Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

Gag reflex

Posted by Charles II on May 3, 2013

Obama showers praise on Peña Nieto

Barack Obama discusses business and the drug war with Mexican president

US president plays down war on drugs and praises Enrique Peña Nieto for his boldness over economic reforms

The two presidents announced the formation of a high-level working group to explore ways of pushing the economic relationship forward, and Obama showered praise on Peña Nieto for his “boldness” in pushing economic reforms within Mexico

“We had a wonderful relationship with President Calderón,” Obama said, “This is a partnership that will continue.”

Jo Tuckman wrote the article. She didn’t write the headline or the front page link shown in bold. The Guardian is responsible. But just seeing this applied to a president who is generally believed to be completely incompetent, to have been brought into office through electoral fraud and bribery, and who is currently pushing to privatize the national patrimony for the benefit of Big Oil… one almost longs for Dubya.

Almost.
____
Added: Richard Grabner‘s take on the visit.

Posted in Barack Obama, Mexico | Comments Off

Corrupt head of Mexican teachers union accused of corruption

Posted by Charles II on February 27, 2013

Jo Tuckman, The Guardian:

[Elba Esther] Gordillo [aka The Teacher], leader of the 1.5 million-strong national teachers’ union in Mexico, was arrested on Tuesday evening after the private jet in which she had travelled from California landed at an airport near the capital. She spent the night in a Mexico City jail before appearing in court where she was formally read the charges of “operations with resources of illicit origin” and “organised crime”.

With the aid of complicated diagrams, the attorney general, Jesús Murillo, laid out a triangulation scheme in which nearly 2,000m pesos (close to £100m) was funnelled out of union bank accounts in Mexico into other accounts at home and abroad of three associates and a business, and then used to finance Gordillo’s legendarily expensive tastes, from luxury homes to plastic surgery.

In an editorial, La Jornada explained just how corrupt (my hasty translation):

Especially serious are those in regard to her responsibility in the murder of the magistral leader Misael Núñez Acosta, which occurred 1/30/81 in Ecatepec, allegations of kidnappings and illegal detentions instigated by Gordillo and her predecessor Carlos Jonguitud, of dissident professor from 1980 to the present; repeated accusations of opacity and corruption in the management of labor union dues; subpoenas for illegal enrichment by The Teacher; as well as indications such as that drawn up in 7/11 by Miguel Ángel Yunes– ex-Gordillo ally who was yoked director of the Mexican Social Security last presidency–in the sense that the Chiapan Leader [Gordillo] demanded of him 20 million pesos monthly from the funds of Social Security to finance the New Alliance Party.

A real sweetheart– and one of those who installed former president FeCal in office.

Thirty years too late, justice may at last have noticed her. I would place no bets that she ends up in jail.

Rich Grabner’s reaction: “This is friggin’ huge.” For your entertainment, he also has the many faces of Elba Esther Gordillo.

Posted in corruption, impunity, Mexico | Comments Off

Better late than never: Protests against installation of Mexican president

Posted by Charles II on December 16, 2012

Jo Tuckman, The Guardian:

A preliminary investigation by Mexico City’s human rights commission has found evidence of police brutality and arbitrary detentions during the violent protests during last Saturday’s [Dec. 1] inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The ongoing investigation has identified at least four cases of possible torture, three of them involving electric shocks, as well as 22 cases of unjustified arrests among the 70 people still in jail in relation to the protests. Many of these face a preliminary charge of “attacks against the public peace”, which carries a long prison term.

Rich Grabner of Mexfiles has some comment on whether the violence was instigated by radicals within the movement or by provocateurs. He links to a report in SDPNoticias in which it is alleged that people were paid to cause trouble. They sure didn’t get paid a lot to get their heads broken.

El Universal is hyping damages which amount to spraypainting sculptures. Yes, it may have cost 240 million pesos to restore the Hemiciclo a Juarez and the Alameda, but they weren’t exactly reduced to rubble.

Sorry about the delay in reporting this.

Posted in Mexico | Comments Off

Must Read: To Die in Mexico by John Gibler

Posted by Charles II on August 24, 2012

There are few books that explain why US policy remains as consistently perverse as it is in the so-called wars on drugs and on terrorism, become permanent wars, with all the loss of freedom and national vitality that constant violence implies. John Gibler’s To Die in Mexico provides insight into not only what is going on in Mexico, but how it connects to US policy. It also shows how the citizenry, fragmented by ethnic and class divides, frenetically ignores the violence that it pretends it cannot stop. Some excerpts:

The bare facts are so terrifying they pass beyond the edge of anything credible. Who would believe, for example, that the warden of a state prison would let convicted killers out at night and loan them official vehicles, automatic rifles, and bulletproof vests, so that they could gun down scores of innocent people in a neighboring state and then quickly hop back over the state line and into prison, behind bars, a perfect alibi? Who would believe that a paramilitary drug-trafficking organization formed by ex-Special Forces of the Mexican Army would kidnap a local cop, torture him into confessing all of the above details about the prisoners’ death squad, videotape the confession, execute the cop on camera with a shot to the heart, and then post the video on YouTube?

The government, you see, sometimes acts as terrorist, and the drug traffickers sometimes as truthtellers.

THIS IS WHAT THEY DO NOT WANT YOU TO SAY: The Mexican army and federal police have administered drug trafficking for decades. Drug money fills the vaults of Mexico’s banks, enters the national economy at every level, and, with traffickers’ annual profits estimated at between $30 billion and $60 billion a year, rivals oil as the largest single source of cash revenue in the country…..the most wanted narcos […include] generals in the Mexican army and commanders of the federal police. The federal police forces are the main recruitment centers for the enforcers, the paramilitary units in charge of assassinations, and the armed protection of drugs and mid- and high-level operators.

The corruption runs to the top of the civilian government.

Click for more
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in corruption, Mexico, War On Some Drugs | 6 Comments »

Vote baaing scandal in Mexico

Posted by Charles II on August 15, 2012

From La Jornada

From La Jornada:

At the trial before the electoral tribunal regarding election fraud in Mexico, the PRD presented evidence that included two turkeys, a lamb, a chicken, two ducks and a piglet which were used to buy votes in Guerrero, Campeche, Zacatecas and Veracruz.

Image from SDP Noticias
(photo from SDP Noticias)

A lamb? There was definitely vote baaing going on.

That was the downscale merchandise. More upscale included cell telephones, perfume, a dress, umbrellas, and tortilla makers.

Farther up the ladder were gift/credit cards from Buen Vecino, Bancomer, Banamex Perfiles, Monex Loyalty Master Card, Soriana Tamaulipas and Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart. Money laundering. Hm.

Posted in election theft, Mexico | 2 Comments »

Sheldon Adelson and the Mexican drug lord

Posted by Charles II on August 8, 2012

Is narcotrafficking money being laundered into US elections? It is alleged to have been done in Mexican elections… and not just the recent ones. As far back as 2007, we noted that Zhenli Ye Gon, who was accused of being a major importer of drugs used to make meth, had been accused of providing sewer money to install Felipe Calderon as president of Mexico.

Now Ye Gon has resurfaced, this time as a figure in a US investigation: “for a series of large money transfers in the mid-2000s.”

It seems Ye Gon was such a good customer of Sheldon Adelson that he lost $125M at his Sands casino. Adelson, in turn, has been linked to organized crime syndicates in rescuing his Macao casino.

And Adelson is a major Romney donor.

This is by no means proof of drug money being laundered into US elections. Heck, Ye Gon hasn’t been convicted yet, and should be considered innocent. But the question now has to be asked: is our political system so unresponsive to the will of the people because it is under the influence of narcotics, or the profits therefrom? There’s no explanation in my mind for why Ye Gon was held in the US for years on a charge so flimsy that it collapsed, and only now is the DA in Los Angeles looking into large money transfers by Ye Gon.

Posted in Mexico, War On Some Drugs | 2 Comments »

Hacia El Norte: Honduras to Mexico

Posted by Charles II on August 1, 2012

Google gets most of the credit for this translation. I just don’t seem to have the energy today. Jenaro Villamil, Proceso:

MEXICO, DF (Approved). – A lobbying firm that advised the coup president of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, and a law firm specializing in defending high-ranking U.S. Navy members, and having important contacts in the Pentagon, are two new acquisitions by the team defending Enrique Peña Nieto, both in the media and a California court, from the scandal triggered by businessman Jose Aquino, and the tentacles that represents his lawsuit in the “Monexgate” case.

At the suggestion of Diego Gomez Pickering, a partner of Louis Videgaray, the brain of Team Peña Nieto, the Peñistas hired the firm Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates (CSLA), for an amount not yet determined, to counter tales in the U.S. media of the purchase of votes, alleged fraud and alleged money laundering through Monexgate.

The Peñistas have been disheartened since 15 days ago. The lawsuit filed by Joseph Aquino and critical coverage of the international press of Peña Nieto’s win on 1 July, made urgent the hiring CSLA, which specializes in “communications advice and assistance in transition ” to Peña Nieto, under the Registration Act Foreign Agents (FARA, for its acronym in English).

Coincidentally, CSLA also lobbies for the Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, also of the PRI, who has been sued in federal court of the United States for alleged responsibility for crimes against humanity following the massacre of Acteal Chiapas in December 1997. The story among the ranks of the PRI, hardly a secret, is that this lawsuit against Zedillo was driven by his archenemy in the internal ruling technocracy: Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

CSLA also lobbied in favor of former [Colombian] President Alvaro Uribe, whose former head of the National Police, Gen. Oscar Naranjo, is the star advisor to Peña Nieto for security issues. And his other client is Roberto Micheletti, who took power in Honduras after the coup against Manuel Zelaya.

Let me guess. Lanny Davis will be appearing before Congress to tell us what a fine, upstanding narcotr…er, gentleman P-Nieto is. And next year, he’ll be explaining to the Chinese government why they should accept Mitt Romney’s surprising 70:30 win over Barack Obama, slightly assisted by military intervention in the vote counting.

Yes, the imposition of P-Nieto is getting that weird.

Posted in Mexico | Comments Off

The Triangular Trade: Vote buying in the Mexican election

Posted by Charles II on July 28, 2012

Proceso has been following up on an interesting story of exactly where the money to buy PRI candidate Enrique P-Nieto’s election came from. There’s a lawsuit in US courts alleging a default on payments and tying P-Nieto to organized crime.

It’s a complicated tale, and Jesusa Cervantes doesn’t tell it in a coherent linear fashion. The cast of characters includes businesses like GAP, HIGO, Jiramos, GM Global, and the Monex and Mifel banks and reaches into Spain, Israel, Italy, and the US. According to Congressman Jaime Cardenas, it’s similar to the “Friends of Fox” network in 2000, which helped elect the first rightist president, Vicente Fox.

The complainant is José Luis Ponce de Aquino, owner of Frontera Televisión Network LLP. He alleges that P-Nieto operatives offered him a 56 million dollar contract to promote PRI in the United States. He says that the money was transferred overnight to Monex and Mifel accounts, arriving from Italy, Israel, and either a Portuguese or Brazilian source into an account held by Alejandro Carrillo Garza Sada’s company Jiramos…but they didn’t pay him as agreed. Ponce de Aquino alleges that he received death threats from C. José Carrillo Chontkowsky, Alfredo Carrillo Chontkowsky, and Hugo Vigues, who told him that this was narcotics money. Alejandro Carrillo Garza Sada threatened Ponce de Aquino that he wouldn’t be able to enter Mexico and that he would seize Garza Sada’s business. The contract he was offered, it would seem, was just a cover for laundering money into Mexico.

Ponce de Aquino is being attacked in Milenio, which claims he has business ties to Julio Di Bella, who has been an adviser to the PAN party, as well as being the defendant in 100 lawsuits and using 5 aliases (see also Proceso, which has confirmed the latter).

Ponce de Aquino may well be a sideshow. But there’s no question that money from unknown sources was used to buy votes. If it turns out to have come from abroad or from the narcotics trade, well, it will be bad for P-Nieto. But he may rest assured that no one north of the border will hear of it. I searched through the LATimes to see if they were carrying any coverage of the Mexican election. The only article they had was from a Univision hack telling us that, just like Al Gore, Lopez Obrador should just shut up and swallow: “Gore knew that democracy probably hadn’t been served, yet he accepted the verdict with grace.” If democracy has not been served in deciding the victor of a presidential election, then what has been served, if not tyranny?

Posted in Mexico | Comments Off

Mexico in the interregnum/updated

Posted by Charles II on July 26, 2012

“Your bullets cannot kill my hope.” (Image from @FabioLA_Grinch)

The activity on #YoSoy132 is impressive. There is a march against Televisa Chapultepec, with the authorities putting up perhaps 100 officers. AMLO is proposing an interim president, and the PRI is accusing him of trying to bring on anarchy. The elections court has coyly dismissed complaints by individual citizens, claiming that only the parties have jurisdiction. YoSoyAntiFraude is counting the “actas,” the numbers reported (as opposed to the “sábanas,” or–loosely translated– precinct sheets) See here for an image, on right of a sábana, and here for an acta. Both images from SDP Noticias via QuePagina. The count of the actas is so far more or less consistent with the official results, so this may come down to evidence that there is inconsistency between the count as initially reported and as transmitted.

Update: Jo Tuckman on Televisa protest.

Posted in election theft, Mexico | 1 Comment »

The reason for transparency in elections: Mexico 2006

Posted by Charles II on July 11, 2012

Mark Weisbrot, on a little history of why there is such suspicion on the Mexican elections:

But it got worse than that: because of public pressure, the Mexican electoral authorities did two partial recounts of the vote. The second one was done for a huge sample: they recounted 9% of the ballots. But without offering any explanation, the electoral authorities refused to release the results of the recount to the public.

From 9-13 August 2006, the Mexican electoral authorities posted thousands of pages of results on the web ,which included the recounted ballot totals. It was then possible, with hundreds of hours of work, to piece together what happened in the recount and compare it to the previous results. At the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), we did this for a large random sample (14.4%) of the recounted ballots. Among these ballots, Calderón’s margin of victory disappeared.

This may explain why the electoral authorities never told the public what the recount showed, and why the authorities refused to do a full recount – which would have been appropriate for such a close election with so many irregularities. A full recount could easily have reversed the result, or found the election to be completely indeterminate.

So, six years later, tens of millions of Mexicans believe that the election couldn’t have been clean.

I’ll bet President Romney will be surprised when tens of millions of Americans who were denied the chance to vote by corporate money being used to bribe state legislatures into passing voter suppression laws will feel they have no stake in his sham presidency. “Well, gosh,” he’ll say. “We bought it fair and square! What are they angry about?”

Posted in election theft, Mexico | Comments Off

 
%d bloggers like this: