Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 July 2006

Mexican presidential election:

Another stolen presidency?

Country threatens to erupt if the right steals election

HUNDREDS of thousands of presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's supporters rallied in Mexico City to demand a full recount of the country's hotly contested presidential election. The Federal Electoral Institute had declared Felipe Calderon of the ruling national Action Party (NAP) the winner with 35.88% of the vote compared to 35.31% for Lopez Obrador. George Bush immediately congratulated Calderon, despite widespread fraud allegations. ALAN JONES from Socialist Alternative (CWI, USA) explains the background to recent developments.

THE 2 July elections in Mexico were a bitterly polarised electoral contest described by the New York Times as a contrast between "promise and fear." The "promise" part represented the empty promises for jobs and a decent life by the Harvard-educated, millionaire right-wing candidate of the National Action Party (PAN) Felipe Calderon. The "fear" was for the high anxiety of the Mexican and US ruling class over a possible victory by the radical populist Lopez Obrador, candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

Obrador was ahead in the polls for months before the elections and all exit polls indicated a lead for the PRD candidate. Yet, after the election, and with three million votes reported "missing," both Obrador and Calderon claimed victory.

On 5 July, a later partial recount showed Obrador again in the lead, resulting in the Mexican stock market index falling 4% and the peso plunging against the dollar because of the uncertainty and tension. In the US and Mexican corporate media there were fears that there may be clashes as the polarisation and anger against fraud threaten to explode.

History of fraud

THE EVENTS that followed the election of 2 July bear an eerie resemblance to the presidential elections of 1988 when the left candidate of the PRD Cardenas, was defeated by massive fraud after a "computer collapse" and the award of the election to Salinas of the corrupt PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party). Salinas, and after him Zedillo and current president Vincente Fox of the PAN, went ahead with a massive programme of privatisations and attacks on the living standards of millions of Mexican workers and peasants while opening the country to the plunder and exploitation of US capital through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Millions of displaced and impoverished Mexican peasants and workers especially from the south had to emigrate internally to the new factories in the maquiladoras or as undocumented immigrants in the United States in order to survive. As a result of NAFTA, the real wages of unskilled workers have further declined since the collapse of the Mexican economy in the 1980s and Mexican workers are now facing mounting wage pressure from China.

The imposition of Felipe Calderon as President would mean the continuation of the same policies, which are threatening to cause a social explosion.

The election took place as hundreds of thousands of miners, teachers and other workers were staging strikes and demonstrations across Mexico. The death of 65 coal miners in Coahuila state in February was followed by an explosion of struggles by miners and metal workers demanding an emergency wage increase, safe working conditions and an end to privatisations.

Popular rebellion

STARTING IN May 2006, 70,000 teachers in the state of Oaxaca have been on strike for higher wages. Following attacks by 1,700 riot police, teachers - armed with sticks and stones - fought running battles and eventually overpowered them. The movement in Oaxaca has broadened into a popular rebellion. Meanwhile, hundreds of unions and community organisations representing over 10 million workers are calling a nationwide general strike for 28 July.

The mass support for the campaign of Obrador, was an indication of the determination of the working class and the most oppressed to defeat the neo-liberal policies. Lopez Obrador campaigned as a populist adopting the slogan, "For the Good of Everyone, the Poor First."

Obrador pledged to renegotiate sections of NAFTA in order to protect domestic producers from US agricultural imports. At the same time, he has repeatedly made clear to business and banking groups that he can be trusted to safeguard their interests and balance the budget.

A government led by Lopez Obrador would be a major irritant to George Bush who has thus far only had to deal with the compliant right-wing president Vicente Fox. His victory could possibly open the floodgates to a new wave of struggles by the Mexican workers and peasants and will have important repercussions north of the border on the Latino population in the US especially over the issue of undocumented immigrants. The remittances of Mexican immigrants in the United States - approximately $18 billion a year - is now the second most important source of foreign exchange, after oil, flowing into Mexico.

The only way to defeat the electoral fraud organised by the ruling class and its operatives is for the independent unions and community organisations that supported Obrador to call mass demonstrations across Mexico, organise action committees and prepare for a general strike to bring the country at a standstill. However, it is unlikely that Obrador and the PRD will take such action as his programme hardly touches the heart of the crisis in Mexico, ie capitalism.

LATIN AMERICA is in the midst of a continental revolt against the governments and ruling elites which have relentlessly followed neo-liberal free-market policies for more than a decade.

Over 215 million people - a staggering 41% of the continent's population - are "living in poverty," while an additional 18% are facing hunger. As a result there has been an explosion of mass opposition. Struggles of workers, peasants, indigenous people, students and others exploited by capitalism and imperialism have erupted in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia and many other countries.

In Venezuela and Bolivia mass social movements resulted in the election of left populist governments that challenge US imperialism.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 13 July 2006:

Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: Uniting to fight the cuts

Hewitt hides from health protesters

Save our hospital

TUC lobby

Youth and Education

Low Pay,No Way!

Parents win High Court victory

Socialist Party campaigns

Welfare Reform Bill scapegoats disabled people!

Fighting the far-right BNP

Wales launches Campaign for New Workers' Party

International socialist news and analysis

Israeli regime’s air invasion of Lebanon threatens regional war

Another stolen presidency in Mexico?

Netherlands: Coalition government falls apart

Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

RMT conference: Striking back against privatisation

"Join the union to change the union"

Socialist Party feature

How the farmworkers got organised

National Blood Service: Fighting job cuts

Socialist Party review

'Storming heaven': Battle for Spain - The Spanish Civil War

Socialist Party National committee report

Build the Socialist Party


Home   |   The Socialist 13 July 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleItalian elections create huge political shake-up

triangleSocialist Party congress 2018

triangleMay's EU speech kicks the can down the road

triangleBlairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor

triangleUsdaw victory - Socialist Party member Amy Murphy wins presidential election


triangleWest Virginia teachers' strike victory

triangleUS school shootings: student walkouts challenge establishment

triangle15 years since the invasion of Iraq: what we said

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: US gun control


triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

triangleHurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism


triangleRed Mary - a Force of Nature

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907


triangleMexico: Teachers continue strike despite extreme repression

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Homes for All - Not billionaire profit!



School strikes against academy management



Hands Off HRI campaign granted judicial review



Refugee Rights to be launched in Manchester



Over 1,000 on Newcastle NHS march


Socialist Party

Why I joined: 'The Socialist Party is at the forefront of defending Corbyn's anti-austerity leadership'


Socialist Party

Past fund-raising campaigns show dedication to the fight for socialism


May Day

Ideas matter: help us fight to win with May Day greetings



Refugees march against racism and to demand rights



Unions condemn 'culture of bullying' at Merseyside hospital



Hull college workers ballot for action against mass redundancies



Strikers and parents rally again in Newham against academies



Hinkley workers win back unpaid wages after sit-in protest



UCU strike: staff and students unite to continue pensions fight after magnificent 14 days of action



Walkout from undercover policing inquiry

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018