We mexicans are in election year. Nesxt 2nd of july we are going to elect a new president that will sit in Los Pinos, and rule our country for 6 years (which I hope are the bestest and most beautiful ever). I'll give you a bit of mexican history before I go into this election.
At the begining of this century my country was ruled by a man called Porfirio Diaz who had been in power for 30 years (after heading a revolution because the goverment before him had reelected themselves way to much). So a rich man from the north created a revolutionary plan to put himself in the presidency. A lot of people followed this plan (military and poor people mostly). And finally deposed this dictator. But years of turmoil followed in which there was no clear president, presidents where imposed and then killed and changed and so and so forth.
Finally a man by the name of Venustiano Carranza took over, and made people create a new constitution, one that forbid reelection, and set the new terms of 6 years. Carranza did not last much, and one of his generals, √É¬Ālvaro Obreg√É¬≥n, who did not have an arm, became president, he finished his term and imposed a man called Plutarco El√É¬≠as Calles, Obreg√É¬≥n tried to impose himself in the presidency again, but a religious maniac murdered him at a dinner. El√É¬≠as Calles imposed three different presidents, and ruled behind them for years, until he impossed a young revolutionary man named L√É¬°zaro Cardenas del R√É¬≠o (our Roosevelt). Who threw him out of the country, and created a new political party, the PNR (National Revolutionary Party) which would later become the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party).
From this moment on, this party would be the do all end all of mexican politics. Created by C√É¬°rdenas in the 1930's the party would rule m√É¬©xico all the way to the year 2000. For years their only opposition was the PAN (National Action Party) a right-wing, religious right party. That never really had any strength... But then 1988 came by, the PRI gave the candidacy (and therefore the presidency) to a man called Carlos Salinas de Gortari (or the devil for most mexicans). This got a man called Cuahutemoc C√É¬°rdenas really angry, he was the son of L√É¬°zaro C√É¬°rdenas, and felt he deserved to be the candidate. So he broke of and created a party called the PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution). He clearly and overtly won the election, but the goverment claimed that the computer system in charge of counting the votes had crashed, and therefore they stole the presidency from him.
C√É¬°rdenas would try to be the president two more times, would be defeated in all of them. Meanwhile the weakening of the PRI which was created by this first succesfull try by the PRD, opened things up for ultra-conservative PAN. Which behind a charismatic (and idiotic) figure like Vicente Fox, managed to push aside the PRI and for the first time in mexican history, actually have a president that was elected by the people (as stupid of a decition as that one might have been).
Which brings us to this moment right now, we are in our first election since the PRI was deposed. A big and incredibly important moment in our history, and which are our options:
Felipe Calder√É¬≥n (PAN).- Candidate for the ruling party, he has been a big player in his party for years (was the parties president for a while there), he defeated Fox's favorite Santiago Creel (which was our Secretary of STate during fox's goverment) in the elections in the party to attain the nomination.He is a smart man, a neoliberalist, and someone who would continue the policies of mr. Fox....
And I hate his guts. He is a cheap shot man who has based his entire political campaign in slandering and attacking and name calling. The man was a big participant in one of the worst frauds in mexican history (a little thing called FOBAPROA in which we taxpayers are paying billions of dollars to satisfy a debt created by corrupt bankers). He is friends with people who where heads of guerrilla groups in Central america, confessed mass murderers.
Roberto Madrazo (PRI).- Old, Old, Old political figure in Mexico. One of the most corrupt men that have ever walked the earth. This is a man that spent as much as Bill Clinton did to get the presidency of the US, just to become the governor of the state. He is so corrupt and so horrible, that even people in his party have just abandoned him as a candidate, and are calling to vote for someone else... He is bad news.
Andres Manuel L√É¬≥pez Obrador (PRD): The man! The man that is going to save us... Well, I'm trying to make this an objective analysis, so I'll spare you my partisanship. Still here it goes. A man who has always been a political fighter for the poor, legendary social fighter in his native state of Tabasco, where he opposed a lot of things that goverment and corporations where attempting to do to indiginous communities there. He ran for the state of Tabasco, but a blatant fraud kept him from getting the position (Roberto Madrazo won in a pretty ironic turn). He was president of the party, and then he was able to win the position of mayor of Mexico City. And he presided over the city, in a way that is just incredible. He solidified a city that was in major economical problems (still is, but you have to consider that the two administrations before him have allegedly made fraud on the city for more than 100 million pesos). His popularity rate in the city he governed is of 80% and has remained there steady.
He has faced a problem of corruption in that some of his helpers, have been caught on video accepting bribes. But nothing has been proven on him, and we know that the man has not been a corrupt governor from the very fact that the dude lives in the same apartment building as a friend of mine, which is not a very cool appartment building. He has been accused of everything by his rivals, including adds by the PAN that call him a Danger to Mexico. THey are scared of him winning, they are scared of the people actually being in power.
As of now, there is a virtual tie in first place between PAN and PRD. Yet, the polls are interviewing 60% middle class and upper, and 40% poor people. Mexico is not distributed like that, and poor people are behind Lopez Obrador.
I can only hope now. BUt come this 2nd of July. I hope to tell you my finheaven brethren that I will be yelling for joy, for this country will be on its way to living a better, more equal, life.