Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mexico facing greater political crisis this year than in 2006, says commentator

"Right now the most important thing is that the radicalism of Plan Atenco be deactivated so that it doesn't turn Mexico into a powder keg. The rebellions of last year's Arab Spring are still fresh in our minds.""

"Peña Nieto didn't win; Mexico woke up"

Mérida, Yucatán --
Jose Santiago Healy is a Mexican national columnist whose editorials may be found with some regularity in several newspapers, including Diario de Yucatán. Healy lives in and writes from the U.S. (Chula Vista, California).

Healy's an unabashed supporter of the National Action Party (PAN), which is one reason his periodic pieces are carried in the Diario. That being said, he wrote an interesting one in today's edition, entitled "The Left pulls out the machetes." He suggests that a lot of trouble is ahead over the next several months, including the prospect of street violence.

Last weekend about 300 organizations met in a place called San Salvador Atenco to hammer out plans for acts of civil disobedience, all designed to prevent president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto from taking the oath of office on Dec. 1. One of the organizations participating in the Atenco conference was the student protest movement YoSoy 132 (YoSoy 132 discusses civil disobedience to stop Peña Nieto from taking office).

As Healy pointed out today, in the past week YoSoy has distanced itself from what's being called Plan Atenco, partly at the urging of defeated PRD candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador. AMLO has said the he will pursue every legal avenue in challenging the July 1 election results, to and including a petition to international tribunals. But the leftist has emphasized that PRD will confine its case to the courtroom, and yesterday he urged supporters to stay off the streets as the battle is waged this fall -- exactly the opposite of what the Plan Atenco forces have in mind.

Last week PRD's head-honcho also threw cold water on the calls for civil disobedience. But for Healy, the warnings haven't been loud enough. Aluding to the "constitutional crisis" of 2006, when López Obrador pranced about for some weeks referring to himself as the "legitimate president" of Mexico, Healy opines that this year things probably will be worse. Plan Atenco contemplates and advocates mass marches and protests, large scale sit-ins and occupations of public buildings, the closing of roads and highways and anything else necessary to stop EPN from being sworn into office. Healy implies that despite his public remarks to the contrary, AMLO is rather enjoying all of the post-election turmoil. He writes:

"Unfortunately, there are thousands of Mexicans who are ready to do almost anything just to survive. If we add to the equation the violence posed by organized crime, one can just imagine the atmosphere prevailing here on the first of December. The rebellions of last year's Arab Spring are fresh in our minds. At the end of the day, it's clear that the drama of the last elections (2006) is now replaying."

July 22 - A poor turnout in Mexico City
YoSoy 132 and other organizations, including Plan Atenco supporters, marched in the capital city today against the "imposition" of Enrique Peña Nieto. An estimated 25,000 people participated in the event, which was scheduled last weekend and was heavily promoted. Considering that the greater metropolitan area has a population of over 22 million, that represents a 0.001% attendance rate. Where were the other 99.999%?

Aug. 1 - Soriana blasts Manuel López Obrador, accusing him of inciting violence
July 30 - Mexico's Soriana grocery chain targeted by bombers
July 23 - Peña Nieto's biggest challenges will be economy and environment
June 16 - Yo NO Soy's "summer of discontent"

1 comment:

  1. In politics numbers do count. Mexico City, home of the PRD and largest left in Mexico and 1 thousandth of a percent turn out. Even with a 10x multiplier factor that's much less than 1% of the population. The poverty in Mexico is real and widespread. Yet I think it is stretch to assume, at this particular moment, that the call for active opposition to the "imposition" will connect with those millions in poverty. That could can overnight with a deeply felt incident or reason to express outrage. But the simply buying of votes or TV commercials is not enough.