Blanco, right, and Roberto Yáñez, before their falling out. Blanco, right, and Roberto Yáñez, before their falling out.

Was soccer star paid to run for mayor?

Party says he did it for the money, signing a 7mn-peso contract to run for election

Former soccer star and Cuernavaca Mayor Cuauhtémoc Blanco is under fire from leaders of the party with which he won the June 2015 election, who have accused him of signing a multi-million-peso contract to be their nominee.

Brothers Julio and Roberto Yáñez, both part of the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), have claimed that Blanco signed a 7-million-peso (US $480,000) contract in exchange for becoming that party’s mayoralty candidate for the capital city of the state of Morelos.

Roberto Yáñez said in an interview with journalist Denise Maerker that Blanco decided to run for office “not because he is a good person, but because there was monetary gain in it for him.”

The contract, signed on January 17, 2015, specified how the candidate was to act and stated clear working hours. The arrangement also instructed Blanco to be friendly and charismatic, particularly towards women, whom he was always to greet with a kiss.

The budding politician was to sign unlimited autographs and take pictures but could charge extra if those activities happened outside working hours.

In response to the accusations, the National Electoral Institute (INE) will issue a summons to Blanco and all those involved in the nomination.

“This week the procedure was opened and the leaders of the PSD have been summoned . . . as the inquiries progress, the necessary steps towards determining if a hidden financing scheme was built around this candidacy will be taken,” said Ciro Murayama, head of the INE’s auditing commission.

If the allegation is confirmed, Murayama’s office will only be able to impose fines against the Social Democratic Party, “because we’re not a public prosecutor’s office.”

The case would instead be turned over to FEPADE, the agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting electoral crime, and the Attorney General’s office.

Source: Reforma (sp), Milenio (sp)

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