Workers scale a fence in an attempt to flee their captors. Workers scale a fence in an attempt to flee their captors in Chilpancingo.

Lawmakers, bureaucrats, reporters locked inside Congress building

Citizens unhappy over judicial rulings regarding a municipal election in Guerrero

For the second day in a row, lawmakers, bureaucrats and reporters were locked inside the precinct of the state Congress building in Guerrero yesterday by citizens angered by a federal court ruling that confirmed the original result of an election for mayor.

Residents of the municipality of Cochoapa El Grande used chains and padlocks to secure exits and prevent anyone from leaving the Congress premises located in the state capital Chilpancingo.

They claim that the votes they cast for Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Hermelinda Rivera Francisco in the July 1 election were not counted.

Rivera challenged the result of the election and the Guerrero Electoral Tribunal annulled it, declaring her the winner.

But on September 25, the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) overturned that ruling and ratified the victory of Daniel Esteban González, who represented a coalition made up of the National Action Party (PAN), Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and Citizens’ Movement party (MC).

However, the mayor-elect has been missing since he disappeared on September 2 along with his driver after attending a meeting with a Morena party deputy in the municipality of Tlapa.

The PRI supporters questioned how the election of González could be ratified while his whereabouts are unknown, and managed to convince state lawmakers to agree to discuss the issue. They argue that Rivera should be installed as mayor.

González’s substitute for mayor, Raúl Chávez, declined to take up the position and the town trustee is currently acting as the head of the municipal government.

Cochoapa el Grande, the state’s most impoverished municipality, was one of just two local government areas where a new mayor was not sworn in on September 30.

With exits from the Congress precinct blocked on consecutive days, some lawmakers resorted to scaling the fence to leave but were attacked or threatened by protesters once they reached the other side.

Despite their pleas to the demonstrators, other lawmakers were forced to wait several hours until they were permitted to leave.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Financiero (sp), Bajo Palabra (sp), La Silla Rota (sp) 

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