Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mexican Civil War

What with terrorists here and in Britain, war in the Middle East, potential civil war starting in Bagdhad, Somalia and Ethiopia and Sudan killing one another because hey, it's fun, Sri Lanka warring amongst itself, typhoons in China, little attention is being paid South o' the border. Mexico is embroiled in a rather U.S.-esque dispute over an election except that the response to assumed injustice is not taking a civilized turn.

Mr Lopez Obrador's supporters have crippled central Mexico City for almost two weeks by setting up camps in the Zocalo and on the main boulevard that runs through its business district.

They have resisted pressure from business groups and many residents to dismantle the protest camps, and are planning to hit new targets in their campaign of civil disobedience.

This week, the tactics included blockading the stock exchange, the headquarters of international banks and government offices in Mexico City.

Fearing further unrest, the government has tightened security at the capital's international airport as well as oil refineries and power plants.

Mr Lopez Obrador is a former mayor of Mexico City who has promised to end two decades of free-market reforms and help the poor with welfare programs and infrastructure spending.

He has a long history of leading street protests. In 1994, he staged marches and blockaded oil wells in the oil-rich state of Tabasco after losing a governor's race that was marred by widespread fraud allegations.

This could be the beginning of another fine mess. The interesting thing is that if Mexicans had the opportunity to re-vote, Mr. Obrador would be in worse shape. Concerned citizens have seen his true colors. They aren't pretty. Perhaps that's why he's fighting so hard. Glenn & Helen interview the guys from Strategy Page and touch on the subject if you're interested in learning more.

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