NYT Editorial July 7th:
When Mexican voters went to the polls to select a new president, many people believed that the worst possible outcome of the race between the conservative Felipe Calderón and the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador would be a near-tie that would leave the winner without the aura of authority necessary to govern effectively. If that is so, the results were as bad as conceivably possible....
But there are enough problems to warrant a complete recount. Some polling stations that have recounted their ballots have found that the votes were misrecorded on tally sheets. The earlier discrepancies appeared to largely favor Mr. Calderón, in at least one case mistakenly awarding him hundreds of extra votes....Mr. Calderón, for his part, should not oppose a recount. If the result favors him, he should be able to govern more effectively.
Marginal note: compare that last paragraph with the wildly dishonest LA Times
In a news conference with foreign correspondents, Calderon ... pointed out that many ballot boxes were reopened and recounted Wednesday during the preparation of the final vote tally. Those recounts, he said, found only "minor variations" from the election night tally.
You can't "point out" something that is a lie.
But the New York Times doubled it's near zero credibility with me today, when it published the following
by a NYU historian, Greg Grandin:
...Mexico's current electoral crisis likewise is propelled by rural unrest — this time largely brought about by the anger of agricultural workers displaced by the North American Free Trade Agreement. ...Mexican farmers simply can't compete with capital-intensive United States agribusiness, which continues to enjoy generous government subsidies. Moreover, Mexican commodity importers receive low-interest loans to buy crops from the United States. Every year, nearly three million tons of harvested Mexican corn is left to rot because it is too expensive to sell.
... For the last decade and a half, Washington and its allies in Mexican politics, including Mr. Calderón, have promoted a free-trade economic model that has failed to deliver the prosperity its advocates promised. Although the Mexican economy grew by 3 percent last year, the country's poverty and inequality indicators remain typical to bad by Latin American standards, with the richest 10 percent of citizens controlling 43 percent of the country's wealth, while some 40 percent of Mexicans live below the poverty line.
These problems, combined with Mexican anger over the immigration debate in the United States, run the risk of souring relations between our two countries for the foreseeable future.
... The disputed votes include the 904,000 annulled ballots that come primarily from regions that went heavily for Mr. López Obrador, as well as discrepancies between the numbers handed in by polling stations and the actual ballots cast.
The best thing the United States can do now is to support the push for a recount and to refrain... If the Bush administration does otherwise, it might help begin yet another season of Mexican upheaval ....