A unanimous decision of Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal rejected allegations of systematic fraud and awarded Felipe Calderon the presidency Sept. 5, after two months of uncertainty. But his ability to rule effectively remains in doubt as Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador refuses to recognise the victory and vows to lead a parallel popular government from below.
From the Chiapas daily Estesur, Sept. 3 (our translation):
PRIista marches against "electoral fraud"
Tuxtla Gutierrez - 13 days after the state elections, the candidate of the Alliance for Chiapas, the PRIista Jose Antonio Aguilar Bodegas, led a march and gathering through the principal streets of Tuxtla Gutierrez [the state capital], where thousands of supporters joined him in demanding that the state Electoral Tribunal Electoral del estado, "adhere to legality and independence".
On Aug. 31 about a dozen armed and masked people blocked the highway from Oaxaca city to Guelatao in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca and passed out two communiques which according to the Mexican daily La Jornada were from the rebel Democratic Revolutionary Tendency-People's Army (TDR-EP). The Spanish wire service EFE reported instead that the armed individuals were members of the Revolutionary Popular Army (EPR), from which the TDR-EP split in 2000. The literature demanded the removal of the state government, headed by Gov. Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, a central demand in a three-month-old protest of striking Oaxaca teachers and their allies. (La Jornada, Mexico, Sept. 1; El Diario-La Prensa, New York, Sept. 1 from EFE)
From AP, Aug. 22:
Close election in Chiapas spurs another protest
TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, MEXICO - The dispute over Mexico's presidential vote took a new twist Monday as a gubernatorial candidate backed by the ruling party vowed to protest a state race where the main leftist party held a slight edge.
Former Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994), top officials in the government of current Mexican president Vicente Fox Quesada and a leader of Fox's center-right National Action Party (PAN) were involved in a conspiracy in 2004 to remove Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the center-left Party of the Democratic Party (PRD) from contention in the July 2, 2006 presidential election, according to a tape played on the "Hoy por Hoy" ("Nowadays") radio program on Aug. 18. The tape allegedly records a confession by one of the conspirators, Argentine-born business magnate Carlos Ahumada Kurtz, when he was in custody in Cuba in March and April 2004; he is currently imprisoned in Mexico City on corruption charges.
Some 60 masked and mostly armed men, including "porros" (provocaterus) and municipal police, took over the local office of the Oaxaca daily newspaper Noticias in the town of Santa Cruz Amilpas Aug. 20. The municipal government is in the hands of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), but nine days earlier, a group loyal to the Popular People's Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), which is demanding the resignation of the state's PRI governor, Ulises Ruiz, had seized control of the town hall. (La Jornada, Aug. 21 via Chiapas95)
Another escalation is reported in the struggle of Maya campesinos in Yucatan state to hold their communial (ejidal) lands that the government seeks to expropriate for a new airport, part of the "Metropolisur" regional development plan. An Aug. 18 communique from La Otra Campaña Yucatán, translation via Chiapas95:
Ricardo Lopez Espinosa, a community leader in the conflicted central Mexican village of San Salvador Atenco and a member of the local People's Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) was freed from jail in Molino de Flores Aug. 17 but still faces charges following his arrest two days earlier in connection with an attack on a state police patrol June 5. Lopez Espinosa denies involvement in the attack, and says his arrest by state police in Atenco was illegal. (La Jornada, Aug. 18 via Chiapas95)