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Right wing tries to discredit Mexico’s election

from the July 3, 2024 Bulletin


A few days before the June 2024 election in Mexico, José Luis Granados Ceja interviewed Rafael Barajas, the beloved cartoonist whose pen name is El Fisgón. He heads Morena’s National Institute of Political Education. We’ve edited for clarity and to bring it up to date, now that the election is past.

José Luis: Some in the PRI/PAN/PRD coalition called June 2 a “state election” run by Morena, reinforcing the narrative that the AMLO government is anti-democratic. What does that mean?



El Fisgón: Look, the first thing to consider is that a one-party state government governed Mexico for decades and made sure it ruled continuously. Those were real “state elections”; the state managed absolutely everything, from advertising to the casillas, the voting booths.


In fact, the National Regeneration Movement — Morena — was born fighting against state elections. It’s a deeply democratic movement. So when they accuse us of running a state election, it’s offensive.


In this election, yes, obviously, the government is represented by a political party, but it isn’t a state operation. It’s a democratic and clean election.

El Fisgón caricatured Xóchitl Gálvez, who put on  the indigenous dress, the huipil, and posed as coming from a poor indigenous background. She is a wealthy businesswoman who has made some shady real estate deals.

Big businessman Claudio X Gonzalez was the man behind the PRI/PAN/PRD electoral coalition. He founded Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity. El Fisgón reveals the hidden intent: “Incredibly rich Mexicans against the politics that wants to stop corruption and impunity.”


In fact, in the last six years we’ve had several elections, and the opposition hasn’t ever been able to say that the government perpetrated fraud or meddled in favor of a candidate.


The Mexican right has an uninterrupted tradition of electoral fraud. It committed fraud in the very first election at the end of the 19th century. Porfirio Díaz remained president for nearly 30 years through the control of state institutions and even civil organizations like unions.


The PRI grew out of the Mexican Revolution, and one tenet of the Mexican Revolution was respect for suffrage. But the PRI consolidated very quickly as a state party and made sure they remained in charge of the government.

What tools might the opposition use to challenge and undermine the results of the June 2 election of Claudia Sheinbaum?


What we’re facing, what all the progressive governments of Latin America are facing, is entrenched de facto power — power that isn’t official or legal, power that relies heavily on the mainstream media and the judiciary. Winning the presidency and the governorships and controlling congress does not necessarily mean we have control over many aspects of governing. 


In fact, all the progressive governments of Latin America have faced media and judicial wars against them. The old regimes that dominated national leadership for many years claim that elections they don’t win aren’t valid and conduct forceful media campaigns to raise doubts among the people.

Norma Lucia Piña-Hernandez, Mexico’s Supreme Court/Handout, via Reuters

In this election, Norma Piña, president of the Supreme Court, organized a dinner at Judge Alcántara Carranca’s house. He is also a member of the Court. Three important electoral judges and Alejandro Moreno Cárdenas, the PRI’s president, were also invited. PRI’s president was introduced as a partner and ally, as was Santiago Creel, a PAN operative. That dinner is typical of the judicial partisanship that we face.

And what’s so important about this? The media has kept silent on that dinner. It’s as if it never happened, though it’s been documented.


The opposition wants to see how far they can go — if they can discredit the election results, they can stage a coup. If not, they can still weaken the future government and delegitimize it. Given their weakness and Morena’s strength, they are just looking for a way to keep their parties alive!


How should the progressive international community respond to the bombardment of negative messages about the election being a “threat to democracy?”


First, you have to find out the facts yourself. Then you have to break the media blockade; the corporate media outlets repeat each other and block critical voices. You have to break through. Alternative media have to inform the people of what’s really happening.

El Fisgon

Second, you have to understand how the process works. From there, you can  build appropriate networks of solidarity that can protect Mexico’s next government from outside meddling.


And look, transformation processes are contagious. So, of course, the right wants to hide our new reality from outside eyes. They say, “Nothing happened here” and pretend this transformation isn’t happening! If they knew, the US working class would be inspired to find out how the working class of Mexico has finally been prioritized over the wealthy few.  That’s what the global right wing wants to avoid.

There are also people who say that this was an ordinary election, just that a different party is doing the same old things. Do you think that this is a historical election?

It’s such an important election! It can mark the point of no return for Latin American progressivism (if the right succeeds in its delegitimization campaign), or it can mark the end of the neoliberal parties, which have dominated for decades. If the PRI, the PAN and the PRD lose, if they don’t win mayor of Mexico City or the presidency of the Republic, they will become extinct, and they know it.

Rafael Barajas gives political education talks for a wide audience, both domestic and international.

[Ed: On June 2, 2024 the PRI/PAN/PRD suffered a massive loss, and not just the presidency and the mayor of Mexico City. Their defeats for Congressional seats were also crushing. Already, the PRD is “extinct” since it didn’t win 3% of the vote for Congressional seats as required to be registered as a political party. What will happen to the other two neoliberal parties? We will see!]

Mexico City-based freelance writer and photojournalist José Luis Granados Ceja previously spent time as a staff writer for teleSUR and currently works with Venezuelanalysis. His writing on contemporary Latin American democratic struggles can be followed on X (Twitter): @GranadosCeja.