Elections in Mexico’s 32 states are just a few days away. Thousands of executive and legislative positions will be up for election at the state and municipal levels, in addition to the legislators in the federal Chamber of Deputies. Although the “campaign” officially began in April of this year, the ruling and opposition parties have been focusing all their speeches and money on this electoral power dispute for more than a year now. Both the president and the opposition are in permanent electoral, judicial and media dispute. And this will continue until March 2022, when the referendum on AMLO’s presidential mandate, proposed by AMLO himself, is scheduled to take place. A majority asks: What benefits have been achieved by the millions of workers and exploited of Mexico, who entrusted their hopes for change in the 2018 elections?
Corriente Socialista de los Trabajadores – CST (Socialist Workers’ Current), translated to English by Corriente Obrera and Workers’ Voice
May 27, 2021
The 220 thousand deaths by Covid-19 that we have suffered, the total dismantling of the public health system, the forced disappearances and femicides, the chronic misery and labor precarity, disasters like that of the Metro, the general collapse of public transport, the shortage of drinking water in much of the territory, the growing costs of basic necessities… in short, all the needs, misfortunes and anguish of the working people do not concern the bosses’ politicians in the least. For them “anything goes” to win votes or steal them from their opponents. And now that the campaigns are at their peak, it is clear that for them, the capitalists and their political agents, the elections are an enormous investment for their lucrative business. They denounce each other as immoral for buying votes, but that’s what they all do! T-shirts, hats, market bags, backpacks, leaflets, cards. And now, also face masks, with the names of parties and candidates. And all of them, both the current government and the opposition, fill the streets with their pictures on banners, posters… They spend a lot of money on the electoral circus! This campaign has surpassed anything we have seen before in terms of the degradation and clumsiness of those who are running as candidates, who in the absence of a political program, clown around, sing or dance to try to appear “original”.
In essence, the regime has not changed; only the head of government and some officials changed.
Countless times, in the morning briefings or whenever he has the opportunity, the president has repeated that “it is no longer the old regime”. However, he himself knows that this is false. We do not believe it necessary to demonstrate here that the Mexican state continues to serve the big capitalists, both foreign and domestic. It is enough to look at the growth of fortunes under this government, of oligarchs such as Carlos Slim, who receives contracts for enormous public works projects, mining concessions and even to supply vaccines! Or Ricardo Salinas Pliego and his Banco Azteca, which is the official agency for the payment of all social benefits. Nor do we find it necessary to detail that the Mexican state continues to be colonized economically, politically and militarily by the U.S. empire. The falsehood of AMLO’s claims that “we are a sovereign and independent country” is laid bare.
Which institutions have changed? The judicial power is still intact. And the best example is the nefarious Supreme Court. The Attorney General’s Office, headed by Gertz Manero, former Vicente Fox’s Secretary of Security, is full of his former accomplices. To prove the reliability of the current Attorney General’s Office, it is enough to remember how they were able to quickly investigate and resolve the innocence of the “Godfather” General Cienfuegos.
The legislative power, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies continue to operate with the same corrupt practices of the parties of the old regime. This is now even denounced by former figures of those parties, such as Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, current deputy of Morena. If we review the 32 states, there are almost no changes. For in 23 of them, the PAN, PRI and PRD have been governing for decades, and they continued plundering, exploiting and repressing in the same way as in the 6 states governed by Morena.
Lets look at a few examples: the brutal repression of the rural students of Mactumatzá in Chiapas, governed by Rutilio Escandón of Morena, is no different from that suffered by the students in Oaxaca, governed by Alejandro Murat of the PRI, or in Michoacan, governed by Silvano Aureoles of the PRD. And the threats and persecution of the maquiladora workers in Tamaulipas are the same under the sinister PAN governor, the criminal García Cabeza de Vaca, as under Mario Lopez, the anti-worker Morena municipal president in Matamoros, a business partner and friend of the union charros. And the worst part is that those who claim to be defenders of the workers, sold the independence of the Matamoros Workers Movement 20/32 to Morena in order to win a candidacy. Thus, they became accomplices of the corporate grievances and betrayals of the union charros against the people and workers.
The crowning moment that exposes the character of this government is the hostile attitude towards the Notimex state agency workers and their democratic union, SutNotimex, who are leading the longest resistance strike in Mexican history–a sit-in that has lasted 15 months so far–heroically facing unjustified dismissals, the violation of their collective bargaining agreement, slander and the persecution of their new, democratically elected leaders.
One more fact questions AMLO’s myth of “regime change”: all of Morena, with the president at the helm, are furious and denounce INE and its president, Lorenzo Córdova. They accuse him of responding unconditionally to the PRI/PAN and of not being an impartial arbiter and threaten to remove him from office. Of course, as conscious workers, we never trust the impartiality of the INE (National Electoral Institute) or any of the institutions of the “democracy of the rich“. But AMLO and the Morena accusers enter into flagrant contradiction, because “From Chiapas in 2018: López Obrador congratulated the president of the INE, Lorenzo Córdova… who has promised that the elections will be free and fair”.
The only thing that did change is the head of an institution: the president. What they call the Executive Branch. But in it, there are even government secretaries who come from previous governments and parties, relatives of oligarchs or imperialist organizations. The people have had enough of all of them and that is why in 2018 they said Enough! And voted to kick out the “mafia in power”… which remains unpunished and now shares power within the 4T (fourth transformation) government. In the face of this reality: the illusion of changing something while everything remains the same or worse, we see that disappointment invades the spirits of millions of exploited and oppressed.
The armed forces: the preferred regime change by AMLO
For many years, popular and human rights organizations have denounced the abuses and violations of the armed forces under various governments, and under the PRI and PAN. In particular, they have been criticized for their criminal role during their nefarious “war on drugs”. They all demanded “that the Army and Navy get off the streets and return to their barracks”. In 2018 the Supreme Court was forced to declare unconstitutional the Internal Security Law, which entrusted the military with public security functions. However, when AMLO and the 4T came to government, they changed the Constitution so that they could continue to fulfill those functions, and those changes were adopted unanimously by all the fractions that are “fighting” today. Thus the National Guard was created, a customized special military force, under the command of a military general, which acts throughout the territory. What has the National Guard done? It represses and hunts down Central American migrants arriving in Mexico. Now the military and marines are not only in the streets, but also in the ports, at the customs checkpoints, at airports and megaprojects such as the Mayan Train or oil refineries such as Dos Bocas. That is to say, the regime’s hierarchy of military institutions has reached a level not seen since the 1940-46 presidential era of General Manuel Avila Camacho.
The whole media apparatus, both the state and the opposition, wants to force us into the electoral circus.
All the media and networks, whether they are at the service of the government or the opposition, are heating up their rhetoric to get us into a situation of false electoral polarization. The newspaper Milenio, even dares to give us lectures on “How to vote correctly in Mexico, Avoid having your vote annulled “*. It is evident that they do not want anyone to escape the pull of the electoral vacuum cleaner, and in this task of tremendous “suction” support comes from the ultra-right, which the President calls “conservative” or “Fifi”, all the way to the supposed “leftists” and even some who call themselves “communists”, whom the reactionaries call “chairos”. These last ones, burst with opportunistic arguments and “reasons”, to explain and convince us why it is an obligation “to support Morena, so that it does not lose the majority of deputies in the face of the right wing’s revenge”. This is a falsehood for two reasons: the first is that AMLO has already warned that if he loses the majority in Congress he will use his veto power to block the opposition; the second is that during these three years Morena had the majority and did not use it to repeal Peña Nieto’s energy counter-reform, nor to annul the oil and mining looting contracts, nor the tremendous offenses against our sovereignty perpetrated by Salinas de Gortari, Fox or Calderón. They pretended to change Peña Nieto’s labor-educational reform, this did not eradicate labor precarity. They only agreed with corporations on a cosmetic outsourcing reform.
The deep disappointment in the face of unfulfilled promises and new grievances can provoke a logical, but highly mistaken reaction from a sector of the working class: to retreat and support those who are saying “enough is enough!” Of course, no worker conscious of their needs, should fall into the error of giving political support to the parties that during long decades in power have exploited us and plundered the country. But neither will voting for the 4T representatives help the poor, as they have already shown that their official slogan “for the good of all, first the poor” is only an empty phrase, to continue serving the power of big money, at home and abroad.
Today we workers have no alternative for whom to vote. We must vote against all the parties of the regime!
Today there are no trustworthy candidates or parties. To vote for the ruling or opposition parties of this rotten regime is to vote against our interests. Do not allow our vote to be stolen by those who steal our salary, our land and our children’s future. Why? Because in this way we will say “enough to this regime!” We will reject at the ballot box those who exploit us, those who violate our rights and repress us when we defend ourselves. Because allowing ourselves to be robbed of our vote by them goes against the present and future interests of our working class.
We can only get out of this situation of political hardship by building in every workplace and in every struggle an independent workers’ alternative. As they did in Chile, where the working people’s candidates from below have kicked the false “democracy” of the rich to the curb. There they elected real social fighters to the Constituent Assembly, causing a political earthquake, and in this way they are really fighting not only neoliberal capitalism but the so-called “progressives” who sustain it!
Newspapers like Milenio and the current regime want to avoid the “annulled vote” because today it is the only truly conscious vote. That is why we propose to vote against all of them. For all those who have wronged and deceived us. And those “annulled votes” will ring loudly as true votes during recounts on the night of June 6, votes against the corruption of the whole system. Votes that reject exploitation, territorial dispossession, repression and the plundering of our natural resources.
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* How to cancel the vote?
The vote is annulled if the ballot is left blank, if all candidates are marked, or if an invalid combination of parties (i.e. parties not in a coalition together) are marked.