News Release

Questions About Mexico Election: Is Recount Needed?

LAURA CARLSEN
Carlsen just wrote the article “ Mexico’s Dramatic Vote Count Lacks Credibility.” She is director of the International Relations Center Americas Program in Mexico City, where she has worked as a writer and political analyst for the past two decades.

GILBERTO LOPEZ RIVAS
Gilberto López Rivas is an anthropologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City and a frequent contributor to La Jornada, a Mexican daily. He said today: “There are numerous independent reports of irregularities. The phantom of fraud will continue unless they open the packets and recount the votes.”
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JOHN ROSS
Currently in Mexico City, Ross is author of the book Mexico in Focus: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture. He said today: “Mexican elections have been stolen before, during and after Election Day … all day Monday and into Tuesday, Lopez Obrador supporters throughout Mexico recorded instances of manipulation of the vote count — a ballot box in Mexico state registered 188 votes for Lopez Obrador, but only 88 were [officially] recorded.”
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MARK WEISBROT
Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and has written extensively on Latin America. He was featured in a story on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” Thursday afternoon, which reported that “Crucially, IFE, or the electoral institute, has had its impartiality questioned. It had been a beacon after years of rigged elections here, but when it released its preliminary figures on Sunday night it failed to include millions of votes. It billed those initial results as accounting for 98 percent of the vote, but really only 86 percent were taken into consideration.” Weisbrot commented: “This allowed a very false impression to be created at the time, where everyone believed that 98.5 percent of the ballots had been counted, and allowed Felipe Calderon to declare victory.”

Weisbrot added today: “Given the irregularities in the process, the demonstrated partiality of the IFE, the closeness of the vote and a long history of vote fraud, the authorities will have to conduct a full recount if the country is to have a credible election result.”
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LARRY BIRNS
Birns is director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs based in Washington. He said today: “Lopez Obrador is not making the fatal mistake that Al Gore made in 2000. He is calling for a full recount, and, given Mexico’s history with election fraud, it is far from being out of the question that he could still be elected.”
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CHUCK COLLINS
Collins is senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and now lives in Mexico. He accompanied election observers in seven communities in rural Oaxaca on Election Day. Collins said today: “In Oaxaca state, I personally witnessed voter coercion and interviewed residents offered money for their votes. The presidential vote is so close that the scattered incidents of vote shaving, human error and minor fraud –- as well as the possibilities of larger irregularities — all take on much greater significance. Candidate Lopez Obrador has every right to demand a full accounting –- and to mount protests if he feels a fair election has been denied.”

Collins has written three recent columns: “U.S. Media Butt Out of Mexican Election” on July 5, “Mexican Election in Limbo” on July 3 and “Mexican Election Could Lead to Immigration Shift” on June 30.

KARLA QUINONEZ-RUGGIERO
Karla Quinonez-Ruggiero is a Brooklyn-based Mexican immigrant, community organizer and director of the Sunset Park Cultural Center. Karla was recently featured in the New York Times for leading a campaign in New York City advocating that U.S.-based Mexican immigrants vote in the Presidential election through absentee voting.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167