Although Delegate Zero equates all three political parties, the conventional wisdom is that a return to power by the PRI would animate elements in the Mexican military who still want to stamp out the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, and incite the lust of the PRI-affiliated paramilitaries for Zapatista blood. On the other hand, repeated violence against EZLN bases in Chiapas by PRD-affiliated farmers' groups, are not a harbinger of better times for the rebels under AMLO's rule.
Enfrented as the PRD and the EZLN remain, the only avenue of convergence could be in post-electoral protest. As the close race goes down to the wire, one good bet is that the July 2nd margin between Calderon and Lopez Obrador will be less than 100,000 out of a potential 72,000.000 voters. If Calderon is declared the victor by challengeable numbers, the PRD, invoking the stealing of the 1988 election from Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, is apt not to accept results issued by the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) which AMLO's rank and file already considers partisan to the PAN, and the PRD will go into the streets -- most noticeably in Mexico City, where it concentrates great numbers and where the IFE is located.
How embarrassed Roberto Madrazo is by the PRI's performance July 2nd could determine his party's participation in mobilizations denouncing the results as well. Madrazo has thus far balked at signing a "pact of civility" being promoted by the IFE.
The EZLN has historically been more drawn to post-electoral protest than elections themselves. In 1994, convinced that Cuauhtemoc Cardenas would not take protests into the streets if he were once again cheated out of victory, the Zapatistas sought to inspire such protest themselves (they were successful only in Chiapas.)
The best bet is that given a generalized perception of a stolen election, the EZLN will put its animosity aside as it did last year when the PRI and the PAN tried to bar AMLO from the ballot, the "desafuero." But the Zapatistas will join the post-electoral fray calcuutf8g that AMLO, a gifted leader of street protest, will seek to channel voters' anger into political acceptable constraints.
The return of Marcos to the national spotlight is an unintended consequence of the Other Campaign. Determined to use the electoral calendar to unmask the electoral process and the political class that runs it, Marcos's posture as an anti-candidate has made him as much of a candidate as AMLO, Calderon, and Madrazo. Indeed, Delegate Zero's primetime Televisa appearance has inducted him, voluntarily or not, into the very political class that the Other Campaign detests.
John Ross is on his way to California to watch basketball. His new opus "Making Another World Possible: Zapatista Chronicles 2000-2006" is in New York being inspected by editors. Ross will return to Mexico in early June to cover both the final spasms of the presidential race and the continued twitchings of the Other Campaign.
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