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Power to the People….

21 August 2006

but to which people? Mexico has demonstrations breaking out all over… like zits on a 14 yr. old boys face. Candidates are crying “foul”, disgruntled voters are filling the streets, and the kiddos are playing hooky.

Armed with pipes and clubs, teachers in Oaxaca have taken control of at least 8 private radio stations in the state of Oaxaca. Today, gunmen opened fire on a teacher held government run radio station. That’s when the teachers were prompted to take over the 8 private radio stations. Strikers then broadcast messages to parents telling them to ignore the start of the school year. No school until further notice, moms and dads. Maestros have been striking since May for higher wages and for the resignation of Gov. Ulises Ruiz.

The governor’s race in Chiapas has taken off in the same direction as the presidential election in Mexico City. Only a bout 3,000 votes separate the two candidates in Chiapas. Juan Sabines of PRD holds a slim lead over Jose Aguilar Bodegas of PRI. Both parties are declaring victory!

PAN withdrew its candidate two weeks ago, and President Fox threw his support to PRI’s candidate…. a surprising move on his part. Meanwhile, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is hoping that Sabines will be victorious. It will hurt AMLO’s own battle with Calderon if Sabines loses his race in Chiapas. Both parties are crying, “fraud”. Which part of this is new?

Meanwhile (back to center stage), time is running out for AMLO and his supporters. A president-elect must be declared by Sept. 6. Mr. Obrador admits that “there has been a drain of support”. The chaos of his supporters’ blockades of major thoroughfares, has taken a toll on the residents of df. He wants to force the country’s electoral tribunal to order a full recount of the votes.

Politically speaking, Mr. Obrador stuck his neck out by rallying thousands of his supporters to stage demonstrations and to occupy the zocalo and the Paseo de la Reforma for all these weeks. It was a risky move because it may have alienated members of his own party who did well at the legislative level. If he presses for more radical acts, he could completely erode his power base.

There’s a lot of high stakes Russian roulette being played out in Mexico these days. Stay tuned!

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