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Saturday, April 09, 2005

colosio's bleeding (not so's you'd notice)

As our readers know, LI has farflung correspondants around the world to bring you...up to the minute... information. Sorry, we copied that from the last fund drive on NPR. LI is actually a sad drunk imbibing a two day old malt liquor by the side of 7th street even as we speak. However, our far flung correspondants love us anyway.

So we asked M., in Mexico City, to report on the situation there. Here's what she wrote back:

"I'll try to be brief but concrete as to your question (sorry, I've got to go).
I guess one way to describe what happened is complete breakdown of anything akin to a democratic process... even though that idiot Fox has been telling the press at the Vatican quite the contrary -- that the decision taken by the senate shows that the Mexican justice is truly blindfolded and does not show preferences for anyone). Basically, the PRI and the PAN agreed to quit Lopez Obrador's immunity so he can be tried for minor bureaucratic offenses, and thus not be eligible for candidacy in 2006. The other very serious consequence of this is that Lopez Obrador, overwhelmingly voted mayor of DF in 2006 might be replaced by one designated by this highly reactionary and anti-democratic congress. it still needs to be decided whether he will have to step down or not. In the meantime, he is not "going to work".

There are two important considerations in what happened on Thursday. They are independent of each other, though many people tend to confuse them:1. there are many who don't like Lopez Obrador and do not agree with what he's done for DF. Therefore, they are pleased that he will not have a chance to win in 2006. (In reality, if he does have a chance to run -- once he is tried,etc. -- obviously, he's become a martyr with a huge following.)2. This is not the point. One would want to be able to choose and not have the choice made by others. One would want to be able to -- when faced with ballots with his name and someone else's -- say "no" to him if one believes it is the right thing to do. The way the PRI and the PAn have chosen to get rid of him is in keeping with a whole host of practices which have pervaded Mexican politics since Independence. On the other hand, maybe it's preferable to having the guy killed, which is what happened to Colosio in 94. By the way, Thursday morning, Colosio's statue "bled" in light of the machinations. Someone spattered red paint on it.What to do now? People are very divided. In Polanco you'd think that nothing happened. On the other hand, it was very refreshing for me to go to the unam last night... people were very upset and are organizing marches, protests, etc. I don't know what will come of this but the mood is foreboding.. there are enough people who fear the military might intervene.... I used to think this was too alarmist but I don't anymore. I think anything is possible.

The other thing I might add is that the debates in Congress (in reality, called the legislative house) were televised and t was very embarrassing to see the waging of an ideological war (waged by all sides), demagogic, overly simplified, .... and not be able to scream something in their faces, have to swallow down one's frustrations.

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