Parallel Government Established in Mexico as Millions Reject Tainted Presidential Election
Interview with the Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, conducted by Scott Harris
Despite nearly two months of continuous protests and an occupation of Mexico City's center by supporters of candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, their demands for a full recount or an annulment of the July 2 presidential election were rejected by Mexico's seven-judge Federal Election Tribunal. Instead, the tribunal named conservative candidate Filipe Calderon, of the ruling conservative National Action Party, the winner by a slim 243,000 vote-margin of 41 million cast.
In response, Lopez Obrador, of the center-left Party of Democratic Revolution, held what he called a "national democratic convention" in Mexico City's central square on Sept. 16, Mexico's Independence Day, where a crowd estimated at one million rejected Calderon's legitimacy and established a parallel government headed by Lopez Obrador. In Mexico's southern, largely indigenous city of Oaxaca, thousands of militant teachers, students, farmers and progressive activists have established their own parallel government in a sometimes violent confrontation with the state's Institutional Revolutionary party governor and police, that began in May. Some observers believe that the tense situation in Oaxaca may foreshadow Mexico's future.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies who observed Mexico's July election and recently returned from a year living in Oaxaca. He examines the contested election in the context of Mexico's growing class and racial polarization.
Read Chuck Collins' articles online atwww.alternet.org. Contact the Institute for Policy Studies by calling (202) 234-9382 or visit their website at www.ips.org
* Washington Office on Latin America at www.WOLA.org
* Congress on Hemispheric Affairs at www.COHA.org
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