Countdown to July 2, 2000

The Narco News Bulletin

History of Electoral Fraud

1988, 1994, 1999... 2000?

"Poor Mexico. So far from God, so close to the United States."

-- popular Mexican expression

1988: The Narco-President Wins by Electoral Fraud

Exhibit A:

Excerpted from the World Policy Journal, Fall 1989
Mexico Under Salinas: A Façade of Reform

by Andrew Reding

"At the heart of the problem is the widespread perception that Salinas owes his own office to electoral fraud.

"It is common knowledge in Mexico that the ruling party shut down the computerized vote tabulation system on election day last year, when early returns showed Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, candidate of the center-left National Democratic Front coalition (FDN, predecessor of the PRD), leading in the race for the presidency.

"It is also common knowledge that an independent count based on official tally sheets from the 55 percent of polling locations where opposition parties were able to maintain poll watchers showed Cárdenas leading Salinas by 40 to 36 percent, and that the government has steadfastly refused to disclose results from the remaining 45 percent of polling locations.

"From incomplete and aggregate data released by the PRI-controlled Federal Electoral Commission, however, a team of statisticians has since been able to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the government resorted to wholesale inflation of its electoral totals in order to steal the election from Cárdenas.1 Their findings confirmed what Mexicans had known all along: in a poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times in August, less than a quarter of the population was found to believe that Salinas had won the election.

"It is against this political backdrop that Salinas was inaugurated, the irony of his position y richly reflected in the symbolism of the ceremony itself. Held in the center of the capital city that, by government admission, had voted for Cárdenas by a two-to-one margin, the inauguration was guarded by army units charged with keeping a hostile citizenry a safe distance away."

Footnote # 1: José Berberán et al, Radiografía del Fraude: Análisis de los datos oficiales del 6 de julio (Mexico City: Editorial Nuestro Tiempo, 1988), 153 pp. ("X-Ray of Fraud: Analysis of official data about July 6th")

"The statisticians found two telltale signs of massive tampering. In place of the single bell-shaped curve that would be expected to describe the distribution of votes obtained by each party, the PRI was found to have two such curves: one centered around a mean of 36 percent (its true national average), and the other peaking around an implausible 100 percent.

"A second diagnostic test revealed the provenance of these 'unanimous' results. Whereas totals for each of the opposition parties had last digits that occurred with roughly equal frequency, the last digit of PRI totals was 60 percent more likely to be a zero, indicating that the PRI had inflated its totals by simply adding zeros to its actual vote count.

"This explains the government's determined refusal to engage in a public recount, which would only expose it to national and international embarrassment."

Burned Ballot for Cárdenas against Salinas

Burned Ballots in Guerrero July 6, 1988

"In Guerrero, the opposition tabulated 80.5 percent of the votes on the basis of copies of official tally sheets.

"It counted 359,369 votes for Cárdenas and 90,796 for Salinas.

"When the official vote count was released, Salinas wound up with 309,202 and Cárdenas with 182,874.

"Some 10,000 of the missing Cárdenas votes were discovered burned beside a highway outside Ometepec; another 20,000 were found under a pile of ashes outside Chilpancingo; and others were stolen from voting booths and dumped out of helicopters over Coyuca."

Exhibit B:

US Officials Backed Fraudulent President

From the George Bush Library

Remarks During a Meeting With President Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico

October 3, 1989

"All of you from Mexico City and elsewhere, welcome!

"Well, I normally don't say anything at a photo opportunity. But I just can't tell you how pleased we are to have the President of Mexico here in the White House, what an honor it was to have him and Mrs. Salinas up at Camp David for what was almost a family evening. But this is a very important visit for the United States. I hope you feel welcome; we want you all to feel very welcome."

-- Then-US President George Bush

Salinas, as Mexican president, privatized the banks, television stations and other industries.

Meanwhile, he nationalized the narco.

During his term (1988-1994), with the support of two US administrations (Bush and Clinton), Mexican drug trafficking organizations surpassed their counterparts in Colombia in this multi-billion dollar industry.

Two weeks after Salinas left office in 1994, the peso crashed and the Mexican middle class was destroyed.

For every million Mexicans whose livelihood was ruined, there is a millionaire who was enriched beyond dream. And many of them -- especially in the banking and media industries -- are white-collar narco-kingpins.

Read about the Narco-Media

Read about the Narco-Bank.

Swiss prosecutors were the first to detect that the Salinas family had laundered billions of US dollars that had been looted from Mexico during Carlos Salinas' presidency.

Read PBS Frontline's Comprehensive Coverage of the Salinas Legacy: Murder, Money and Mexico.

Tomorrow on Narco News:

Citibank, Hank, Hernández, Cabal Peniche and the Clinton-Zedillo Legacy

18 Days to the Mexican Election

Do you know where your ambassador is?

A Watchdog for the Underdog