On June 23, 2012, we met in Mexico City. Our meeting brought together workers and youth from different sectors and from different unions. The majority of the attendees — many of whom were activists or sympathizers of the Workers’ and People’s Political Organization (OPT), an organization founded at the initiative of the Mexican Electrical Workers’ Union – SME) — came from eight states across Mexico: Baja California, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Tlaxcala, Chiapas, the Federal District, Oaxaca and Estado de Mexico.
The political Manifesto around which we met stated: “July 1: Not One Vote For the PRI, Not One Vote for the PAN! These are the candidates who defend foreign capital and they are candidates that are destroying the rights of the working people and national sovereignty. We must fight for the solution to our demands. And for this purpose, we are building the OPT.”
Based on this orientation, we held meetings and discussions in our workplaces and communities during the electoral period leading up to the July 1 elections. At the June 23 meeting we decided to meet again in the new political situation following the July 1 national elections, foreseeing that the elections would create a new political moment in the country that would require taking new initiatives and new political commitments.
In this vein, we are hereby presenting elements for the balance sheet of the July 1 elections and the new moment in which we live, looking to develop a very wide dialogue with workers, with union leaders and delegates, and with the youth. …
1) Throughout the months leading up to the elections (and, in fact, since 2007), the foreign press (imperialism), the Mexican media (especially the television stations), the polling agencies, and the PRI structure (the 20 governors) were all building up Peña Nieto.
The subsequent electoral complaints and legal challenges have shown that the PRI used millions of pesos derived from drug money-laundering through the imperialist banking system (HSBC, Monex, Banamex-Citigroup, etc.) in order to buy millions of votes from the most impoverished or backward sectors (from a political point of view). The fact that the Obama administration immediately congratulated and recognized the PRI candidate reveals the intervention of this government in the electoral process.
They seek to impose Peña Nieto as president and to give him the following mandate:
* Continue the “war on drug trafficking,” which is, in reality, a war to destabilize the country in order to more easily seize our national riches and resources. Toward this end, Peña Nieto has brought in as an advisor Colombian General Oscar Naranjo, an expert in repression and state terrorism, as well as being a CIA agent.
* Destroy the publicly held entities of Pemex and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
* Dismantle the social security agencies of IMSS and ISSSTE, through the bogus scheme of “universal social security.”
* Impose labor counter-reforms in order to destroy labor rights — i.e., collective-bargaining and unionization rights, such as has already occurred against the electrical workers of the SME and the workers of Mexicana Airlines.
* Charge a value-added tax on food and medicine.
* Dismantle and privatize the national education system — from pre-school through university.
In summary, they are trying to destroy the basic elements of national sovereignty and to reduce wage levels to those prevailing 100 years ago, denying the jobs, a dignified wage and education to our nation;s youth.
The PRI has long prepared to impose these counter-reforms. Beltrones, coordinator of the PRI’s parliamentary faction in the Senate, called on the PRD and the PAN to establish a policy of “alliances” in order to stabilize the situation and to approve the “reforms.”
2) Nevertheless, the elections, despite the scandalous electoral fraud, showed that most of the population rejected Peña Nieto and the PRI-PAN regime. The votes obtained by Peña Nieto were barely equivalent to 24 percent of the registered voters. If we discount the bought votes — presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador calculates that the bought votes by the PRI are roughly five million votes, or about 6 percent of the electorate — the percentage drops to around 17.8 percent.
The majority of the 16 million-plus who voted for López Obrador (out of a total 79 million registered voters), did so because they reject the submissive and destructive policies of the PRIAN [PRI + PAN] regime and because they want a real change. The majority of those who abstained (37 percent of the eligible voters, or around 30 million people), did so because they don’t believe in the regime’s electoral system or in the candidates it presented.
The youth movement that erupted at the beginning of May is a strong illustration of the nationwide rejection of Peña Nieto. Hundreds of thousands of youth demonstrated in the country’s principal cities, chanting “Mexico without PRI!” – “Down with Peña Nieto!” and “Democracy!” It’s a movement without precedent in the history of the PRI regime, and it shows the degree of political decomposition that the regime has reached.
3) The third element that defines the political situation is the refusal of López Obrador (and his right flank: the leaders of the Progressive Movement and the PRD) to convene an organized national mobilization of the nearly 16 million people who voted for him and the millions more who abstained.
López Obrador hopes that the Electoral Tribunal (TRIFE) will accept the proof of scandalous vote-buying and will declare the electoral process to be invalid. But is it believable that the TRIFE officials, all of whom were appointed by the PRI-PAN, are going to nullify the elections and refuse to vest the candidate fabricated by imperialism, the oligarchy and the regime? Is it believable to trust that the electoral institutions and the power of this anti-democratic regime will respect the sovereign will of a population whose majority doesn’t want any more of the PRI and the PAN?
For a National March in Mexico City to Invalidate the Elections!
Stopping the attempt of U.S. imperialism and the local oligarchy to impose Peña Nieto as president and to impose their counter-reforms will require the organized mobilization of the majority of the population; of those millions of people — workers, trade unionists peasants, shantytown dwellers, youth — who expressed their rejection of the regime’s politics in the electoral arena.
The continued demonstrations of the youth — combined with the aspirations of the millions of people who look to López Obrador — all underscore the fact that such a mass mobilization is possible.
Doesn’t Lopez Obrador have the responsibility to convene a national march in Mexico City to invalidate the electoral process?
On July 15, at a mass conference in Atenco, a Front Against the Imposition of Peña Nieto was formed by union, social and political organizations — among them the OPT and the #Yo Soy 132 movement.
Isn’t it necessary that the Front Against the Imposition call upon López Obrador to explain that he has the responsibility to issue a call for a national demonstration in Mexico City, while at the same time affirming that the Front is open and willing to join and build such a mass, united mobilization for the invalidation of the elections?
For a Political Expression of the Working Class and and the People. Let Us Come Together to Build Committees of the Workers’ and People’s Political Organization (OPT)!
In the Manifesto that issued the call for the June 23 meeting, we stated, “The OPT arose out of the resistance of the SME electrical workers’ union and other sectors (professors, peasants, etc.). Because of the anti-democratic Mexican election laws, we cannot present our own OPT candidates — who would be independent working-class candidates for national liberation and social emancipation.”
The experience of the July 1 elections shows us that only independent working-class candidates of this type can fight consistently in defense of popular sovereignty and in defense of the people’s vote.
The electoral process and the battles around immediate demands that have developed in this recent period show that we workers need our own independent, working-class political expression — that is, a political organization that will consistently fight for democracy and national sovereignty, and fight for unity based on our common demands.
We need an organization that helps the workers and the oppressed people organize and mobilize in our own name to put an end to the policies that deliver our country to imperialist interests, one that defends and recovers the social and labor conquests that have been — and continue to be — destroyed by this regime in decomposition.
The OPT, which arose out of the resistance struggle of the electrical workers and from the initiative taken by the SME leadership, provides the framework in which to work to build the independent political expression of the working class and people.
We invite the workers and youth to the Second National Meeting to take stock of the elections, to analyze the new political situation, to set out the tasks that are required by the new situation, and to build OPT committees.
This Manifesto has been issued by the participants of the First National Meeting of Workers and Youth on June 23, 2012 in Mexico City at the initiative of the OST Current of the OPT.