The millions flooding the public squares supporting Obrador's cause are fully conscious as they act in civil disobedience. Their goal is an end to decades of corruption which steals the wealth, lives, and soul of a nation of intelligent, hard working, creative people.
The Mexican People: Heroes of Democracy
Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 2:17 pm
Opinion: Michael Collins
"We won't back down!"
The Mexican People:
Heroes of Democracy
"The only hope of Democracy, that fragile thing never granted but always promised, is gone by virtue of election fraud... and with it the social contract that holds our society together."
By Michael Collins
"Scoop" Independent Media
This Article Also Published In Spanish
The Mexican peoples' democracy movement and their leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador are modern heroes of democracy and to all who demand clean elections. They recall the heroics of the Ukrainians with one important difference. There are no "great powers" supporting them. In fact, the American regime is hostile to a victory by Obrador and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). The increasingly unpopular and isolated White House cadre may have done its best to obstruct such an eventuality in ways which by now are predictably familiar. The Mexican people are alone, on the street, fighting the brave fight for people everywhere who believe in the inherently inalienable and natural right of men and women to determine their own destiny through free, fair, and transparent elections.
Supporters of democracy in Mexico are making a stand in the nation's capitol. They just had their third major demonstration with more than a million participants. The American press tried a theme of demonstrators growing weary recently, just before the latest seven figure gathering. The demonstrations tell Mexicans and the world that the election was so questionable, an investigation is mandated through a thorough review of the most direct evidence: the ballots. The PRD's demand for a "ballot by ballot, precinct by precinct" recount is fully warranted.
The short history of this election offers a wealth of evidence pointing to fraud. The PAN party of Vincente Fox engaged in a number of questionable activities. $270 million was reportedly diverted from education programs in order to sweeten the pot in some northern Mexican states via the governors. Calderon defeated Obrador by margins of 50% in some sections of the north and there were charges of massive election fraud.
During the campaign, the ruling PAN party engaged in distorted negative advertising attacks on Obrador which are clearly outlawed in Mexican campaigns. The electoral authorities cited the party of President Fox as being the primary culprit for this, but the damage was done and the lies were spread.
The "independent" election institute tipped its hand by reporting Calderon the probable winner only to face shame when citizens pointed out there were 2.5 million uncounted ballots. The election institute totaled these and by a remarkable "coincidence," Calderon's victory margin remained in tact.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Calderon gained 20% of his victory margin in just one of 300 election Districts:
In Guanajuato's District 13, one of 300 electoral districts across Mexico, Calderón piled up a 44,000 vote margin, equivalent to almost one-fifth of his nationwide edge over López Obrador, candidate of the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD.
Narco News reports that the vote tabulation software for the "independent" election institute was written in part by the brother in law of Calderon, the winner by the current count. Calderon's brother in law denied this at first but admitted his role when confronted with evidence in the form of contracts.
Opening the seals on ballot boxes was reported frequently on election day, with accusations almost exclusively leveled at PAN activists.
Obrador supporters found ballots discarded, unreported, and uncounted in dumps and other hideaways.
Preliminary results from the 9% recount ordered by the election tribunal validate the suspicions raised and charges made by the Mexican Press, Narco News, and Obrador. On August 14, Narco News reported:
* In 3,074 precincts (29 percent of those recounted), 45,890 illegal votes, above the number of voters who cast ballots in each polling place, were found stuffed inside the ballot boxes (an average of 15 for each of these precincts, primarily in strongholds of the National Action Party, known as the PAN, of President Vicente Fox and his candidate, Felipe Calderón).
* In 4,368 precincts (41 percent of those recounted), 80,392 ballots of citizens who did vote are missing (an average of 18 votes in each of these precincts).
* Together, these 7,442 precincts contain about 70 percent of the ballots recounted. The total amount of ballots either stolen or forged adds up to 126,282 votes altered. The Narco News Bulletin - Al Giordano 08/14/2006
Mexican citizens advocating for clean elections armed themselves with video cameras and other recording devices. We have yet to see any this evidence. Why? Because the corporate media north and south of the border are either intentionally or reflexively complicit, by taking part in the blatant shilling that goes into those razor thin victories that the right wing pulls off with increased regularity, efficiency, and repeated success..
Obrador is convinced that he won the election as are many others. It's a close copy of the 1988 presidential campaign when observers were sure the left had won. Obrador and his supporters are not going to take that dubious outcome again without fighting. Not only have there been three major demonstrations of over a million people each in Mexico City, but Obrador has called for and is supported in acts of civil disobedience at airports and other key areas of Mexico City. This spirit coincides with resistance to tyranny in the Mexican states. In Oaxaca, a group of women recentlytook over a government seat of power by protesting the outrages of corrupt rule.
The millions of Mexican activists, the leaders, and Obrador are all engaged in a very high risk enterprise. The Fox government broke up a peaceful vigil by teachers in Oaxaca a few months before the election. As part of their protest, the teachers slept in the town square. One morning at dawn, the shameless Fox government dispatched helicopters to tear gas the peaceful demonstrators as they lay unguarded, innocently, and defenselessly sleeping.
Given the ruling elite's response to protests in the provinces, what more nefarious means of repression can we expect in the capitol city when civil disobedience is inevitably enacted to assure a fair chance at winning the presidency?
The ghost of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre before that year's Summer Olympics haunts the demonstrations today. In a deliberate act of terror, the Mexican army surrounded Tlatelolco Square in Mexico City where 5000 activists were peacefully assembled. The troops opened fire with deadly effectiveness killing three hundred innocent demonstrators who thought Mexico was a democratic country. Premeditation with the intent to harm was acknowledged much later by the man in charge, then minister of the interior (and later president) Luis Echeverría. In addition, there is direct evidence of keen United States interest in the demonstrations and the student movement. US Government representatives in Mexico City gathered intelligence on the students and their plans, passing that along to the Mexican Government.
This will sound familiar to the many Americans who have lost personal data or who followed the elections closely in 2000. After 911, a detailed list of the names of Mexico's 65 million voters was purchased by Choicepoint, an American data mining company. Was this detailed information provided to the Fox government and his party to target specific voters for special "benefits" in those areas with cash-rich Governors?
More worrisome, Mexico has not changed its laws since1968 when Echeverria ordered the massacre in Tlatelolco. He was charged but never fully prosecuted for his role in ordering the massacre. Will the Fox government adopt the same shock and awe approach against the Obrador protesters and execute another Tlatelolco massacre?
The millions flooding the public squares supporting Obrador's cause are fully conscious as they act in civil disobedience. They know of the recent assault on sleeping teachers in Oaxaca and the history of premeditated violence by the previous government against the protesters who threatened far less than the democracy advocates are threatening today. Their goal is an end to decades of corruption which steals the wealth, lives, and soul of a nation of intelligent, hard working, creative people.
It is both prescient and incumbent upon all of us to support the heroic efforts of the Mexican people in any way we can. We should draw inspiration from their real-world battle against those who would hide ballots as though they were personal property instead of the fundamental statement of the public will. We must honor these sentinels of democracy by redoubling our efforts to make voter suppression, voter disenfranchisement, and nonsensical outcomes a thing of the past in the United States.
In a very real sense, Obrador and the PRD are leading the way to a positive shift in the movement toward freedom and against tyranny.
Citizens of the United States owe the Mexican people a great debt. We must respond with acts of comparable commitment in our own struggle for human dignity and freedom. Failure to act allows the nihilistic forces which serve outmoded, corrupt, and world killing philosophies to continue unopposed. These forces proceed despite all indications that the path and process have set us on a course of undeniable and obvious global catastrophe. There is an alternative available and it is coming to life right now in Mexico.
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Michael Collins is a writer who focuses on clean elections and voting rights. He is the editor of the election fraud web site, www.ElectionFraudNews.com. He has written articles on a number of topics for "Scoop" Independent News including: The Disenfranchisement of Katrina's Survivors; The Unanswered Question: Who Really Won In 2004? ; Secret Vote Counting, a scathing critique of HAVA; and Kennedy's Challenge, a detailed response to Salon's attack on the Robert F. Kennedy Jr. article on stolen election 2004. Special thanks to Stella Black for editorial assistance. MichaelCollins@electionfraudnews.com
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