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Fraud & Loathing On The Campaign Trail In Chiapas

Giordano: Fraud And Loathing On The Campaign Trail In Chiapas


August 21, 2006
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The credibility of Mexico's electoral authorities gets its second big test of the year as the results of the Chiapas governor's race are counted. Al Giordano reports from Chiapas that while popular outrage is focused on the apparent theft of presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador's victory, López Obrador's Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) is widely accused of having engaged in Chiapas in the same dirty tricks used against it at the national level. In this state where hundreds of thousands live in rebel communities defended by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, writes Giordano, the state election results "show the slippery slide of Mexico's main political parties away from any shred of principle or ideology, mere vehicles for factional disputes over the power and money that comes with political office."

Giordano continues:

"There are no electoral heroes here in Chiapas. The PRD Candidate, Juan Sabines, was, until switching parties, the mayor of the state capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez, son of a former PRI governor, nephew of the late 'Poet of the State' Jaime Sabines, and in addition to the backing of Governor Salazar (formerly of the PRI, then the PAN, now PRD), he also counts with the political machine of right-wing former PRI governor Roberto Albores Guillen, who is expected to be Sabines' right-hand in the government if he obtains it. And Sabines' slight lead is tainted by the brute force used by the state government now in power to buy votes - with taxpayer dollars, preying upon the pain and poverty of the public - and use of the same electoral fraud tactics used by Fox and his National Action Party (PAN in its Spanish initials) nationwide in the July 2 presidential elections."

"...The confusion invites national dyslexia. The same 'center-left' party that is victim of a gargantuan fraud nationwide is now accused of authoring one in Chiapas. The political right (the PAN), and the institutional right (the PRI) oppose the civil resistance against the presidential race fraud but now may turn to such tactics in Chiapas: sit-ins, blockades, and chants for a recount 'vote by vote, precinct by precinct.' Up in Mexico City, each side pushes in one direction. Down in Chiapas, those same forces push in opposite directions. The waters of public opinion thus move in a veritable whirlpool of discontent. Each of the major parties loses credibility in the process. Those, like the Zapatistas, who have firmly maintained that the electoral system is illegitimate, will receive the credibility that those above mishandle. There is not a novelist on earth that could invent a scenario as tumultuous as the real history unfolding out of Chiapas today."

Read the full story in The Narco News Bulletin:

http://www.narconews.com/Issue42/article2016.html

Also, right next door, the people of the neighboring state of Oaxaca continue their revolutionary, public schoolteacher-led struggle to do away with the corrupt party system that continues to lose credibility by the second. Narco News' daily coverage of the developments in Oaxaca can be found here:

http://www.narconews.com/otroperiodismo/oaxaca/en.html

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor
The Narco News Bulletin
http://www.narconews.com

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