By RICARDO CASTILLO
First Electoral Blood
No sooner had Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE) announced that the race for the midterm elections will officially start on Sept. 7, than the first missile was aimed directly at the second political force in the nation, the National Action Party (PAN).
A vided allegedly showing Guillermo Gutiérrez Badillo. the private secretary of Querétaro Governor Francisco Domínguez Servién, receiving several plastic bags full of money packs at the offices of the state-run Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) oil giant sometime in 2013. At the time, Domínguez Servién was the state’s PAN senator.
The video went viral on the social web and was on all public television newscasts by Monday, Aug. 17.
Adding insult to injury for the PAN in the video is the fact that right beside Gutiérrez Badillo was Rafael Jesús Caraveo Opengo, former secretary for the PAN Administration Committee, also allegedly counting money that was believed to have been then carried to the PAN headquarters in Mexico City for sharing among elected officials.
The cash was allegedly payment in exchange for the PAN support of the Energy Reform implemented by former President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Dominguez’s secretary Gutiérrez Badillo was immediately fired by the governor, who issued a statement claiming innocence.
“In relation to the video broadcast today on social webs in which an aide of mine appears, I clearly state that I never had any knowledge of the alleged deeds of this person,” he said.
“As usual, in accordance with the law, I ordered the immediate ceasing of activities by Guillermo Gutiérrez Badillo so that he can contribute to the demarcation of responsibilities in the video released by corresponding authorities.”
The irony of it all is that the Fiscal General of the Republic (FGR) responded that the aired video was not part of the stash of tapes it had received from from former Pemex Director Emilio Lozoya Austin, who allegedly paid in cash for vote buying
The FGR issued a statement stating that it had not released this mysterious pre-electoral video.
If not Lozoya, who ordered the recording?
No matter, the message for the PAN as a whole for the upcoming 2021 midterm election is, “tremble, tremble, tremble.”
INE Press Release
As for the upcoming electoral proceedings, the INE announced that it will start with the pending internal state elections in Coahuila and Hidalgo, two of the last Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) bastions still in the hands of the old party.
The midterms will cover 30 states with changes at the Federal Chamber of Deputies and 15 state governor races.
At the state level, for the first time in constitutional history, deputies will be able to seek reelection.
As a whole, more than 21,000 electoral posts will be up for grabs.
The INE said it will pay special attention to holding elections during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, which will demand special care in preventing crowding.
Yaquis Blockade Sonora Rails, Roads
Tensions increased in the state of Sonora as a minority group of alleged Yaqui natives continue to prevent industrial and commercial traffic along Highway 15, which leads to the Arizona and Baja California points of U.S. entry at Nogales and Mexicali.
The indigenous Yaquí communities are protesting the violation of their water rights by the federal government.
The blockades began on Saturday, Aug. 15, and did not stop even with a visit from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who promised a rapid solution to the issue.
Unswayed, the Yaquís received AMLO with an even larger protest.
As the blockades continued this week, the president accused “corrupt politicians” of being behind the Yaqui disgruntled communities.
The blockades have caused long backups of supply and delivery trucks stranded on both sides of road, as well as along tracks at the township of Vicam, in the Guaymas, Sonora, municipality.
The blockading activists have allowed some trucks to pass in exchange for a fee, but the railroad, operated by Ferromex, is closed altogether.
Among many agribusiness and industrial operators, the Ford Motor Company has said that the blockades is badly hampering the production of its new Ford Bronco Sport SUV for export to the United States.
Summit Stage Set
Mexico’s National Governors Conference (Conago) President Juan Manuel Carreras López announced that all is ready for the Wednesday, Aug. 19, summit between the nation’s 32 governors and AMLO in San Luis Potosí.
Carreras, who is governor of San Luis Potosí, said that the objective of the day will be to grasp a general outlook of what has happened to Mexico since the pandemic began, and establish a focused municipal, state and federal governments plan to combat aim the spread of the disease and establish a viable economic program.
Also attending the live meeting will be members of the president’s cabinet, headed by Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero.
The foreign relation secretaries of Mexico and Argentina, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón and Felipe Carlos Solá, respectively, said during a video conference held in tandem with their peers at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac, in Spanish) that the development of an experimental vaccine represents a great opportunity for unity, not only for the two nations, but for the entire region as a whole.
Argentina and Mexico have agreed to carry out the production, in principle, through the AstraZeneca Laboratories that operate in both countries, to produce between 150 to 250 million vaccines and to make them available to every regional nation.
The nonprofit project is being financed by the Carlos Slim Foundation.
White Tiger Born
A rare white Bengal tiger was born in the Culiacán, Sinaloa, zoo on Wednesday, Aug. 12, and zoologists announced a few days later that the rare species (Panthera tigris tigris) is doing well.
The news was great for the children of Culiacán.
They can visit the baby feline during zoo hours.
The baby is not being fed by its mother and is in the full care of the zoo’s caretakers.
…Aug. 19, 2020