07 August 2006
Lopez Obrador demonstrators in Mexico may be being paid
As the BBC reports, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has now called on his supporters to march to the Federal Electoral Commission's headquarters to demand a full recount of July's ballot.
His supporters are camped out in Mexico City centre, blocking the main Reforma avenue. On the surface he seems to have a lot of suppoert, but the Exile can report that a lot of his people are actually being paid to join the protest. Peasants from the state of Oaxaca are being offered free transport to Mexico City, three meals a day and $200 (£10.00) in cash if they sign up. Given that wages for an agricultural labourer in that benighted state are about $5o.00 (£2.50) a day, that is decent brass.
The Exile got to hear about this scam from a Oaxacan Indian who has lived in Mexico City for many years. This man went home for a family funeral and reported that he had been approached with this offer. Other people with Oaxaca connections have said the same thing. Padding out demonstrations by offering food, drink and money to people is hardly a new aspect of the Mexican political tradition. The fact that AMLO has to do it suggests that his support is not as strong as many people think.
The internet war has also hotted up, and anyone who has a Mexican e-mail address is liable to find that his inbox is getting full with pro and anti AMLO propaganda.
The most common is one that says:
TOMEN EL AEROPUERTO, NO SEAN PUTOS....
(Take the airport: don't be poofs)
To which the anti-AMLO brigade have replied with:
¿No que ibas a tomar el aeropuerto?
(Weren't you going to take the airport?
Aparte de tramposo, cobarde.
(Aside from being a trickster, you're a coward)
¿Esa es tu resistencia?
(Is this your resistance?
jaja deja me rio, asi no presionas a nadie.
(Ha-ha let me have a laugh. This way you don't pressure anyone)
And so it goes on. What the outcome will be is anyone's guess.