Mexico: Creeping Disorder


August 15, 2006: Since late July, Mexico City has witnessed daily street demonstrations focused on the disputed presidential election. On July 31 the leftist demonstrators began erecting barricades in Mexico City and blocking streets. The demonstrators support PRD candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who claims he won the July 2 election. The street tactics are of course political and media warfare; they are also economic warfare of a type. Mexico City tourist groups estimate that Mexico City is losing from 12 to 13 million dollars a day. Local
officials dispute the economic impact of the demonstrations. However, during the first week of August protestors also blocked access to banks in the city. On August 8 protestors also forced open highway toll gates (presumably acting in favor of freeways rather than tollways). Mexico
City is Mexico's capital and media center, so it is the nerve center of election protests. The city is also Lopez Obrador's main base of political support (he was once mayor of Mexico City). PRD leaders have threatened to launch strikes all across Mexico if Lopez Obrador is not declared president. Felipe Calderon, the PAN candidate, is the presumed winner. The Mexican government is worried that the protestors may move to blocking airports and major transportation arteries. Official results must be announced by the first week of September.
August 11, 2006: The teachers union protests in Oaxaca may seem like old news �" they've been going on since May. At various times up to 30,000 teachers and supporters have participated in the protests. A group of unidentified gunmen fired on one large protest group and killed one man, sparking a new round of street violence. The state and local government have acknowledged they are worried about any confrontations with protestors. The big fear is an accident or misunderstanding could kickoff wide-spread violence. On August 10 three people died in what reports described as an "ambush." The people were part of a Mexican Indian group visiting Oaxaca and there was no evidence that they were involved in the protests.
August 9, 2006: Mexico reported that based on July statistics its annual inflation rat was 3.1 percent. This is in line with most economic projections for Mexico.
August 7, 2006: PRD presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a protest rally in Mexico City that resolving the disputed July 2 presidential election requires a vote by vote recount. Lopez Obrador said that if his party's demands for a vote by vote recount were not met he would start a "long term radical movement" in Mexico.
August 5, 2005: Mexico's Federal Election Institute issued a statement that said the FEI would only recount ballots form approximately nine percent of Mexico's 130,000 polling places. (11,839 polling stations).




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