Global Politics

New film asserts election fraud in Mexico

The eventual loser of the election, Lopez Obrador, and his supporters claimed the vote was rigged and LM set out to document those claims, even as the votes were still being counted: My idea was to invite people through a blog on the internet to go with their home video cameras and film what happened at the polls. We got more than 3,000 hours of videotape. (What did you see then that showed you that this election was rigged?) In one district, there was a ballot with a clear black cross for Lopez Obrador, it had a tiny leak into another box and so they were arguing that this little leak made the vote null but it was so obvious for whom the vote was for. It was a sophisticated fraud which was done in many ways. My film makes it clear that there was a decision not to let Lopez Obrador get to the presidency. (This is your opinion and that of your film but Mexico's independent electoral commission looked into this and concluded the opposite. How do you respond to that?) With the documentary, which shows also how the electoral institute came to their decision and faced away from all the evidence. (Putting aside the politics, explain who Lopez Obrador and what drew you to him.) I didn't know Lopez Obrador, I lived in L.A. for 15 years doing feature films, and I went into Mexico to do a movie and when I finished that movie, Lopez Obrador was the mayor of Mexico City and he was being impeached basically because he was so popular. (How do we know that?) Everyone knew because of the polls. I realized one quality he had which drew me to believe he'd be a good president is he's absolutely incorruptible, and totally honest. (This documentary has been heavily criticized in Mexico. Do you think you're seen as too partial to Lopez Obrador?) Because Mexico is so young in its democracy, they're not used to knowing people taking a side. When you believe in something, of course you take heat for it, but I feel honored to express my own opinion. If you're afraid to express that opinion, that you don't believe in free expression and democracy.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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