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The Mexican Elections, the Zapatistas and President Bush
by Democracy Now
Tuesday Apr 19th, 2005 6:34 AM
In Mexico, turmoil and confusion continue to surround the upcoming presidential election. Last week, the Mexican federal Congress voted to impeach one of the leading candidates from his job as mayor of Mexico City. The politician –– Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador –– is now facing arrest over a minor four-year-old infraction. Once an arrest warrant is issued, he could lose his political rights and be barred from running for the presidency. Lopez Obrador has been comfortably leading opinion polls for next year"s elections to replace Mexican President Vicente Fox who cannot run again.
Today we look at this and other major issues in Mexico today with two of the country's best known writers: Elena Poniatowska is a founder of the newspaper La Jornada and Mexico"s first feminist magazine, "Fem." She is the first woman to win the Mexican National Award for Journalism. Paco Ignacio Taibo is a leading Mexican author. He has written more than 50 books, including novels, short stories, and essays, and is particularly known for his detective novels. He recently completed a novel with Zapaitista leader Subcommandante Marcos.

We also hear a new recording in English by Marcos recorded in the jungles of Chiapas.
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In Mexico, turmoil and confusion continue to surround the upcoming presidential election. Last week, the Mexican federal Congress voted to impeach one of the leading candidates from his job as mayor of Mexico City.

The politician -- Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador - is now facing arrest over a minor four-year-old infraction. Once an arrest warrant is issued, he could lose his political rights and be barred from running for the presidency. Lopez Obrador has been comfortably leading opinion polls for next year's elections to replace Mexican President Vicente Fox who can not run again.

Lopez Obrador has accused Fox of trying to orchestrate his downfall. He said "They have been using tricks, lies and misinformation in their campaign to bring me down." All but one legislator from Fox's party - the National Action Party - voted for impeaching the mayor.

Last Friday, a federal prosecutor announced that instead of filing formal charges against Lopez Obrador, he may wait weeks or months until Mexico"s Supreme Court makes a separate ruling on the case.

Lopez Obrador has been campaigning on a populist platform that has been strongly opposed by the business community. He has called for a more state-supported economy and a renegotiation of free trade pacts.

Today we will spend much of the hour with two leading figures in Mexico.

Elena Poniatowska is a founder of the newpaper La Jornada and Mexico"s first feminist magazine, "Fem." She is the first woman to win the Mexican National Award for Journalism. In addition to her work as a journalist, Poniatowska is an accomplished author. Her latest work, is "La Piel del Cielo," but she is perhaps best known for her book "La Noche de Tlatelolco" published in 1971 in which she compiled testimonies about the Army's massacre of student activists in Mexico City in 1968. She has been named as one of three distinguished persons to head the civic resistance movement against the impeachment of Lopez Obrador.

Paco Ignacio Taibo is a leading Mexican author. He has written more than 50 books, including novels, short stories, and essays, and is particularly known for his detective novels. He recently completed a novel with Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos.

* Elena Poniatowska, founder of the newpaper La Jornada and Mexico's first feminist magazine, "Fem." She is the first woman to win the Mexican National Award for Journalism. In addition to her work as a journalist, Poniatowska is an accomplished author. Her latest work, is "La Piel del Cielo," but she is perhaps best known for her book "La Noche de Tlatelolco" published in 1971 in which she compiled testimonies about the Army's massacre of student activists in Mexico City in 1968. She has been named as one of three distinguished persons to head the civic resistance movement against the impeachment of Lopez Obrador.

* Paco Ignacio Taibo, a leading Mexican author. He has written more than 50 books, including novels, short stories, and essays, and is particularly known for his detective novels. He recently completed a novel with Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos.

* Subcomandate Marcos, excerpt from the new CD "Our Word Is Our Weapon" (Seven Stories). The CD features Marcos reading selections from the English edition of his book "Our Word is Our Weapon."

LISTEN ONLINE (with transcript)
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/18/1411203

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