Aug 4, 2006, 7:14 PM
Post #2 of 29
Paseo de la Reforma # 305
United States Embassy Mexico
PLEASE CIRCULATE TO AS MANY AMERICAN CITIZENS AS POSSIBLE
August 4, 2006
Warden Notice Regarding Demonstrations in Mexico
Beginning July 30, a series of encampments were installed in the Plaza de la Constitucion “Zocalo”, along Paseo de la Reforma a main artery of Mexico City, and in other cities around Mexico. It is anticipated that the tents will remain at least until the Tribunal rules. The closure of Paseo de la Reforma has altered traffic patterns and increased congestion in downtown Mexico City impacting traffic to and from the Embassy. Similar demonstrations or temporary blockades reportedly have occurred in other parts of the country. Alterations in traffic patterns and congestion may continue for the next few weeks. U.S. citizens are encouraged to avoid any blockade and to allow extra time to get to and from a destination. U.S. citizens are also reminded to avoid participating in demonstrations and other activities that might be deemed political by Mexican authorities. The Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners and such actions may result in detention and/or deportation.
We wish to remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intend to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any protests. Since the timing and routes of marches and demonstrations are always subject to change, U.S. citizens should monitor local media sources for new developments.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the State Department's travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov.
For any emergencies involving American citizens, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Office of Citizens' Consular Services Reforma Ave 305, Col Cuauhtemoc Mexico, D. F., Mexico CP 06500 Tel: (011)(52)(55) 5080-2000 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . For additional information, please refer to the Embassy website: http://usembassy-mexico.gov.
The warden’s message above has some good advice for expat’s in the current situation. To have a vague understanding of how politics in Mexico functions, a person should allow 10 or 15 years. Twenty years is better. An understanding of the functionality and non-functionality of the Mexican court system, and why it is the way it is, is necessary too. Being down here with your feet in the mud is helpful too.
If you don’t live, or at least visit Mexico often, you will never understand what goes on down here and why. You will continue to compare the way things are done here with the way things are done in your own country. That is a mistake.
This last election was held in accordance with Mexican law. It was a close outcome, but there were no major irregularities. When the loser began his complaints and allegations of fraud, the federal electoral commission bent over backwards to satisfy his complaints. In an effort to satisfy him they allowed some 3 million ballots that had been disqualified because of irregularities, blank spaces, etc. to be counted. They were not required by any law to allow those ballots to be counted.
After those ballots were counted the outcome of the election was narrowed, but unchanged. The loser is still crying foul, and is now demanding a vote-by-vote recount. The electoral commission is standing fast at not counting some 2 million ballots that were disqualified for cause, fraudulent voters, etc.
There is no provision in Mexican federal electoral law for a national vote-by-vote recount. That is not unique; there is no provision for a vote-by-vote recount nationally in The United States either. A few times in our history men have been elected president when they did not win the majority of the votes cast nationwide. Understandably, there are often complaints about how our elections are conducted, but since they are conducted according to the present laws no one ever cries foul or alleges fraud.
There are very few truly spontaneous demonstrations in Mexico. A group almost always organizes them. The government formed almost all the unions in this country. The union leaders are not elected by the union members, but are appointed by politicians.
If a politician with authority over a union leader tells him to have his union demonstrate, the leader will call his people out. All of the union members that are interested in keeping their jobs will respond. Demonstrations, street and highway blockages are almost a monthly event in Mexico City.
With all the brouhaha surrounding the 2000 national elections in The UnitedStates, can you imagine how anyone could get a million people to voluntarily camp out in Washington D.C.?
When reading any news story about Mexico in the northern press, it is wise to consider that it is almost certainly inaccurate, incomplete, and exaggerated.
While we all have our own opinions and hopes for this country, we must keep them to ourselves. It is prohibited by law for any foreigner to discuss, or engage in politics in this country. We have virtually identical laws in the USA. Most counties do.
Whatever the outcome of the current political turmoil will be here, it is exclusively the business and responsibility of the Mexican government and people.
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo
(This post was edited by RexC on Aug 4, 2006, 10:16 PM)