Monday, October 16, 2006


Mexico Flyby

Proceso has the story of how narcotrafficking has penetrated the Mexican government which came out on Narconews. But they have carried it a step farther. The brothers of Marta Sahagun (Fox) are involved in it. It's behind the pay wall, but this is a story to watch. Another story worth watching is the rise of narco armies, which Proceso says have power in 20 states. These include "Zetas," marksmen, and child auxiliaries. They use grenades and rocket launchers, massive imprisonment, and information technology. The state and municipal police work openly for the Zetas in Tamaulipas, Acapulco, Guerreo, Tijuana, Baja California, Michoacán and Nuevo León. The Zetas tax narcotraffickers, businessmen, customs agents, and others. In Tabasco, PRI is leading in the gubernatorial race, which would mean Andrés Granier Melo would defeat César Raúl Ojeda Zubieta of the PRD. Lots of irregularities but, trailing 53:43 lead, Ojeda Zubieta will have to make a very good case. It was a nasty election. Skimming: In section 497 of Villa Luis Gil Pérez, the PRD alleged that a man was buying votes with money stuffed in a briefcase. In the town of Centla, people said they were registered but didn't appear on the rolls. In Pichucalco, a suburb of Cunduacan, PRDists surprosed the activist Angel de la Cruz giving money to PRIistas. De la Cruz tried to club them. La Gordita is planning to decertify the striking teachers of Oaxaca. President-Select FeCalBufon has already given Gordillo's union 41,670 M pesos (!) to do this. This is, no duh, bribery on a massive scale. (Image from La Jornada). Tuesday the Mexican Senate is poised to make a definitive decision this Tuesday, October 17, on the APPO’s central demand that the state government be dissolved. . The violence is clearly being coordinated at the top: Gunmen fired over 60 rounds [into a crowd], forcing the protesters to seek shelter under fire. Three hours later a caravan of police trucks arrived to “rescue” the gunmen, allowing them to escape without being apprehended by the APPO protesters....During a four-hour meeting with organizations from the APPO, people gave testimony about the police raid and paramilitary violence. Instead of handing over boxes of documents, the protesters submitted bullet shells, exploded gas grenades, and police batons and helmets that they have gathered . at about 2:30 in the morning on Saturday, October 14, soldiers in civilian clothes who tried to make their way through a barricade on the outskirts of the center of town, opened fire on APPO protesters guarding the barricade. Al Giordano has put together a good precis of the presidential election. A main point of interest is that, even still, no one can figure out exactly how the elections court arrived at its decisions, nor have any of its rulings on individual ballots been made known. Also, this: As PRD chairman, López Obrador immediately went on the attack, denouncing a string of financial crimes facilitated by Mexico’s bank insurance protection law, known as fobaproa. Banks loaned money to front-men and paper companies, who defaulted on the loans, which the government was then obliged to pay back to the banks. There's also a fair exposition of the "sound money" platform that Obrador ran on: a commitment to macro-economic stability, a ‘disciplined’ monetary policy and respect for the autonomy of the central bank, with (unquantified) pledges to fight poverty, raise the minimum wage and ‘modernize without privatizing’ the gas and oil tackling certain Mexican monopolies, he could unblock the paths for foreign capital even as he muffled labour protests. Having blocked the ascent of a pragmatic leftist, it's very likely Mexico will see the rise of extremism. Currently, out-of-mainstream resistance to the narcostate that seems to be enveloping Mexico comes from The Other Campaign. Giordano sketches the nature of The Other Campaign and touches on its radicalism, but doesn't drill down into its indigenous roots. Update: There was also a story about the police riot in Atenco that put the lie to a claim made in comments many moons ago. It was claimed that the politician responsible for the violence was a PRDist. In reality, the police included elements of the Third Brigade of Military Police, 700 members of the federal preventive police (PFP), dozens of municipal police from Texcoco, as well as 1,815 state security police under the nominal control of a PRD governor. At this point, we don't know who is to blame for the rapes and violence. But we do know that it was a lie to try to blame this on the PRD.
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