reports of fraud

A friend– seriously, one of my closest friends in Mexico– who lives in Queretaro took this photo of the results officiated at her local polling station. You can click to enlarge. At her polling station, okay, a few blocks from her house. She uploaded this to Facebook today, the photo together with the screenshot of the national preliminary results database. Her marks show the inconsistency in the results. The Green Party, according to the poll officials and the party observers who signed the result sheet, received zero votes. The national database, however, reports the result for Green Party at that polling station as 14. This could easily have been a data entry error, of course. And I am sure there were lots of those.

The initial 2012 presidential election result was called last night for Enrique Peña Nieto, former governor of Mexico State, by a healthy 6% margin. Peña represents a coalition of the infamous PRI (Revolutionary Independence Party) and the Green Party.

I write this as I listen to thousands of people in the street 9 floors below me shouting “fuera, Peña…” (“get out, Peña”). Sounds dramatic and cliché, but it’s true. People are upset that this guy was elected. Not the ones who voted for him, of course, but still.

Peña probably really was legitimately elected as far as vote count is concerned. However, people always talk about voters receiving free cable for 6 months, or grocery store vouchers, or a kilogram of cornmeal, in exchange for supporting the PRI.

And then the fact that the party really is institutionalized in the government, still, through all the excessive misdirected (no, really) government spending it has instated since the 1930s, on federal, state and local levels. There are a lot of people who believe, probably rightfully, that life as they know it comes from living inside those deep pockets. I watched the (horrible) European Cup final and trickling-in election results yesterday at the house of an unapologetic PRIista. She, a 28-year-old journalist, is PRI because her family is PRI, in her own words. Of course the question of what her father does came up. (She mentioned to me later in an unrelated conversation that he had recently cut off her American Express card.) She showed me his picture, a picture of them together; he was wearing a really nice suit and the photo was taken in a studio. He works “in petroleum.”

Reuters’ coverage much less wide-eyed and dumb than Washington Post’s (“dashing”?!).

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