Kurt Hackbarth and Colin Mooers of MexElects (and Progressive Army) interview Dr. John Ackerman – professor of law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), columnist with La Jornada newspaper and Proceso Magazine, and a frequent contributor to international media such as The New York Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, The Guardian and Foreign Policy – regarding the myth of the transition to democracy in Mexico, the looming prospect of fraud in the upcoming presidential election, and the promise of a progressive government led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
A series of hurdles creates what is in essence a stacked deck for the center-left candidate. First, there is what might be called the “pre-fraud”: the use of governmental social programs to condition or buy votes, the diversion of public funds into campaigns, and acts of intimidation to keep voters away from the polls. The day of the election presents the danger of a range of fraudulent practices that create what has been described as “electoral alchemy“, from old-fashioned ballot-box stuffing to the paying-off of poll workers and party observers in order for “friendly” replacements to be swapped in. Following the delicacies of the electoral count – the cybersecurity of which is in the hands of a business owned by none other than Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest men who made his fortune off the privatization of Mexico’s telephone company, Telmex – there is then a final hurdle: the ratification of the election by the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TRIFE), a majority of whose members have been nominated by the right-wing parties PRI and PAN and whose decisions – such as allowing independent presidential candidate Jaime Rodríguez Calderón onto the ballot despite a raft of electoral violations – have proven so far to be anything but impartial. All in all, Dr. Ackerman estimates that López Obrador needs to win by a margin of at least 15% for his victory to “stick”.
This video was originally published on MexElects.