Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Mexico’s Presidential Election Could Get Really Dirty

Published by DD
Sources  The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Business Insider ,
World Politics Review


This year’s election in Mexico is already shaping up to be one of the dirtiest and most violent in decades.   General elections are scheduled to be held in Mexico on 1 July 2018.   Voters will elect a new president to serve a six-year term, 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies and 128 members of the Senate. 

IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE

Though dirty and violent political campaigns are no longer shocking nor big news this one could  shock the nation  like nothing since the assassination of  Luis Donaldo Colosio in 1994. 

Colosio was the presidential candidate for PRI and was murdered at a rally in Tijuana, Baja California (according to the official govt. report) by a lone gunman.    His message of hope and change was beginning to resonate with voters who were fed up with a political system mired in corruption and abuse of power.  He was young photogenic and the public adored him.  PRI was getting nervous about his campaign to eliminate corruption.   Almost immediately after his death conspiracy theories started flying.  He was viewed by many as Mexico's JFK.  Colosio's death shocked a nation that had not seen a political assassination in almost seven decades.

Over time political assassinations became a fact of life, especially at the local and state level.   Throughout Mexico over the past decade, 112 current or former elected officials, including mayors and council members, have been killed, according to Mexico's National Association of Mayors.   Sixty-three of those deaths have come under President Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI, who took office in December 2012.

There were 26,573 killings in the first 11 months of last year in Mexico, the most since at least the start of the century, as drug cartels fought for territory. Twenty-one of them were mayors or former mayors, according to Alcaldes de Mexico, a magazine that tracks the deaths.

 The attacks on local officials has taken place amid the fragmentation of criminal groups around the country, which are breaking down in to smaller, usually more volatile groups.

"Organized crime has become more politicized because it's become more local," Alejandro Hope, a security consultant and former official for CISEN, Mexico's civilian intelligence agency, told Bloomberg. "They're more concerned about who wins and who loses elections."

The arrests and killings of drug cartel leaders, including Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, have caused criminal groups to splinter and to focus more on extortion and kidnappings, making their connections with local power structures more critical, Hope says.

If the last week of December is any indication the remaining six months before the election do not bode well for the local candidates.

 On December 24, an activist from the center-left party Citizens' Movement was found shot dead in western Jalisco. On December 28, Saul Galindo, a state congressman and mayoral candidate from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, was shot and killed in the same region.

On December 29, Arturo Gomez, the PRD mayor of the town of Petatlan on Guerrero's Pacific coast, was shot three times through a window of a restaurant where he was dining with friends, dying later at a hospital. 




Relatives and friends of mayor Arturo Gomez carry his coffin during his funeral in Petatlan, Mexico, on Dec. 29, 2017 Photographer: Francisco Robles/AFP via Getty Images
December 30 saw three killings. Juan Jose Castro Crespo, a former state congressional candidate from the center-right Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, was killed in Baja California. Gabriel Hernandez, a town-council member from the PRD in Jalapa in Tabasco, was found stabbed to death in his home. Mariano Catalan Ocampo, a PRD member who was municipal director of general services and was expected to run for mayor, was shot in the downtown of tourist city of Zihuatanejo on Guerrero Pacific coast.

On December 31, Adolfo Serna, a PRI mayoral candidate, was shot dead in his hometown of Atoyac de Alvarez, also on Guerrero's Pacific coast, just hours after posting a Facebook message urging locals to unite to improve society. 

Dirty Tricks

Bloomberg reported this:

Mexico’s elections have often had a dark side. Not only have candidates been killed, illicit cash has flowed,  vote counts have been mysteriously interrupted, and ballot boxes disappeared.  

 Lopez Obrador’s early lead, combined with his past, is one reason why credible institutions will be key in 2018. Amlo, as he’s known, was edged out by Felipe Calderon in 2006 by a margin of less than one percentage point. He claimed fraud. His supporters camped out in Mexico City’s business district for months, often bringing life to a standstill.
Amlo checking his watch

 
Ricardo Anaya , Pan candidate is polling in second place


Jose Antonio Meade< PRI candidate is polling in 3rd place




Several Independent candidates  without a party affiliation will also be on the ballot for the first time in modern Mexican elections and will undoubtedly  complicate the election by fragmenting the vote   According to the Pew Institute 93% of Mexicans are dissatisfied with the way democracy works in their country   characterized by a corrupt ruling class serving vested interest that has not served the population at large.  Political reforms established since the last Presidential election which allowed Independents to run have generally been welcomed.  

The Independent candidates as whole are not doing it just for show.  They have optimism given the success of outsiders and insurgents in the Americas have tested establishment parties at the polls and in many cases won.  Even in Mexico they look at the success that Jamie Rodriquez, better known as "Bronco" won the governorship of Nuevo Leon as an Independent.  He is the first non PRI Governor to hold that seat in Mexican history.  (He will also be on the Presidential ballots in 2018)

One of the most interesting and most unlikely Independent candidate is running without any real expectation of winning but to make a profound symbolic statement about racial and gender inequality that are still the norm in Mexico.  She is Maria de Jesus Patricio, better known as "Marichuy",  an indigenous woman from Chiapas.  


With the rapid advance in technology hackers have become much more proficient and malware programs developed that can shut down or control computers.   So when analysts say next year’s presidential race could be one of the dirtiest ever, it’s worth paying attention. The bar is high.     

The country is suffering the worst wave of violence this century. That could transform the clashes that are a feature of campaigns into something more dangerous -- especially if the vote is close and contentious, as it’s widely expected to be.

 “This could be the worst election since democratic races were born,” said Jesus Cantu, a political scientist at the Tecnologico de Monterrey. “If we look at what the federal government and political parties have already done, as well as some electoral authorities, we have no reason to be optimistic.”

The task of ensuring a smooth vote falls to regulators who are underfunded. And in October, President Enrique Pena Nieto fired the top electoral prosecutor after he spoke to the media about an ongoing bribery investigation -- which concerned the previous presidential vote.

The position was just filled by Hector Marcos Diaz. But the previous prosecutor’s firing just as he was investigating Pena Nieto’s previous election campaign weakens the watchdog’s ability to crack down on vote-buying, according to Kenneth Greene, who researches Mexican elections at the University of Texas at Austin.

 The practice will likely be “bigger than ever in 2018,” says Greene. His polling has found that 21 percent of respondents had been approached with an offer to buy their vote. Of those willing to name a party that made the offer, 78 percent said it was a PRI representative.

The independence of the new prosecutor may not even be the watchdog’s biggest concern. Congress just slashed its budget by 300 million pesos ($16 million) -- the largest cut in the agency’s history, right before the largest election in the nation’s history.

 Another headache for the vote watchdog is the special court that has to approve its decisions, and has been proving stubborn.

Regulators have been trying to go after political parties for flouting financial rules during last June’s local ballots. The election institute says that more than a quarter of the money spent in Mexico State, the nation’s largest, came from unregistered sources.
 
And in Coahuila state, the agency found unreported funding was so high that it pushed the PRI’s campaign spending above legal limits -- grounds for annulling the vote (which the PRI won). But the regulator’s audit was twice overturned by Mexico’s highest electoral court.

“Part of the concern we have in the national electoral institute is that some criteria of the court tends to relax or make less severe the auditing process,” said Lorenzo Cordova, the institute’s top official.

Another advantage the PRI gains from incumbent status is its ability to advertise out of the public purse. After spending double its publicity budget last year, Pena Nieto’s administration has proven savvy at using the media to keep in front of viewers’ eyeballs.

 All political parties are buying media, sometimes with cash under the table, according to Luis Carlos Ugalde, a former head of the vote regulator. But the PRI -- which holds the presidency and the largest number of state governorships -- can commandeer more resources, he said.

  Hacking of the Mexican electoral system, either by the ruling PRI or by a foreign government such as Russia, is a significant risk, says Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston.

 “I don’t think the PRI is above manipulating the election, not just by buying votes in the streets but tapping into the computers,” Payan said. The PRI didn’t immediately comment.

Payan points to a famous precedent: the election of 1988. It was almost the end of seven decades of uninterrupted PRI rule. Instead, Salinas won. Government officials admitted after leaving power that on election day, as the vote count began to show opposition candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas in front, it was shut down -- with an announcement that “the system crashed.”

That phrase became a rallying cry against electoral fraud. It remains so today -- especially among Lopez Obrador’s supporters.

DD note;  What ever dirty tricks are used to influence the election it will not be pretty.


















26 comments:

  1. Let's hope more is politicians get killed instead of innocent civilians.
    And a few bankers wouldn't hurt either.

    ReplyDelete
  2. DD...title should be"You can count on Mexico's election to be corrupt and violent"

    ReplyDelete
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/07/world/americas/mexico-state-corruption.html

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  4. I will never forget that day Colosio was gunned down, a few hours before I rolled into Ensenada. It is as forever etched in my mind as the JFK assassination was when I was just a kid. People in the streets everywhere, sobbing, clutching each other, shops open yet empty as everyone gathered near the nearest funky TV screen, tears streaming down there faces.........so soon was I caught in the dramatic moment as strangers shook and waved barely dry newsprint at me, no we were not strangers that day; we were just people in shock by the same hideous news, there was no dividing lines in the moment. Traffic at a standstill while radios blared the news. The utter shock of the tragedy putting out the light of so much hope and there truly was a lot of hope in those days. I am not so sure anymore.


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    1. Nice article DD

      Quite disappointing that what you have indicated and pointed out is a truthful fact pertaining Mexico’s political arena.
      With corruption as the core issue of its government. I see no different outcome in this elections from past elections.
      Organized criminals have embedded themselves into the political realms of government. A norm for standard government practices in Mexico today.

      I do recall the assassination of Colosio. A heartbreaking and pivotal moment in Mexico’s history. A factual statement of how criminal elements influenced a presidential election.

      Indications and statistics have shown that this years election will be an eyesore for democracy in Mexico.

      We all know what needs to transpire in Mexico for a true and just government!

      E42


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    2. 8:33 yeah, what is needed first and foremost is SHAMING OF THE US government for installing and supporting these Mexican lacras in power and for protecting them after they are gone no matter what to help American Gangsters posing as "businessmen" in exchange for promises and some campaign contributions.
      It is well known that the American people foot the bills and the ones that profit do not even pay taxes from their offshore profits and ill gotten gains.

      Delete
  5. When for up alumni of corrupt CISEN are used as credible commenters, things they say slip into the unbelievable.
    Alejandro Hope has never said a thing about the crimes of his Alma Mater or its agents, or its predecessor, the communist hunter DFS that became the premier drug trafficking agency of the CIA in Mexico.
    --To steal the election from Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, the Salinistas murdered or disappeared more than 500 volunteers and still had to break up the "system"...
    The result was Salinas and his partners became mexico's newest bunch of billionaires in dollars, Carlos Slim Helú on top of them all after decades of making millions and millions of dollars from unmentionable sources and stealing Telefonos De Mexico.
    --"La Neta" zedillo also stole his presidency, from Cardenas again.
    --FECAL stole his presidency too, from AMLO , with help of EPN's 1 million Estado de Mexico votes for the PRI he yielded to El PAN,
    --EPN stole his presidency from AMLO with FECAL help, million's of PAN votes, computer fraud, Colombian hackers and illegal contributions from foreign and domestic drug traffickers.
    --Jose Antonio Meade used to be a PANISTA, And now is a PRIISTA because no priista could sell Mexicans the free market GASOLINAZOS as a goodie for their benefit from their beloved government.
    --La India Maria may steal votes from the candidates Mexico need more to win, same with other minority candidates, that where decisive in Hillary clinton's electoral college "loss", Dr Jill Stein having sat with Michael Flynn and Bladdermir Putin at RUSSIA TODAY dinner, it cost hundreds of thousands of votes on whole states and Americans their presidency.
    Now the special counsel is dissecting the corruption.

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    Replies
    1. why dont you wash your mouth really well before talking about a woman and calling her India Maria in your goofy conspiracy rant Mr. Anonymous

      Delete
    2. 5:11 Because I doubt she is a wining candidate and helps fragment the vote.
      There are many other women with credible political and government experience already fighting and yelling and with credentials in bigger opposing parties.
      I hope I get to know her better, but until now, nada.

      Delete
    3. @8:46
      And what has government experience and credentials given Mexico lately?

      Curious?
      Credentials are what’s only given to those who have only given their souls to a corrupt system!



      Delete
    4. Layda Sansores has told epn and his congressmen and senators to go and privatize their putas madres in congress, in session in public, on the microphone,
      --Rocio Nahle, aptly exposed the PEMEX frauds and other sins.
      --diputada Luisa Maria Alcalde Lujan also exposes corruption without fear and with knowledge and passion
      --former PVEM diputada Sarah Paola Galico Felix Diaz now with Morena also exposes PRI AND EPN frauds
      --diputada PANISTA Maria elena Perez de tejada Romero,
      --Carmen Aristegui is not a politician but could...
      Some of these women could become very able loliticians, and have been there for a while,
      I believe LA Marichuy can be the best president of Mexico in centuries, but she needs to wait at least until the next election in 2024 instead of helping divide the vote once again as a candidate with one more mini party.
      --The Estado de Mexico was "won" by Alfredo del mazo maza cousin of EPN thanks to all the mini parties financed by El PRI and falsehoods against delfina.
      --the independent candidates also sank the US in a very deep "hole" in 2016 by independent candidates, most notably by a Jill Stein of the Green Party that was at the RT dinner with general Michael Flynn and Bladdermir Putin, innocently, perhaps, but the votes she and other most improbable winners got affected the US election.
      There should be one run between the two top vote earners and not have a most probably corrupt electoral college throw millions of votes in the gutter.
      That applies to Mexico too.

      Delete
    5. Government experience and credibility has given past and present Mexican government administrations the unyielding support and gratitude of the US Government that bestkws them with power and Sovereign Impunity for any and all misdeeds, also trains their melitary in the US Schools of the Americas franchises...seriously, you are helping me make my case.
      The appearance of decency and a conciliatory character may help the Mexicans get their candidate elected, he can betray the supporters later, as usual, but at least he will get elected unlike past winners that stole their elections after being selected BY THE US.
      --By the way, Michele Bachelet a president of Chile, daughter od a Chilean general tortured by the pinochetazo and the US Navy and the CIA and his beloved Chilean Air Force before being kicked out to die st home, she was also tortured, humilliated, sexually abused with her mother and exiled by pinochet, later the US trained her to become aceptable for president of Chile and rule a continued wave of corruption.
      Same as the presidenta of Brazil Dilma Rouseff...
      --This is not about sexism or racism, it is all about viability and elecctability, I believe the people have the right to at least really elect their own betrayer for once in their life. La Marichuy will be the better candidate next time, I promise to support her with money, but if she persists with her divisive campaign she will just help fracture the Mexican "populist left" and sentence Mexico to another 6 years of BS for reals...
      of course, the ghosts of past and present US blockades and Coups d'Etats and military banana republic juntas directed by "American Economic Hit Men" vultures are circling the airs like sharks on the water, like in Venezuela, and Cuba and the Middle East, but what can we do?
      -!remember HAITI and Puerto Rico, they are not communist, but they are mired in the shit just because they are in an island and are not "American enough..."

      Delete
  6. So they are hiring hitmen to kill good candidate s. But letting the bad ones live, in order to continue the correction with the Mexican government?

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  7. Lol. Has it ever been clean?

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    Replies
    1. Nothing in Mexico's government is clean including the bribes they receive is dirty money.
      Same everywhere. Money talks and bullshit walks.

      Delete
    2. The Romanovs, the french Bourbons, Mussolini, Ceaucesscu, khadaffi among a few others, knew money doesn't always talk the loudest.

      Delete
  8. The Bloomberg report is premature in saying El Bronco, or any other independents, will be on the presidential ballot. Both El Bronco and Margarita have passed the overall number of signatures needed (1% of voters - about 800,000), but these have not been verified by INE and reports are that both have rejection rates around 50%. Beside the overall number, they also need to get 1% in 17 different states. Neither is close to doing that. Bronco has the 1% in about 5 or 6 states and Margarita in about 4 or 5.

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    1. Margara is as corrupt as her wife FECAL,
      El pinchi Mulo Bronco es Un culero vendido AL PRI, he sold out and refuses to press charges against his predecessor Rodrigo Medina in spite of all the proofs of corruption handed to him by MC and Saul Garcia. El pinchi Mulo Bronco baila como perrito faldero a EPN, a carlos salinas de gortari, Al PRI y a medina.

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    2. GOVERNOR Javier Corral in Chihuahua is being denied the money the state "receives from the federal government of EPN" for persecuting PRI .anipulator Manlio Fabio Beltrones "la fabis" for robbing the state in cahoots with El Capulina Cesar Duarte now living on his rancho in Texas protected by the US government that is supposed to have him in prison waiting extradition to mexico.
      Governor Corral promises not to stop his indictments of PRIISTAS and pursuit of justice, but is accued of being a puppet of PAN and PRI to elect panista Ricardo Anaya who will commute to Mexico to be its presidente from his mansions on the US, his real country where he has his family permanently living the beautiful gabacho life "among their equals..."

      Delete
  9. Here's what I mean. I was a little low on the acceptance rate for the signatures, but even these figures are preliminary:

    http://www.elfinanciero.com.mx/nacional/cerca-del-registro-39-independientes-de-286-que-se-apuntaron.html

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  10. They are already killing of politicians, I read it somewhere of how they killed one pri candidate and 1 other pan

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    1. It’s that time of season. So much vested interests for these criminal elements.
      What better way to run a criminal enterprise than with those delegated officials.

      Mexico’s political theater is a joke.
      A true definition of vultures sparing for scraps at the table. Where we are all aware that such scraps are very fulfilling!



      E42

      Delete
  11. Ajajajajajja!! Voten por quien gusten porfavor. Pero entiendan que lo que a logrado en este sexenio la Generacion Nueva no es algo que va a parar. Les decimos hoy, hay que hacer lo que hay que hacer. No se pasen de lanza Damas y morros. Nos gusta este web, y nos caen bien.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CJNG hangs like lice from EPN's coattails. Will be gone with him
      La Gente Nueva? Nowhere to be seen.

      Delete

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