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AMLO: J’accuse!

16 June 2009

You didn’t think he was going to just dry up and disappear, did you?
(My translation of a short item by Alfredo Valadez, in yesterday’s Jornada)

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced today that he has  lodged formal denunciations (criminal complaints) before Federal Prosecutor  Jose Agustín Ortiz Pincheti, in Mexico City against ten people Lopez Obrador said were reponsible for a number of crimes:  corruption, influence peddling and misappropriation of public funds.

“I am presenting a denunciation against [Felipe] Calderón, because Calderón is a bandit” adding that the chief executive’s practices and actions are “lamentable double-talk.”

On tour in Zacatecas, Lopez Obrador said that over the last two decades, the persons named in the complaint have commited the crimes listed in the denunciation, and that he believes he has submitted sufficient proof.

Those listed in the complaint are: Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Vicente Fox Quesada, Ernesto Zedillo, Jose Luis Barraza, Elbe Esther Gordillo, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, Diego Fernandez de Ceballos, Claudio X. González, Roberto Hernandez and Gastón Azcárraga.

Salinas, Fox and Zedillo are all former presidents.  Calderón, of course, is the sitting president, though his election was viewed as fraudulant by a significant proportion of the electorate, which believed Lopez Obrador was actually elected.

Diego Fernandez de Ceballos, PAN leader and former presidential candidate, led attempts in the Senate to have Lopez Obrador removed from office (and barred from running for public office) during AMLO”s tenure as head of the Federal District goverment.  Elbe Esther Gordillo is the widely despised head of the powerful teachers’ union, often referred to (even by her admirers) as “Sra. Hoffa.”

Barraza, González, Hernandez and Azcárraga are all business executives.

All are connected to parties opposed to those which support him, or he supports.

Lopez Obrador is often seen as grand-standing (with good reason), but I’ve never thought of him as Quixotic,  and never seen him as stupid, crazy or seeking martyrdom.  The chances of a serious criminal investigation don’t seem particularly good, but the timing is interesting… federal elections are less than a month away.

I wouldn’t be surprised if AMLO is using the criminal charges to pump support for the two minor parties (the Workers Party and Convergencia) that he is supporting in the elections nationally (outside the Federal District, where he is supporting the PRD) .  And, I wouldn’t be suprised if there is at least some substance to his allegations… he’s been derided for claiming “plots” before, and turned out to be correct.  Not to mention his “legitimate presidency” was never meant to be a game, but, both as a think-tank and a tool for developing future political strategies, may have been doing some solid opposition research.

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