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MORENA protests Mexican election fraud

By Brad Sigal |
July 7, 2012
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MORENA Minnesota protest, July 7, 2012
MORENA Minnesota protest, July 7, 2012 (Fight Back! News/Staff)
MORENA Minnesota protest, July 7, 2012
MORENA Minnesota protest, July 7, 2012

Saint Paul, MN - The Minnesota chapter of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) organized a protest at the Mexican consulate here on July 7, protesting reportedly widespread fraud in the Mexican presidential election that took place on July 1. There are widespread reports of buying of votes, ballot irregularities, and other types of fraud. The July 7 protest in St. Paul coincided with massive protests in Mexico and elsewhere on the same day.

In the election on July 1, Enrique Peña Nieto was quickly declared the winner by the mass media and the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE). Peña Nieto was the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the party that ruled Mexico for 71 years until 2000, and was known for widespread corruption and violence to hold on to power in service of the interests of the rich. The PRI negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the U.S. and Canada. When NAFTA was imposed in 1994, it devastated Mexican agriculture, throwing millions into poverty and feeding a massive wave of migration of Mexicans to the United States in the 1990s and 2000s. The PRI was also responsible for massacres such as at Acteal massacre in Chiapas in 1997 and the Tlatelolco massacre of large numbers of student protesters during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.

The PRI lost elections for the first time in 2000 to another neo-liberal party, the National Action Party (PAN). If the currently announced election results stand, Peña Nieto’s election will return the PRI to power. This was the focus of MORENA’s protest, against what they call the imposition of Peña Nieto.

Andres Manuel López Obrador ran against Peña Nieto this year, uniting several forces to try to defeat the two neo-liberal parties (PRI and PAN). López Obrador’s coalition included the social democratic Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), along with some smaller parties and unions and mass organizations. MORENA was one of the new mass organizations that López Obrador initiated, which built chapters inside and outside of Mexico to independently mobilize to elect López Obrador and to continue to organize for change in Mexico.

López Obrador also ran for president in the prior election in 2006 and according to official results he was narrowly defeated, while there were also widespread reports of fraud. In response to that election, hundreds of thousands of Mexicans occupied the zocalo in the center of Mexico City and refused to leave for months, demanding the López Obrador be recognized as the legitimate president. In last week’s election López Obrador was again defeated, again with many reported reported irregularities.

In addition to protests, López Obrador is also pursuing a legal challenge to the election results based on the allegation that the PRI bought millions of votes.

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