Monday, July 31, 2006

AMLO and the U.S. Media

AMLO’s mass rally (over a million people) in Mexico City has led to the type of story in the U.S. media that we’ve come to expect. The article must constantly repeat that AMLO is “leftist” and then insinuate that violence is imminent.

The NYT’s first paragraph doesn’t mention AMLO’s name, but refers to him as the “leftist candidate.” It goes on to say:

So far, the protests and marches he has led have been peaceful, though he said Sunday that more acts of civil disobedience would be planned.

The second part of the sentence does not follow from the first. I guess the idea is that these crazy leftists must surely get violent at some point.

Now, on to an AP story running in the Miami Herald (and elsewhere, of course). The headline and first paragraphs say that AMLO wants to “blockade” Mexico City, with dire consequences:

If Lopez Obrador supporters heed his call, blockades could have a catastrophic effect on already chaotic city traffic, hurting downtown commerce.

The problem is that I cannot find reference to any blockade. In fact, the article admits:

The leftist asked his followers not to "invade public spaces" and demonstrators said they wouldn't block streets, but Lopez Obrador also apologized in advance for "any inconvenience our movement might cause."

So “the leftist” is actually telling people not to be disruptive. The blockade idea apparently came from a random AMLO supporter the reporter interviewed on the street. Michelle has a link to Milenio, in which AMLO:

Propuso una asamblea permanente hasta que resuelva el tribunal el fallo. Invitó a sus simpatizantes a, “que permanezcamos aquí, día y noche, hasta que tengamos presidente electo”.

That is not the same as a blockade—it says the protestors should “remain here, day and night, until we have a president-elect.”

Yes, it is a tense situation, and I cannot claim that no violence will ever occur, but it’s crazy that day after day, articles in the U.S. media assert that violence and/or mayhem is just about to happen, and each day they've been wrong. In fact, I think it’s noteworthy that all these massive rallies have been non-violent.


Anonymous,  10:26 PM  

Dr. Weeks,

Do you think that Castro will completely step down now that he gave temporary power to his brother?

John H
UNCC student

Greg Weeks 7:29 AM  

Yes, I saw that in the news--in the absence of more info, I can't do much more than speculate, but I will write a post about it.

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