|English | Español||May 22, 2013 | Issue #41|
U.S. Political Consultants Dick Morris and Rob Allyn Are the Virtual Rapists of Atenco
Fox’s Government Tortured, Raped and Expelled Foreign Journalists as His Own Gringo Political Handlers Violated Article 33 of the Mexican Constitution
By Al Giordano
Use of forged identification by foreigners in Mexico is a crime punishable by up to ten years in prison. But the law was never applied to Rob Allyn. To the contrary, he was rewarded handsomely for his crime. Allyn was paid millions of dollars as the agent who placed Fox’s advertisements on Mexican television, at the same time that he represented himself to the Mexican press as an “impartial election observer.” And now, in 2006, this electoral delinquent, Rob Allyn, is back, helping to run the campaign of presidential candidate Felipe Calderón, of Fox’s PAN party.
Allyn — a Republican Party consultant from Texas who has advised both George W. Bush and his father George Herbert Walker Bush, as well as a Texan energy billionaire with obvious interest in seeing Mexico’s electricity and oil privatized — is joined in Mexico today by U.S. political consultant Dick Morris.
Morris was the top political advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton until August of 1996, when Morris, a married man, was caught with a $200-dollar-an-hour prostitute and had to leave the Clinton campaign in disgrace.
Photo: Fox News
A fish is caught from the mouth, first: Article 33 of the Mexican Constitution prohibits participation by foreigners in Mexican electoral campaigns. It says:
“Foreigners may not involve themselves in any way in the political affairs of the country.”
This article of the Constitution prohibits involvement by foreigners in Mexican electoral politics. It says nothing about taking photographs or shooting video. But in recent days it was wielded — using an illegal interpretation of the law — by Morris’ and Allyn’s Mexican client, Vicente Fox, to expel five foreign journalists from the country, although the journalists were not involved in any way in this year’s election campaign.
Not content to merely expel two Spanish women, one German woman, and a woman and man from Chile who were photographing, filming and observing human rights in the town of San Salvador Atenco on the morning of May 4, the Fox government — according to documentation by respected human rights organizations and to the victims’ own testimony — first beat them savagely, tortured them sexually, stole their cameras, film and passports, kept them incommunicado and tortured for two days, and then dragged them onto airplanes that dumped them, bruises and all, in their home countries.
But these communicators have refused to be silenced. Read their words and listen to their sincerity, their conviction, their commitment against injustice, and compare that with the mercenary stance of virtual rapists Rob Allyn and Dick Morris. Because it is true that there are foreigners meddling in Mexican politics, in violation of Article 33. But it is not the journalists or human rights observers who volunteer their time to document the non-electoral Zapatista Other Campaign, or the atrocities of Atenco and other parts of the country. The violators of the law are Rob Allyn and Dick Morris. They are the bad foreigners responsible for what happened to the five good foreigners this month outside of Mexico City: the commanders-in-chief of the media war against human rights in Mexico.
Valentina Palma Novoa
Photo: La Jornada
Her eye-witness account — “They Ordered Me to Lay My Head in a Pool of Blood” — vividly documents the beatings she received upon arrest, in the bus transporting her and other prisoners to jail, and once inside the prison.
She had lived 11 years in Mexico, at every moment her migratory status in the country legal and covered by visas. A student of cinematography at the prestigious Center for Cinematographic Study at Mexico’s National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH, in its Spanish initials), she studied with world-renowned director Maria Novaro, who, according to the New York Times, “has created an impressive body of work that is outstanding for its often political portrayals of women living within two realities.”
Palma’s Mexican visa specifically authorized her to study cinema and make films. And that’s what she was doing on the morning of May 4, in Atenco, when Vicente Fox’s regime grabbed her, beat her, and deported her from Mexico.
It was politics, and not law, that led the Fox government to expel her. Who made the decision to send her — and her testimony — far from Mexican soil? The gabacho Rob Allyn? The gringo Dick Morris? Her deportation occurred in violation of a court protective order, known under Mexican law as an amparo. That is the authoritarian Mexico of Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón, as guided by the U.S. political consultants Allyn and Morris: a plea for “law and order” that disregards its own judicial decisions.
The other Chilean expelled, Mario Aguirre, fared no better.
Also student at Mexico’s National School of Anthropology and History, upon his return to Chile, Aguirre reported to the same hospital, which found “bruises on the thorax, contusions under his scalp, lesions on the left knee and scrapes on the right knee, all as the result of an aggression.”
Aguirre’s testimony corroborates that of the four women expelled from Mexico and that of many Mexicans who are beginning to be released either for lack of evidence against them or on bail. Regarding the sexual tortures, he writes:
“I am an eyewitness to the abuses to which a woman seated beside me was subjected. She was stripped naked at the chest while the officers insulted and beat her on her breasts. Another woman who was on top of me in the pile of bodies that we were stuck in was brutally beaten and her head slammed repeated times against my back. The beatings she received were with kicks, slaps, she was stamped upon and beaten with a nightstick.”
“We were witnesses to another case of abuse, against one of the Spanish women who screamed, please, that they leave her alone because they were suffocating her. After a few minutes her legs had numbed and so she needed to move them. But each time she tried the police hit her hard with the nightstick. The time that it took for all this to happen was too long to justify a trip to the nearest jail. The torture began to be psychological: as if they were taking us to an unpopulated place to be killed and disappeared.”
Compare the treatment that these good people received at the hands of the Fox administration to the testimony of Fox’s gringo political consultant Rob Allyn about the “hardships” he faced while running Fox’s 2000 presidential campaign, in the breathless prose of the Dallas Morning News on July 9, 2000:
MEXICO CITY — Oftentimes, Rob Allyn’s biggest challenge was trying to remember his covert identity. If he slipped, he risked his role in a secret mission to push along Mexico’s first bloodless revolution.
Puzzled waiters and hotel receptionists would stare as Mr. Allyn, a well-known Republican political consultant in Dallas, painfully pondered the many fake names before signing a bill. Who was he this time, José de Murga, Francisco Gutiérrez, or Alberto Aguirre?
“Basically, for three years I’d go home from my real job to a secret job,” Mr. Allyn said. “I led a second life for that period.”
As foreigners like Allyn face the dilemmas of which credit card to whip out (in those restaurants that accept them) and how to spend the fortunes he makes off of Mexico’s corrupt political system, others, like the Chileans Valentina Palma and Mario Aguirre make a lie out of the political consultant’s claim to be participating in a “bloodless revolution.”
Or take the testimony of Catalonian citizens Maria Sostres and Cristina Valls, deported the same day as the Chileans — on El Cinco de Mayo — back to their home city of Barcelona.
Maria Sostres and Cristina Valls
Photo: El País
“I tried to run but every street was full of police. Getting out of there was impossible. They began to beat up everyone they found passing by,” Valls recounted to the newspaper.
“My face was over a pool of blood and there were six people piled on top of me who were being violated,” testified Valls.
Sostres witnessed various rapes by police against the detainees: “They stuck objects, fingers and keys in their vaginas. They forced one girl to say ‘Cowboy! Cowboy!’ while a police officer smacked her ass.”
They spoke of people that the authorities allowed inside the jail who claimed to be attorneys, offering free advice to the women: “One told me not to file a complaint for the sexual abuse because it would cause more problems for me in going free and could lead to my being in prison for a year. I believed him. Later I retracted and wanted to widen my declaration but they wouldn’t let me,” said Sostres.
“We have photos of girls with their thighs black and their breasts covered with bruises from the blows,” said Guillermo Ibarra of Mexico’s National Human rights Commission to the Spanish daily.
Think about the treatment that these Spaniard women, both human rights activists, received as tourists in Mexico compared to that of Fox’s foreign political consultant Rob Allyn. From his 2000 interview with the Dallas Morning News:
The campaign over, the media savvy strategists talked of once drinking brandy — Mexico’s Presidente label — with the future president of Mexico in the back of a bullet-proof Suburban and of the many safe houses, which always included an empty swimming pool.
As Rob Allyn was back on the Mexican campaign trail, guiding Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón in their every move this election season, another foreigner, Samantha Dietmar, 27, of Germany, was paying a high price for the crime of… taking photographs. As she left her 100-peso (less than ten dollars) hotel room early the morning of May 4, in Atenco, she was immediately attacked by a horde of club-swinging police.
This is part of her testimony, published on Mexico Indymedia:
“‘She’s not from here,’ they shouted. My identification papers fell to the ground and I was brought toward a vehicle. There, my hell began…
“I was pulled by my arms and hair to be put into the vehicle, where a mountain of people were already piled on top of each other. There was blood everywhere, and the people cried out in pain…
“The police insulted us and spit on us… they stepped on top of me and others with their boots… beating our backs, heads and feet with their nightsticks. I felt hands upon my buttocks and back that were trying to pull my skirt up. When I tried to put my clothing back on, they shouted at me, ‘Gringa,’ and someone hit me in the face. My nose bled….
“Again and again police came onto the bus and asked for the German girl… they wanted to see my face. I was told not to move. Some hands were touching my breasts. They asked me what I was doing there…
“They said I had pretty eyes, and asked if I wanted to go out with one of the police, and immediately they began to beat a man behind me, who doubled over in pain. They pulled my hair and strands of it flew all over the bus…”
This is Rob Allyn’s Mexico and this is Dick Morris’ Mexico: the return of the authoritarian state that rules with fear and violence, arbitrarily, with two sets of laws: one that afflicts the good people, and another that comforts the bad.
It’s a Mexico that many a commentator in the Commercial Media recently has complained about, blaming the atmosphere of violence on the people who resist and protest.
But the real blame for the heightening of tension and violence rests on the shoulders of Dick Morris and Rob Allyn and the tone that they set for the 2006 campaign. The truth is — and the record reflects — that the political climate in Mexico began to rarify weeks prior to the bloody conflicts of early May in Atenco and nearby Texcoco. It began before the police displaced peaceful flower sellers and attacked those who defended them. It began… on TV…
When this year’s presidential campaign began, some hoped for a peaceful and democratic process. After all, this is the first presidential election to be held after Fox’s 2000 victory ended seven decades of one-party rule. At first, the Fox administration welcomed the Zapatista “Other Campaign” and national tour by Subcomandante Marcos as the peaceful protest and fact-finding mission that it is.
But under all this flowery waxing about love and peace and democracy, the injustices continued to seethe. And when the polls revealed that former Mexico City Governor Andrés Manuel López Obrador, of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD, in its Spanish initials, a party that represents itself as “center-left” in ideology) is headed to an irreversible victory on July 2nd, Fox and his pet candidate, Calderón, called in the dogs from the North.
Dick Morris and Rob Allyn set to work feeding red meat to the corrupt Commercial Media in Mexico: incendiary television spots, falsified public opinion polls, and “reports” based on rumor and innuendo, to sow fear and loathing into the election campaign. And to ensure that the Fox administration would get the spin it wants out of the two national TV networks — Televisa and TV Azteca — it rammed a new law through Congress giving special privileges and monopoly powers to the two networks, disintegrating the smaller media competitors.
The Washington Post reported on May 3rd, as the police-incited violence began in Texcoco and Atenco:
A solid dose of negative campaigning has tightened up Mexico’s three-way presidential race, generating a spate of stories about the influence of controversial U.S. political strategist Dick Morris.
Reports in the Mexican press are raising questions about how connected Morris might be to the campaign of Felipe Calderon. The conservative Calderon is competing with leftist Andres Manual Lopez Obrador and populist Roberto Madrazo in a contest to lead a nation of 105 million people whose exodus of migrants, legal and illegal, are reshaping U.S. politics and society.
Last month, Calderon overtook Lopez Obrador for the first time in the polls when a survey done by the Reforma newspaper gave him a 38 to 35 percent edge over Lopez Obrador. Madrazo held 23 percent. Lopez Obrador has retained a slight lead in other recent polls compiled by opinamexico.org.
Calderon’s surge followed a saturation television advertising campaign aimed at eroding the positive image Lopez Obrador has forged as a popular mayor of Mexico City by linking him to Venezuela’s leftist president Hugo Chavez. In a story headlined “Mercenary Strategists Without Rival,” the newsweekly Proceso (in Spanish by subscription) reported this week that Calderon has contracted Morris and Texas-based political consultant Rob Allyn “to handle not only his image, but the development of his campaign.”
But Morris’ advocacy on behalf of Fox and Calderón was visible a month earlier, on April 3, when he penned a column for the New York Post that sums up perfectly his inflammatory approach to political campaigning. It was titled “Menace in Mexico” and sounded like a Red Scare tract from the 1950s:
On July 2, the Mexican people will decide whether to elect ultra-leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (known as AMLO) as their next president.
Rumors have abounded for months that Lopez Obrador’s campaign is getting major funding from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. And last month Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz), a moderate Republican, told several Mexican legislators that he had intelligence reports detailing revealing support from Hugo Chavez to AMLO’s Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD)…
Chavez is a firm ally of Cuba’s Fidel Castro. Lopez Obrador could be the final piece in their grand plan to bring the United States to its knees before the newly resurgent Latin left…
Based on what he himself called “rumor,” Morris screeched:
Think we have security problems now, with Vicente Fox leading Mexico? Just wait until we have a 2,000-mile border with a chum of Chavez and Castro.
Another U.S. political consultant, pollster Dan Lund, wrote a column for the Miami Herald’s Mexican edition, an English-language insert in the national daily El Universal, analyzing the influence of Dick Morris on this year’s Mexican campaign:
Dick Morris, the well-known consultant… boasts a brilliant track record in electing Republicans and Democrats in the United States. He is most well known for the 1996 Clinton re-election campaign and an interesting sexual preference for which he was busted in a Washington hotel. By the way, it is fair game to mention such things, for after all he is the master of the negative campaign, featuring the use of personal at tacks; actually, I could have used more innuendo or just made something up, and that would have been fair game on his terms as well.
Morris is the guy who claims to have written the “campaign book” for Fox in 1999-2000, and is now spreading tail feathers about his role in the Felipe Calderón campaign….
With this conflictive operation, the Morris book is the script keeping it together for now, because it is all about winning, no matter how.
The book is that of a relentless negative campaign, using all forms of media, electronic and informal — all, at a cost that simply cannot be met by other campaigns. This campaign book has become the choreography of a strange Morris dance that enables the very different factions and interests to hold together and focus on the real enemy, namely Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
And yet all of this was predictable: the Gringotization of the Mexican election and the primacy of negative campaigning based on rumor and innuendo at the hands of U.S. political consultants was the script from the beginning. The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials) warned of it almost a year ago, in the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, and set to work building the “Other Campaign” — a non-electoral effort — to pull the cloak off the scam.
On January 1st, Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos began what was originally slated as a six-month visit to all of Mexico to hear the testimony of the people who struggle “below and to the left.”
The recent violence in Atenco led to the suspension of the Other Campaign while Marcos holds what is essentially a kind of sit-in at the true seat of power: the media capital of Mexico City. He has gone on the offensive, selectively granting interviews to Commercial Media outlets on the condition that they broadcast his words “uncut and unedited.” (That the rebel spokesman has been able to impose this condition, so far, on Televisa, CNN and Telesur, as well as the daily La Jornada, is an important fact that goes unspoken by some who complain about Marcos’ media blitz: Who has been able to impose that condition before? Who has even tried?)
What the “Other Campaign” has accomplished is to rip up the gringo consultants’ script. Because while Dick Morris and Rob Allyn believe that they can hear public opinion mediated by pollsters, Marcos has just spent more than 120 days listening endlessly to the voices of people from every sector of Mexican society — in 19 of its 31 states plus the Federal District of Mexico City — and has developed a keener ear for what is happening on the ground than the candidates or their consultants are able to hear.
That, according to national columnist Carlos Ramírez (not at all an adherent, nor sympathizer, of the Zapatista “Other Campaign,” but a keen political analyst), has taken the Mexican zeitgeist out of the hands of the parties and their consultants, and put it squarely in those of the rebels. Ramírez writes:
The most relevant fact is that the 2006 presidential campaigns are alienated from the reality that bothers the citizen. The promises to create jobs, lower prices and taxes, and raise subsidies for popular programs are far from the reality of the citizens. Atenco exploded as the most serious problem for governability, for the administration, and for the stability of the country, but the candidates have turned their backs. Marcos jumped into the electoral process, assumed the initiative and is dictating the political points of reference. And none of the candidates have dared to analyze the role that the chief of the EZLN has assumed or warned of the possibilities and limitations…
This is the hour in which they have not understood that the political analysis of Marcos is different than the traditional one of weights and counter-weights. His strategy is to take advantage of the space created by Atenco to construct a network of uncontrollable social groups…
In spite of it all, Marcos is the only one who knows what he wants and what he must do to obtain it. His speech yesterday in the Che Guevara auditorium of UNAM (the National Autonomous University of Mexico) is coherent with his goal of social organization. He is going to stay here in the Federal District until the authority of the State collapses. And each day small social organizations with goals that don’t include negotiating with the state are joining him…
The true foreign meddlers in Mexican politics are Dick Morris, Rob Allyn and their ilk. They not only seek to rarify the air with conflict and rumor, creating a cloud of dust, confusion and fear out of which their clients emerge. They do it with brazen willingness to violate the law, to invent facts out of dark fantasies and fictions, to falsify polls, to unleash violent police offering them the opportunity to rape and sexually torture women as the booty of war, and, if need be, to do what was done in Mexico’s 1988 elections, as occurred in recent years in the United States: they and the Fox administration will resort even to computer-generated election fraud to impose their regime’s continuance.
And they do it in clear violation of Article 33 of the Mexican Constitution, against foreign involvement in electoral politics.
But the gringo electoral delinquents in Mexico, Dick Morris and Rob Allyn, are in over their heads.
The victory they seek on July 2nd, no matter how achieved, will be pyrrhic, in that Fox, following their advice by promoting violence, fear and repression, has ensured the ungovernability of the country, post-election, by his rooster Calderón and probably by anyone else.
As the Other Campaign has showed, day after day, for the past four and a half months, the lid simply is not on tight when it comes to controlling the Mexican populace from above. The false promises of change by the Morris-Allyn Frankenstein named Fox raised expectations and then broke them. And for anyone who still clung tight to that illusion by May 2nd, the violence of May 3rd and 4th has ripped from them that innocence with the speed at which Fox’s police raped and sexually tortured a majority of the women they arrested in Atenco.
The protestors chant “We Are All Atenco.” The truth is that those words also translate to “We Have All Been Raped.” The virtual rapists of political technique and manipulation have violated democracy itself.
And the nation that exists below, under their technocratic radar, cannot, will not, rest until justice be done. Fox and his police, Calderón and his gringo consultants, had their fiesta — as Maria Sostres testified — on May 4th. Now comes the response. The Other Mexico that rises from these ashes will include a space, anew, for Valentina Palma Novoa, for Mario Aguirre, for Samantha Dietmar, for Cristina Valls, for Maria Sostres, and for every decent Mexican citizen and internationalist in solidarity with the emerging Other Mexico.
But the Mexico to come, as a result of what happened this month in Atenco, will not include a place — not even a cabaña on the beach — for the virtual rapists Dick Morris or Rob Allyn.
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism