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Democracy Watch

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Democracy Watch was a front group established in Mexico by political consultant Rob Allyn of Allyn & Company to advance the presidential campaign of successful PAN candidate Vicente Fox.

On Sunday, July 9th, The Narco News Bulletin announced in bold headlines: "Texas GOP Political Consultant Rob Allyn Admits Covert Activity in Mexican Presidential Campaign. 'Democracy Watch' Director Boasts to Dallas Morning News that he was Fox's Consultant All Along. Fox has lost all moral and legal authority to expel human rights observers and journalists from Mexico." The gist of the story, as summarized and documented on The Narco News Bulletin website as a statement to Mexico President Vinente Fox, is: "Today's revelations in the Dallas Morning News, Mr. President-elect, are that: For three years you used foreigners -- and were used by them -- to participate in Mexican politics without disclosing that fact. During these three years you said nothing in defense of the hundreds of foreign human rights observers and journalists expelled from the country under Article 33 of the Mexican constitution (prohibiting direct involvement in Mexican political affairs, but not, legally speaking, journalism or human rights observance). That your foreign campaign operatives created a phony human rights group, 'Democracy Watch,' to 'monitor' the elections. Therefore, when you arrive December 1st to the presidency, you will have already lost all legal and moral credibility to continue the policy of expelling and deporting foreign journalists and human rights observers from Chiapas, Guerrero or any other part of Mexico. And you can thank Rob Allyn for that." The website contains a picture of PR professional Marcela Berland along with Rob Allyn at a Democracy Watch event. [1]

External links

  • An Open Letter to Rob Allyn, Doug Schoen and Marcela Berland from the Publisher of Narco News, Narco News Website, Summer, 2000
  • Press Release, WPP Group PLC WPP acquires leading US strategic research and polling consultancy, Penn, Schoen and Berland/16 November 2001
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