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Mexico 2012: Students Protest at Electoral Institute; AMLO & others face tough decisions

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Mexico City, Distrito Federal
2:00 pm local time, --BRIEF


For the Student Movement

Mexico's growing #YoSoy132 student movement demonstrated at Mexico's Federal Electoral Agency (IFE) earlier today, protesting what they see as corruption and manipulation of vote results.
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Tomorrow, student representatives from #YoSoy132 organizations at more than 50 universities will gather at Mexico National Autonomous University (UNAM) to hammer out their position on the election results.


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Andres Manual Lopez Obrador (AMLO), who stands 6 points behind in the preliminary results program (PREP), must also decide tomorrow if he will accept the results or initiate a formal legal challenge.

Senior sources inside AMLO's campaign indicate that no decision has been made, but a challenge seems likely based on mounting evidence of fraud. However, based on the 2006 precedent and the opinion of legal scholars, it seems doubtful that any such challenge would be successful. New elections reforms, which allow for more transparency in examining polling station results, may alter the equation.

The same senior sources, however, also indicated that AMLO is unlikely to use his coalition to initiate social protest and street demonstrations as he did in 2006. Indications from the campaign were that they believe it is up to Mexican civil society to demand reform and change.

Further Roundup

Contrary to reports in the international media, the PRI candidate, Enrique Pena Nieto (EPN), has not been officially declared Mexico's President elect. The IFE has indicated that EPN is the likely winner by 6% based on the results of a preliminary electronic reporting system (the "PREP"). They have not officially completed a manual count, nor has the IFE declared a President-Elect.

An official declaration of the President-Elect is expected on Thursday or later.

Inside the #YoSoy132 movement, opinions regarding the AMLO campaign and his Party, the PRD, remain mixed. One local leader whom I spoke to wondered if greater co-ordination between the PRD and the student movement was possible -- there seems to be next to none at this point.

Later in the day, another bluntly stated that no help from the PRD was needed, and that the #YoSoy132 students could fend for themselves and needed to remain independent.

One thing seemed clear-- at this point, no one in the student movement seems in any way to accept the return to power of Mexico's PRI, a Party known not only for its corruption but also for its oppression and violence.

In early 2006, as governor of the State of Mexico, EPN authorized the use of Federal Police Forces against protesters who were supporting the rights of flower growers in the town of Atenco. The action resulted in multiple deaths, door-to-door house searches without warrant, and, according to independent inquires, rapes of more than 50 women by the police forces.

EPN later bragged about the police action. EPN's statements earlier today to the international press, to the effect that he would be "entirely different" than the "old PRI," seem to have feel on very deaf ears in the student movement.

Kenneth Thomas works as an IT consultant and techologist and lives between Nashville, Ghent, Prague and Mexico City. He speaks German, French, Spanish, some Dutch of the Flemish variety, a smattering of Hebrew and other languages, and when (more...)

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