Mexico pushes OAS for pact to preserve democracy in Venezuela

6/19/2017 Reuters

Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro hold a news conference ahead of the OAS 47th General Assembly in Cancun
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray (L) and Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro hold a news conference ahead of the OAS 47th General Assembly in Cancun, Mexico June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Mexico is pushing the Organization of American States to adopt a resolution on Venezuela that defends representative democracy, the Mexican foreign minister said on Monday, at a meeting set to be dominated by the crisis in the oil-exporting country.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said talks on Venezuela could be drawn out over a three-day OAS annual general meeting in Cancun to seek consensus.

“The most important thing is that whatever we agree happens through good faith dialogue to defend the values that unite us,” Videgaray said at a news conference.

“In this specific case it’s the defense of representative democracy as the only form of government that should prevail in the American continent,” he said.

Critics accuse Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of leading the OPEC member towards dictatorship by delaying elections, jailing opposition activists and pressing to overhaul the constitution.

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Mexico Election Points to Weak Vetting of Candidates’ Criminal Ties

6/7/2017 InSight Crime

electionsMexico’s June 4 elections have demonstrated once again that the country’s political system is unable to adequately filter out candidates whose questionable pasts should be disqualifying.

The centerpiece of election day was the Mexico State governor’s race, which Alfredo del Mazo won by a three-point margin over Delfina Gómez. During the campaign, both the winner and runner-up were dogged by allegations of improper activity.

Media outlets published documents suggesting that, while serving as mayor of Texcoco, Gómez’s administration had diverted tens of millions of pesos from a public employee pension fund to the brother of the city’s treasurer. Gómez’s signature appears on documents purportedly authorizing the transfers. Her campaign also awarded millions of pesos in contracts to firms run by the same family, though the precise nature of the services rendered remains unclear.

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MORENA leftist party calls for Mexico State election vote recount

6/6/2017 Reuters

Mexican politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,  leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) gestures as he addresses the audience during a meeting at Plaza Zaragoza in Monterrey, Mexico
Mexican politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) gestures as he addresses the audience during a meeting at Plaza Zaragoza in Monterrey, Mexico February 25, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

The head of Mexico’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, called on Tuesday for a recount of Sunday’s key State of Mexico gubernatorial election.

With nearly 98 percent of returns in from polling booths, the candidate for President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Alfredo del Mazo, had 34 percent of the vote compared with 31 percent for MORENA’s candidate, Delfina Gomez.

“MORENA believes that Delfina Gomez won the election on Sunday and that she is the governor of the State of Mexico,” said Lopez Obrador.

The election was tarnished by piles of pig heads dumped on Saturday near MORENA offices and at polling stations in several municipalities, and accusations of telephone threats and fake electoral literature warning of attacks – tactics used to dissuade people from voting. Prosecutors are probing the situation.

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Mexico’s Fiery Populist May Need to Tone It Down to Win in 2018

6/6/2017 Bloomberg

AMLOFor Mexican presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Sunday’s election must have been bittersweet.

The movement he founded just three years ago came close to unseating the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party in its heartland: President Enrique Pena Nieto’s home state of Mexico.

Yet coming up three percentage points short left Lopez Obrador’s Morena party with none of the nation’s 31 governor’s offices and no access to potential funding that such power provides for national campaigns. Under such conditions, if Lopez Obrador is going to win the presidency next July, tapping into voter outrage at graft, crime and Donald Trump won’t be enough. He’ll need to broaden his appeal and curtail his threats against an establishment that he condemns as the “mafia of power.”

“To do that, he would need to change his entire style of the past 15 to 20 years,” said Jorge Chabat, a political scientist at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching, a Mexico City-based university. “When your speech is extremely confrontational, it’s difficult to expand your support beyond your close circle of ‘true believers.’ And that’s what you need to win.”

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Mexico election loss masks strength of leftist challenger

6/5/2017 Reuters

Source: Eneas De Troya, Flickr

Mexico’s ruling party may have won a bruising electoral battle with its leftist arch-enemy at the weekend, but the narrow victory showed how momentum has swung behind him in the run-up to next year’s presidential race.

Veteran campaigner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has led early polls for the 2018 vote, and his new National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) came close to seizing the main bastion of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Sunday’s gubernatorial vote in the State of Mexico.

Fielding a little-known former school teacher as candidate, the three-year-old MORENA picked up more votes than the other two main opposition parties combined to lift Lopez Obrador’s hopes of making it third time lucky in his bid for Mexico’s top job.

“We feel strengthened,” Lopez Obrador, who finished in second place in the 2006 and 2012 elections, said on Monday in a video in which he disputed the results of Sunday’s vote. “Because MORENA is the party that’s growing fastest.”

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Mexico ruling party seen scraping to victory in key state vote

6/5/2017 Reuters

PRI logoMexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) likely won a key state election on Sunday by a slim margin, according to an official preliminary projection of results that was quickly challenged by the leftist party seen in second place.

An early count from the State of Mexico’s electoral institute projected PRI candidate Alfredo del Mazo as winning between 32.75 percent and 33.59 percent of the vote.

The candidate of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) was seen taking between 30.73 and 31.53 percent.

If the forecast is correct it will have been a close call for President Enrique Pena Nieto’s PRI, which has governed the state for nearly nine decades, and will not end the aspirations of Lopez Obrador, a veteran leftist who has led early opinion polls for the July 2018 presidential race.

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Women Will Be Voting for Their Lives in the State of Mexico

6/1/2017 Bloomberg

HONDURAS-WOMEN-DISCRIMINATION-MARCHA local election in Mexico is shedding light on a war that has gone under-reported and often undocumented and unnoticed in the Latin American country for years. The daily murder of women as a show of male power, known as femicide.

Overshadowed by the war on drugs, the murders that may number six a day, have been so ignored by the authorities that there are few reliable figures, poor legislation and even disputes over what classifies as femicide. What is clear, say local NGOs, is that the murder rate is increasing.

Now, voters in the regional state of Mexico are forcing politicians to recognize the problem and take action. In the last year, tens of thousands of women have taken to the streets to demand greater protection from the state. In response, the candidates in the June 4 election are offering to train prosecutors on gender equality and open a special agency to support the victims’ families. It seems the minimum the authorities could do, but it is a start.

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