Me entrevistaron para el Tufts Observer

Pues me entrevistaron, por email, para el Tufts Observer sobre mi opinión del proceso electoral en México, asi que aquí esta lo que respondi:

I am happy to cooperate, however it is important to notice that I live in London (as of Oct/05), not in Mexico, so I followed most of the process using internet sources.

1. The election. The electoral process in Mexico is in general party driven; there is no space for citizens outside the political parties, not only to have access to public resources, but just to be able to appear in the ballot. Jorge Castañeda and “Dr. Simil” were not able to appear because they had no party. The electoral process is not for the benefit of the citizens, but for the parties, hence the electoral process does not represent the wish and opinion of the citizen of Mexico.

That said, this electoral process was not fair and balanced in any accounts:
• The IFE general council was appointed overlooking the opinion of the PRD; which was back then the 3rd party in the congress, you can not just ignore them if they are an important part of the political system.
• The president of the IFE general council, Luis Carlos Ugalde, had Felipe Calderon (PAN’s candidate) as witness for his wedding (Ugalde recognised this on an interview with Carlos Loret de Mola, so it is not a “conspiracy theory” argument).
• The IFE general council acted irresponsibly during the electoral process, I don’t have elements to say that it was in bad faith, but they certainly did things that are not politically correct, such as not telling everyone about the “lost votes” during the PREP; Ugalde implying that Calderon was the winner, opening electoral packages without telling people. Although the last 3 points are legal, they do not help if we want to perceive a clean and fair electoral process.
• Vicente Fox, the President, and Alejandro Encinas, Mexico City major, were clearly in campaign during the electoral process. Vicente Fox was clearly supporting Calderon when saying “we do not need to change the horse”, and attacking the populist, and about two weeks ago Fox said that Calderon was the winner, which is just wrong! He is the president and has to wait for the court to qualify the election before he starts the “matracas” again. The IFE general council was not able in any accounts to stop or control any of them.
• Private organisations, such as the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial, participated in the electoral process, which is illegal.
• As of today (6/9/6), the result in the election has a very narrow difference between the two top contenders, .5%. I would like to know which the error rate is in the counting process. If it is less then .5% or close to it, then a general recount is needed. AMLO’s team has shown errors in the counting, when the election is so close, each and one of those errors count towards the final result. I don’t buy the argument of fraud, but people do make mistakes specially after spending all day sitting in a polling station and then counting 800 votes approx.
• It doesn’t make sense that the PRD and its allies only contested the Presidential election and not the Congress’, both were organised by the same people.
• The TV and radio commercials just helped in the division of the population, poor vs. rich, “nacos vs fresas”. I don’t recall listening to proposal, just opinions: “Lopez Obrador, a danger to Mexico” (what kind of danger?) or “Lopez Obrador, he knows how to do it?” (Do what? I ask)
• Both the PRD and its allies and PAN and the federal government have been pressuring the Electoral Court.

I know that several electoral reforms have been made since 1988, but our electoral system is still far away from being usable beyond doubts, taking into consideration that most Mexicans do not trust anything. Just to summarise, the election was a shame and very expensive.

2. The Protests. They are legal. I don’t like them, but they are legal and have the right to do it. Supporters claim that they are not conflicting with the right to circulate, because people are able to walk by, just cars are not allowed. The protests are helping making the social division bigger and wider. It seems that you can only in favour or against them, and there is not point in the middle or analysis. You are either pro-AMLO, hence a moron and a poor according to the other side; or against them and hence a rich and a fascist according to the other side.

It is important to notice that the only violence in the protests have come from people against them, such as the guy who drove over the tents. According to what it has been reported, the protests have not broken a window or graffiti any walls.

AMLO is free to organise as many “alternative” governments as he wants (Fox participated in one in 1988 as minister of agriculture), as long as he doesn’t start managing the money or signing treaties. I see his national convention as a political agenda that someone (PRD?) would have to promote in the usual ways.

I don’t agree when AMLO says that he is representing all the people, I don’t agree when the government just ignores what is happening in downtown. I did not agree with the military protection of the congress, for god sake they had snipers the day of the presidential inform! Why, what were they expecting?

Both sides think they are right, and none if them is willing to negotiate. The only thing I have clear is that the Mexicans are divided, and just supporting AMLO or Calderon is enough to separate families or destroy friendships.

3. Whether you voted in the election (for who, and why)--or who you supported.

No, I did not vote. I thought I was going to Mexico for the summer and I did not register to voter for overseas ballots. I did not support any one, I am pro left hence I wouldn’t vote for PAN or PRI, but I did not like AMLO as a choice. I would have cancelled my vote as I did not like any of the choices for president. I would have vote for PRD for senate and for Alternativa for deputies.

I think we need a change of model that really addresses the needs of Mexico, but I did not like AMLO as a pilot, and I was never sure of what were the proposals from Calderon.

4. The general trend away from conservatism in Latin American politics.

Latin America is a heavily catholic population, so I am not sure what being away from conservatism is. Latin America has to respond to its needs: poverty, economic growth, social division, ecological needs, poor educational systems, and lack of technological growth to mention few. Was the immediate past the conservatism? They were governments that ran under the influence of the USA, and regardless of which side the next governments will be, they will try to stay away from the USA influence but not too far because we depend heavily on them, but answering to our needs.

5. Also your thoughts on outgoing President Fox

He lives in “Foxiland”. Politically has not been able to do anything: did not manage to get the big reforms in the congress, couldn’t manage the airport, Oaxaca is close to disaster, the presidential election turn out to be big a mess, the educational system is sinking horribly, the obscene “presidential couple”, the role of his wife, the force of the state to destroy AMLO, Chiapas, the high number of immigrants we “exported” to the USA, etc.. His only good point is the Access to Information Institute. The economic stability is a continuation of Zedillo (Ortiz in the Federal Reserve and Gil in the Ministry of Finances). The Public HMO which he initiated is something initially rotten, the HMO services for public health are the wrong way to go; it doesn’t matter if it is that cheap.

He was a total disaster, but he hasn’t realised that; and I am sure of that when he says things like “Mexico is Super Duper”. He is a good character though, and enjoys the public affection.

Eduardo Calvillo – G’01