Saturday, March 19, 2011

An old-fashioned clientelism scandal in Mexico State, now on Youtube: Enrique Peña's Mexico State government

This growing scandal appears as nasty as it looks: Ahead of the July 3 gubernatorial election, PRI functionary Bernardo García Cisneros, president of the state's arbitrarion board, was caught on video (see Youtube clip here) presenting himself as representative of Governor Enrique Peña Nieto, in a meeting that included Chalco  municipal president Luis Enrique Martínez and representatives of the state's secretariat of work, asking PRI members to help with the clientelistic handout and to sign up voters for public welfare in return for their vote.

The video was seemingly shot on Feb. 14, and could hardly be more incriminating, including this line on handouts:
"We will all have to deliver them, house by house, zone by zone, section by section, personal and directly,  by every one of you, and by the people of the Secretariat of Work, who are the representatives precisely of the state government in this place."
The national presidents of  PRD and PAN, Jésus Ortega and Gustavo Madero, filed charges with the federal attorney general's office, accusing García Cisneros, the state secretariat of work, and Enrique Peña Nieto himself of the abuse of office, authority and power, influence peddling and embezzlement, all crimes under the  federal Criminal Code.

The reply from Peña Nieto could hardly be more disingenuous: "I distance the Mexico State government from what might be the the particular participation of some functionary, which will be responded to."

To repeat: García Cisneros presents himself as Peña Nieto's representative on the tape.

Cristina Díaz, PRI's new secretary general, immediately leaped to Peña Nieto's defense. PRI President Humberto "Big Mouth" Moreira has so far been uncharacteristically silent, as far as I can see.

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