Saturday, March 14, 2015

Today's Mexico City Headlines: The upcoming election is generating a lot of suspense. But it has nothing to do with who's running.

El Universal and Milenio lead with more scare stories about the scheduled June 7 elections. El U spoke to intelligence agents with the Federal Police (PF) and came up with this: “PF: Electoral alert in eleven key municipalities.”
    The municipalities in danger include the state capitals of Guerrero and Michoacán — Chilpancingo and Moerlia, respectively — as well as the port/resort city of Acapulco and several in the troubled border state of Tamaulipas. The police sources cite both crime organizations and violent  teachers as the threats they’re monitoring.
    Milenio quotes INE president Lorenzo Córdova in a bring-’em-on lead headline: “Public force will be called on if necessary: INE.” Córdova’s announcement, delivered, not coincidentally, after he met with the CCE, the top nationwide business organization, was his most forceful declaration to date that the INE will not give in to calls to cancel the vote in Guerrero because of safety concerns. “Our mission is to set up the voting stations,” he said. “Insofar as there’s no need to call in security forces, so much the better for everybody. But if at any time we have to, we will.”
    The increasing possibility that millions of citizens will be denied by force rather than choice their right to vote may or may not be giving pause to the promoters of the abstention or boycott movement. Their intent may be to send a protest message, but they could end up playing into the hands of the anti-democratic forces they presumably oppose — narco gangs and violent protesters. How is anybody going to know who stayed away from the polls to protest, who from fear and who from apathy?  

The other shoe dropped on the Greens yesterday, described by La Jornada’s No. 5 front-page head as “Green Party sanctioned with seven days without TV spots for rules violations.” The violation in question was surpassing the limit of spots allowed, reaching the breathtaking total of 222,000 over the last three months.
    The decision came down from the top electoral court known as the TEPJF, in the form of an instruction to the main election authority, the INE, to implement the punishment. The INE itself is also suspending temporarily the print and web ads that have been pouring out from the Green Party, aka the PVEM, an ally of the ruling PRI.
    Three papers fronted the tribunal’s ruling, which came after some loud criticism about the previously applied monetary sanctions, which have little effect on Green Party behavior. But other parties weren’t lining up to praise the latest action either, as evidenced in Reforma’s No. 2 head: “PVEM violates the Constitution and gets the minimum punishment.” Critics point out, among other things, that for every buyer there’s a seller, but none of the television outlets received more than a warning.

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