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Peña’s overthrow?

5 June 2015

Fair or not, Jorge Carrasco Araizaga (Proceso, 4 June 2015) sees Sunday’s election not so much as a rejection of the Peña Nieto administration as an admission by that administration of its own failures.  And Mexico’s

My quick and dirty translation:

Sunday’s elections are anticipated to mark a defeat for the government of Enrique Peña Nieto.

The president and his government are reduced to mere by-standers to those who have challenged the electoral process, one marked by violence and illegality.

The immediate concern is organized crime in Tamaulipas, Jalisco and Michoacan, and radical and anti-government movements in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Puebla.

If the score of murders and threats to candidates and political operatives in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Michoacan, Tabasco, Yucatan, Veracruz, Puebla, State of Mexico and the Federal District, along with clashes in Sonora, just to mention the best known cases, almost half of the states have experienced electoral violence even before election day.

Particularly troubling was the incident in Tamaulipas last Tuesday (2 June) when a grenade was thown at the headquarters of the Federal Judiciary Council (CJF) in Matamoros, the first attack ever on the Federal Judiciary. Although the CJF is alien to the electoral process, the attack that left four injured is part of the atmosphere of violence and illegality surrounding the general election.

Even more serious for the country’s stability it is that illegal activities are being driven by the policial powers and the party system itself. The persistent challenges of the Green Party to the electoral law has been one example no one can miss.

With the backing of the ruling PRI — with which the Greens are presently allied — or with PAN — which has formed alliances with the Greens in expection of a coming victory — the Greens have devoted themselves to violating the electoral law to the point that they generated an organized social reaction intended to withdraw the party’s registration.

The brazenness of the Green Party can not be taken for just a campaign issue. There needs to be a continuing discussion of the circumstances under which a party should lose its registration and how to deal with such parties as part of political coalitions.

Although it was the most obvious law-breaker, the Greens were hardly alone. Beyond the accusations of the involvement of organized crime in the elections, itself a serious problem, candidates and political operatives acted as real criminals, organized to commit unlawful acts and cover-up their activities.

Wiretaps leaked during election campaign offer a collection of evidence of varied criminal activity by those seeking to maintain or gain power.

The desire to maintain or gain power has led to parties and candidates to violate as many laws as possible with the certainty that will not be punished due to a lack of accountability.

They know that beyond the scandal reported in the press, perhaps they will be fined and their (state-funded) resources questioned, but will seek to the monetary penalty, which they will pay with public funds.

What is ideal for parties is the worst possible deal for citizens, made worse by the failure of the head of state to exercize his authority. The electoral process has shown the transcendental weakness of Peña Nieto and displays to the world the depths to which Mexico has sunk.

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