By KELIN DILLON
Following the news that the Mexican government is set to defund Mexico’s autonomous electoral monitoring body, the National Electoral Institute (INE), by 4.4 billion pesos in 2023, members of the Employers’ Confederation of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex) launched a campaign from Guadalajara’s Akron Stadium to support the INE – aptly titled “Goal for democracy! #I defend the INE.”
“We come to defend democracy, we come to defend freedoms, we come to defend the citizen INE,” said Coparmex President José Medina Mora Icaza at the time, while wearing a jersey from the Mexican national soccer team.
“We don’t want to go back to the times when we already knew who was going to win not just the game, but the championship, where we citizens were only spectators,” continued Medina.
Members of the group – many of which who were likewise clad in full Mexican national team regalia – were heard shouting rallying cries such as “I defend the INE,” “full support for the electoral referee” and “everyone hand in hand with the citizen INE” at the event, with Medina adding that the Coparmex event is celebrating “all citizen demonstrations in defense of the INE, defending the INE is defending the vote, my freedom, democracy.”
Medina also went on to criticize the controversial constitutional electoral reform proposed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), which would see the power of the INE significantly diminished if passed.
“The electoral reform that AMLO presented or that he wants to present is out of place, because we do not want to return to the times when the government itself organized the elections, nor to the times when the councilors of the electoral institute are elected as part of the political parties. It is important that they are citizens, and that is why we defend the INE. We defend democracy,” concluded Medina.