Vicente Fox backs down


In a surprise move, Mexican President Vicente Fox has "accepted the resignation" of the prosecutor bringing a trumped—up case against the leftist mayor of Mexico City, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whose popularity has been soaring in the looming three way race to replace el presidente. Our readers were alerted to this situation by A. M. Mora y Leon on April 4th:

Right now, Mexico's two other parties, PAN and PRI, have conducted legal maneuvers to knock this third—party leftist Mexican mayor out of the presidential race. They are prosecuting him over some road violation, a very trivial technicality. And that's pushed his popularity from 27% to 37% in the three—way race already.

They just may succeed in torpedoing his candidacy, but they aren't fooling anyone into thinking it's just because they are interested in law and order. By behaving this way, they are making Mexico's bitter, fed—up population even angrier. It amounts to an insult to democracy and contempt for their wishes. It may easily lead to civil unrest, something which may be even worse than a Hugo Chavez at our border.

As Mora y Leon correctly predicted, civil unrest was looming. Last Sunday, hundreds of thousands of protestors took to the streets of Mexico City. Fox has prevented a bad situation from getting worse, but severe problems remain. The fundamental problem of pervasive corruption and domination by an entrenched self—interested elite remains unaddressed.

Thomas Lifson   4 28 05