Monday, June 17, 2024

Senior officials in Tabasco ousted after declaring support for Sheinbaum in 2024

Six government officials in Tabasco have been fired after they declared their support for Claudia Sheinbaum, the Mexico City mayor who hopes to be the ruling Morena party’s candidate in the 2024 presidential election.

The officials lost their jobs after they attended an event on Sunday in support of Sheinbaum’s campaign to become the Morena candidate. Tabasco Governor Carlos Manuel Merino was responsible for most if not all of the dismissals.

Those removed from their posts were Energy Development Minister Sheila Cadena; Francisco Sánchez, the head of the Tabasco land regulation department (CERTT); Roberto Mendoza Flores, social development director at the Tabasco Housing Institute; Dulce Zentella, a senior sports official; Carlos Benito Lara, legal affairs coordinator in the state Congress; and Iván Peña, transit director in the municipality of Cárdenas.

Merino, who took over as governor a year ago when his predecessor, Adán Augusto López, became federal interior minister, swore in a new energy development minister and CERTT chief on Tuesday. He asserted that the new appointments weren’t due to the officials’ support of Sheinbaum, a close ally of President López Obrador and one of several possible Morena presidential candidates.

Tabasco's Interim Governor Carlos Manuel Merino
Tabasco Interim Governor Carlos Manuel Merino was responsible for most if not all the dismissals. Twitter

Merino – whose predecessor is one of the other possible candidates – said there was no telenovela, or soap opera, playing out in his government.

“The time for changes came and there will probably be more. We mustn’t editorialize or distort [the truth], they’re simply changes that occur in all municipal, state and federal administrations,” he said.

However, former CERTT chief Sánchez made it clear he believed his dismissal was related to his support for Sheinbaum.

“I deeply regret that my departure is motivated by a legitimate political preference in use of my civil liberties,” he wrote on Facebook.

Mexico Interior Minister Adan Augusto Lopez Hernandez, right
Merino replaced Adán Augusto López Hernández, right, as Tabasco’s governor when López Hernández was named interior minister in 2021. He also became a federal senator after López Hernández left the position in 2015.

The dismissals “reflect the face of intolerance unbecoming of an administration that emerged from a democratic movement that we’ve been strengthening for years, and don’t agree with the ideals of our President Andrés Manuel López Obrador,” Sánchez said.

Some other morenistas, as Morena party members and supporters are known, also asserted that the officials were fired for showing support for the Mexico City mayor, who – if successful in becoming the ruling party’s candidate and winning the July 2024 election – would become Mexico’s first female president.

Among the other attendees at Sunday’s pro-Sheinbaum gathering were federal Deputy Lorena Méndez Denis, state lawmakers and José Ramiro López Obrador, the president’s brother.

Sheinbaum’s main rival for the Morena party nomination is Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who served as Mexico City mayor between 2006 and 2012. Both presidential hopefuls have ramped up their campaigning efforts in recent months.

With reports from Reforma, El Universal and Proceso 

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