How the election was stolen in Mexico

Evidence continues to mount that the recent “victory” by conservatives in Mexico’s national elections was completely fraudulent and that the country’s center-left coalition should have been declared the winner.

After two recounts of votes in Mexico’s July 1 national elections, center left candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, called AMLO by friend and foe alike, continues to reject the official election results.

Those official tallies establish rival right wing candidate Enrique Peña Nieto of the Party of the Institutional Revolution (PRI) as the winner.

AMLO, candidate for the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Labour Party (PT) and the Citizens’ Movement (formerly the Convergence Party) presents a mountain of evidence as proof of his party’s assertion that the July 1 elections were “totally falsified.”

First, the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), after finding irregularities, conducted only partial recounts before issuing the following “final” tallies:

  • For the right wing Enrique Pena Nieto (PAN) the official total was 19,226,784 or 38.2 percent.
  • For the center left Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (PRD-PT) the tally was 15,896,999 or 31.6 percent.
  • Josefina Vazquez Mota (Party of National Action) officially received 12,786,647 votes or 25.4 percent.
  • Gabriel Quadri (New Alliance) officially garnered 1,150,662 votes or 2.9 percent.

Since Mexico has no runoff elections, the right wing Nieto becomes the winner if those are the actual totals.

AMLO, at a July 9 press conference in Mexico City, claimed that Nieto won only because the PRI engaged in a massive vote-buying operation that bought five million votes from the country’s poor.

Sixteen PRI state governors played a big role in distributing pre-paid gift cards for Soriana, (a new department store chain that sells food and household goods) cash, farm supplies, tax forgiveness and other items in exchange for casting a ballot for PRI candidates.

AMLO said some people who initially accepted the Soriana cards and then afterwards felt “regret” delivered the cards unused to his PRD-PT coalition. Pasted on the walls in his Mexico City headquarters where he gives daily press conferences are hundreds of the vouchers given to the bribed voters.

AMLO and Ricardo Monreal Avila, the PRD-PT’s campaign coordinator, revealed that PRI governors funneled public, private and illicit money, including funds from the U.S., amounting to billions of pesos, to PRI operatives at the local level and that those operatives used the funds to buy the votes.

A power point presentation showed financial documents and checks that implicate the PRI governor, his cabinet and political operatives in Zacatecas state.

Peña Nieto met with the 16 PRI governors on June 12 to plan the massive vote-buying operation, claim the two PRD leaders. For political parties to buy votes is illegal in Mexico. The website of Mexico’s daily leftwing newspaper La Jornada has posted videos of people being interviewed by hidden camera who admit they accepted Soriana vouchers in exchange for voting for the PRI.

The student movement “I am #132,” which campaigned against Peña Nieto and refuses to recognize the election results, has shown similar video footage of bribed voters accepting Soriana vouchers.

To demonstrate links between the PRI and Soriana, La Jornada’s front cover on July 7 showed a picture of Peña Nieto at a publicity event for Soriana in Mexico state wearing a green Soriana T-shirt.

AMLO said that there were also irregularities in at least 113,855 polling stations out of 143,132 across the country. In some cases, more votes were counted than those who actually voted or vice versa. The final vote tallies that were counted in front of all party representatives in the polling stations were not always correctly reported by IFE’s PREP (rapid vote count) and votes were removed for some candidates (AMLO) or increased for others (Peña Nieto).

In other places, voters were denied the right to vote because there were not enough paper ballots.

AMLO said his coalition will be going to the Federal Electoral Institute’s electoral court to overturn the election results in the coming days. He wants IFE to reopen the ballot boxes and recount all the votes.

AMLO also says that the second vote recount by IFE was inadequate and that the federal electoral agency had failed to ensure a fair election. “IFE did not do its job of keeping the elections clean,” he declared.

Lopez Obrador supporters are circulating via Facebook copies of hand written polling station vote tallies side by side with IFE’s vote tally to show examples of how IFE officials altered vote counts to favor the PRI.

Polling station 0389 in Tabasco reported that 111 votes were cast for Lopez Obrador but IFE only listed 11; the polling station in Nezahualcolyotl, Mexico State reported Lopez Obrador received 81 votes but IFE only mentioned 56; in Zaragoza, Mexico state, IFE disqualified Lopez Obrador’s 81 votes for being ineligible even though the handwritten vote tally document from the polling station clearly states 81 votes; In Tultitlan, Mexico state Peña Nieto got 81 votes but IFI reported 801.

Other pictures on Facebook are of young men, faces blackened with paint to conceal their identities, burning ballot boxes. In another, scorched, frayed ballots from people who voted for the PAN are strewn on the desert floor.

Lopez Obrador supporters are also distributing videos through YOUTUBE demonstrating voter suppression. One shows a group of voters in the Federal District, led by an outspoken older woman, demanding the right to vote at a polling station after they are told by an election official he had run out of paper ballots.

The Internet hacking group Anonymous is circulating pictures from the IFE website showing Lopez Obrador as the presidential winner, easily overtaking his PRI and PAN rivals, before the results were changed to show Peña Nieto as winner.

The PRI’s Peña Nieto denied that his party bought millions of votes with the Soriana pre-paid cards and other payments and has submitted a complaint to the Special Investigator for Electoral Crimes to investigate where the Lopez Obrador campaign obtained the Soriana vouchers. Peña Nieto claimed his party won the elections fair and square, the elections were transparent and clean, and Lopez Obrador cannot accept that he lost the presidential elections a second time. Nieto also accused PRD-PT supporters of dressing in PRI T-shirts and handing out the gift cards.

Despite Nieto’s denials, Soriana posted a letter at its stores announcing that it would no longer “accept the pre-paid cards in our stores due to the fact ” that the PRI withdrew funding for the cards that it’s supporters distributed.

PAN leader Gustavo Madero admitted that the PRI always wins elections through “money and deception.” He questioned the legitimacy of Peña Nieto’s victory given the PRI’s illegal massive vote buying effort during the elections. He stated it would be difficult to annul the elections but one cannot reject this possibility. The PAN would respect any decisions that electoral authorities make on the elections, stated the PAN leader.

In Durango state PAN, PRD and PT leaders formed an alliance to annul the July 1 elections. The three parties will submit evidence documenting how the state’s PRI government used taxpayer money to buy votes. For instance, the Secretary of Social Development sent a truck of cement to the Mayor of Santiago Papassquiaro that instead arrived at the home of the state PRI leader who distributed the cement to supporters to assure a vote for the PRI.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people marched through the Mexico on July 7 to protest election fraud. The biggest protests took place in the capital Mexico City where tens of thousands protested.

Photo: Demonstrators gather at the Zocalo Plaza in Mexico City, July 7. Tens of thousands marched. They believe the PRI engaged in vote-buying that illegally tainted millions of votes. Marco Ugarte/AP