Mexico, mass campaign against election fraud

Pro Lopez Obrador demonstration, Zocalo square, Mexico, in 2005

From London daily News Line:

Thursday, 20 July 2006

‘Civil resistance’ launched in Mexico – after one million march against ‘rigged election’

The opposition Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) has launched a campaign of ‘civil resistance’, after more than one million Mexicans rallied on Sunday to denounce ballot rigging in Mexico’s presidential election.

Millions of supporters of PRD candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador are demanding a vote-by-vote recount, after it was announced that Obrador had lost the election by 0.6 per cent to his right-wing rival Felipe Calderon.

The Harvard-educated Calderon, a former energy minister, was the candidate of the ruling National Action Party (PAN).

Obrador headed Sunday’s massive march in Mexico City to demand a recount of the July 2 poll.

People from across the country travelled to the capital to take part in the protest which ended in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s vast central square.

The crowds were in a determined mood, with bands playing, firecrackers ripping through the sky, and parents singing and dancing with their children, waving yellow PRD flags.

‘Stop this lie!’, ‘Stop this fraud!’, ‘Respect our vote!’ they demanded, with cries of of ‘Down with Calderon! – We want Obrador!’

Angry workers at the protest described the right-wing government as ‘liars’ and ‘thieves’ and denounced the privatisation programme of the PAN.

‘All their families and all their people, they have broken our nation. They have stolen everything they can,’ said one worker.

David Bacon, Truthout: “Calderon’s policies, which have produced these results, are part of a program of economic liberalization opening Mexico to private, domestic and especially foreign capital…. This is what the zocalo protesters want to change and why they call themselves ‘indignant Mexicans.’ Next year, in July, that chance will come again, as the country goes to the polls to elect a new president. The Constitution prohibits re-election, but Calderon’s National Action Party will undoubtedly nominate a candidate who will defend the government’s record and call for more of the same”: here.

15 thoughts on “Mexico, mass campaign against election fraud

  1. It seems that the manifestations of repudy against the artistic
    expression drawings in the Capital of Mexico while some facists
    destroyed more than 53 of these, is the clear example that the extreme right is the one that is attacking and not respecting the peace that is desired in Mexico in the climate after
    the election.

    It seems that the real violent and those that put in danger for
    this country are these of the PAN and the extreme right of the
    YUNQUE that thanks to their campaign of hatred for means of the
    TV and radio have put in doubt an electoral process that it
    feels like not to finish soon.

    We are against these manifestations that violate the freedom of
    expression. If Fecal (Felipe Calderon) accepts the count vote by
    vote of way civilized like it is proposing Andrés Manuel Lopez
    Obrador, it will be possible to be verified that there was fraud
    since the votes of acts do not correspond with the real votes,
    and in all the squares where the packages have been opened it
    has gained the coalition by the good of all.

    “Por el bien de todos Primero los Pobres”
    “By the Good of all poor men go first”.


    Stand in solidarity with all immigrants, documented and undocumented

    The IAC urges you to support the case of Elvira Arellano. Elvira is an undocumented worker who is taking a heroic stand against deportations and fighting for her rights. She is a native of Michoacán, Mexico who came to the U.S. like many of the other 12 million undocumented in this country, in search of work and a better life.

    In 2002, Elvira was detained by Homeland Security agents in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweep at O’Hare Airport in Chicago under the guise of allegedly looking for “terrorists”. She was detained by the Department of Homeland Security for using a false social security number on her job at O’Hare.

    On August 18, 2006 Elvira Arellano and her seven year old son, Saul who is a US citizen, took sanctuary in Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago instead of reporting for deportation, primarily because Saul has health problems. She has pledged to live indefinitely in the church until granted a reprieve.

    Elvira is a well known activist, representing many families in Congressional hearings and speaking on behalf of immigrant rights. She worked to organize in July 2005 a march of 50,000 for immigrant rights in Chicago, and went on a hunger strike to support workers who were picked up by ICE prior to the historic May 1st boycott in 2006. Arellano was a founder of both La Familia Latina Unida and the Coalition of African Arab Asian European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois (CAAAELII).

    The case of Elvira Arellano is a just case

    Elvira Arellano has become the symbol of resistance to the heartless and callous deportations that are sweeping the country. Despite a legislative standstill in Congress, not only are deportations escalating, local officials around the nation are implementing de facto immigration policy that amount to a witch-hunt against immigrants. A case in point is the anti-immigrant ordinance that passed in July in Hazelton, PA.

    Due to her heroic stand, a group of Black ministers spoke last week at Adalberto Methodist of the comparisons of Arellano to Rosa Parks. Reverend Albert Tyson said he hopes “their support would increase the bonds between Latinos and African-Americans.” At the meeting Arellano said, “I don’t only speak for me and my son, but for millions of families like mine.” Supporters from the predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood chanted, “Luchando mano y mano, Boriqua y Mexicano!” (“Fighting hand in hand, Puerto Rican and Mexican!”)

    Elvira Arellano is the perfect example that the anti-immigrant hysteria sweeping the country is an inhumane situation that has become intolerable. The human rights of immigrants are being cruelly violated under the guise of fighting terrorism or stopping “illegal” immigration. In fact, no human being is illegal and whether in the U.S. documented or undocumented, immigrants have a right to live in peace, without fear of evictions from their homes or the country.

    How you can help Elvira:

    1. Write letters to Illinois Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama as well as your own legislator urging them to prevent her deportation.

    For Senator Durbin visit:
    For Senator Obama:

    2. Send Letters to the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune asking them to stop demonizing Elvira as well as all immigrants. Their emails are and

    3. Send letters of support directly to Elvira at the organization she works with and who has been spearheading her support, Sin Fronteras at Centro Sin Fronteras 2300 S. Blue Island Ave., Chicago IL 60608 or visit the website: For Spanish speakers visit:


  3. Nancy Davies
    Narco News)

    Crisis Escalates as Marines Land in Oaxaca

    The events of this past week have left the population of Oaxaca in a state of fear, rage and uncertainty, with calls on all sides for human rights watchers, encampments, and marches.

    In the most recent development, leaders of opposition leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s national movement pledged to mobilize their followers around the issue and to go to Oaxaca as “human shields” in the event of a military intervention.

    On Saturday, October 1, two grey helicopters circled at 5:00pm, flying in circles around the city. On our short street three families ran out to look. One elderly woman was carrying a white pillowcase and waved it, as if men in the helicopter could see her. White is the color of Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz’ Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI in its Spanish initials) – peace at any price, one might say. Afterward she looked at me fiercely and declaimed, “We are hostages in our own city!” Referring to the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials): “they can clean out these people!” Across from us, another house displays a white banner. The houses flying the Mexican flag of red, green and white are the APPO supporters. Most house show no signs, pro or con. Most people sit tight, waiting.

    They are navy helicopters. Many people took photos. On Radio 710 AM, the APPO broadcasts in a pleasant voice: keep calm, there are 3,000 people at each barricade, they are probably more afraid than we are, keep calm, maximum alert, this is not Atenco, we are on our own turf and they are strangers here.

    A call in to radio APPO came from a man in the town of Ocotlán de Morelos. He was weeping. He said, he “never thought that Fox would ally with the PRI against Oaxaca, to attack our Oaxaque_o people. We never thought there would be massacre of our people.”

    And the next call: “We are not afraid, we have only our bodies and our sticks and they have guns. We are brave, we are MexicansŠwe have the force of justiceŠI will defend my country. If we die, we die with honor, but they die with shame.” And then he began to weep also. The announcer replies, “Animo! Animo, compa_ero!” – “keep your spirits up, have courage.” Well, by now I’m weeping myself.

    The announcer remains calm. They are organized, they are ready. The helicopters are doing military reconnaissance, and are certainly trying to terrorize. A press conference at 6:30 in the zocalo by the APPO said pretty much the same. We’re ready. Keep calm, don’t give in to provocations.

    >From La Jornada I learned that the helicopters arrived at the Oaxaca airport with military units, and the armed forces were also moved to Salina Cruz and Bahía de Huatulco, along with other military equipment such as tanks, and troops. When they landed “_Bienvenidos, cabrones!” “_Bajen, aquí los esperamos!”, were the shouts launched at them from people carrying sticks and pipes. “Welcome, bastards! Come on down, we’re here waiting for you!”

    At 9:00 PM Saturday night the APPO closed off the historic downtown area, telling people who were caught away from home to present themselves as rapidly as possible to pass through the barricades. The APPO was determined to fight off any attack, asking people to unite in support, and at the same time telling those outside the city and around the state to organize their defense.

    Radio Ley continued calmly presenting a lawyer’s account of what could happen next, as the barricades defended the city center, an island inside the highway roads.

    Thousands gathered very quickly to defend the barricades. Among them, I was told, were some foreigners including Univision and CNN. The PRD was heavily represented. The radio voice asked for food, water, telephone lines. I went to sleep around 12:30 and could hear the people singing at the barricades, the basic revolutionary songs. It was kind of like being in a movie.

    At 8:00 AM. On Sunday, October 1, I learned that a strong overnight mobilization of the popular teachers movement/APPO went unchallenged. No attack was launched by the federal government. The morning “shots” turned out to be rockets fired as the helicopters circled. Another strategy – is this high tech? – is to run out with mirrors to reflect back into the helicopters “to confuse them”. Yet another “solution” was to burn green wood, setting up a smoke screen.

    Daylight lets everyone relax. APPO instructed the guards to take down the barricades, except for those around the radio stations and outside the zocalo. In the normal APPO response to challenge, another march was scheduled of the national health service workers this morning from several points to the zocalo. About 2,000-3,000 marched. Another day.

    The state is militarized, although Captain Unda Pomposo, chief of the guard in the 10th Naval Military Zone, based in that port, was quoted as saying they are only doing “one or two routine flights” in the state. Over the weekend, three trailers arrived in Bahias de Huatulco, each one carrying three amphibious tanks which were placed in the naval base. According to La Jornada, this makes the biggest military operation the nation has seen since the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas in 1994.

    Another concentration of forces on the coast arrived by ship to Salina Cruz, where troops disembarked by sea, air and land. Usually, according to reports, the Army keeps 10,000 troops in the state, and there are 4,000 police from the different state units. Now, La Jornada calculates there are as many as 20,000 military and police. The state’s population is about three and a half million.

    >From Salina Cruz also came the four Puma helicopters to circle the city of Oaxaca. One of them circled overhead Sunday night when a PRI squad attacked the barricade located in the neighborhood of Brenamiel. Thugs kidnapped, beat and tied up three youngsters who had been on the barricade, one of them twelve years old. Two of the three youngsters rescued required medical attention. The APPO people saved them after a broadcast which generated the mobilization of hundreds of Oaxaque_os, by the middle of the night almost two thousand.

    The flight was registered by the Institute of National Government Statistics; it was violating the rules of civil aviation.

    Monday, October 2 after the commemorative march for the 1968 massacre, the PRI came out again like roaches. Two more abductions were reported, one of a law student and activist from the Benito Juarez Autonomous University, Pedro Garcia, also a member of the Revolutionary Front, who was walking on Sunday with a woman friend toward the university when he was snatched by occupants of a van. On October 3 he was located in the prison at Tlacolula, charged falsely with carrying explosives. It seems the police or thugs have reinitiated the use torture.

    The other case is Alfredo Melchor Tirado Cruz, member of the Wide Front for Popular Struggle and of the APPO, who was grabbed at 1:00 on Tuesday afternoon, also in Tlacolula. His whereabouts are still unknown. These two abductions bring the total of arrests to eleven since the onset of the teachers’ popular movement.

    The National Education Workers’ Union local Section 22 began intensifying the mobilization of the teachers in the Tehuantepec Isthmus region, occupying offices of the government and marching. In a press conference the union’s auxiliary secretary of organization, Eleuterio López Ruiz said that the teachers are in agreement to stick together until Ulises Ruiz Ortiz falls. He insisted there will be no return to classes, although some teachers are indeed in the classroom in some zones, thinking to hold onto their teaching jobs, in a dissent that chips off fragments of the union.

    By Tuesday, October 3, dozens of organizations from civil society who belong to the APPO demanded that the federal government “order the deactivation of all possible operations and the departure of military troops from the Oaxaca territory”.

    At the same time they rejected the “electoral reform” passed by the Oaxaca legislators (non-PRD members only) to lengthen the term of office for sitting legislators and other governing figures, to which in all the turmoil nobody gave much thought. If Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (“URO”) comes out on top, extended legislative terms will be only a minor annoyance in comparison to what many believe will be total repression.

    Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal met with twelve National Action Party (PAN) members of the state legislature led by federal congressman Diódoro Carrasco, president of the Commission on Interior Governance the of the House of Deputies (Mexico’s lower house of Congress). Invitations to the meeting were not received by PRD members.

    Carrasco admitted that the conflict in Oaxaca changes every minute. He listed three new ingredients: “the invitation of the federal government to build an agreement to restore governability and tranquility to the state; the military flights over the city, and, he claimed, the fact that the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) guerrilla group is calling for continued popular struggle.

    Interviewed at am Inter-American Press Society meeting, Abascal had exhorted the APPO to look for an agreement within the institutional means. Before, in a radio interview he again hinted that the government could carry out “a peaceful occupation of Oaxaca” so that the citizens can carry out their activities with security.

    With 20,000 military and police personnel looking over your shoulder, you might not give credence to guarantees that there will be no repression on the part of the federal government. Abascal offers a package of reforms to convert the state legislature (those guys who just voted themselves extended terms) into a space for talking amiably with the people, and a refurbishing of the current legal government. The departure of URO won’t be put on the table.

    Neither the APPO nor the teachers attended the meeting scheduled with the Department of the Interior (known as Segob in its Spanish abbreviation) for October 4. In a live radio broadcast of an assembly of the Wide Progressive Front (FAP) from Mexico City on Wednesday October 4 it was averred that the problems of state ungovernability could be solved promptly after the removal of the powers from the three branches of government of Oaxaca. The departure of Ulises Ruiz is the only non-negotiable demand. The assembly was attended by the PRD politicians elected on July 2 as federal deputies, who are also members of the APPO. It was reaffirmed that the Mexican Senate has the constitutional right and obligation to remove state powers.

    In a direct question posed by the Oaxaca radio contact, the secretary general of the PRD, Guadalupe Acosta, was asked if the National Democratic Convention – the opposition movement that “elected” Andrés Manuel López Obrador as “legitimate president of Mexico” on September 16 – would be willing to act as a human shield in Oaxaca. Acosta responded, “claro que sí” – “Yes, of course. We are inclined to participate. We had information that URO is planning a provocation today to bring in the federal intervention.” He went on to say, “Today our senators asked the secretary of the Navy not participate in any attack on Oaxaca.”

    Tomorrow, Acosta said, there will be a national mobilization on the part of the National Democratic Convention to defend Oaxaca.


  4. Journalists killed with impunity

    Mexico: Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission chief has reported that 52 journalists or media workers have been killed in the last decade and that most of the slayings remain unsolved.

    Jose Luis Soberanes said that seven other reporters had gone missing and six newspaper offices were attacked with explosives over the same period.

    Mr Soberanes charged that authorities have been negligent in investigating and prosecuting the attacks, saying: “Impunity has become the hallmark of the aggressions against journalists in Mexico.”


  5. Teachers on strike after rival union shoot-out

    Wednesday 02 September 2009

    Striking teachers enraged by the killing of a colleague, apparently at the hands of a pro-government union member, seized government offices and blocked roads in Oaxaca on Tuesday.

    Three years ago the state was the site of months of mass rallies by striking teachers.

    The left-wing groups that helped strikers fend off attacks from police and paramilitaries for five months in 2006 are again working with the teachers in this latest strike, using lorries and buses to block intersections.

    The fresh unrest was sparked by the shooting last week of teacher Antonio Camacho during a clash between rival unions at a San Pedro Jicayan school.

    Colleagues immediately began organising protests and, by Tuesday, teachers and their supporters were taking over dozens of public offices.

    Teachers in one union – Section 22 – said that they would close schools serving 1.3 million students to press their demand for the expulsion of the pro-government Section 59 union that currently organises in around 150 schools in the state.

    Oaxaca interior secretary Jorge Toledo called for calm, saying that authorities expect to “detain those responsible for the killing very soon.”


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