NarcoNews - Aug 15, 2006
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
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.
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