Ciro Di Costanzo explains why the civil resistance movement led by candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (PRD), which is protesting the supposed fraudulent recent elections in the heart of Mexico, will fall apart over time. Di Costanzo believes that this civil resistance, Mexican style, lacks convincing arguments and proof and is merely a reaction of suspicion over an autocratic cultural tradition that no longer exists. The resistance is following a risky strategy, which could endanger Marcelo Ebrard‘s (PRD) entering government in Mexico City, and could harm the democratic institutions it claims to uphold.
Ciro Di Costanzo is a journalist and an analyst of international politics. He is the head of one of the most important radio shows in Mexico (Reporte 98.5 FM, now in its third season of broadcasting) and is a Professor of Communication and International Politics at the Universidad Iberoamericana. He has covered events worldwide and is the founder of the Mexican Counsel of International Affairs. He gives talks at the principal universities of his country and around the world.
MEXICO IS CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH THE VICISSITUDES OF A DEMOCRACY that is, by definition imperfect, out of circumstance young, and engulfed by suspicion of an autocratic cultural tradition that no longer exists.
And so while many citizens are wondering, with understandable concern, what course the disputed presidential elections will take, most are just curious what those who are calling for resistance and civil disobedience are trying to accomplish.
IN THE HEART OF D.F.
The resistance movement of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Center Left candidate of the Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (Democratic Revolution Party or PRD), is very peculiar: a civil resistance movement, Mexican-style.
The main resistance is going on in the heart of Mexico City in the form of a massive sit-in that has the city blocked off and shut down from the Avenida Paseo de la Reforma, the principal artery of the capital, to the Zocalo Capitalino, the main square in Mexico City.
This blockade has asphyxiated the main tourist, economic, social, cultural, and political corridor of the city, and has aggravated the already deranged traffic in D.F.
It is, in itself, a very risky strategy because it affects the very people that the PRD promises to defend, the base from which it draws its strength, and its votes.
LOPEZ OBRADOR AND MARCELO EBRARD
The resistance is also very peculiar because, unlike the normal standards for civil resistance, it has the endorsement and open support of the largely PRD government of Mexico City. And so by sponsoring a sit-in, which will be inevitably harmful, the PRD is doing damage to its reputation, power, and control in Mexico City, where it holds the most sway since the last elections.
What if Lopez Obrador’s resistance movement caused the entering government of Marcelo Ebrard, who is himself a member of the PRD, to collapse? It would be achieving the very opposite for which it hopes: very strange indeed.
Also strange is the fact that the resistance exists in the name of democracy, and yet it is harming the democratic institutions it wishes to uphold. The same institutions, which years ago, dissolved the totalitarian regime of the one-time hegemonic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
A CAUSE WITHOUT PROOF
Even more peculiar, the civil resistance movements have sustained themselves on beliefs of the magnitude of their cause.
But the cause that they are supporting is not clear. The claim is that the elections were fraudulent, but there has been no proof, nor any convincing or clear evidence to lead an entire population to rise up in protest.
70 YEARS OF FRAUD
After the partial recount of twelve thousand polling stations ordered by the Electoral Tribunal of Mexico, the results of the elections have not changed. The original count registered by the Federal Electoral Institute still stands.
There is no doubt that evidence of inconsistencies exists in almost all elections, but that is far from proving that there was any deliberate fraud in the past elections. Such a claim would involve hundreds of thousands of Mexicans and is virtually impossible in this case.
After more than seventy years of continuous fraud and corruption, the Mexican people are extremely sensitive to the words fraudulent elections, rising up in protest at the mere suggestion of foulplay.
But the Mexico of today is different from the Mexico of the past. The accusation of fraudulent elections will not hold up under objective analysis, and this Mexican-style civil resistance will fall apart over time. But still: very peculiar