Monday, May 20, 2024

Irapuato mayoral candidate’s debate notes stolen in armed attack

The Morena party’s candidate for mayor in Irapuato, Guanajuato, has accused a rival candidate of being behind a mugging of her personal secretary in which two men stole at gunpoint notes she was planning to use in Thursday night’s mayoral debate.

Irma Leticia González leveled the accusation at PAN-PRI-PRD candidate and current Mayor Lorena Alfaro during the debate before repeating it in posts to Facebook and X (formerly Twitter).

Headshots of Irapuato politicians Irma Leticia González and Lorena Alfaro
Morena party mayoral candidate Irma Leticia González (at left) accused Irapuato’s incumbent mayor, Lorena Alfaro, of orchestrating an armed attack on González’s personal secretary. (Irma Leticia González/Facebook/Gobierno Municipal de Irapuato)

“Today, before arriving to the debate, the bodyguards of the mayor who wants to be reelected, pointed a gun at my personal secretary, threw him to the floor and took all the information I had [for the debate]. That’s why I was late, because they printed it for me again,” she said before accusing Alfaro of orchestrating the attack.

“… That’s not the way to govern, that’s not the way to play fair,” the candidate told Alfaro.

In a subsequent Facebook post that included video footage of the mugging, González wrote that “the security personnel of the candidate of insecurity and corruption in Irapuato” stole the “materials” she intended to use in the debate.

“I hold the PRIAN candidate responsible for whatever happens to [my secretary] Lalo, to me, to my family or to anyone in my team,” she added, using a derogatory hybrid acronym for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and the National Action Party, or PAN.

Security footage of the attack was widely shared on social media.

Alfaro, mayor of Irapuato since 2021, condemned the mugging in a post to X. She also called for a complaint to be filed with authorities so that an investigation is carried out and those responsible are apprehended.

The footage of the attack shows two men — one of whom has a gun — entering an ice cream parlor and approaching González’s secretary, who is seated at a table. One man proceeds to steal a cardboard box presumably filled with documents and a backpack while his armed accomplice orders the victim to lie on the floor. The armed man then steals two cell phones from the table.

González said on Facebook on Friday that her team had asked the Federal Attorney General’s Office to investigate and punish those responsible.

“Irapuato deserves to live in peace with a government that looks out for the people, not one that attacks citizens. They believe that, at gunpoint and operating like the mafia they are, they’re going to break our spirit, but they’re not going to,” she wrote in the same post.

In another post, the mayoral aspirant described Alfaro’s municipal administration as a “failed government” and expressed confidence she would win the June 2 mayoral election in Irapuato, Mexico’s strawberry capital.

In addition to strawberries, the city has come to be known for violence, which is mainly caused by a long-running conflict between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel.

Guanajuato, where the PAN has been in office for over 30 years, is Mexico’s most violent state in terms of total homicides, with more than 3,000 murders last year.

Earlier this month, Morena’s candidate for mayor in Celaya, Gisela Gaytán, was shot and killed while campaigning in the municipality, located in Guanajuato’s southeast.

With reports from Reforma and Milenio

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