Apprehended in Veradero after his lover Robles was shadowed to the socialist beachfront, Ahumada spilled the beans to Cuban authorities: Interior Secretary Santiago Creel, who was then AMLO's lead rival for the presidency, had cooked up the plot with the connivance of reviled former president Carlos Salinas, Lopez Obrador's most venomous foe, the then attorney general, and Fox himself, to remove AMLO from the race.
The Mexican government did not ask for extradition and Ahumada's deportation from Cuba was not seen as a friendly gesture. Within a month, diplomatic relations between Mexico and that red paradise were broken off and ambassadors summoned home. The construction tycoon has been imprisoned in Mexico City ever since he was booted out of Cuba, and was last heard from when he had his rogue cop chauffer shoot up the family SUV, a charade both Fox and Televisa tried to pin on AMLO -- Ahumada had suggested he was about to release two more incriminating videos. These dubious events took place on June 6th, the day of a crucial presidential debate between AMLO and Calderon.
Then last week, Ahumada abruptly resurfaced -- or at least his videotaped confession to Cuban authorities did. Filmed through prison bars, he lays out the plot step by step. Yes, he affirms, the deal was fixed up to cut AMLO's legs out from under him and advance the fortunes of the right-wing candidate who turned out to be Felipe Calderon and not the bumbling Creel. The conspiracy backfired badly as his supporters rallied around him and Lopez Obrador's ratings soared.
The origins of the confession tape, leaked to top-rung reporter Carmen Aristegui, was obscure. Had Fidel dispatched it from his sick bed to bolster Lopez Obrador's claims of victory as the PAN and the snake-eyed Televisa evening anchor Joaquin Lopez Dorriga hissed? The air grew serpentine with theories. There was even one school that speculated Calderon himself had been the source in a scheme to distance himself from Fox (there had always been "mala leche" between them) and Creel, now the leader of the PAN faction in congress.
AMLO advanced a variant of this explanation -- the specter of Ahumada had been resuscitated to divert attention from the evidence of generalized fraud the Coalition had submitted to the TRIFE and the panel's impending verdict that Calderon had won the election.
Perhaps the most nagging question in this snakepit of uncertainty is what happened during the partial recount of less than 10% of the 130,000 ballot boxes ordered by the TRIFE to test the legitimacy of the IFE's results. Although the recount concluded on August 13th, the judges have released no numbers and are not obligated to do so -- their only responsibility is to certify the validity of the election.
Although AMLO's reps in the counting rooms came up with gobs of evidence -- violated ballot boxes, stolen or stuffed ballots, altered tally sheets and other bizarre anomalies -- only the left-wing daily La Jornada saw fit to mention them. The silence of the Mexican media and their accomplices in the international press in respect to the Great Fraud is deafening -- although they manage to fill their rags with ample attacks on Lopez Obrador for tying up Mexico City traffic.
According to AMLO's people, 119,000 ballots in the sample recount cannot be substantiated -- in about 3500 casillas, 58,000 more votes were cast than the number of voters on the voting list. In nearly 4,000 other casillas, 61,000 ballots allocated to election officials cannot be accounted for. The annulment of the casillas in which these alterations occurred would put Lopez Obrador in striking distance of Calderon and in a better world, would obligate the TRIFE to order a total recount.
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