A march for the mayor yesterday in Cuernavaca. A march for the mayor yesterday in Cuernavaca.

Morelos mayor won election while in jail. Now his supporters want him freed

He was arrested in May for organized crime and kidnapping his rivals

In Amacuzac, Morelos, the candidate who won the election for mayor on July 1 did little campaigning because he could not: he was behind bars.

This week, some of his supporters held a protest in Cuernavaca demanding his release and that president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador intercede on his behalf.

Alfonso Miranda Gallegos ran for mayor under the three-party coalition Together We Will Make History, led by López Obrador’s party Morena.

Miranda was arrested in May on charges of organized crime and kidnapping his political rivals in May. Miranda has served as mayor of Amacuzac before. But federal authorities say there is evidence that he used his position to protect the Rojos crime gang.

After his arrest he was sent to a federal penal facility in Durango, where he was able to record a message to voters, asking for their support. The message was posted online where it seemed to have the right effect. Miranda won 3,672 votes on July 1; his closest rival won fewer than 1,000.

The mayor-elect, who has also served a three-year term as deputy in the Morelos state Congress, is the uncle of Los Rojos leader Santiago “El Carrete” Mazarí Hernández. Rumors about Miranda’s alleged criminal connections and illicit activities started circulating as early as 2009, his first year as mayor.

Yesterday, his supporters marched in the state capital. “He’s our leader and many of us want him . . . we want him before January 1st [the date the mayor-elect is sworn into office],” said spokesman Roberto Fernández.

He claimed Miranda’s arrest was part of a “political vendetta” and threatened a massive protest in Cuernavaca if he is not released.

Miranda’s lawyer told the newspaper Milenio that he’s awaiting a legal ruling that would allow his client to leave prison and be sworn in.

Christian Fragoso Velázquez said he was confident that the court will rule favorably, there being no concrete evidence backing up the charges against him.

Source: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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