Obrador Comes To Town

I wrote a little bit a while ago about the protests that have been taking place in Mexico since the results of a very controversial Presidential election were released. The winner was proclaimed to be Felipe Calderon of the PAN party, the same party as the present president Vicente Fox.

But the margin was narrow, just 1%, and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of the PRI party, and his followers haven’t taken it well. At all. They were on the streets protesting before the result was even declared, and have been camping out in the Zocalo and outside IFE (Elcetoral Institute) buildings ever since.

Lucky us – we have an IFE building right outside our home and have been blessed with the constant chants of ‘Voto por voto, casilla por casilla…’ ringing through our windows ever since.

So far the protesters stationed there have numbered a couple of dozen, maybe as many as 50 at peak protesting times in the evening. They have tents, banners and portable toilets and they ain’t moving!

Today however the Obrador circus came to town, and the man himself appeared on a rostrum across from our house. A planned event of course and as a result the number of protesters rose from dozens to thousand. Santa Ana and Eje 3, the two main roads, were closed and I guess at a rough guestimate I would say somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 have turned up. I know that’s not really pinning the attendance down to a particularly precise figure, but it was difficult to move about, let alone start a head count!

I got my camera and reeled off a few snaps as best I could, but the lack of both light, a tripod and a good viewpoint was a bit of a handicap. As a result the one photo of worth I did get of Obrador (below) is less than perfect.

The political tension increased at the weekend as the Electoral Institute announced that it won’t be ordering a full recount of every vote – the voto por voto, casilla por casilla demand from Obrador – but will in fact just re-examine the ballots at 11,000 odd places out of a total of 130,000. This looks like it will rumble on for some time to come! IFE have a deadline of September 6th to declare a winner….

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