed to this
parallel organisation (in reference to the citizens networks) and were
administered by (Alberto) Perez Mendoza. It was one week before the 2 nd
of July when López Obrador permitted the PRD´s intervention,
distributing lists of voting booth representatives to local directors to
coordinate surveillance during the elections. Despite the fact that this
information was already public in the IFE, in the campaign headquarters
militants were denied access in order to prevent lists from being sold
to the PRI or the PAN. A PRD supporter who received a list of booth
representatives at midnight, Friday, June 30th, confided in Proceso
that while the militants were prohibited from forming part of the
electoral structure, when he went around in order to coordinate with
those in charge of the booths he found that "in front of some of the
booths some had propaganda from the PRI or the PAN, and for that reason
on the Sunday " we had to implement a surveillance operation of our own
representatives". On the 2nd of July, he continues, when he went to look
for the representatives that didn't help out in the ballot booths, they
said that while the PRD gave them 200 pesos for monitoring the election,
there were others who would give them a thousand pesos for not showing
up. Around the entire country, the absence of ballot box representatives
was on average 30%, which necessarily debilitated the expected votes for
López Obrador, above all in the north and northeast of the country,
zones originally assigned to Manuel Camacho Solis and Socorro Diaz.
According to the IFE´s register, the coalition managed to cover 90.55%
of ballot booths in Nuevo Leon, but the PRD´s internal documents, to
which this weekly paper had access, confirm that the party was only
present in around 31%. (my emphases ).



Yes, "la maestra" had done her homework. Detailed information was in her
hands not only regarding the location of the ballot booths, but also who
those responsible were and who the representatives were in every one.
That is, she knew the weak spots in the electoral system. What's more
she had sifted out the weakest links in the Coalition's surveillance.



Here precisely is the essence of the fraud. A new recount of votes would
reveal the clear and transparent fraud: in a great number of booths,
what appears in the results does not correspond to the ballots in the
boxes.



The demand by the Coalicion por el bien de todos and the civil
movement's push for "vote by vote, booth by booth", driven by AMLO, was
not only legitimate and correct but also aimed at revealing where, how,
and by whom the fraud was committed. One more little detail: the recount
revealed that the winner of the election, yes, had indeed been Andres
Manuel López Obrador.



This is the reason why Calderon, the IFE, the mainstream media, all
accomplices in the fraud, and later the TRIFE, were completely against a
recount. A recount would have meant significant evidence to prove López
Obrador´s electoral victory and a public list of the electoral
delinquents (in which would appear in the top spot the IFE´s president,
Ugalde).



Although one part of Lopez Obradors's "cultured" cretinism bought the
version that he had lost the election, launching a Santa Cruzada in
search of those responsible for his defeat (some of them: Marcos, the
EZLN and the Other Campaign), the truth is that:



a) López Obrador won the presidential elections on the 2nd of July,
2006.

b) The Presidency and the IFE constructed the fraud.

c) The whole process was manipulated by some of the mainstream media.

d) Polls were conducted to deceive. POlls don't measure public
opinion, they create it.

e) Their party organisms and citizens' networks were inefficient,
they suffered from conflicting internal elements and some were corrupt.



3. Other lies. During the post-election days, from diverse and well
recognised ambits, the attempt was made to convert the lie into the
truth: the elections of the 2 nd of July, 2006 were the most crowded and
abstentions were abated. But this is no more than a huge farce (almost
as huge as to declare that Fecal won the election). Since 1994, the drop
in electoral participation has been constant. Three things are simply
outstanding, while the electoral census grew –between 1994 and 2006—by
26 million, the number of votes only grew by 6 million, that is; only
23% of Mexicans who appeared in the electoral censuses since 1994 voted.
On the other hand, the abstention rate surpassed 22% en 1994, 36% in
2000, and was calculated at no less that 41.5% in 2006. Also, the votes
for president had dropped even further: Zedillo received over one
million more than Fox, and he received over 2 million votes more than
Calderon (even given that the recent election was 76% bigger than the
1994 election). The real abstention (including cancelled votes) was more
than 30 million citizens, and the vote total for Fecal and AMLO doesn't
meet this number.



4. ¿Why fraud? Now understanding the how, where and who constructed the
electoral fraud, this leaves us with the question "why?"



Like the Zapatistas say, AMLO was the "better" option (the "lesser evil"
according to "cultured cretinism" ) to provide continuity to the
neoliberal politic, he would have concentrated on (with the critical aid
of intellectuals) the privatisation of petroleum, electricity and
natural resources (through co-investment).



The difference between AMLO and Fecal isn't found between their two
projects for nation-building; both defend the foundations of the
neoliberal project (NAFTA, privatisation, a sweatshop Mexico, the World
Bank's autonomy, punctual payments of foreign and domestic debts, Mexico
as a stop over point for the world market – López Obrador´s proposal
contemplated the transitsmico, hte bullet train, and finishing the 21st
century highway).



There also wasn't any difference in the relationships they would
establish between society and politics (that to "do" politics is the job
of the political class only).



If this was the way things were, why then, would those of above opt for
Calderon? This question is not the product of our "radical infantilism".
When interviewed by Elena Poniatowska, Andres Manuel López Obrador
responded with the following:



E.P:- Andres Manuel, I sincerely think that business people shouldn't be
afraid of you, because your Presidency will not affect them-



AMLO: No, no it won't.



E.P: Upon becoming President, will you take anything away from them?



AMLO: No, I have said it many times in the public arena; I have said
that I don't hate, and that revenge is not in my nature.



E.P: How is it possible that they still don't realise that a country
can't get ahead with a huge mass without adjustment capacity?



AMLO: They don't realise because they aren't capable of understanding
that the governability of a country cannot be obtained, that it's
impossible to guarantee tranquility, social peace, and social stability
in a sea, an ocean of inequality; that one cant achieve social,
political, economic, and financial stability while the majority of
people's unjust, backward, abandoned and impoverished situation
continues. They are very backward, reactionary.



To sum up, López Obrador offered three fundamental things to the
capitalists:



a) The promotion of a government that would not appropriate such a
large part of the social surplus. The corruption would continue, but
with much higher developed levels of self-control (and with more
exposure to video cameras).



b) The capacity for social control would be the basis and the
security for capital investment. For example: the transitsmico idea
existed since the epoch of the "Puebla Panama Plan", a plan that got
around, from office to office and from university to university. But it
turned out that neither the PRI nor the PAN could implement this project
(directed at a redesigning of the national geography via border
fluidity). AMLO was confident that he would gain the social consensus in
order to complete the project (it's not too much to say that, this would
destroy the region's indigenous communities).



c) The reconstruction of State power that would allow the political
class to reform itself in such a fashion that it wouldn't consider only
its own interests but would be the instrument needed in order to create
a long-term project in accordance with neoliberalism.



Therefore, AMLO promised them a strong State, governability,
tranquility, social peace, public security and stability. In other
words, what capital needs to be able to prosper.



So why didn't the big businesses grab López´Obrador´s offer?



"They left themselves to grow cobwebs and they believed the dark legend"
responds AMLO (well, the big businesses weren't the only ones to believe
"the black legend" that López Obrador was leftwing; some leftwing
political organisations, social organisations and intellectuals did too).



Yes, AMLO made sense when he answered: because they not only believed
that I was leftwing... but also anticapitalist. But not only for that
reason. Here we put forward other possible answers, following, always,
our Zapatista way of thinking:



First. Power negotiations. The Mexican politic of above reaps a lot of
profits (one only has to invest in one party), and the privatisation
process of the two old pearls belonging to the old Mexican State (petrol
and electricity), and would leave a million for those that would
authorise it. If one says that only PEMEX costs 250, 000 million
dollars, we can understand what is pocketed by he who administers sales.



Secondly.- The real power of drug trafficking. Privatisation isn't the
only business of politicians (president, secretaries of State,
governors, municipal presidents, deputies and senators), there is also
what's known as "the administration of drug trafficking" that works in
favour of one group or another. In Fox's 6 year period, one might say
that the Chapa Guzman group was favoured. The entire structure of the
State: army, federal police, judicial system (including judges and
prison directors), served this group in its battle against its rivals.
This relation was not only established by this group, but was supported
also by sectors of the PRD, who, having won positions in government,
immediately entered negotiations with this drug trafficking
organisation. Such is the case of the governors in Michoacan and
Guerrero. Therefore, the political class, even more than in the period
of the PRI, form part of organised crime. The President of the Republic
equally, because when a group reaches power, its leader not only
"administers" judicial power but also takes power in one of these drug
trafficking organisations.



However, in spite of the advantages AMLO promised the bosses of money,
in the end the decision did not lean towards the option that was being
imposed all over Latin America (with the passing of neoliberal projects
in the hands of "leftwing governments" that guarantee the "lubrication"
of capitalism's barbaric nature). The majority of the political class
and the associated bourgeoisie decided to chose the most familiar path,
provoking the worst crisis of control in recent years. Further above,
between those that truly command, it was decided to push for Calderon
without considering what this would cause.



5. Political Parties. The 2nd of July demonstrated that political
parties have ceased to exist, which was already apparent in the
convergence between the political class and organised drug trafficking,
because they are nothing more than electoral umbrellas for such and such
politician or such and such franchise owner. Not a single characteristic
of what were political parties remains to be seen. Now it is something
of a complex "cocktail" where corrupt businesspeople and criminals mix.
Programme, principles, rules? Come on! This is for infantile radicals
and "ultras."

But the crisis didn't end within the institution's terrain, it began
sustaining "modern" democracy's lies: representative democracy, that is,
bourgeois democracy. The Nation-State crisis goes hand in hand with that
of representative democracy and political parties.

But we will see how the options from above differ:

PRI: On the PRI's side, one works under the illusion that the old
corporative vote will express itself from the ballot boxes of the 2 nd
of July. Its triumphs in the state elections of 2005 allowed the party
to work with the variable, that despite their repulsive presidential
candidate Madrazo, its solid vote would enable it to win the Presidency.

On the other hand, the stress on the old corporative structure is deeper
than they thought. The old workers hubs, constantly diminishing and
poorly functioning, divided between themselves when the Confederacion
Revolucionaria de Obreros y Campesinos (CROC, or Revolutionary
Confederation of Industrial and Rural Workers) decided to support AMLO.
In this sense, the PRI, along with its old corporative structure, enters
a profound crisis for not having created new structures of bureaucratic
control. New centres such as the Union Nacional de Trabajadores (UNT, or
The National Workers Union), which has its roots in the PRI, decided to
support AMLO with the conviction and promise of the construction of a
new organism of bureaucratic control. The rise of a new type of
cooperativism is offered by the ideology of a "new labour culture,"
closely connected to employers. This situation in which the PRI finds
itself marks one of the essential characteristics in the crisis: the old
control mechanisms are not only ineffective, but above all, burdensome.
So many years of PRI's dominance caused a double effect: firstly, that
the PRI would be unable to regenerate itself; and that secondly, the PRI
as State party

would convert into the ideal to be sought. Due to this, the PAN and
equally the PRD and other "bonsai" parties are full of "ex-PRI" members.

PAN: In the Partido de Accion Nacional (National Action Party), they
shovelled the last few loads of dirt into the tomb that Vincente Fox had
opened. The party alone was a screen that served the Presidency (to be
more precise: it served Martha Sahagun) in order to implement the fraud.
It wasn't only on the 2 nd of July but during the whole electoral
process: the relationship with polling houses; alliances with the
mainstream media; the organisation of a team of businesspeople and
business organisations in order to create a war against AMLO; the
alliance (that later would become a relation of subordinance) with Elba
Esther Gordillo; and resources exchanged by Chapo Guzman's drug
traffickers for protection during this six year term etc.

The PAN suffered a definitive transformation: the old
democratic-conservative party, that played a certain part in the
struggle against the single party system, ceased to exist. If the PRI
had been beaten by the arrival of the "northern barbarians," this
process intensified when the "presidential couple" arrived on the scene.
The PAN would lose its identity because of this element, it would become
a PRI dressed in blue, especially when one refers to the use of the
state apparatus for personal use, links with organised crime and the set
up of functionaries that charge for doing no work (the similarities
between Luis H. Alvarez, Fox's "peace commission" and Zedillo's Emilio
Rabasa, there are several).

A secret extreme right organisation, "el Yunque," had taken control of
the party. The fascist nature of this party is more than clear, it's
undoubtable that the right isn't alone and invisible (see the books
written by journalist Alvaro Delgado on this topic). The Yunque's
presidential candidate was first Martha Sahagun; later it was Santiago
Creel. Fecal's triumph, disputed by the PAN's candidature, obliged the
Yunque to settle down and push for the same privileges with Calderon as
it had with Fox.

Until now, the PAN has been incapable of finding mechanisms to construct
a stable and long-term form of social domination (which is what it needs
so that capital will be invested). If the PAN's members don't have a
clue as to what politics based on the masses is, Fecal's team is even
worse. That is why Elba Esther Gordillo will be the new
ideologue-operator-leader. Yes, a PRI member will command the actions of
the PAN.

The dwarf parties: PANAL and PASC were two parties made to fit the
current electoral situation. Their actions are evidence enough to prove
the true objective of electoral law: power itself decides who will be
its "rivals." In legal terms, the possibility of creating an authentic
political party that confronts the political dispute between
independence and autonomy doesn't really exist. For an honest struggle,
the electoral path is now a closed route.

PRD-PT-Convergencia: Before the 2nd of July, the Coalicion por el bien
de todos was delighted in its triumph… although it hadn't yet won The
intellectuals that are today hysterically screaming about the triumph of
the extreme-right then limited themselves to repeating the phrase
"smile, we're going to win," and it is public knowledge that on the 1st
of July, López Obrador's team was already handing out "bones." But
afterwards we will talk more about the Coalition, the resistance
movement against the fraud, and López Obrador's CND (National Democratic
Convention).

6. And below? Well, below is something different…

(To be continued…)

For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command
of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation

Sixth Commission

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Translation Kangaroo Intergalactico, edits by El Kilombo
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