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Angrily Awaiting a Messiah | The Nation

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Angrily Awaiting a Messiah

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Awaiting a Messiah

About the Author

John Ross
John Ross's Zapatistas! Making Another World Possible: Chronicles of Resistance 2000-2004 will be published by Nation...

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The confirmation of Felipe Calderón's electoral victory signals
the end of Andrés Manuel López Obrador's three-year
struggle for the presidency and the beginning of a new phase of
organized resistance.

As election officials in Mexico recount only a handful of contested
voting districts in the flawed presidential elections, Andrés Manuel
López Obrador walks a tightrope between defiance and keeping a lid on
his steamed-up constituents.

Perhaps the most nagging question in this snakepit of uncertainty is what happened during the partial recount of less than 10 percent of the 130,000 ballot boxes ordered by the TRIFE to test the legitimacy of the IFE's results. Although the recount concluded on August 13, the judges have released no numbers and are not obligated to do so: Their only responsibility is to certify the validity of the election.

Although AMLO's reps in the counting rooms came up with gobs of evidence--violated ballot boxes, stolen or stuffed ballots, altered tally sheets and other bizarre anomalies--only La Jornada saw fit to mention them. The silence of the Mexican media and their accomplices in the international press in respect to the Great Fraud is deafening--although they manage to fill their rags with ample attacks on López Obrador for tying up Mexico City traffic.

According to AMLO's people, 119,000 ballots in the sample recount cannot be substantiated--in about 3,500 casillas, 58,000 more votes were cast than the number of voters on the voting list. In nearly 4,000 other casillas, 61,000 ballots allocated to election officials cannot be accounted for. The annulment of the casillas in which these alterations occurred would put López Obrador in striking distance of Calderón and, in a better world, would obligate the TRIFE to order a total recount. But given the state of the Mexican judiciary, this is not apt to happen.

Meanwhile, thousands continue to camp out in a hard rain for a third week on the streets of Mexico City awaiting the court's decision. They have taken to erecting shrines and altars and are praying for divine intervention. Hundreds have made pilgrimages out to the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, some crawling on their knees, to ask the Brown Madonna to work her mojo. "God doesn't belong to the PAN!" they chant as they trudge up the great avenue that leads to the basilica. "AMLO deserves a miracle," Esther Ortiz, a 70-year-old great-grandmother comments to a reporter as she kneels to pray before the gilded altar.

At the Metropolitan Cathedral on one flank of the Zocalo, a young worshiper interrupts Cardinal Norberto Rivera with loas to AMLO and is quickly hustled off the premises by the prelate's bouncers. The following Sunday, the cathedral's great doors are under heavy surveillance, and churchgoers are screened for telltale signs of devotion to López Obrador. Hundreds of AMLO's supporters mill about in front of the ancient temple shouting "voto por voto!" and that Cardinal Rivera is a pederast.

AMLO as demigod is one motif of this religious pageant being played out at what was once the heart of the Aztec theocracy, the island of Tenochtitlan. The ruins of the twin temples of the fierce Aztec war god Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc, the god of the rain, is adjacent to the National Palace against which AMLO's stage is set. López Obrador sleeps each night in a tent close by.

Many hearts were ripped out smoking on these old stones and fed to such hungry gods before the Crusaders showed up bearing the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

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