Thursday, August 24, 2006


Mexico, serenely peaceful

For two days in a row, unidentified persons violently attacked the journalists at the daily Por Esto! on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. On Tuesday, August 22, in Mérida, a Molotov cocktail thrown at a reporter’s wife as she was exiting a car engulfed her 1980 Volkswagen beetle instantly in flames. She escaped unharmed.... Among those most exposed by Por Esto!’s reports have been politicians and businessmen that are key players in the Fox administration: Yucatán Governor Patricio Patrón Laviada, Citigroup-Banamex board member Roberto Hernández Ramírez, and, most recently, Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute (IFE). Since the July 2 presidential election in Mexico, Por Esto! has reported the details of election fraud, while also publishing the entire texts of protest speeches delivered in Mexico City by candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador. ...The government of President Vicente Fox has attempted to close the newspaper for six years now by withholding more than three million dollars of rebates owed on taxes already paid, and has charged Menéndez and others at the daily with an unending series of spurious accusations that, each time the courts have dismissed the charges, new ones were invented. ... The Tuesday morning violence in the Yucatán capital city of Mérida was the second Molotov attack against the home of investigative reporter Jaime Vargas Chablé, who has led many journalistic investigations publishing facts about criminal activity by state and federal officials. Ten months ago, at four in the morning, the family awoke to a loud noise on their home’s roof – the impact of a Molotov explosion – and had to evacuate, with their children, from the burning house. The newspaper has reported that a narcotrafficker was behind the attacks. It certainly looks as if the Vicente Fox Administration is behind the narcotrafficker. And behind Vicente Fox would be...? Please, do take a guess. This is not a trick question. Meanwhile, in Chiapas, where there has been a serenely peaceful election, El Universal reports that the ballot box for precinct 1612-2 has serenely and peacefully disappeared from the premises of the electoral institute. The PRD's coalition happened to retain a copy of the precinct tally. Meanwhile, PRI claims there were a mere 2,400 irregularities in the 4,760 precincts. Strange anomalies of weight of the ballot box, unregistered voters, and voters without proper credentials. But, they say, they will win by 3,750 votes the election they lost. (Via SenderodelPeje) Here's a good backgrounder on the Mexican economy from the Center for Economic Policy Research. Also, a blindingly clear explanation by CEPR of why the dead-of-night, no--PRD-witnesses-present recount by the election institute was so deficient.
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