Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Obrador Inaugurated

Andres Obrador has held an alternative inauguration in Mexico City, on the anniversary of the start of the 1910 revolution. As you can see from the photo, there was a huge turnout in support of Obrador. Some reports estimate that there was around 100,000 people in the Zocalo, Mexico City's main square.

The current situation all stems from the widespread evidence of voter fraud during the recent Presidential election. Ever since the result was announced, supporters of Obrador have staged mass demonstrations in the capital city. The mobilisation of this support has been very impressive, and there are signs of a real movement that could seriously destabilise Calderon's presidency. Which in turn could have ramifications for Mexico's relations with the US.

There is hope that the poor of Mexico can have a voice in their country. For too long, the political elites have looked after the interests of the wealthy whilst ignoring the plight of many poor Mexicans. Mexico has the fourth largest number of billionaires in the world while half its workers earn less than £4.50 a day. If Obrador can continue to mobilise mass public support, there is just a chance that the voice of the workers might be heard.

Of course, the mainstream media is desperate in their attempts to downplay this mass movement. Whereas some sources report around 100,000 demonstrators, others suggest that 'his campaign has since faded' (Reuters). He has also been described as 'hard-left' by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times focused on 'divisions' within his party and compared him to Don Quixote. The Boston Globe even claims that:

In the weeks after the July election, about a third of Mexicans believed López Obrador was robbed of victory. [emphasis mine]

However, a poll conducted in August claimed that 59% of those polled believed that the election was fraudulent, significantly higher than the figure fabricated by the Globe.

It is clear whose side the mainstream media are on, the side of the pro-business Calderon. In the face on this media onslaught it will be difficult for Obrador to maintain momentum but, as long as the people see through the deceptions of the corporate media, there is hope.