By JESSICA GUERRERO
MORELIA, Michoacán — A full month after Mexico’s June 6 midterm elections — the largest in the country’s history — Michoacán Governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo is claiming that the results were illegal since the election was heavily influenced by organized crime groups.
Aureoles Conejo, a member of the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), which formed an alliance with the conservative National Action Party (PAN) and the centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to confront the ruling leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party and its affiliates, has said that the victory of the Morena and Labor Party (PT) gubernatorial candidate, Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla, was due to “direct intervention” and “financial backing” by drug cartels.
Consequently, Aureoles Conejo said that the election results should be annulled and a new electoral process implemented in Michoacán.
Aureoles Conejo said that he has “solid evidence” to back up his allegations and is determined to have his claims addressed.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has repeatedly refused to meet with Aureoles Conejo regarding his complaints and, after leaving the governor waiting outside the National Palace for several hours on June 29 rather than receive him, told the Michoacán governor to take up his concerns with the National Electoral Institute (INE) and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.
“The president asked me for evidence about Morena’s involvement with organized crime and his intervention in the election,” Aureoles Conejo said.
“But when I tried to present that evidence, he refused to give me an audience.”
Aureoles Conejo said that he would only deliver the documents, which he alleged proved the involvement of drug cartels in the elections, into the hands of the president.
“Unless something is done to reverse the election results, Aureoles Conejo said that believes Michoacán will become a narco-state when Ramírez Bedolla takes office in October.
Meanwhile, Michoacán is facing one of its worst economic and security crises in recent history, with large swathes of territory controlled by warring cartels.
According to Mexico’s National System for Public Security (SNSP), Michoacán currently ranks as the state with the third-highest incidence of organized crime-related homicides, just behind Guerrero and the State of Mexico (Edoméx).
Some residents claim that Aureoles Conejo has turned his back on the people of Michoacán, since no actions have been implemented to mitigate the growing violence.
And Aureoles Conejo is facing his own legal battles.
Just last month, the Federal Superior Auditory Office (SAT), a subsidiary of the Treasury Secretariat, stated that it is currently investigating an alleged discrepancy of 16 billion pesos of government funds that Aureoles Connejo’s cabinet has been unable to justify.
Large sections of Michoacán are currently under siege due to an ongoing power struggle between the powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and the so-called United Cartels, composed of paramilitary fighters from the Sinaloa Cartel, the Gulf Cartel and the locally-based Knight Templar Cartel aimed at keeping the CJNG’s territorial ambitions in check.