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Death by Video: Mexico's Election Fraud Is Coming Undone


Video and Audio Evidence, an Outraged Citizenry, and Panic from the White House Are Converging to Make Lo'pez Obrador the Next Mexican President

By Al Giordano
Part III of a Special Series for The Narco News Bulletin

July 11, 2006
This report appears on the internet at

At six p.m. last night, Monday, July 10, neighbors of the office of the
Federal Electoral Institute (IFE, in its Spanish initials) in Comalcalco,
Tabasco, witnessed a crime against democracy. They didn't just stand
there. They did something about it. And this one small example of the
fighting spirit of the Mexican people explains why the historic
presidential election fraud of July 2, 2006 will not stand.

Nine days after the fact, neither the IFE, nor President Vicente Fox, nor
his National Action Party (PAN), nor their candidate Felipe Caldero'n, nor
the Commercial Media at their service, have been able to reassert control
over the juggernaut of facts, audio and video evidence, and public outrage
that today tramples their anti-democratic gambit. The Fraud of 2006, and
those who attempted it, are drowning under an authentically democratic
tide. Take, for example, what just occurred in the Tabasco town of

A picture saves 70,000 votes: Monday night in Comalcalco, Tabasco.
Photo: D.R. 2006 La Jornada
Study this photograph from today's La Jornada. A campaign truck covered
with PAN party logos, slogans, and the faces of three of their candidates
- the one in the middle is Caldero'n - is parked in front of a building.
>From the balcony of the colonial-style structure shines an illuminated
sign with three large letters: I... F... E. Citizens have arrived by foot
and by bicycle and have blocked the entrances to the IFE building and the
PAN truck. Not all of them appear in the photo, but there are 500 of them
and they are hopping mad. Trapped inside are at least ten IFE officials
who, according to eyewitnesses, illegally entered the building, brought
sealed ballot boxes out into the patio, and began to open them, breaking
the official seals. They were seen revising anew the "actas" with the vote
tallies and recounting the ballots, without, as the law requires, the
presence of representatives from all the political parties. The neighbors
sounded the alarm and the electoral delinquents have been caught in the

Where are the soldiers of the Mexican Army that supposedly are guarding
the ballot boxes at the 300 IFE offices like this one throughout the
country? What about the police? The events last night in Comalcalco reveal
the ugly truth: the highest authorities of the nation, in their complicity
with an obvious electoral fraud, have forfeited their legitimacy and the
people have self-organized to fill the power vacuum. They have converted
the IFE offices into a prison for white-collar criminals and have seized
the PAN truck that, the neighbors believe, was waiting to carry their
votes to democracy's graveyard.

La Jornada reports:

"The electoral assistants argued that the (IFE) district council
president, Toma's Alfonso Castellanos, told them to enter the offices and
for that reason the military soldiers that guarded the locale allowed them
to enter."

The IFE electoral district with its seat in Comalcalco delivered a
punishing 70,000 vote margin of victory to presidential candidate Andre's
Manuel Lo'pez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) over the
PAN's Caldero'n: 73,473 for Obrador vs. only 3,863 for Caldero'n. Voter
turnout in this district, at 70.08 percent, exceeded the national average
of 58.9 percent. The PAN has almost no votes to protect in Comalcalco. The
PAN party truck - now held by the citizens - was there to haul away and
"disappear" the votes cast for Obrador.

When local PRD officials contacted the IFE boss in the Tabasco state
capital of Villahermosa, Ai'da Castillo, to report the tampering of the
ballots and ask about the alibi that the IFE had authorized the opening of
sealed ballot boxes, Castillo, reports La Jornada, said she was
"surprised" by the news. The locals then contacted a notary public to come
take legal testimony about the unauthorized break-in. PRD officials then
headed to the offices of the Special Prosecutor for Attention to Electoral
Crimes in Villahermosa to file a legal complaint. Federal Senator Ce'sar
Rau'l Ojeda of the PRD, a close ally of Lo'pez Obrador, headed to Comalcalco
as La Jornada filed its story last night and, at press time, the ten IFE
officials and the PAN truck chauffer, caught red-handed, were still held
prisoner inside the offices.

This story reveals some presumptions on the part of the electoral
delinquents of the IFE and the PAN. The most important one is that even
they now believe that a recount is inevitable. If they truly believed
their own publicly stated hype - that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal
(Trife, as it is known) will not require a recount - there would have been
no need to sneak into enemy territory and illegally open ballot boxes. The
criminal operation would only be necessary if a recount is in the cards
and, thus, the need to disappear Lo'pez Obrador's votes. The other
presumption that this crime story unmasks is that the IFE and the PAN know
that a recount will show Lo'pez Obrador the rightful winner of the
presidential election. For if, as PAN insists, it already counts with a
majority of votes nationwide, there would be no necessity to unseal and
tamper with the Comalcalco ballot boxes that contain 20 Obrador votes for
every single Caldero'n vote.

The jig is up. In the absence of a legitimate governmental authority, the
people of Comalcalco have offered a preview of what will occur, soon,
throughout Mexico if the government of Vicente Fox continues in its
attempts to steal the 2006 election.

Terms of Denouement

Also on Monday, the PAN party of Caldero'n and Fox offered another
indication that it knows it did not receive enough legitimate votes to
sustain its claim that Caldero'n won the election. After eight days of
insisting that there must not be a recount, that it would be "illegal" to
have one, that the Trife judges will never allow it, the PAN filed a
motion with the Trife yesterday calling for recounts in six states won by
Lo'pez Obrador: Mexico City, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Guerrero, State of Mexico
and Tabasco. It has now adopted the very same legal recourse that, in
previous days, the PAN viciously attacked. The legal maneuver reveals the
PAN's lack of faith in its own claims that it won the election and also
demonstrates that the PAN now believes a recount is, contrary to its
public claims, going to occur.

In the days before, PAN officials claimed that the elections were "clean,
transparent and without irregularities." The latest move indicates that
its spokesmen don't believe their own claims.

IFE Official in the PAN-stronghold of Salamanca, Guanajuato, caught on
video tape, stuffs a ballot box.
Photo: D.R. 2006 La Jornada
Also on Monday, candidate Andre's Manuel Lo'pez Obrador released a video in
which an election official in Salamanca, Guanajuato (the PAN-dominated
state that Narco News has compared to Florida in U.S. post-electoral
conflicts due to the high concentration of documented irregularities and
outright frauds carried out by election officials there) is caught
stuffing many ballots into a ballot box. Captured on video, he sports a
blue-and-white shirt (PAN's campaign and logo colors) and has quite the
guilty look on his face as he stuffs one ballot after another into the
box. In the Salamanca district, IFE reported that Caldero'n received 93,062
votes to 23,278 for Obrador. The video - so newsworthy that even pro-PAN
TV Azteca broadcast it yesterday - has further fueled the public anger; an
image worth a thousand words and a to-be-determined part of seventy
thousand votes. (As soon as someone gets it online, Narco News will link
to it; in the meantime, here is a photo of the perp caught in the act.)

Video, audio and photographic evidence of election fraud surges daily. It
is the dominant news story in Mexico. Obrador released a similar video of
election officials in PAN-controlled Quere'taro changing the vote tallies
to create more votes for its candidate. The PAN does not deny the facts.
It simply claims that those cases amounted to normal, allowed, functions
by election officials. The public temper rises with every such

On Saturday, during a massive "informational assembly" on the Mexico City
Zo'calo, Obrador played hardball. Through the speakers, before
half-a-million people, he played audiotape of an election-day telephone
conversation between Fox's transportation secretary Pedro Cerisola and
Tamaulipas Governor Eugenio Herna'ndez Flores, and of a similar
conversation between that same governor and the detested national
teachers' union president Elba Esther Gordillo. The full transcription of
those conversations can be read in Spanish here. The governor of that
northern Caribbean border state is a member of the Institutional
Revolutionary Party (PRI) and so is the teachers' union leader. On the
tape, she tells the governor that his party's candidate, Roberto Madrazo,
is, according to exit polls, far behind, and urges the PRI governor to
contact PAN candidate Felipe Caldero'n "to sell him what you have," because
"the PRI has already fallen." She repeats: "Given the fall, I think it
would be interesting for you to speak with Felipe (Caldero'n) and sell it
to him."

Gordillo said, in that recorded telephone conversation, that she knew that
"the hard vote has already been cast." Clearly she wasn't trying to
convince the PRI governor to turn out new votes for Caldero'n. The only
thing the governor would have available to "sell" at that point in the
Election Day was how the votes would be counted. The governor, Herna'ndez,
thanked her for her call and reassured her, "yes, I think everything is
going well." He also offered to call a neighboring PRI governor in
Coahuila to cut the same deal. In the taped conversation with the
Secretary of Transportation, the governor pledged to speak with the rest
of the PRI governors - indicating they had a meeting scheduled in Toluca
that day - saying, "sure, we are with this... that's how it is. That is
our conviction and that is how a group of friends and colleagues decided
some weeks ago when we saw that this could close this way, that it could

Andre's Manuel Lo'pez Obrador revealed more video proof of electoral fraud
on Tuesday.
Photo: D.R. 2006 El Universal
The wide interpretation on the Zo'calo and throughout Mexico is that the
PRI governors cut a deal with Fox and the PAN to not only turn a blind eye
to election fraud in their states to favor Caldero'n, but also to actively
use their powers as governors to participate in making it happen: after
all, the PRI wrote the book on how to commit election fraud during the
decades that it governed the country prior to Fox and the PAN.

The death by video, audio, digital photos and eyewitness reports by the
Mexican citizenry now cuts at Caldero'n's non-existent "victory" daily.
Today, Tuesday, Lo'pez Obrador presented two more videos. One, from
election night in Zacapoaxtla, Puebla, which shows IFE officials
preventing the public counting of votes required by law. The other, from
the Tabasco town where this report began: Comalcoalco. It shows the IFE
officials illegally opening the sealed ballot boxes there yesterday. Every
single day, new evidence of blatant fraud appears. The revolution may not
be televised, but it is being videotaped.

Bush Backpedals from Caldero'n

Still more bad news for Caldero'n and those who seek to impose him in a
fraudulent presidency arrived on Monday. It came from Washington, DC,
during a White House press briefing by Tony Snow, press secretary for
George W. Bush.

It's no secret that the Bush administration has rooted for Caldero'n, the
right-winger in the Mexican contest. The U.S. president even called
Caldero'n to congratulate him last week. The best evidence that political
reality has changed in few days is how the White House is suddenly hanging
Caldero'n out to dry. Part of the story is that Caldero'n, in a political
maneuver designed to mask the volatile fact that he has been Bush's boy
all along, issued a statement last week - after Bush called him - that
postured to be against the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico
border. At Monday's White House press briefing, reporters asked the Bush
press secretary for a response. In the transcript, the reporters'
questions are indicated by the letter Q, and the White House press
secretary's responses by the words "Mr. Snow":

Q All right, then what do you think-or what does the administration
say about a foreign politician denouncing domestic legislation in the
United States, and particularly Calderon's denunciation of stronger border
security and an extended fence?

MR. SNOW: Last time I checked, Calderon did not have any official
authority over the activities of the United States government.

Q Can I follow up on that?

MR. SNOW: Yes, very quickly. Sure.

Q The call the President made to Calderon to congratulate him, that
means that the U.S. government already recognized him as the
President-elect of Mexico? Can you explain what-
MR. SNOW: Well, I believe the electoral commission had, in fact,
declared him President. And according to the laws of Mexico, at this
point, he is President. Should there be a recount, should there be another
adjustment, should there be a change, then the President will acknowledge
that, as well-Mexico, obviously having the ability to decide who, as a
result of transparent elections, is the President of the country.

It is newsworthy to note that the White House press secretary is confused
on certain facts. The president of Mexico today and through December 1 is
Vicente Fox, not Caldero'n, who is not even president-elect. The IFE - "the
electoral commission" referred to by Snow - does not have the legal
authority to declare the winner. That power, under the Mexican
Constitution, is reserved for the Trife electoral tribunal, which has so
far remained mum, awaiting the legal challenges and documentation to be
able to rule on them.

But the more earthshaking declaration out of the White House yesterday was
the verbal smackdown of Caldero'n - "Last time I checked, Calderon did not
have any official authority" - and the declaration that "the President
will acknowledge" the results of a recount.

The bigger problem for George W. Bush than that of who is president of
Mexico is that of who is president of the United States. The exploding
story of massive electoral fraud in Mexico next-door is having an
unintended consequence: It is awakening historic memory of the electoral
frauds carried out to make Bush president up North.

If Mexican authorities continue to stonewall and impose Caldero'n as
president, they will provoke 300 Comalcalcos at each of IFE's regional
headquarters and its national seat, converting those offices, as occurred
last night in Tabasco, into white collar prisons, from which the electoral
delinquents will not escape. That kind of turn of events will bring with
it Bolivian-style highway blockades, and the corresponding halt of the
flow of food, oil and other necessities from fertile Southern Mexico to
Northern Mexico (as dry season begins; provoking a massive exodus of
immigrants across the border while simultaneously stopping the flow of
food and goods to the United States). And, with the fresh history of the
political rise of a Mexican-American immigrant protest movement on the
U.S. side of the border, the conflict will not be containable only in

The consequences of trying to impose a Mexican president by fraud have
already grown out of anybody's control: Not Fox, not Bush, not even Lo'pez
Obrador would be able to hold back the masses. What occurred last night in
Comalcalco, Tabasco is a glimpse of the nightmare to come for those in
power if they do not permit the Mexican electorate's will.

The IFE and the PAN are in check, soon to be checkmate. In that political
reality, the only path for survival by those in power is to permit a
recount of ballots, and hope that no more signs of tampering occur in its
course. As of last night, the only feasible path for the system became to
get out of the way of the presidency of Andre's Manuel Lo'pez Obrador. This
electoral game will soon be over. And then a whole "other" chapter will