Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Mayor-elect to stand trial for kidnapping political rival

The mayor-elect of a municipality in México state will be tried for kidnapping a rival politician, judicial authorities announced on Monday.  

Emilio Arriaga Villa of the Social Encounter Party (PES) was arrested on December 14 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, for his alleged role in the kidnapping of Iván Israel on June 4, just two days before the election. 

Arriaga won election in Ocuilan on June 6, but will be unable to assume the post on January 1 due to the charges. 

He is being held in preventative custody in Tenancingo penitentiary.

Israel was driving a pickup truck on the Santiago-Chalma highway, about 55 kilometers southeast of Toluca, on June 4 with Valeria “N” and Gloria Vanessa — the candidate for the Va Por México (Go for Mexico) coalition in Ocuilan —  when they were intercepted by a car and a pickup truck without license plates.

Arriaga was supposed to take office January 1.
Arriaga was supposed to take office January 1.

Armed men got out of the pickup truck and forced Israel out of his vehicle. The attackers attacked him physically and took him by car to a house in Santa Ana, which is thought to be Arriaga’s property. 

The latter is accused of carrying a weapon and ordering Israel to be taken to the nearby countryside, which is considered tantamount to a death threat. 

But the kidnapping victim managed to escape to the community of San Sebastián Ocuilan where he found police officers and received assistance.

The electoral season for the June 6 vote was the most violent on record. Risk analysis firm Etellekt, which tracks election campaign violence, reported that there were 1,066 acts of aggression against politicians and candidates between September 7, 2020 and June 6, a 38% increase compared to the 2017–2018 electoral season, when a total of 774 such incidents were recorded.

Many of the incidents involved kidnapping. 102 of the incidents were homicides and 36 of those victims were candidates running for election.

With reports from El Universal and Imagen TV

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