By PJRC correspondent Alci.
Leftist PRD candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is now challenging the July 1st election results through legal channels, demanding the election be fully annulled due to vote buying and illegal campaign expenditures by the PRI and its candidate Enrique Pena Nieto.
Unlike 2006, when AMLO filled Mexico City's Zocalo with an estimated 1 million people protesting his half point loss to outgoing PAN president Felipe Calderon, this time around he has officially called for local assemblies in multiple cities where citizens can report or provide evidence of ballot-rigging or vote-buying by the PRI. The assemblies are to last until September 6, when Mexico's Electoral Court is to officially declare the winner of the elections, nobody expects anyone other than Pena Nieto to be declared the victor.
AMLO is betting on popular discontent to pressure a system he has declared corrupt and inept, it appears that his plan depends on a groundswell of evidence showing how the PRI bribed citizens through cash, gift cards and other materials. Interestingly enough, this new battle against electoral fraud has seen AMLO rediscover his militant rhetoric, long dumped during the campaign trail in favor of carefully crafted, centrist tones. Top officials of the right-wing PAN party have voiced support for AMLO's efforts to expose the elections as corrupt, but have fallen short of actually uniting with the PRD in any sort of front.
The #YoSoy132 student movement has taken its own path and is planning major acts of peaceful public disobedience. After numerous marches in the capital where thousands have gathered in the Zocalo, student leaders are starting to focus on bigger targets. On Friday, protesters from the movement plan to "occupy" the studios of Televisa, Latin America's most powerful TV network and one accused of being heavily biased towards the PRI. While the movement has refused to endorse AMLO explicitly, it has focused its energies on denouncing control of media outlets by elites who would like to see Pena Nieto take office.
On Monday, July 23, assemblies in Mexico City discussed what actions to take once protesters peacefully surround or enter Televisa's headquarters. Among the proposals are ideas to produce videos which protesters can pressure the network to air, detailing the movement and its overall demands, others are suggesting that a broad manifesto or statement should be drafted which would then be read by Televisa news anchors. The Mexico City section of #YoSoy132 is also discussing plans for expressing solidarity with fellow protesters arrested by state security officials in Oaxaca, a state famous for both its upheavals and official repression. The movement's Judicial & Human Rights Committee has issued a statement denouncing excessive use of force against 132 protesters in Oaxaca as well as in Guanajuato.
Hovering over these developments is the reality that Felipe Calderon will be gone come December when Mexico swears in its new president, but he won't take the drug war with him. Pena Nieto has already promised not to negotiate with the cartels while insisting he will tone down official military deployments, focusing instead on a centralized, national police force which will still include military personnel.