2012-05-12

Elections: Mexico 2012

I've been meaning to start posting about the upcoming presidential elections to be held in Mexico on July 1st. The current government of Felipe Caledrón (who began his presidency in 2006 amidst proofs of fraud) has been characterized by a stagnation of the economy and a war declared against (most of) the drug cartels, leading to at least 60,000 people killed so far. Only in Ciudad Juárez, we had ten times the murder rate than in Baghdad during the recent U.S. occupation. Last year, a complaint was filed at the International Court in The Hague against Felipe Calderón and others, accusing them of crimes against humanity.

The perspective is not positive for Calderón, since he cannot go abroad like other ex-presidents, and most probably his party (PAN) will lose the presidency, given the failures of the two previous presidents: Calderón and Vicente Fox (2000-2006).

The candidates:

  • Josefina Vázquez Mota "JVM" (PAN), former minister of education and leader of her party's group in the lower congress.
  • Enrique Peña Nieto "EPN" (PRI, PVEM), former governor of the State of Mexico (2005-2011), and former administrator for his predecessor and uncle Arturo Montiel, who was accused of corruption and illegal enrichment during his term as governor, during which Peña was managing the finances of the state. His party PRI was in power for more than 70 years until 2000. He is also supported by the Green party (PVEM), which is right wing and their main political campaign is about legalizing death penalty and life sentences (senseless in a country where less than 10% of murders are ever punished). 
  • Andres Manuel López Obrador "AMLO" (PRD, PT, MC), former mayor of Mexico City (2000-2005) and alleged winner of the 2006 presidential elections.
  • Gabriel Quadri de la Torre "GQT" (PANAL). Ecologist by profession, he is supported by the party of the leader of the teacher's union, Elba Esther Gordillo, who was a key player in the 2006 fraud, and has also been accused of corruption and suspected murder.
Polls have been suspiciously manipulated, giving differences of 10%-20% per poll, positioning EPN in first place (39-65%), JVM or AMLO in 2nd (10-33%), and Quadri last (0.5-9%). With such dramatic variances we cannot believe none. In any case, there has been a massive support by the media and the federal electoral institute of EPN, and even so, his popularity has been decreasing constantly in recent months.

Last sunday we had the first presidential debate, better reviewed in The Colbert Report.

Will keep on posting as news unfold, one key difference between this election and previous ones are the massive spread of news by social networks. We get to know things we usually wouldn't get to know via established media, and you will see Twitter treding topics related to Mexico in the coming weeks. 

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