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Mexico: Partial Vote Recount Confirms Massive and Systematic Election Fraud

by NarcoNews - Aug 15, 2006 Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 1:22 PM

NarcoNews - Aug 15, 2006

http://www.narconews.com/Issue42/article2010.html

Mexico:

Partial Vote Recount Confirms Massive and Systematic Election Fraud

With Less than 9 Percent of Precincts Recounted, More than 126,000 Votes Are Found to Have Been Disappeared or Illegally Fabricated

By Al Giordano

Part V of a Special Series

Finally, the hard numbers are starting to come in. In the "partial recount"of paper ballots from the July 2 presidential election in Mexico, ordered by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (known as the Trife), the recount has been completed in 10,679 precincts of the 11,839 ordered by the court (about 9 percent of Mexico's 130,000 precincts). From these precincts,

Narco News has obtained the following preliminary numbers that confirm the massive and systematic electoral fraud inflicted on the Mexican people:

* In 3,074 precincts (29 percent of those recounted), 45,890 illegal votes, above the number of voters who cast ballots in each polling place, were found stuffed inside the ballot boxes (an average of 15 for each of these precincts, primarily in strongholds of the National

Action Party, known as the PAN, of President Vicente Fox and his candidate, Felipe Calderón).

* In 4,368 precincts (41 percent of those recounted), 80,392 ballots of citizens who did vote are missing (an average of 18 votes in each of these precincts).

* Together, these 7,442 precincts contain about 70 percent of the ballots recounted. The total amount of ballots either stolen or forged adds up to 126,282 votes altered.

* If the recount results of these 10,679 precincts (8.2 percent of the nation's 130,000 polling places) are projected nationwide, it would mean that more than 1.5 million votes were either stolen or stuffed in an election that the first official count claimed was won by Calderon by only 243,000 votes.

* Among the findings of this very limited partial recount are that in 3,079 precincts where the PAN party is strong and where, in many cases, the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) of candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador did not count with election night poll watchers, one or more of three things occurred: Either the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE, in its Spanish initials) illegally provided more ballots than there are voters in those precincts, or the PAN party stole those extra ballots, or ballots were forged.

"Taqueo and Saqueo"

These preliminary recounts demonstrate mainly two kinds of fraud: "taqueo," or the stuffing of ballot boxes with false votes as if putting extra beans inside a taco, and "saqueo," or "looting," that is, the disappearance of

legitimate ballots cast.

A significant problem, now, for Mexican democracy (for those who claim that the election was fair, and also for those who view this evidence as proof of electoral fraud) is that there is no way to tell, inside each ballot

box, which of the ballots were legal and which were not; nor which ballots were stolen and which were not.

In some past post-electoral disputes for state and local offices, the Trife electoral court has opted, based on this kind of evidence, to annul the results from those precincts where stuffing or looting occurred.

If the Trife follows the law and its own established precedents, and annuls the results in these 7,442 precincts where the fraud took place, it would

reverse the official results and López Obrador would emerge the victor by more than 425,000 votes nationwide.

Specifically, Calderón would lose 1,225,326 votes from his tally, while López Obrador would lose just 556,600; a difference of 668,726. When factoring in IFE's claim that Calderón has a more than 243,000 vote advantage, López Obrador would still win the election by those 425,000 votes plus some.

In other words, if the Supreme Electoral Court determines that only half of the problematic precincts are to be annulled, López Obrador would still be

declared the presidential victor. To continue to impose Calderón, at this point, would require the court's endorsement of results from at least 4,000

precincts that the recount has demonstrated were scenes of the electoral crimes of ballot-stuffing and ballot-theft.

By failing to annul those precincts, the court would, in effect, annul the legitimacy of the Mexican State, lighting the fuse on a social conflict much larger than anything that has yet occurred in the wake of the fraudulent election.

The Clock Is Ticking

The Trife court has a constitutional deadline of August 31 to complete its

computations and of September 6 to either declare the presidential winner

or, alternately, to annul the elections. The court has very broad and

absolute power to annul up to 20 percent of the precincts without annulling

the entire election (annulment would mean that Congress would choose an

interim president and new elections would be called within two years). If

the Trife annuls more than 20 percent of the precincts, the entire election

would have to be annulled.

López Obrador and his supporters have demanded a full recount of all

precincts: "Vote by vote, precinct by precinct." And, indeed, the results

of the partial recount strongly suggest that a full recount would

demonstrate that they won the election. As the tension has risen, and the

deadlines approach, López Obrador supporters maintain a 12-mile encampment

in downtown Mexico City, have symbolically closed government office

buildings, held mass marches with millions of protesters, maintained

encampments outside of IFE offices throughout the country, and this past

week began "takings" of toll booths on federal highways, allowing motorists

to pass through without paying.

López Obrador has already announced that if the Trife tries to impose

Calderón, there will be "civil resistance" at the halls of Congress on

September 1, when President Vicente Fox must give his annual State of the

Union address, and that on Mexico's national Independence Day, September

15, when the president traditionally leads the "cry of pain" from the

Mexico City Zocalo, the opponents to the electoral fraud will displace Fox

with a cry of their own.

Many observers viewed the Trife court's initial rejection of a full recount

as a reflection of the court's own bias and willingness to impose Calderón

as president at any cost. Others believe that the electoral court's own

established precedent of annulling precincts where ballot stuffing or theft

occurred puts it in a position of having to annul those 7,442 precincts

(almost six percent of all precincts nationwide), reversing the results of

the election. Also, recently, one of the justices of the nation's Supreme

Court suggested in public that if the Trife doesn't or can't establish

certainty over the result, the highest court may then intervene. In other

words, September 6 might not be the final date of the legal conflict over

this very tarnished election.

Presence of Malice

The partial recount has also revealed more evidence of a pattern of malice

on the part of IFE officials. The existence of more ballots than there are

voters in PAN stronghold precincts indicates that either the IFE illegally

sent more ballots than allowed to those precincts, or somehow the party in

power obtained them by other illegal means. The recount has also revealed a

massive number of precincts where the seals on the ballot boxes had been

broken since Election Day, opening the possibility that ballots were

inserted or removed after July 2nd.

Mexico's television duopoly - Televisa and TV Azteca - have declined to

report the irregularities that have surfaced as a result of the partial

recount. The same goes for much - but not all - of the corporate media. The

facts have instead broken the media blockade via Internet and organization,

as well as the detailed reporting of the daily La Jornada in Mexico City,

the daily Por Esto! in Yucatán (two of the nation's four largest

newspapers) and some other media. Add to this mediatic schizophrenia the

factor that those who support Calderón and insist the election was clean

are passive, lacking conviction, whereas those millions who believe an

electoral fraud was committed are active, and in the streets, and it is

evident that just as the Mexican State has lost legitimacy, the corporate

(especially television) media have lost credibility and power to spin

public opinion.

This morning, part of the protest encampment in downtown Mexico City, along

Madero Street, was dismantled by its participants and thousands moved, en

masse, to the entrance to the halls of the Federal Congress. Riot police

blocked them from reaching the doors. There was some pushing and shoving,

as the accompanying photos show, but demonstrators - who outnumbered police

by a factor of thousands - by and large remained peaceful, still holding

out a cubic-centimeter of hope that the Trife electoral tribunal will do

the right thing and fix the fraud. But that patience is as thin as a razor,

and as the clock counts down to the decision that the Trife must make by

September 6, the electoral court and its seven judges now have the facts in

hand, the evidence of systematic fraud that changed the results, which the

partial recount has furnished.

The anti-fraud protestors have maintained a peaceful round-the-clock vigil

outside the halls of Congress in the Mexico City neighborhood of San Lazaro

for various weeks, in which many of the current senators and congress

members from the PRD party have participated. At 2:15 this afternoon,

elements of the Federal Preventive Police (PFP, in its Spanish initials,

the same agency that invaded San Salvador Atenco in May) attacked the vigil

encampment, according to this wire report from La Jornada. (The report

states that six congressmen and women were wounded in the attack; El

Universal reports the number of legislators wounded by police at 11.) When

police forces attack and prevent duly elected senators and congress members

from entering their own governing hall, the term for that is coup d'etat.

It is an invitation to social revolution. The events of recent weeks and

months in Mexico suggest that Vicente Fox and his attack troops would be

wrong to presume that there are enough police in the country to hold back

the turn of history that he is provoking from above.

Today marks two months since June 14, when 15,000 citizens of Oaxaca beat

back and chased 3,000 riot cops from that city's historic center, revealing

the "new math" of Mexican protest movements. They have since taken the

state TV station and more than 30 city halls, as well as having shut down

the state government in their demand that repressive Governor Ulises Ruiz

Ortiz resign. Yet their numbers are a fraction of the masses that, in

Mexico City and elsewhere, are resisting the electoral fraud. And added to

the post-electoral conflict, more related to that in Oaxaca, is the

unsettled account of 30 political prisoners arrested May 3 and 4 in San

Salvador Atenco, the pending arrival there of indigenous comandantes from

the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials),

and the quiet organizing being done from Mexico City and in other states by

its Subcomandante Marcos and thousands of organizations and adherents to

the Zapatista Other Campaign, which, outside the glare of the media and the

electoral spectacle, organizes toward a national rebellion more ambitious

than saving the vote of a single election, but, rather, seeking to topple

an economic system. The Trife, if it imposes the fraud, will accelerate the

Zapatista calendar as perhaps the greatest consequence.

If the seven electoral justices believed that holding a partial recount

would calm passions, the facts unleashed by that partial recount have

served, instead, to flame them. What the judges do with those facts will

determine whether the institutions will correct the fraud, or whether the

institutions will risk, as in Oaxaca, falling from power because of trying

to impose an indefensible crime against Mexican society and democracy. What

seven judges decide in the next three weeks will mark a crossroads in

Mexican history... and that of all América.



[Narco News is funded by your contributions to The Fund for Authentic

Journalism. Please make journalism like this possible by going to The

Fund's web site and making a contribution today.]

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