The top electoral court in Mexico has certified the victory of center-right candidate Felipe Calderon over leftist Antonio Manuel Lopez Obrador. Calderon won by a margin over over 230,000 votes.
Already, Obrador is threatening to form his own shadow government, an act that would essentially put Mexico into a state of civil war. While it isn’t certain that the military and police would follow in Obrador’s actions, if it comes down to a violent conflict between Obrador’s supporters and the police, the aftereffects would be devastating. Already pro-Obrador lawmakers prevented outgoing President Vincente Fox from addressing the Mexican Congress.
Obrador lost in part because the Mexican people were worried that he would take that country in the autocratic direction of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela — and now it is clear that those fears were quite well founded. The Mexican electoral courts found no evidence that Calderon had in fact committed fraud, and the margin of the vote was large enough that it seems quite unlikely that fraud could explain the results.
Obrador’s anti-democratic actions threaten to put Mexico into a state of virtual civil war. He hasn’t gone over the line yet, but there is a good chance that he will, and should that happen the situation in Mexico could have major ripple effects across the hemisphere and over the Rio Grande.