A campaign vehicle in Michoacán that was attacked a month before the June elections. A campaign vehicle in Michoacán that was attacked a month before the June elections.

Opposition coalition denounces ‘narco-election’ of 2021

Morena party opponents detail meddling by organized crime in document submitted to 2 international agencies

Mexico’s three-party opposition coalition has submitted a document to two international organizations claiming narco infiltration of the 2021 election process.

Filed with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the document says organized crime fiddled ballot boxes, chose candidates and murdered and threatened others and that investigations into candidates with criminal links were botched.

“Armed groups kidnapped and immobilized entire campaign teams, seized polling stations and forced citizens to cast their votes publicly,” the National Action Party (PAN), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) claimed. The three parties competed under the Va por México (Go for Mexico) banner in the June 6 election.

The coalition pointed to a concentration of violence in Sinaloa, México state, Veracruz, San Luis Potosí, Michoacán, Guerrero and Guanajuato and called into question the votes in seven states. The accusations are based on the testimonies of hundreds of party members and workers.

The document details the kidnapping of a candidate in Culiacán, Sinaloa, who was taken to a probable gang leader. In the same city, PRI party workers were kidnapped and officials at polling stations were forced to fill ballot boxes with Morena votes at gunpoint, it alleges.

It also mentions human heads found in a ballot box in Tijuana, Baja California.

Twenty-seven candidates died in the electoral process and threats continued after June 6: “The threats were extended to the post-election [period] through an imposed law of silence on everything that had happened.”

It complains that President López Obrador ignored the spate of violence. “Despite what is stated here, on Monday, June 7, President López Obrador said that ‘the people behaved very well, those who belong to organized crime in general as well, there were very few acts of violence by these groups.'”

The electoral season for the June 6 vote was the most violent on record. Risk analysis firm Etellekt, which tracks election campaign violence, said 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. One-hundred and two of the incidents were homicides and 36 of those victims were aspiring candidates.

Noting Morena’s strong performance at the election in Pacific coast states, opposition parties and some media commentators have suggested that the ruling party had struck a deal with organized crime groups to win power there.

With reports from Reforma

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