|Sunday, August 5 elections were held here in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. Following on the heels of months of civil unrest, many were expecting violence and protests. While I am happy to report that violence was almost non existent, I am not pleased with the results.|
Once again the Darth Vader of Mexican politics, the PRI, swept to victory across the entire state. This gives them control of all levels of the state government as they already own the governorship with the very unpopular Ulises Ruiz (URO) in charge.
For those of you not well versed in what this means, let me try and explain. The PRI, won every national election in Mexico for over seventy years until Vicente Fox broke the string in 2000. They have held power in most of the poorest southern states all that time as well. This includes Oaxaca where almost 70% of the voters stayed home Sunday rather that participate in an election they felt would be won by PRI no matter how they voted.
This is the attitude in an area where people are used to seeing votes bought and sold, intimidation, and outright rigging of elections.
In a connected note, PRI was unable to break a string of three straight victories by the Nation Action Party (PAN) in Baja California. Despite spending a mountain of money, Jorge Hank Rhon was unable to beat the PAN candidate, Osuna Millan, to win the governorship of our close neighbor to the south. This is good for both Mexico, and the US as Millan and the PAN party are much better to deal with than either Jorge Hank or the PRI would be on our doorstep.