Mexico’s Far Right Tries Soft Coup Against AMLO

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Above Photo: From Resumen-english.org

The far right is planning a soft coup or silent coup against Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), according to an investigation carried out by the alternative videocollective Canal 6 de Julio.

The scenario would first be to delegitimize the AMLO and then oust him by means of campaigns and messages in media outlets and through social media; by organizing opposition groups and protests; provoking authorities; spreading fake news and rumors; among other maneuvers, similar to the situations that happened recently in other Latin American countries such as Honduras, Argentina and Brazil.

This all may sound like a conspiracy theory but there is nothing secret about it. The whole destabilizing method can be openly checked out on the Internet, stated Canal 6 de Juliodirector, Carlos Mendoza Aupetit, during an interview.

The information shows up when the term soft coup is searched on the web of Gene Sharp, a U.S. political scientist. According to him, coup d’états by force and weapons are obsolete and the battle today is through psychological, social, economic and political weapons.

In his essay From Dictatorship to Democracy, Sharp sets out a five-step recipe to topple presidents. There is a stage of softening first, in which the media tries to create unrest and social despair; then delegitimizing opponents and spreading commentary adverse to the government, taunts, and fake news followed by the stage of heating up the streets by fostering constant protests.

The following ingredients are the combination of all means of struggle: spreading rumors, creating false scarcity; accusing the government of incompetency, and bringing unfair lawsuits against government officials. The last stage is institutional rupture through which, according to Sharp, lawsuits succeed, the media gives its support and the governments fall.

It seems likely a soft coup is under way in Mexico, or that the way is being paved for it, said Mendoza Aupetit, who is about to launch a documentary to warn about what would be going on in the country.

If a coup like this is under way, in which stage is it?

If we follow Sharp’s methodology, I think the first or second. They have tried to destabilize Lopez Obrador’s government since day one. Let’s remember the messages issued by PAN (National Action Party) the day he took office saying “You made a mistake by voting Lopez Obrador.”

Evidence

“We will not allow him to continue his authoritarianism. He is a dictator,” says Alejandra Moran in a documentary that reported about a demonstration last May. She leads Chalecos Mexico (Mexico Vests), an organization that has convened three demonstrations against AMLO since December 2. Mendoza Aupetit reported that Moran, who introduces herself as an ally of the French Yellow Vests movement, but in reality she is a member of the Somos Mas organization.

This organization is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which proposes and fosters soft coups in Latin America. The USAID aids extremist and opposition groups in Venezuela and other countries in the region, as well as foundations and associations that claim to defend freedom. Other sponsors for these groups are the U.S. foundations and think tanks Red Atlas, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the CATO Institute, which in turn is funded by the second largest  corporation in the United States, Koch Industries. They all have subsidiary branches in Mexico or sponsor organizations in this country.

One of those organizations  is Students for Liberty, which recruits students in public universities and is trying to register a political party through one of its branches before the National Electoral Institute, Mendoza Aupetit explained. Its main executive is Alexander McCobin, also from CATO, and a main visible ally is Guatemalan lecturer Gloria Alvarez, co-author of the book El engaño populista (The Populist Deception) —a project backed by Enrique Krauze and Mario Vargas Llosa, also linked to the U.S. think tank.

The Canal 6 de Julio documentary shows connections between CATO and the so-called Operation Berlin, through which business groups funded a smear campaign against Lopez Obrador ahead of the presidential election and in which Krauze participated even though he rejects the accusation.

The documentary also refers to bot campaigns in the social media which sent out negative criticism against Lopez Obrador in certain high profile moments such as the cancelled Mexico City International Airport project; the death of the governor of the Mexican state of Puebla, Martha Erika Alonso, and her politician husband in a helicopter crash; or during the weeks when several cities in the country endured gasoline shortages.

The Coup against the Government

The Lopez Obrador Administration is described in the documentary as center left, not radical, whose anti-neoliberal commitment is still to be confirmed, as it is stated by analysts Enrique Pineda, Pasqualina Curcio, Gibran Ramirez Reyes, and Carlos Fazio.

“If it is not a radical government, why would there be a desire to oust him?” Mendoza Aupetit asks. But because we are talking about rightist groups and capitalism which will not tolerate any intervention in the market. They do not accept anyone who is outside the model. Not even the little things or nothing that Lopez Obrador may be doing is too much for them.

“The soft coup strategy has yielded results,” the documentary highlights. For instance, Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in Honduras with the support of Washington in 2009; Argentina’s opposition tried to use the death of an attorney to charge then president Cristina Fernandez in 2015; Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff was removed from office for allegedly violating a budget act in 2016; that same year, ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was jailed for corruption without having a shred of evidence about it.

Mendoza Aupetit warns that not every criticism against the Government can be understood as a soft coup plot. It is good to have criticism, even if it is harsh. The problem is when destabilizing efforts are disguised with criticism in order to overthrow a president through non-democratic means.

Source: La Jornada, translation Resumen Latinoamericano,  North America bureau

  • ANTONIO

    SOUNDS LIKE GENE SHARP TO ME. watch for color revolutions in Latin America to bloom like flowers in the spring

  • ANTONIO

    The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion

    Formal Statements
    1. Public Speeches
    2. Letters of opposition or support
    3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
    4. Signed public statements
    5. Declarations of indictment and intention
    6. Group or mass petitions

    Communications with a Wider Audience
    7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
    8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
    9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
    10. Newspapers and journals
    11. Records, radio, and television
    12. Skywriting and earthwriting

    Group Representations
    13. Deputations
    14. Mock awards
    15. Group lobbying
    16. Picketing
    17. Mock elections

    Symbolic Public Acts
    18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors
    19. Wearing of symbols
    20. Prayer and worship
    21. Delivering symbolic objects
    22. Protest disrobings
    23. Destruction of own property
    24. Symbolic lights
    25. Displays of portraits
    26. Paint as protest
    27. New signs and names
    28. Symbolic sounds
    29. Symbolic reclamations
    30. Rude gestures

    Pressures on Individuals
    31. “Haunting” officials
    32. Taunting officials
    33. Fraternization
    34. Vigils

    Drama and Music
    35. Humorous skits and pranks
    36. Performances of plays and music
    37. Singing

    Processions
    38. Marches
    39. Parades
    40. Religious processions
    41. Pilgrimages
    42. Motorcades

    Honoring the Dead
    43. Political mourning
    44. Mock funerals
    45. Demonstrative funerals
    46. Homage at burial places

    Public Assemblies
    47. Assemblies of protest or support
    48. Protest meetings
    49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
    50. Teach-ins

    Withdrawal and Renunciation
    51. Walk-outs
    52. Silence
    53. Renouncing honors
    54. Turning one’s back
    The Methods of Social Noncooperation

    Ostracism of Persons
    55. Social boycott
    56. Selective social boycott
    57. Lysistratic nonaction
    58. Excommunication
    59. Interdict

    Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
    60. Suspension of social and sports activities
    61. Boycott of social affairs
    62. Student strike
    63. Social disobedience
    64. Withdrawal from social institutions

    Withdrawal from the Social System
    65. Stay-at-home
    66. Total personal noncooperation
    67. “Flight” of workers
    68. Sanctuary
    69. Collective disappearance
    70. Protest emigration (hijrat)
    The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: Economic Boycotts

    Actions by Consumers
    71. Consumers’ boycott
    72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
    73. Policy of austerity
    74. Rent withholding
    75. Refusal to rent
    76. National consumers’ boycott
    77. International consumers’ boycott

    Action by Workers and Producers
    78. Workmen’s boycott
    79. Producers’ boycott

    Action by Middlemen
    80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

    Action by Owners and Management
    81. Traders’ boycott
    82. Refusal to let or sell property
    83. Lockout
    84. Refusal of industrial assistance
    85. Merchants’ “general strike”

    Action by Holders of Financial Resources
    86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
    87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
    88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
    89. Severance of funds and credit
    90. Revenue refusal
    91. Refusal of a government’s money

    Action by Governments
    92. Domestic embargo
    93. Blacklisting of traders
    94. International sellers’ embargo
    95. International buyers’ embargo
    96. International trade embargo
    The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: The Strike

    Symbolic Strikes
    97. Protest strike
    98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

    Agricultural Strikes
    99. Peasant strike
    100. Farm Workers’ strike

    Strikes by Special Groups
    101. Refusal of impressed labor
    102. Prisoners’ strike
    103. Craft strike
    104. Professional strike

    Ordinary Industrial Strikes
    105. Establishment strike
    106. Industry strike
    107. Sympathetic strike

    Restricted Strikes
    108. Detailed strike
    109. Bumper strike
    110. Slowdown strike
    111. Working-to-rule strike
    112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
    113. Strike by resignation
    114. Limited strike
    115. Selective strike

    Multi-Industry Strikes
    116. Generalized strike
    117. General strike

    Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
    118. Hartal
    119. Economic shutdown
    The Methods of Political Noncooperation

    Rejection of Authority
    120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
    121. Refusal of public support
    122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

    Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government
    123. Boycott of legislative bodies
    124. Boycott of elections
    125. Boycott of government employment and positions
    126. Boycott of government departments, agencies, and other bodies
    127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
    128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
    129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
    130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
    131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
    132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

    Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
    133. Reluctant and slow compliance
    134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
    135. Popular nonobedience
    136. Disguised disobedience
    137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
    138. Sitdown
    139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
    140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
    141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

    Action by Government Personnel
    142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
    143. Blocking of lines of command and information
    144. Stalling and obstruction
    145. General administrative noncooperation
    146. Judicial noncooperation
    147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by
    enforcement agents
    148. Mutiny

    Domestic Governmental Action
    149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
    150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

    International Governmental Action
    151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations
    152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
    153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
    154. Severance of diplomatic relations
    155. Withdrawal from international organizations
    156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
    157. Expulsion from international organizations
    The Methods of Nonviolent Intervention

    Psychological Intervention
    158. Self-exposure to the elements
    159. The fast
    a) Fast of moral pressure
    b) Hunger strike
    c) Satyagrahic fast
    160. Reverse trial
    161. Nonviolent harassment

    Physical Intervention
    162. Sit-in
    163. Stand-in
    164. Ride-in
    165. Wade-in
    166. Mill-in
    167. Pray-in
    168. Nonviolent raids
    169. Nonviolent air raids
    170. Nonviolent invasion
    171. Nonviolent interjection
    172. Nonviolent obstruction
    173. Nonviolent occupation

    Social Intervention
    174. Establishing new social patterns
    175. Overloading of facilities
    176. Stall-in
    177. Speak-in
    178. Guerrilla theater
    179. Alternative social institutions
    180. Alternative communication system

    Economic Intervention
    181. Reverse strike
    182. Stay-in strike
    183. Nonviolent land seizure
    184. Defiance of blockades
    185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
    186. Preclusive purchasing
    187. Seizure of assets
    188. Dumping
    189. Selective patronage
    190. Alternative markets
    191. Alternative transportation systems
    192. Alternative economic institutions

    Political Intervention
    193. Overloading of administrative systems
    194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
    195. Seeking imprisonment
    196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
    197. Work-on without collaboration
    198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

    Source: Sharp, Gene. The Politics of Nonviolent Action (3 Vols.), Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973. Provided courtesy of the Albert Einstein Institution.