How is the campaign of the historic consultation to prosecute former presidents in Mexico progressing?

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One week after the unprecedented popular consultation that may allow former Mexican presidents to be investigated for alleged crimes, the main question is how many people will come out to participate, since a minimum of 37 million is required for the result to be binding, that is, to actually advance until it reaches the courts.

The campaign towards this democratic exercise that will take place on August 1, and which has no antecedents in the country, has been supported by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his supporters, who are convinced that ex-presidents Carlos will be able to be prosecuted. Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto.

However, this objective is not so clear, since the question that will be printed on the ballots says: “Do you agree or not that the pertinent actions be carried out, in accordance with the constitutional and legal framework, to undertake a process of clarifying the political decisions taken in the past years by political actors aimed at guaranteeing justice and the rights of possible victims? “.

The true scope of this vote has been questioned due to the vagueness that the question refers to “political actors” and not to former presidents; to “past years” and not to certain periods of Government; and to “clarification process” and not to specific lawsuits.

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This has been the main topic of discussion of the campaign, since the ruling party insists that, if the yes vote wins, the ex-presidents will be able to be seated in the dock of the accused, although the question that the Supreme Court of Justice designed is rather leads to confusion.

In essence, the consultation addresses the endemic corruption that suffers a Mexican political class discredited by enrichment, the denunciations and the impunity that it has protected from the rulers in a country with high levels of poverty.

Until today, the presidents have been untouchable, since despite multiple scandals, none have been investigated, contrary to dozens of state governors who have been arrested, tried, convicted or are on trial or at large.


Since López Obrador formally proposed the consultation last September, the possible crimes that could be imputed to his predecessors have begun to be listed. Generally, the president has accused them of having looted the country by applying neoliberal policies that deepened poverty and inequality.

On the other hand, the president has announced on several occasions that, despite having promoted it, he will not participate in the consultation because he prefers to “look forward”, so the decision to judge or not his predecessors must be entirely up to the citizens.

Of the aforementioned characters, the only ones who maintain an active public visibility are Fox and Calderón, who were always fierce opponents of López Obrador, which is why they tend to revile all his initiatives, including the popular consultation that can directly harm them.

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Fox, for example, has affirmed that the current president should also be investigated for the 90,000 homicides registered during his first two years in office, the downturn in the economy, the 250,000 deaths from the pandemic and the loss of jobs, among other accusations. In his messages on social networks he has also included insults against the people who will vote.

For Calderón, the consultation is a direct violation of constitutional rights and the presumption of innocence, in addition to calling it “a Roman circus” to ask the crowds for their opinion.

If you have substantiated evidence against me, please go today and present it to the Prosecutor, without the need for consultation. But if you do not have evidence and no specific accusations, there is no valid consultation or vote, you must stop harassing me and respect my rights like any citizen, “he challenged.

The controversy that the consultation is going through has also been joined by the National Electoral Institute (INE), an organization with which López Obrador has a confrontation, and which this week ordered the elimination of videos and stenographic versions of the presidential conference on July 19, for considering that it violates the electoral ban heading to August 1.

The argument of the decision is that at that press conference it was announced that people over 65 will be included in the Pension for the Welfare of the Elderly, but this implies the dissemination of government propaganda that is prohibited on the eve of the consultation .

Support for

The consultation has been strongly promoted through a campaign launched last month by journalists and social leaders related to López Obrador, who have done face-to-face activism throughout the country and on social media.

The most surprising support so far is that of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). This month, Subcomandante Moisés published a paper in which he called to vote for “yes” on August 1.

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“Those up there, in the ‘opposition’ parties, resist the consultation, not only fear what will follow; they also They are terrified that the victims will recover their demands from the base and perverse use that the extreme right makes of their pain “, he pointed.

The leader warned that the INE, “which also considers us indigenous as ‘untimely’ and denies us the credential” to vote, “is doing everything possible to make the consultation fail, because it knows that it also has its share of the crime for its exclusive policy for fair, urban skin. “

For the Zapatistas, you have to participate with the victims in mind. “You have to convert the query into an ‘extemporaneous’ query. This in order for it to start, independent of the ones above, a mobilization for a Commission for Truth and Justice, or whatever it’s called. Because there can be no life without truth and justice, “concluded the Subcomandante.

Cecilia Gonzalez

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