A massive naval base in Gangjeong will destabilize both Korean and regional security while serving U.S. interests in an area of the world that the U.S. fears losing to China. Statements by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta are instructive. Arguing that the Asia Pacific region holds the key to America's future, Clinton has stated that "[h]arnessing Asia's growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests" and that these interests hinge on a "forward-deployed" U.S. posture within the region. Similarly, indicating that the U.S. is "concerned about China," Panetta has stated that despite "budget constraints that we are facing in the United States...[t]he most important thing we can do is to project our force into the Pacific -- to have our carriers there, to have our fleet there."
U.S. "force projection" in the region, Panetta clarified, vitally depends on the 85,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea and Japan. Shifting its strategic focus from the Atlantic to the Asia Pacific region where it plans to concentrate 60 percent of its naval power, the U.S., "if anything," Panetta made clear, intends to "strengthen our presence in the Pacific." This reckless and arrogant policy positions regional partners as vehicles for U.S. power. It thoroughly disregards the profound impact that the militarization of Asian-Pacific oceans has on the lives of ordinary people and makes laughable Clinton's assertion that the U.S., as an "advocate for universal human rights," leads by example.
We stand with the courageous people of Gangjeong who protest this obscene violation of their lives, their environment, and their democratic processes. Joining our voices to theirs, we call on the South Korean government to stop the construction of the Jeju naval base and demand that the U.S. government respect the urgency of true peace and genuine security, as expressed by the people of Gangjeong.
노둣돌 /no-dut-dol/: 1. stepping stone; 2. home, opening, entryway; 3. bridging; 4. love and longing in separation; 5. reunification.
Based in New York City, Nodutdol is a community of first through fourth generation Koreans living in the U.S. We are a community that has families in both the south and north of Korea. We are diverse in our backgrounds and perspectives, but bound together by our shared sense of the Korean homeland that continues to suffer under division [with the understanding that the concept of 'home' may vary]. We are part of the Korean diaspora spread throughout the globe made up of artists, filmmakers, teachers, students, workers, professionals, young families, etc. who believe in social justice.
U.S. to Shift Bulk of Navy Ships to Asia-Pacific
The United States will deploy the majority of its naval forces to the Asia-Pacific region over the next decade, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced in a recent speech to a security conference in Singapore. The move is part of a major shift in the global strategy of U.S. imperialism that puts China at the top of the U.S. target list.
The mobilization of warships will be accompanied by an increase in the number of military exercises conducted by the Pentagon in the region, involving air, sea and land forces. Most will be carried out in conjunction with countries that are openly or tacitly allied with the U.S. against China, including Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines.
In his speech to the conference, Panetta elaborated on the "pivot to Asia" announced by Obama last year, in which he indicated that the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and the beginning of a drawdown from Afghanistan would allow the U.S. military to deploy far greater resources to the Far East.
"All of the U.S. military services are focused on implementing the president's guidance to make the Asia-Pacific a top priority," Panetta said, adding: "While the U.S. military will remain a global force for security and stability, we will of necessity rebalance towards the Asia-Pacific region."
The current deployment of the U.S. Navy is approximately a 50-50 split between the Atlantic and Pacific. This will change by 2020 to a 60-40 split in favor of the Pacific, Panetta said: "That will include six aircraft carriers in this region, a majority of our cruisers, destroyers, Littoral Combat Ships, and submarines." He called these forces "the core of our commitment to this region."
Panetta singled out for praise the agreement last fall
with the Australian
government for the deployment of U.S. Marines in northern Australia,
it "a critical component" of the U.S. military buildup.
"This Marine Air-Ground Task Force will be capable of rapidly deploying across the Asia-Pacific region," he said, thus confirming that it will be able to intervene at key choke points like the Strait of Malacca, vital to China's export and import trade, particularly oil supplies from the Middle East and Africa.
The U.S. is negotiating a similar agreement for stationing ground forces on a rotating basis in the Philippines, he said, and is pursuing such arrangements with other countries in the region, although he did not name them. In 2011 the U.S. military conducted 172 military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region, and that number will increase considerably this year.
Panetta claimed that the U.S. buildup was not directed against China, and even made the Orwellian claim that "increased U.S. involvement in this region will benefit China as it advances our shared security and prosperity for the future."
There is no mistaking the meaning of the measures he announced, however. More than half the US Navy is to be deployed to the Asia-Pacific. What other country could be the target? [...] When Panetta declared, referring to US relations with China, "We in the United States are clear-eyed about the challenges," all the conference participants, as well as Beijing, undoubtedly got the message.
If there were any doubts, Panetta closed his address with an invocation of the history of U.S. wars in the region. "Over the course of history, the United States has fought wars, we have spilled blood, we have deployed our forces time and time again to defend our vital interests in the Asia-Pacific region," he declared. [...]
Panetta held a trilateral meeting with South Korean National Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin and Japan Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Defense Shu Watanabe to discuss joint operations against North Korea. [...]
Panetta's bilateral meeting with Singapore Minister of Defense Ng Eng Hen finalized the agreement for the stationing of four US littoral combat ships in the island state. These ships are designed to operate in near-shore environments, particularly against mines, submarines and small, light surface craft.
General Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the ships would be rotated in and out of Singapore for six to ten months at a time. The sailors will live on board and not be stationed or home-ported in Singapore. But the result is that at any one time, some 300 U.S. navy personnel will be in Singapore, keeping watch over the adjacent Strait of Malacca. The ships will also move about the region, to Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and elsewhere in southeast Asia.
Following the Singapore conference, Dempsey traveled to the Philippines for meetings with President Benigno Aquino III and Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. [...]
NATO Expands Military Network to All Continents
The top military officials -- chiefs of defense staff -- and other representatives of 55 North Atlantic Treaty Organization and partnership states met in Croatia on June 18-20 for the 2012 Strategic Military Partnership Conference.
NATO's Allied Command Transformation, established at the 1999 fiftieth anniversary summit in Washington, D.C. and the first alliance command based in the U.S. (in Norfolk, Virginia), reported that participation came from "numerous partnership nations that came from all over the world including South America, North Africa, the South Pacific and East Asia" and that attending nations were members of the bloc's Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and other military partnerships.
The first of the above three includes 21 nations in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.) The Partnership for Peace program was employed to prepare the twelve nations incorporated as full members between 1999 and 2009: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Mediterranean Dialogue members are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. As will be seen below, Libya is scheduled to be the next partner.
Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are members of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, with Saudi Arabia and Oman being groomed as new members and perhaps Iraq and Yemen behind them.
The nations in attendance at the NATO meeting in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, subtitled Current and Future Challenges, would have included what were formerly referred to as Contact Countries -- Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea -- and which are now included in a new category called Partners Across the Globe along with Afghanistan, Iraq, Mongolia and Pakistan.
The South American nation(s) were not identified, but NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, recently identified El Salvador in Central America and Colombia in South America, respectively, as current and future NATO partners and troop contributors in Afghanistan. This March Stavridis told Congress that Brazil and India also were potential NATO partners.
Before assuming the joint roles of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. European Command in 2009, Stavridis was commander of U.S. Southern Command and as such in charge of American military operations and military-to- military relations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. In 2007 the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 conducted "presence operations" in the Caribbean Sea, the first time that alliance warships deployed there.
The inclusion of South America marks the crossing of a new threshold for NATO: It now has members and partners on all six inhabited continents, accounting for over a third of the nations in the world.
In January NATO's Military Committee held a meeting in the chiefs of defense staff session in which, as the NATO website described it, "Top level military representatives of 67 countries [discussed] in various formats the evolution of NATO and NATO led operations, the implementation of the new NATO Command Structure and its military consequences." Unprecedented in scope, the military leaders present accounted for over a third of the 194 member states of the United Nations.
The Strategic Military Partnership Conference in Croatia was held a month after the NATO summit in Chicago and concentrated on the results of the latter and the further implementation of the Strategic Concept adopted at the preceding summit in Portugal in late 2010.
French General Stéphane Abrial, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, opened the three-day conference and placed particular emphasis on two initiatives NATO calls the Connected Forces Initiative and Smart Defense. The second is designed to pool the resources of the bloc's 28 member states in times of economic austerity and the first to increase training and exercises and the use of compatible military equipment; both will have the effect of furthering the integration of NATO members for interoperability in furtherance of operations abroad by making a military virtue of an economic necessity.
The main aspects of Smart Defence were identified as the U.S.-dominated interceptor missile system in Europe, the purchase of American Global Hawk drones by European countries for the Alliance Ground Surveillance program and the patrolling of Baltic air space by NATO warplanes.
The conference participants then discussed three main issues: Implications of the May summit for NATO member states; Partners Stability and security in the Middle East, North Africa and the Persian Gulf Region; the Connected Forces Initiative in relation to training, exercises, education and technology. Other topics addressed included what were identified as the future development of partnerships and strategic implications of improvements to military efficiency.
The new Partners across the Globe format was highlighted in discussions on expanding partnership arrangements as were the new Partnership Cooperation Menu, the Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process, the Operational Capabilities Concept and the Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme, whose first member is Mongolia as of March and one of whose next is Iraq, both now members the Partners across the Globe program as well. The latest, increasingly international, partnerships and programs are described by NATO's Allied Command Transformation as "focused on the priorities of building capabilities, interoperability, and supporting defence and security sector reforms."
A NATO account of the conference reiterated the current Strategic Concept's assertion that "the promotion of Euro-Atlantic security is best assured through a wide network of partner relationships with countries and organizations around the globe."
In relation to the May summit, the same source stated:
"The Alliance restated its willingness to provide...further support to regional partners in such areas as security institution-building, defence modernisation, capacity development, and civil-military relations. Based on a Moroccan initiative, NATO and MD [Mediterranean Dialogue] countries will develop a new political framework. The Alliance is, moreover, prepared to welcome Libya as a new partner..."
The opening of an Istanbul Cooperation Initiative Regional Centre in Kuwait was also agreed upon at the Chicago summit.
The conference in Croatia accentuated "A framework developed for NATO nations' and partner countries' available training and exercise ranges, along standardized lines" and the "potential to integrate partners and facilitates participation in exercises."
The deepening and widening of military collaboration between NATO and its scores of partners, including integrating partnership nations into the global NATO Response Force, are to be built on joint efforts during and following NATO's wars on three continents: Those in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya.
As NATO has remarked of the Connected Forces Initiative, it is "aimed at ensuring that NATO retains and builds on the valuable gains of interoperability among Allies and partners as a result of NATO's recent operations."
The steady expansion of NATO military partnerships and operations around the world, which now include all populated continents, has no precedent in history. This is the first attempt to establish an international military alliance that is capable of and prepared to intervene in any nation and region it chooses to for the geopolitical benefit of its leading member states.
Impeachment of President a Coup d'Etat
Protestors denounce political opportunism of those who impeached Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, June 22, 2012.
With a vote of 39 to four and two abstentions the Senate in Paraguay impeached President Fernando Lugo. Masses of people are opposing the impeachment calling it an illegal use of power and demonstrations in front of the national palace continue. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and other international organizations have said they do not support the dismissal and that they will not recognize another president. The country may face sanctions for violating the democratic process, they say.
As a result of the Senate decision, Vice President Federico Franco of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, assumed power. His Party has not held power in Paraguay for 74 years. On June 22, Franco took the oath of office after the impeachment was approved by the Congress on June 21. Even as these events unfolded some 50,000 people continued to demonstrate outside the Congress building.
Slogans such as "Dictatorship Never" were heard. Others called for the police not to act with impunity.
Information is now coming to light in the Paraguayan press that the document served on President Lugo had been prepared for some time, but was served so that his defence team had only two hours to prepare their response, instead of the 24 hours stipulated by law.
There were five charges against Lugo: 1) he improperly allowed leftist political parties to hold a political meeting in a Paraguayan army base in 2009; 2) the Ñacunday case in which he allegedly allowed about 3,000 squatters [landless peasants] to illegally invade a large Brazilian-owned soybean farm; 3) that he signed the Ushuaia Protocol II as part of UNASUR without submitting it to congress for approval; 4) that his government failed to capture members of a [leftist] guerrilla group, the Paraguayan People's Army; and 5) the recent case of the killings at Curuguaty. The arguments presented by the prosecution were based solely on material published by local newspapers.
On all these counts, the official document for the prosecution said that "all the causes mentioned above are of public notoriety, they need no further proof."
The tone set by the deputies in their condemnation of the president was filled with class hatred, sources say. The irresponsible statements which linked the President to the massacre of peasants at Curuguaty on June 15 refer to what appears to be a "false flag" operation often used to justify coups d'etat. Eleven peasants and seven policemen died in a conflict in the countryside when 100 families sought to occupy land belonging to a landowner Blas Riquelme, who is a former senator from Colorado Party.
The case at Curuguaty has not yet been fully investigated, "but leaders of social movements denounced the involvement of snipers."
President: Privileged Sectors Behind This Coup
Prior to the vote in the Congress on June 21, Lugo said that the most privileged and conservative sectors in the country were behind the coup attempt.
Speaking to a Latin American radio station, the president emphasized that these groups colluded to try to eliminate the existing democratic process in Paraguay.
The popularity of this government has not fallen despite the debts we still owe the public and for them the only way to hinder the democratic process is by removing the President, he added.
Lugo highlighted the popular rejection of what he called the "express" coup, referring to the thousands of people gathered in front of the National Congress and other places in Paraguay.
He noted that they are members of peasant movements, workers, students and people who have benefited from the ongoing process of change, and they are repudiating the impeachment of the Head of State.
The president said that he would be in the Parliament to answer the allegations made by opposition lawmakers, who advocate that things should stay the way they have been for many decades.
“Now with UNASUR and [the Southern Common Market] (Mercosur) we are all united and believe in the democratic changes and international solidarity,” he added.
The Organization of American States (OAS) convened a meeting to discuss the events in Paraguay. According to the Permanent Council, the special session at its headquarters in Washington had the aim of apprising itself of the facts of the case.
President Lugo to File Appeal at Supreme Court of Justice
Media reports also inform that President Lugo has launched an appeal against the unconstitutionality of the impeachment.
The legal trial will be held at the Supreme Court, and cites the violation of Lugo's rights when Senators imposed a time limit on his right to answer the accusations against him.
This however did not slow the Senators in their rush to take the impeachment to a vote. Already on June 23 Franco started his second day as president by receiving the Catholic Church's hierarchy, led by Papal Nuncio Eliseo Ariotti. The Catholic Church had agreed during the week with all those who wanted to remove Lugo from office. Repeating an already worn script used in other coups attempts, Ariotti had called on Lugo "to quit to avoid violent incidents and bloodshed."
UNASUR Foreign Ministers Meet with Paraguayan President
Foreign ministers of UNASUR member nations and the secretary general of that organization, Ali Rodríguez Araque, met with Paraguayan President Lugo on June 22 to analyze the crisis caused by the Congress' effort to remove the head of State by impeaching him.
The UNASUR foreign ministers’ trip to Paraguay is part of an urgent agreement reached during the Rio+20 environment meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil through which the ministers tried to cooperate to find a solution so as to avoid the collapse of the Paraguayan democratic system.
The Foreign ministers have categorically expressed in
the need to oppose the truncating of the mandate for which Lugo was
just nine months ahead of the next general elections in April 2013.
UNASUR Foreign Ministers meeting with President Lugo, June 22, 2012.
Situation in Paraguay Affects Democracy, Says UNASUR Secretary
Following the UNASUR meeting with President Lugo, secretary general Rodriguez Araque said on June 22 that what has happened in Paraguay affects democracy in the UNASUR bloc, because that country is the pro tempore president of the organization.
He said that the presidents of the UNASUR member countries, upon learning what is going on in Paraguay, decided to send a mission of foreign ministers to get first-hand information about the situation.
Rodriguez Araque pointed out that participants in the meeting agreed that one of the main tenets of democracy is the upright administration of justice and, within that framework, respect for due process with guarantees for defendants to defend themselves, above all if the defendant is a popularly-elected president.
The UNASUR secretary general added that the meetings with political parties, the Parliament and whoever can contribute to finding a peaceful solution to the current crisis was to continue on June 22.
Argentina Withdraws Ambassador
On Saturday Argentina withdrew its ambassador to Paraguay in response to the impeachment trial and removal of the President. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez called the impeachment a coup.
Following Argentina's withdrawal, Brazil recalled its ambassador for consultations.
The governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba said on June 23 that they would not recognize the new government. The Cuban government said Lugo's removal was a "parliamentary coup."
Jose Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the OAS, said the impeachment of Lugo was a "disrespect to due process," while the Chilean government said Lugo's ouster "did not comply with the minimum standards of due process."
Response of Germany and the U.S.
German Ambassador to Paraguay Claude Robert Ellner claimed the ouster of Lugo was "happening within the laws and the constitution." Germany "would continue all the cooperation agreements with Paraguay," he said.
The U.S. State Department said it was watching developments closely and called on all Paraguayans to "act peacefully and calmly and in accordance with Paraguay's democratic principles."
Mass demonstration outside the Paraguayan Paliament in Asuncion, June 22, 2012. (Cubadebate)
1. UNASUR was founded in 2008
and consists of the 12 countries of Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname,
Uruguay and Venezuela. Mexico and Panama have observer status. UNASUR
seeks the development and integration of their political, social,
cultural, economic, financial, environmental, and infrastructure
2012 Mexican Elections
The People Want Change
On July 1, legislative and presidential elections will be held in Mexico. The Mexican people will elect a new president, as well as 120 senators and 500 deputies. Four candidates are vying for the presidency: Enrique Peña Nieto representing the "Commitment to Mexico" which is comprised of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Party; Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the Progressive Movement (AMLO), an alliance of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), the Labour Party (PT) and the Citizens Movement (MC); Josefina Vásquez Mota of the incumbent National Action Party (PAN); and Gabriel Quadri de la Torre of New Alliance.
In these elections, the political and economic elite are trying to breathe new life into a two-party system by presenting their star candidate Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI as the next president of Mexico. The PRI governed the country on behalf of the Mexican oligarchy for 71 years. Twelve years ago the party had to relinquish power to PAN as a result of pressure from the U.S. imperialists who declared that from now on the "democratization" of the Mexican political system was mandatory. The Mexican people ousted the PRI in 2000 because of its ties with the U.S. imperialists that, among other things, pushed economic and political integration, brutally repressed for decades the peasant, social, student and workers' movement, and privatized a large portion of the economy, impoverishing the workers. It was at this time that the bourgeoisie manoeuvred to have Vincente Fox of PAN elected, presenting him as a change and guaranteeing the end of PRI's "authoritarianism." In fact the imperialists were looking to establish a bipartisan system that would favour monopoly dictate using both sides of the coin, American style.
This is how PAN -- an ultra-conservative party, whose founder was a staunch supporter of fascism in the 1930s -- came to power in 2000 and it has maintained power through repression, corruption and fraud. For twelve years, following the same policies as PRI, PAN has carried out the U.S. imperialist agenda favouring the big monopolies, increasing privatization and free trade (including the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America), and creating a climate of violence, fear and repression with its war on drugs, that has caused tens of thousands of deaths and assassinations all over the country. PAN has become so discredited among the Mexican people that the bourgeoisie has decided the moment has come to return PRI to power by presenting it as renewal.
For the workers, peasants and all sections of the Mexican people, these elections are the opportunity to take an important step in its struggle to create change that opens the door to the establishment of a human society. There is a very strong desire not to permit the establishment of a bipartisan system by blocking both PRI and PAN from gaining power. In this sense millions of workers, peasants, women and students have joined AMLO to create the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA). This movement is presenting a new nation-building project based on economic, energy, food and citizen's sovereignty. It is a project that aims to end the foreign domination of the economy and politics of the country, and the theft of energy resources and rejects the military collaboration with the U.S. imperialists. This movement, with AMLO at the head, was chosen by the parties of the left to be the progressive choice to the presidency in these elections.
During the last elections in 2006, when AMLO in practice won the presidency, it was blocked from power through a fraud orchestrated by the political and economic elite of the bourgeoisie who gave the power to Felipe Calderon of PAN. Since then, AMLO has travelled throughout the Mexican Republic visiting each municipality without exception to build the foundations of the MORENA movement. During these six years, AMLO's presidential candidate López Obrador has vigorously defended energy sovereignty, vigorously opposed the privatization of the state oil company Pemex, supported domestic production of gasoline and refined products and promoted food sovereignty. These past six years have seen the country go from exporting agricultural products to becoming a net importer of grain and other foods. Most importantly, AMLO rejected any military cooperation with the United States at a time when U.S. military interventions have reached alarming proportions. Thus, despite a persistent smear campaign against AMLO, López Obrador is participating in the elections with the impressive support of millions of Mexicans across the country and is now in a position to possibly win the July 1 elections.
The oligarchy is using the tactic of reporting on phony polls to present that the PRI candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, is well ahead and that it would take a miracle for him not to be elected. They have have put AMLO in third place behind the PAN candidate. At this stage of the campaign, it seems clear that the two major finalists are AMLO and Peña Nieto despite the inequity of funding for their campaigns. The Federal Electoral Institute has provided significantly more resources to the Progressive Movement of the PRI than to the alliance of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), the Labour Party (PT) and the Citizens' Movement (MC) represented by López Obrador. Of the 44 million commercial spots, the vast majority were allocated to PRI and PAN and that's not counting the TV news analysts and advertisers who actively campaign for Peña Nieto against López Obrador.
Despite this, Andrés Manuel López Obrador
has been so strong since
the beginning of June that the bourgeoisie and its allies panicked at
thought of losing power and started an intense dirty war against him to
sully his image. Seeing that it is not working, they have even brought
former president Vicente Fox of PAN to call for the election of the PRI
candidate! As if that wasn't enough, the current president, Felipe
Calderon of PAN, broke the traditional neutrality of an acting
president during an election period and made two appearances to call on
permit López Obrador of the Progressive
May 11 marked a very important point in the campaign when the Mexican youth joined the election campaign. That day the PRI candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, was strongly rejected by students at the Iberoamerican University who demonstrated against the PRI's acts of criminal repression on the people of the town of Atenco in 2006. During the 2006 crackdown, police sent by Governor of the State of Mexico Peña Nieto murdered two youth, raped 26 women and imprisoned hundreds of people who opposed the destruction of their city for the construction of an airport. The Mexican youth have been in action since that day in the election campaign, forming a movement called Yo Soy 132 (I am the 132nd). At a meeting attended by students from 54 public and private universities, resolutions were passed that demand, among other things, the political trials of current president Felipe Calderon, Enrique Peña Nieto and the extremely corrupt leader of the National Education Union Elba Esther Gordillo, founder of the New Alliance Party.
As well, in recent weeks, the youth have played a very positive role throughout the country demanding equity in the media and vigorously opposing the disinformation of Televisa, Mexico's main private television channel. Forcefully rejecting Televisa's open bias toward the PRI candidate, Peña Nieto, the youth have organized marches in cities across the country and an independent candidate debate, bringing together hundreds of thousands of youth. Youth have enrolled by the thousands as election observers in order to help expose the fraud that everyone knows is already planned by the parties of the rich.
With their experience of 2006, the progressive forces, aided by the youth, have quickly exposed the fraudulent activities of the bourgeois parties as they buy votes or manipulate voters in all constituencies of Mexico. As a result, only a few days before the vote, a complaint was filed with the Attorney General of the Republic against PRI candidate Peña Nieto for illegal use of foreign funds in his campaign. Through the scheme, his organization was to deposit $54 million in a U.S. bank and the party organizers would have access to credit cards that allowed them to withdraw the money to buy votes. The cat was let out of the bag when an owner of an American communications company came to claim the million promised by the PRI in a contract with him worth exactly $54 million. As well, several members of the mafia, drug traffickers and economic fraudster friends close to the PRI candidate are now in court.
At the same time, there are very clear indications that an election fraud is again being prepared. In various parts of the country duplicate registrations have appeared on the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) lists, increasing the number of voters by seven times in the cities, while the population migration from the countryside to the cities is the exact opposite. This does not include the purchase of votes or the blatant propaganda, lies and slander. Meanwhile the IFE swears that all is right, that there will be no fraud this time, and stubbornly demands that candidates accept, without condition or appeal, the results determined by IFE on election day.
Despite all this, the Mexican people and its youth in particular, will not be discouraged and are stepping up their actions across the country to ensure the victory of the progressive forces. In addition, the youth movement "Yo Soy 132" has pledged that regardless of the outcome of July 1, it will continue intense political action so that democratic change can be realized in favour of all the Mexican people.
It is worth noting that in the July 1 election more than 3,500,000 18- and 19-year-olds will vote for the first time in a presidential election. More than half of the citizens entitled to vote on July 1 are between 18 and 39 years-old and represent more than 43 million of Mexico's 79,500,000 registered voters or 55 per cent of the voting population.
1. "Yo Soy 132" is a youth movement formed in the wake of accusations by the PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto that students from the Iberoamerican University who criticized the party and shouted for him to "Get Out!" during his May 11 visit were not real students from the university but supporters planted by the AMLO progressive movement. The students rejected this spurious accusation and 131 of them appeared on video showing their student cards as proof of enrolment while counting off: "I'm number 1," "I'm number 2" and so on to 131. The video ends with the question: "Who is 132?" That same day, tens of thousands of young people responded on social media with the phrase, "Yo soy 132" ("I'm number 132") and the movement has grown to include hundreds of thousands of students and young workers.
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