2012 election

Mexico News & Analysis: Oct 29-Nov 4

WHY IS MEXICO ABSENT FROM US ELECTION DEBATE?
This coming week, about half the eligible voters in the United States will participate in a quadrennial exercise in limited democracy by electing 435 Representatives, one-third of the Senate, and a President - all wealthy, mostly white and male, and inevitably beholden to one sector of the capitalist class or another. Political commentators recently noticed that, aside from a few brief mentions of migration and Latino voters, Mexico has not been part of the electoral debate.  Why ignore our neighbor to the south? 

Well, from the perspective of the US capitalist class, Mexican affairs are very much in order, thanks largely to sitting President Felipe Calderon and his National Action Party (PAN).  For the past six years, Calderon has been a loyal minion, defending free trade agreements, maintaining a neoliberal economic agenda by cutting social spending and sustaining a relatively balanced budget, waging an increasingly violent “war on drugs,” and acting as US surrogate in Latin American political circles. Occasionally the US will step over a line that even the PAN can’t overlook, generating a few carefully measured words from Calderon, almost always delivered to the Spanish-speaking media - for example, when the Border Patrol murders Mexican citizens, not an uncommon occurrence.  But for the most part, US authorities say jump, and Calderon responds with “how high.”  Mexico’s political wagon is hitched securely to the US capitalist class, and as a result, Mexico boasts some of the wealthiest capitalists in the world, while more than half the country lives in poverty. 

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Mexico News and Analysis: August 13 - 26, 2012

1 - ZAPATISTA NEWS (www.enlacezapatisa.ezln.org.mx)
2 - EGG SHORTAGE THREATENS NUTRITION
3 - U.S. EMBASSY VEHICLE ATTACKED BY FEDERAL POLICE
4 - DISPUTE OVER WIRELESS FREQUENCIES TURNS POLITICAL
5 - SUPREME COURT LIMITS APPLICATION OF MILITARY LAW
6 - ELECTION DISPUTE CONTINUES
7 - WALMART LAUNDERING MONEY AND EVADING TAXES

-The Junta of Good Government in La Realidad denounces land theft, attacks and provocations by government authorities, the Green Party and the PRD. 
-The Junta of Good Government in Morelia denounces an armed attack by members of ORCAO on August 2. The Regional Organization of Coffee Growers of Ocosingo (ORCAO) is affiliated with local PRD leaders.

2 - EGG SHORTAGE THREATENS NUTRITION
Egg prices are spiking at double the levels of only a few weeks ago as Mexicans face a shortage of their most important source of protein. A June bird flu epidemic in Michoacan- the heart of the country’s egg industry -wrought havoc in Mexico’s egg markets, with a kilo now priced at more than US$3. Mexicans typically consume 350 eggs per person per year, the highest consumption rate in the world. As the Calderon administration struggles to replace more than 11 million chickens slaughtered to control the flu epidemic, low-quality imports from the US and Central America are beginning to enter the market, often at usurious prices.

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News and Analysis: June 25 - July 1

1 - MEXICAN ELECTIONS MARRED BY FRAUD
2 - US SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS KEY ANTI-IMMIGRANT LAW
3 - WTO RULING FAVORS MEXICO

Exit polls released late Sunday night show PRI candidate Enrique Pena Nieto winning Mexico’s presidency, with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the PRD finishing a surprisingly close second, and PANista Josefina Vazquez Mota a distant third.  CNN, Parametria, and Mitofsky exit polls all showed Pena Nieto with about 41% and Lopez Obrador with about 32%, though a “quick-count” based on a sampling of returns from across the country showed a closer race, and the actual returns gave Pena Neta 38% with Lopez Obrador close behind at 33%.  Vazquez Mota was quick to concede Sunday evening, while Lopez Obrador will wait for the official vote announcement on Wednesday and may contest the election after reports of widespread fraud. The PRI reportedly offered pre-paid supermarket cards worth up to 1,000 pesos and millions of boxes filled with food or cheap electro-domestics in exchange for votes.  Vote-buying was particularly widespread in Mexico State, where Pena Nieto served as Governor, and Veracruz, with some reports of as many as a million votes purchased in Mexico State alone.  Pena Nieto reportedly spent up to five times his legally allotted campaign fund, with massive private donations from businesses looking for influence in his administration.  And he enjoyed a virtual lock on news coverage by Televisa, the largest of two national television networks.  His wife, Angelica Rivera, is a popular soap opera star on the network.  

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News and Analysis: April 30 - May 6, 2012

1 - MAY 19 DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH ZAPATISTAS
2 - ANTITRUST COMMISSION BUCKLES BEFORE CARLOS SLIM
3 - WALMART UPDATE
4 - MEXICO APPROVES COMPENSATION FOR CRIME VICTIMS
5 - NEW BI-NATIONAL POLICE ACADEMY OPENS IN PUEBLA
6 - POLITICS OR SOCCER?

The Mexico-based National Network against Repression and for Solidarity called for coordinated protests on May 19 in solidarity with the Zapatista movement.  While the Zapatistas continue to build autonomy and resist neoliberalism, the Chiapas state government of Juan Sabines Guerrero has implemented a strategy of low intensity warfare.  Zapatista communities are under constant attack, particularly the community of Nuevo Paraiso in the Garrucha zone of Chiapas.  The National Network demands an end to the war against zapatismo.  Zapatista communities are not alone!  An attack on Zapatista communities is an attack against all of us!  The Mexico Solidarity Network is a member of the National Network against Repression and for Solidarity, and strongly supports the call for action.

Friday, May 18 at 2PM:  The Centro Autonomo de Albany Park convenes a march in front of the Mexican Consulate in Chicago.

Saturday, May 19 at Noon: The Centro Autonomo de Albany Park calls for educational fliers and a march in the Latino barrio of Albany Park.  Meet at the Centro Autonomo, 3460 W Lawrence Ave, at noon.

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News and Analysis: April 2 - 15

1 - CONTROVERSIAL NGO VIDEO GOES VIRAL
2 - CALDERON VISITS CUBA
3 - OBAMA AND CALDERON EXCHANGE BARBS
4 - PEMEX SUES US-BASED OIL COMPANIES
5 - MSN PROGRAMS:  Email us here or call (773) 583-7728   

A video featuring children in the roles of drug dealer, hit man, kidnapper, corrupt police officer, more corrupt politician, migrant smuggler, and crime victim drew the ire of Mexico's political class, while delighting civil society. The non-government organization Nuestro Mexico del Futuro posted the professionally produced video on their YouTube site, then pulled it after a day, apparently under pressure from the very politicians who were the brunt of the criticism. But not before over 3 million people viewed it. Mexico's business community financed at least part of the production. The four-minute clip ends a ten-year-old girl calling out all four of the presidential candidates, "If this is the future that is awaiting me, I don't want it. Enough working for your political parties and not for us. Enough fixing the country from the very top. Time has run out. Mexico has hit bottom. Are [the politicians] only interested in the throne or will they change the future of the country?" [see more at LA TimesInformador]

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