Monday, September 04, 2006


Um, Travelocity... about that trip to the Yucatan we booked...

Al Giordano in NarcoNews:
On Friday morning, September 1, attackers tossed two fragmentation grenades into the lobby of the daily Por Esto!, a newspaper known to Narco News readers whose publisher, Mario Menéndez Rodríguez was our victorious co-defendant in the 2001 Drug War on Trial case. It is a busy lobby ... Security guards and staff in the adjacent room were wounded by flying shards of glass and temporarily deafened by the sound of the explosion. Fortunately, no one was in the lobby, because this kind of grenade is a weapon designed to kill. The other grenade failed to explode....It was the third violent attack against Por Esto! reporters in eight days, the second in the city of Mérida. However, this time, the guilty parties overplayed their hand. In lieu of pursuing the perpetrators, who escaped in a blue Explorer van, the state attorney general (handpicked by the governor) went and rounded up an anthropology professor and collaborator with the newspaper, Ricardo Delfín Quezada Domínguez of the Autonomous University of Yucatán, and in a mockery of justice detained him for the crime. “He’s my brother!” don Mario told Narco News as the professor was being interrogated in jail. “This is the man who has denounced all the environmental crimes by the government and its oil company!” The reaction by Civil Society was swift and on a scale not seen since the 1990s ...More than two hundred taxi drivers flocked to the scene of the crime on the corner of 60th and 73rd Streets near downtown Mérida, across the street from the Libertad Menéndez public school. The combative union president, Nerio Torres Ortíz told publisher Menéndez Rodríguez that his members will patrol the streets, office and homes of Por Esto!’s journalists, converting themselves into “taxi driver sentinels” to assume the job that the government of Patricio Patrón Laviada and his keystone prosecutors would not do. “We come here today full of rage, full of consternation, because it is not possible that in a land like ours, accustomed to living in peace and tranquility, they want to silence, with violence or terrorism, the only information source that speaks truthfully and in favor of the people of Yucatán,” said don Nerio to don Mario and the crowd that gathered in front of the newspaper headquarters.
The thing you need to understand this little episode is this fragment from Ernesto Villanueva, a researcher at the judicial investigations department at UNAM, who says that this incident ...tastes of the hatred of Governor Patricio Patrón Laviada, whose brother Alejandro is linked, with the proofs to hand, with a protection racket related to narcotrafficking... Whoa! Is he saying that the governor is protecting a member of organized crime, even though the evidence is in? Well, yes. And the federal government, run by PAN, is not arresting the hoods. Because the narcotraffickers are part of the system of repression. There is good news in another rebel state: The Secretary of Government and the Oaxacan protestors are talkingAs far as I know, no one has been killed in the last 72 hours. This is a good sign. I think this is mere opportunism, that PAN is hoping to settle AMLO's hash, at which point they'll go back to death squad operations in Oaxaca. The protestors have made it clear that Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz has to go and there's no way that PAN will let its faithful servant be discharged in this manner, much less prosecute him for the corruption and violence that turned a run-of-the-mill teachers's strike into an insurrection. Ifigenia Martinez of the PRD, writing in El Universal, states the basic complaints (my paraphrase): Between arithmetic errors, of data entry, and lack of uniform standards, at the very least an error of five votes per precinct has been recognized. Extrapolated over 130,488 precincts, that margin of error represents 1.59% [which would have easily swung the election].... There were 72 million names on the voting rolls and so presumably 72 million ballots were sent out. There were only 42 million votes. Why can't we determine precisely how many were sent to each precinct, how many were properly used and especially, how many remain? In the limited recount ordered by the election court, this requirement was neither met nor dealt with. Experts agreed that "in the states won by Lopez Obrador, they counted fewer presidential votes than congressional, while in states favorable to PAN, they counted more presidential votes than congressional," suggesting a transfer of votes from one candidate to another. In an interval of 39 precincts, there were 10,000 extra votes, which was only possible if there were more than 760 votes per precinct and they all voted. There were 39 precincts in which there should have been 29,640 votes, but the IFE reported 36,640. According to another independent investigator, there were a second archive of 7.5 million votes which weren't reported. These two archives of votes, "interpreted" only by IFE, were put back in the datastream and one questions whether the alterations resulted in some twist that could have changed the final result. The electoral court (TEPFJ) should take these matters into consideration. Maybe the Bribiesca boys aren't home free. Gonzales Schmal will present his allegations. These include a claim that the Institute for the Protection of Savings and Banks accepted checks that were improperly signed and may have represented corrupt transactions. Jorge Alberto Bribiesca wrote one for 1.3 million pesos so that Construcciones acquired the Los Pirules farm in Celaya, Guanajuato, which was sold for 4.3 million pesos. Someone can check my translation, but it seems like a land flip business, in which land is sold at fire sale prices and then resold for a 300-plus% profit. Extra! Extra! Cardinal comes out against doing bad stuff: Cardinal Rivera Carrera says that no Christian can justify violence: "No one who calls himself a Catholic can be act by means of hate. It is not permissible to anyone to offend, threaten, intimidate, strike, or --worse yet-- assassinate in the name of God. Thank heavens he didn't extend the prohibition to Protestants! What would PAN do then?
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