Mexico News and Analysis: November 1-7, 2010

1 - HONDURAN CARAVAN SEARCHES FOR DISAPPEARED MIGRANTS
2 - POLITICIANS FIGHT OVER FEDERAL ELECTORAL INSTITUTE

1 - HONDURAN CARAVAN SEARCHES FOR DISAPPEARED MIGRANTS
Members of a caravan of parents of Honduran immigrants who disappeared in Mexican territory during their journeys to the US searched this week for their family members.  The caravan accused Mexican authorities, particularly police and immigration agents, of negligence and gross human rights violations.  The caravan includes eleven mothers and two fathers of disappeared migrant workers.  The caravan departed from Honduras on October 29 with a list of more than 800 disappeared, including 275 with photos and complete historical documentation that could facilitate police investigations.  Caravan members called on President Calderon to prosecute officials at the National Institute of Immigration who are linked to organized crime or who mistreat migrant workers.  In one small success, while visiting the Casa del Migrante in the State of Mexico, 72-year-old Emeteria Martinez found her daughter, Ada Ortiz, after nearly 20 years of separation.
 
2 - POLITICIANS FIGHT OVER FEDERAL ELECTORAL INSTITUTE
The three main political parties continued their fight this week over the composition of the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE).  Three seats on the nine member panel are vacant, and the PRI, which holds a majority in the lower house, wants to claim two, leaving one for the PAN.  The IFE has a short but complicated history.  Originally convened in the mid 1990s to oversee federal elections, the nine member panel was initially divided equally among the PRI, PAN and PRD.  In 2003, Elba Esther Gordillo, who was the head of the PRI bank in the lower house at the time, engineered an IFE with five members from the PRI and four from the PAN, leaving the PRD without representation.  When Gordillo defected from the PRI to the PAN in the run up to the 2006 presidential elections, the PAN in effect controlled all nine members, in large part accounting for the fraudulent presidential elections that placed PANista Felipe Calderon as President over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the PRD.  The PRI hopes to win the 2012 presidential elections and wants to have sufficient influence within the IFE to defend the expected results.  With the possibility of a PRD/PAN alliance in 2012 for the presidency, the political calculations become ever more complicated.  Only one thing is certain – no one is interested in assuring clean elections.