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Sandoval, left, and Ochoa: barrio brawl? Sandoval, left, and Ochoa: barrio brawl?

PRI infighting gets nasty in row between ex-governor, ex-party chief

Corruption suspect attacks ex-leader for failing to defend him

A nasty war of words has broken out between a former Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) governor and the party’s former national president-turned-lawmaker.

Roberto Sandoval Castañeda, who was governor of Nayarit between 2011 and 2017, has accused Enrique Ochoa Reza of failing to defend him in the face of corruption allegations and even adding his voice to the accusations against him.

The Nayarit Congress recently voted to disqualify Sandoval from holding public office for 12 years for the misuse of public resources in 2017.

Ochoa, who was at the helm of the PRI between June 2016 and May of this year before winning a seat in the lower house of Congress as a proportional representation deputy, denies Sandoval’s claims.

“With respect to the declarations of the ex-governor Roberto Sandoval, I have never pronounced against him nor have I had any conflict in institutional or personal matters with him,” he said Thursday.

Ochoa also said that “in virtue of the public threats that my family and I have received from you, I will hold you responsible for any incident that affects their security or mine,” adding that “it must be the people of Nayarit and its institutions who judge the conduct of Roberto Sandoval.”

The next day, Sandoval took to his Facebook account to hit back at the former party chief.

“I understand why the PAN [National Action Party] and PRD [Democratic Revolutionary Party] politicians in my home state insult me because it’s their obsession to stain the image of those who work and don’t play politics but [coming] from the party that I was a member of and from which you, Enrique Ochoa Reza . . . expelled me for ALLEGED corruption, that hurts more . . .” he wrote.

“. . . Don’t be a COWARD!! . . . You damaged my reputation and as a man I will find you and we’ll settle scores without you using your bodyguards, we’ll sort it out like we did in the barrios [neighborhoods] where I grew up (with our fists and no pinching). If you don’t know what a barrio is, ask the taxi drivers that you exploit every day . . .” Sandoval continued.

The ex-governor, who has also been accused of involvement in an illicit cattle-buying plot, said in an appearance in the state capital Tepic that he had supported president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his Morena party in the July 1 elections because of the poor treatment he has received from the PRI.

Source: El Sol de Nayarit (sp), Milenio (sp) 

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