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August 2, 2006 [LINK]
Turmoil worsens in Mexico
After several days of increasing protests, blockades, and turmoil, President Fox urged the Mexico City officials to order police to clear the streets. Thus far, Mayor Alejandro Encinas has declined to force the protesters to leave. He belongs to the Party of Democratic Revolution of which losing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is the leader, and no doubt supports the protesters' cause. See CNN.com. A spokesman for winning candidate Felip Calderon accused the PRD of "kidnapping" Mexico City. "AMLO" has spent the last three nights "camping out" in the main plaza, El Zocalo, with thousands of supporters in his PRD. He tries to show a dignified public image, calling on city officials to act with "patriotism, sensitivity, and rectitude." (La Jornada) Meanwhile, he tacitly encourages confrontation with authorities, risking violence and anarchy. The heart of the capital city remains choked by the blockades, causing great annoyance and lost sales for many businesses. To emphasize their determination to reverse the results of the July 2 election, or at least force a complete recall, PRD members pitched tents on the main boulevard, el Paseo de la Reforma, and blockaded the offices of the Secretariat of Social Development. (El Diario de Mexico) This is obviously the most perilous moment in Mexican history since the 1968 protests. The country's political institutions and leaders face a severe test to see whether the protests can be endured, and any legitimate grievances addressed, without resorting to overt repression.
I am unaware of any reputable outside observers who have lent credence to the PRD's accusations of vote rigging. Unfortunately, the Carter Center seems not to have had any involvement in monitoring the Mexican elections, perhaps preoccupied with the recent election in Congo and the upcoming election in Nicaragua.
Meanwhile, the prolonged teachers' strike in the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca goes on, and may be spreading. Most tourists have fled the area, putting severe stress on the local economy. About 500 women surrounded a government television station, demanding the resignation of Gov. Ulises Ruiz (who belongs to the once-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party), charging that his 2004 election victory was fraudulent. Two years later? See CNN.com.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 02 Aug 2006, 3: 05 PM
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January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
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