Mexico: The Popular Will Prevailed at the Polls!

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Above: Andrés Manuel López Obrador in a crowd from Wikipedia Commons.

AMLO Elected President: A 32-Million-Vote Tsunami Deals Blow to Regime.

  • Active and Concerted Organization Is Now Needed to Impose the Mandate of July 1st.

  • Let’s Build Unity Committees to Ensure that the Demands of Mexico’s Working People Are Met!

Andrés Manuel López Obrador obtained more than 53% of the vote on July 1st, dealing a massive blow to the moribund PRI regime. López Obrador obtained more than 32 million votes[1], and according to the results of the PREP, the coalition “Juntos Haremos Historia” (Together We Will Make History) led by MORENA won the majority in both houses of Congress (deputies and senators).

The PRI and the PAN[2] have suffered a historic defeat. Even in their electoral strongholds, they were swept away by a wave of people fed up with all the corruption, impunity, violence — and especially the policies implemented for more than 30 years that promoted the loss of rights and the pillaging and destruction of the nation’s wealth and public enterprises, in keeping with the PRI and PAN governments’ subordination to the pro-corporate “free trade” agreements and the directives of the international financial institutions, all leading to the loss of Mexico’s national sovereignty.

The results are staggering: In traditional PRI states such as the State of Mexico, Yucatan, Veracruz and Oaxaca, MORENA surpassed its rivals by more than 30 percentage points. The “PAN” states, especially in the north, registered a ratio of votes close to 3 to 1 in favor of MORENA. Examples of this are Baja California, where the PAN lost all eight districts and the Senate, and Sonora, where only one district among 27 was won by the PAN. The rest of the regime’s parties are on the verge of extinction, facing the loss of registration. This is the case of PANAL, Partido Verde, Movimiento Ciudadano, and even the Partido Encuentro Social (the ultra-conservative party that was part of the electoral alliance with López Obrador but which did not receive the necessary number of votes to maintain its ballot status).

The PRD, despite its pro-corporate stance (it was part of the rightwing electoral coalition with the PAN), lost Mexico City, Tabasco, and Morelos. … As the country’s fifth largest political force, it is bankrupt and in the midst of a profound process of decomposition.

Having said this, the percentage of participation was the highest in the country’s recent history, with approximately 70%[3] of the registered voters casting their votes on July 1st.

The PRI, PAN and the imperialist governments (beginning with Donald Trump) all promptly recognized AMLO’s triumph. All feared the unleashing a revolutionary upheaval across Mexico (referred to popularly as “unleashing the tiger”) if yet another fraud were committed against AMLO that denied him the victory. Even so, Election Day was not free of violence, vote buying, and the like — but the AMLO tsunami was impossible to stop; there was nothing the PRIAN[4] regime could do to stop it.

The triumph of AMLO also modifies the political panorama in the whole region. The governments of South American countries, such as Venezuela and Bolivia, welcomed the results, and López Obrador promised that the nation’s foreign policy would change, based on the principles of non-intervention and respect for the sovereignty of peoples.

However, those on top of the social ladder, “the power mafia” as AMLO called them, and behind them U.S. imperialism, can be expected to do everything in their power to stop this upsurge and shut down the opening for the masses provided by AMLO’s election. Trump’s prompt recognition and communication with AMLO is clearly part of an attempt to tie the hands of the next government. In his speech the night of the election, AMLO himself gave signals to reassure the “markets.” He said that the prior “commitments made” to the international financial institutions would be respected, there would be “full freedoms afforded to the employers,” there would be “no expropriations or land seizures,” and “everything [would] be conducted by legal means — including resorting to the international courts.”

What is the meaning of the massive vote for AMLO?

The responsibility of López Obrador and his political formation is now enormous. The people of Mexico, especially the youth and women (whose votes went overwhelmingly for AMLO), as well as the rural and urban workers, have given AMLO a mandate, which is to put an end to this economic model of subordination to Big Business and to the international financial institutions.

With their massive vote for AMLO, the majority of the people and nation have said: “The imperialist looting must stop!” They have said that the counter-reforms implemented during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto as per the NAFTA agreement must be repealed. This is particularly the case of the energy, education, and labor counter-reforms.

The immense power of the workers and popular sectors was expressed clearly in a field that is unfavorable to them — that of bourgeois elections. Today, just a short time after the election, the strong emotions in the aftermath of the victory are combined with concern and restlessness, as the nation awaits the steps that AMLO and the next government will take. However, as workers, we cannot expect things to change magically. True democracy requires everyone’s participation in leadership and decision-making; it does not end with casting a ballot. Today, more than ever, it will be necessary for working people and all the oppressed to mobilize in huge numbers to impose on the government, on the oligarchy, and on the “power mafia” the changes that the nation is demanding.

Who else but the workers, the youth and women, will be able to organize the struggle to reclaim our electricity, our oil, our water, etc. Can we expect that those bourgeois politicians who opportunistically supported AMLO will promote these changes? MORENA obtained a majority in Congress, so there can be no pretext whatsoever for not starting to dismantle this regime from day one; to act differently would be to turn our backs on the popular will and democracy.

Petroleo y CFE No Se Venden ProcesoWe understand that the profound change to which the people and the nation aspire cannot happen overnight. But there are immediate demands that must be met if AMLO’s promise of the Fourth Transformation of the Republic[5] is to become a reality. The first step to be taken is the recovery of our natural resources and wealth; these are the pillars for the development of an independent nation. And the first demand to be fulfilled must be the recovery (repossession-nationalization-expropriation) of PEMEX, CFE[6], mines, and water (lake basins). This will require abrogating the privatizing agreements between Mexico’s recent governments and foreign multinational corporations. Another necessary step is the repeal of the counter-reforms, beginning with the education and labor counter-reforms.

Abrogacion de ContrarreformasImplementation of these initial measures would represent a step forward in defense of the people and the nation — an important step in breaking with U.S. imperialism, the Trump administration, and NAFTA.

We are sure that if these measures were adopted, the majority of the Mexican people would support them wholeheartedly, as they did in 1938, when Mexico’s oil was expropriated/nationalized.

Today more than ever, working class independence is needed

Democracy, if it is to have any meaning, requires the recognition of the opposing class interests in society, that is, the recognition of the class struggle, the right for workers to organize themselves in unions and on a political level in the pursuit of their class interests.

We workers must not succumb to the illusion that it is possible to govern in the interests of all social classes without prejudice to those at the bottom. In order to impose change, it is necessary to organize by clearly identifying our adversaries and our allies.

As we mentioned above, imperialism and its henchmen in our country will do everything possible to prevent any minimal advance; that is why we need to be organized and mobilized. As AMLO admitted in his speech in the Zócalo,[7] this electoral result is the result of the popular mobilizations that have been taking place in our country over decades: the movements against authoritarianism and for democracy; the mobilizations against the privatization of healthcare, education, electricity, and oil; the strikes for better working conditions and wages; the movements against election fraud in 1988 and 2006[8]; the struggles against forced disappearances and feminicides; and the mobilizations for land and trade union democracy, among others.

Fue el estadoThe key to achieving real transformation is not to stop our independent mobilizing efforts. We must trust that the strength of the masses and their organization is the greatest tool for change. AMLO has reached the seat of government. True, a heavy blow has been dealt to the regime, but this does not mean that the people of Mexico have the power in their hands.

To achieve this, it is necessary to take advantage of this historical situation, this profound blow to the regime, to form our class organizations — independent and democratic trade unions, and most important a Workers Party that clearly reflects our interests and that participates as a protagonist in the Transformation of the Republic.

How to move forward with the mandate of July 1st?

We in CORCI Mexico consider that it is indispensable not to dissolve the gigantic tsunami that manifested itself through the electoral process. It is necessary to channel its strength into active and concerted organization. That is why we propose to the people of Mexico the creation of Unity Committees for the Respect of the Mandate of July 1st.

  • Unity Committees, embryos of workers’ self-organization, which can take various forms or names, to essentially discuss and democratically articulate ways forward to ensure the implementation of the July 1st mandate.
  • Unity Committees open to any and all Mexicans, regardless of political or religious affiliation, in order to act together within a framework of unity.
  • Unity Committees to fight for the demands of all the exploited and oppressed — for the demands of the workers, peasants, women, youth, students, indigenous people.
  • Unity Committees that stand up squarely against the oligarchy and imperialism, that organize the people to abolish the counter-reforms and recover our wealth and the defense of our sovereignty.
  • Unity Committees that are the seed of the mass social force that will impose the interests of the nation and support any progressive measure in the direction of achieving the mandate of July 1st — so that we can rescue our sovereignty and our rights.

Join CORCI Mexico, to fight for a workers’ government

We, members of CORCI Mexico, did not call for a vote for López Obrador, as we saw that in his campaign platform — which was written by businessmen[9] — he did not clearly put forward the demands for which our nation’s workers have fought so hard over the past three decades. In fact, AMLO’s 2018 program marked a sharp retreat from political positions he had espoused in the past. Having said that, we understood that tens of millions of people would vote for him to express their profound aspiration for change — a change that goes far beyond what was offered in the coalition’s 2018 electoral program.

Comite unitarioThat is why, prior to the July 1st election, we joined with other to launch an Open Letter to AMLO that was endorsed by hundreds of unionists, community organizers, and youth. In it we called for the creation of Committees in Defense of the Popular Will and Democracy. On equal footing with MORENA militants, sympathizers, and voters, we participated in the defense of the vote and put our modest forces at the service of the defeat of the PRIAN.

In the Open Letter addressed to AMLO, we proposed a platform to recover our rights and sovereignty. We stated that to achieve the Fourth Transformation of the Republic, the masses would have to be the protagonists of this process, with their independent political and trade union organizations. We put forth the perspective of a Constituent and Sovereign Congress[10] to sweep away the anti-national and anti-worker institutions and legislation.

We remain firmly attached to the positions we advocated in this Open Letter, but at the same time we are ready, without preconditions, to work hand in hand and side by side with all those who are willing to take steps forward to advance the struggle for the heartfelt demands expressed over decades by the Mexican people.

We are ready to accompany and support any action on the path to recovering our rights, our resources, and our sovereignty. But at the same time we are aware that real transformation will only be achieved with a workers’ government. That is why we are putting great efforts into (a) building the New Workers Central[11], as an instrument of the working class’s struggle for democratic trade unionism, and (b) building a true Workers Party, whose embryo at this time is the Political Organization of the People and Workers (OPT), in which we are active participants[12].

We invite workers and youth to discuss our program and proposals — and to join CORCI Mexico. A new stage has been opened in the life of our country, and we workers must be the protagonists of the big struggles ahead because we are convinced that “the emancipation of the workers will be the task of the workers themselves.”

— Statement issued July 2nd by the Mexican members of the Organizing Committee for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International (CORCI Mexico)

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ENDNOTES (by the translating team)

[1] At the time the statement by CORCI Mexico was issued, the official vote projection for AMLO was 32 million. On July 5, the official vote tally was made public, and AMLO obtained 30.68 million votes.

[2] The PRI, or Revolutionary Institutional Party, was founded in the 1920s and has held power for most of the past 100 years. The PAN, or National Action Party, is a rightwing Christian party that began winning state governorships in Northern Mexico in the 1970s and that defeated the PRI for the first time in the presidential election of 2000.

[3] When the CORCI Mexico statement was written, the National Election Institute and the PREP polling agency projected a turnout of 70% of all registered voters. The official tally was 64%.

[4] PRIAN — a merger of PRI and Pan —refers to the political regime that has existed in Mexico over the past three decades of implementation of the NAFTA agreement.

[5] The first three “transformations,” according to AMLO, are Mexico’s independence [1810], the Reform [1854-1876], and the Revolution [1910-1917].

[6] Comisión Federal de Electricidad, or CFE, was the state-owned public power commission that provided electricity to consumers in Mexico City and Central Mexico. It was dismantled and privatized, laying off 40,000 workers of the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME) in the process.

[7] The Zócalo is Mexico City’s main square. The night of July 1st, AMLO addressed hundreds of thousands of his supporters in this square, thanking them for their support.

[8] The first major fissure in the PRI regime occurred in 1988, when Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, son of former PRI Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas, ran for president under the banner of the PRD; in fact winning the election … though he was impeded from taking office because of widespread fraud. In 2006, when AMLO first ran for president (also under the PRD banner), he, too, won the election, only to have it confiscated through massive fraud — which led to regular mobilizations of up to 3 million people in the streets of Mexico City to demand a vote recount.

[9] The main architect of AMLO’s 2018 platform was Alfonso Romo, who had been a senior adviser to Carlos Salinas de Gortari (the corrupt PRI president who signed the NAFTA agreement with the U.S. in 1993-94) and who later became a senior adviser to PAN President Vicente Fox in 2000. Another key architect of AMLO’s program was Carlos Manuel Urzúa Macías, newly nominated by AMLO to serve as Secretary of the Treasury. In February 2018, Urzía Macías presented AMLO’s Economic Program, which includes the following points: respect for the autonomy of Mexico’s Central Bank; respect for all prior agreements signed with the international financial institutions; support for NAFTA and the TPP; no expropriations or confiscations; and budgetary discipline (with a specific pledge to institute a “more conservative” and cost-cutting budget than the previous Mexican administrations.)

[10] In 2006, after massive fraud denied AMLO the presidency, AMLO denounced all the corrupt institutions (Congress with no real powers, “imperial presidency,” Election Commission subordinated to the presidency; lack of independent judiciary … essentially a one-party State with two wings (the PRIAN), and he called for the election of a new Sovereign Constituent Congress. AMLO later retreated from this stance.

[11] Nueva Central de Trabajadores, or New Workers Central, was launched by the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME) to build an independent trade union movement in Mexico. In regions of Mexico, such as the Southeast, many dissident teacher and healthcare union locals are part of the organizing effort of the New Workers Central.

[12] The OPT was also launched by the SME to give an independent political voice to the Mexican working class.

  • nicksantoro

    What a BIG deal! Kevin and Margaret-here is our example in Mexico; let’s start an American Unity Party asap.