Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Memo to Andrés Manuel López Obrador: "¡Ya basta, señor!" (Give it a REST, sir)

MGR Opinion -
This isn't 2006, and it's time for the conspiracy-possessed firebrand to take a seat

PRI - 19,227,000 votes (38.21%)
PRD - 15,896,000 votes (31.59%)

Mérida, Yucatán -
I believe in democracy, and the right of people to select their own leaders. Many say they do, but really don't. They believe in democracy, as long as their candidate ends up on top. If he or she doesn't, they cry foul. Such is the case with defeated PRD candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador and many (although not all) PRD loyalists.

Such is the case, too, with not a few political commentators in this intensely politicized nation (really, it's the stuff of day-time soap opera at times), including an always far-off-the-charts rabble rouser in Mexico City, a U.S. sociologist who is forever masquerading as a legal authority. (He's the same guy who last year asked the International Criminal Court to indict Felipe Calderón for war crimes, for having had the guts to take on the drug cartels and organized crime.). In the past couple of days this prolific commentator - surely he's paid by the word - has been mouthing off about how nobody is really behind Enrique Peña Nieto, since his victory is now under a cloud of suspicion. He fails to note that there are 19,226,784 Mexicans who would disagree with that proposition.

One cynical student of the political process defined democracy as the right of the people to choose the worst government possible. I think it's a legitimate definition. And I support the right of the people to do exactly that. Those who don't support that notion, of which there are many, by definition don't believe in democracy. They merely believe in the right of their ideas to prevail.

I'm not a citizen of Mexico, and I didn't vote on July 1. Had I been eligible to do so, two of the four candidates would have been of particular interest to me and would have received my careful consideration, including the least popular, PNA's Gabriel Quadri (an eminently qualified professional who might have benefited from a hair and wardrobe makeover). EPN, by the way, was not the other.

I don't believe that Enrique Peña Nieto was the most qualified candidate, and my readers know that I've never spared him the rod on this page. But I have no doubt whatever that he was elected by a solid majority of Mexicans who freely and privately cast their ballots on July 1. He won and the other three lost, Manuel López Obrador by a very substantial 3.3 million votes (Final count shows Peña Nieto won by 6.62%). As any fourth grade civics student call tell you, that means Peña Nieto gets the fancy office beginning Dec. 1.

The irresponsible claims claims made by AMLO that PRI bought five million votes with Soriana frequent shopper cards (and/or by other means) are but another example of the leftist candidate's predictable post-election whining. The PRD governor-elect of Tabasco state - he's also a member of López Obrador's legal team - said yesterday that it "would be impossible to prove that votes were bought." Top Soriana executives have already given statements to Mexican prosecutors, flatly denying the allged conspiracy. In the long checkout line at my local Soriana yesterday, nobody was buying the bizarre story, either. A man standing next to me, who volunteered that he's no PRIsta, ridiculed the notion that millions of votes were secured in exchange for eggs, milk and a loaf of bread.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador can only hurt the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and the important role played by the leftist movement in Mexican politics by pursuing these grossly exaggerated claims of vote purchasing and ballot box fraud. In 2006, when he lost by a hair (0.56%), his protests indeed enjoyed prima facie legitimacy. But not this year. AMLO should take a lesson from PAN candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota, who graciously conceded the race a mere 30 minutes after the exit polls were released, and who has maintained a low and respectable profile since. That's why she has a political future in this country.

Was everything perfect on July 1? Of course not. They never are in elections, anywhere. But factors like an arguably biased media and the "corrupt system" complaints on which López Obrador is heavily focused are institutional in nature. They are de facto, endemic if you will, but not the result of a deliberately perpetrated fraud. There is a grand difference between the two. Every morning I must endure Mérida's hopelessly biased Diario de Yucatán, which is rather like awaking next to an unwelcome bed partner. But the paper's childlike adoration of all things PAN has nothing whatever to do with "fraud." I can and do make up my own mind, without its preposterously and relentlessly partisan advice. Ten days ago the Mexican people did likewise, and their electoral decision is entitled to our full respect, not contempt.

Enrique Peña Nieto will be sworn in as Mexico's next president in about 140 days. You can bank on it. Let those who allege the election was stolen prove their case with courtroom evidence. The winner is under no legal obligation to demonstrate the contrary, and a negative can never be proven. As for the sore loser, "¡Ya basta!, señor Andrés Manuel."

Aug. 1 - Soriana blasts Manuel López Obrador, accusing him of inciting violence>
July 30 - Mexico's Soriana grocery chain targeted by bombers
July 21 - Mexico facing greater political crisis this year than in 2006, says commentator
July 15 - Spain's El País blasts López Obrador
July 13 - Manuel López Obrador fires in all directions, demanding a new election
July 12 - PAN agrees, it's impossible to prove that 25% of vote was tampered with
July 12 - López Obrador pide se invalide la elección presidencial
July 11 - Desinflan Marcelo Ebrard y Núñez el caso "compra de votos"
July 11 - PRD official admits that "it's impossible to prove votes were bought"
June 16 - Yo NO Soy's "summer of discontent"

A sample of the opposition's intensely analytical reasoning process - Mérida, July 7.


  1. Totally agree with you... and good to hear it from someone who I know is NOT an EPN/PRI supporter. I only hope AMLO and his 'supporters' read MGRR!

    I have been saying similar myself since the drama started. Yes, 6 years ago, I had sympathy for AMLO and the possibility that he had in fact won the election but had conveniently been shown to have lost to the ruling party by a tiny percetage. This time, all indications are that the vote was overwhelmingly fair, and with as many minor 'discrepancies' in favor of AMLO as against him. No case this time. And it does PRD as a whole no benefit for this to continue.

  2. Cmon! you are part of the problem! mexico does not live a democracy, of course you support corruption, fraud, and impunity, everyone knows how corrupt is the pri. so dont come this this stupid blog. pri bought votes left and righ, a party that has only hurt mexicans and is well know as corrupt deserves nothing but not to beleive in them..

  3. Gracias a ti, Sr. Andrés Manuel, y que tenga buen día.

  4. I am new to your blog and have only read your June/July posts but even though, having lived in Mexico only 6 years as a retiree, I am in agreement with your general outlook, my mouth dropped open when I read this last post. Especially this: "I have no doubt whatever that he was elected by a solid majority of Mexicans who freely and privately cast their ballots on July 1."

    Re fraud: There are photos of local hand count documents (a soy132 effort) shown against official FEI database records that were hacked into by Anonymous all over Facebook that shows systematic fraud. Eg. Local count in pencil: 811. FTI count: 11. And on and on.

    I am not so interested in AMLO or the Soriano issue at this point. But you barely alluded to the media issue which is what has enraged the @yosoy132 young folks. The Wall Street Journal detailed the relationship of the PRI and EPN with the two leading TV stations in a paper edition article dated July1-6. I couldn't find it online. He was specifically groomed to whom? This same article referenced the poll taken in which 85% of Mexican women said they would cheat on their husbands for EPN. I can be sarcastic too. Sure, this means Mexico wanted EPN. People vote all the time for reasons that have nothing to do with policy especially in Mexico.

    What I am especially interested in, perhaps because I live in Oaxaca, one of the two poorest states in Mexico, is the way monthly dispensas (food, things like cement etc) are used by the PRI to obtain votes. A friend of mine, who is a Tajate drink vendor in the local market and vehemently against the PRI, accepted, along with all the other Tajate vendors, 1500 pesos in the last local election. Why, I asked? She just looked at me. Duh. And they are afraid to vote any other way in fear that the PRI will somehow find out. On top of that the PRI hands out pre-filled out ballots to people who do not speak or read Spanish. In this last national election 6 election sites in the city either did not have enough ballots or there were no workers because they had been threatened. Even with all that Oaxaca went PRD. I could go on ad finitum.

    I am also surprised you haven't explained #yosoy132 to an English-speaking readership or why they are demonstrating all over Mexico and the U.S. and in foreign countries. No picture of the thousands in the zocalo in Mexico City? Why just a few cherry-picked signs? Perhaps these young people want the media to play fair (don't we wish they had it in the U.S. too) and a better education system which would make it less easy to dupe ill-informed voters? (Don't you wish they had that in the U.S. too?) And isn't it ironic that this movement was started by privileged and educated young people...not the radicals? Egypt too. They are Mexico's future leaders and they are afraid for their countries.

    Better Make Way For The Young Folks (Diana Ross and the Supremes).

    They know that elections do not a democracy make. They have been instructed well by each other in blogs, YouTube and Twitter.

    Perhaps it's time for you to get out of the city. :) And/or on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter too.

  5. You need to READ MGRR, Zoe, before commenting without foundation. There are six or eight articles on this website about YoSoy 132, all of which were posted within the past six weeks. Most of them have many photos of local YoSoy meetings as well. The reason you don't know that is because you criticized before even beginning to review the 700+ articles on MGRR. Use the search engine to assist.

    I'm on the street constantly, my friend, talking to people, taking photos, interviewing, etc. I do "get out," to use your words. Perhaps much more so than you do. I was the ONLY English language press in Mérida -- indeed, in all of Yucatán -- to cover every single YoSoy event in this city and to report them to English speaking audiences in the United States and worldwide. My first article on the group (linked below), has been read by almost 1,500 people as of today.

    I am on Facebook. I am on Twitter. Wake up, OK?!

    And welcome to MGRR.

    First MGRR report on YoSoy 132, May 23, 2012:

  6. My apologies for slighting your blog. But I believe my made my argument anyway. :)

  7. No, I really didn't take it as a slight, Zoe, and I'm delighted to have you as a new(er) reader. But I could tell from your comments that you probably haven't seen much of the material on MGRR yet, and I wanted you to be aware that I have written on many or most of the topics which concern you (and me and other readers).

    And yes, you indeed made your argument, with which many people may agree (and others, perhaps not). Note that this post is an Opinion piece, not a news story (although it's based on other stories and reports which are news articles).

    Everybody gets their say on MGRR . . . . almost everybody, that is. But not everybody gets their say without my response :-)

    In my last paragraph I wrote the following, which reflects thoughts I didn't elaborate on because my purpose was simply to talk about numerical election results:

    "Was everything perfect on July 1? Of course not. They never are in elections, anywhere. But factors like an arguably biased media and the "corrupt system" complaints on which López Obrador is so heavily focused are INSTITUTIONAL in nature. They are DE FACTO, not the result of a deliberately perpetrated fraud. There is a grand difference between the two."

    Those words contain a lot of thoughts which go far beyond this one editorial piece.

  8. I agree. Sorry for being snarky. It wasn't called for. When I suggested you "get out more" I meant out of the city and into some of the smaller pueblos. But I just had a knee-jerk reaction to what sounded on the surface like a kind of apology. Eg. "arguably" biased media. Anyway, I hurt for Mexico because of all the good people in it.

  9. Ok, you want to talk about numerical election results. Maybe you can't verify this for your blog but I can comment:

    So you've heard about the FBI and CIA in Texas (and I think CO) finding 9 million or so original ballots already marked for PRI, arrested 4 in TX and 2 in CO!!! The IFE and PGR were awaiting the evidence as of yesterday!

    Also the official printer of the numbered ballots admitted he printed duplicates of all ballots going to about 2/3 of the states, and listed the states (incl Oax.), this gets better by the day!

    And a former employee of PREP in one of the district offices where they record the results on the computer from the paper of the person in charge of each polling about sloppy...and about the computer going "down" for 2 1/2 hrs after which EPN suddenly was 2,000,000 or so
    more votes ahead of AMLO! This substantiated by some IT professor who did some graph of every vote reported by the central computer...(imagine!)

    I'm not going to take the time to source all this. I'll just watch the news.