|Former Senator Luisa Maria Calderon responds to supporters at a rally this summer in Morelia, the state capital of Michoacan, where she was the conservative National Action Party (PAN) candidate for governor.|
Drug Gangs told voters to support the PRI in Governor's race
- A PAN mayor was assassinated a week before the election.
- "This is very dangerous, and if we permit it, narco-politics will have begun in Michoacan."
After centuries of dictatorship Mexico was well on its way to building a multi-party democracy . . . until the insane Drug War came along. Now the drug gangs are undermining the new democracy. Only the decriminalization or legalization of drugs will end the violence and the power of the gangs.
President Felipe Calderon's sister appears to have lost her bid for governor of Michoacan during violent state elections, and she alleged Monday that drug traffickers helped tip the race in favor of one of her opponents.
Preliminary results gave the lead in the race for governor of the western state to Fausto Vallejo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
"The intervention by organized crime during the entire election process and especially yesterday is alarming, not just for Michoacan but for the entire country," Luisa Maria Calderon said in a radio interview a day after Sunday's vote. "They threatened our candidates, our poll workers.... They seized ballot boxes, set up roadblocks … and ordered people to vote" for the PRI, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The PRI ruled Mexico for seven decades until losing the presidency in 2000.
The PRI is staging a comeback, and victory in Michoacan is an important step in that effort. The PRI is hoping to win the presidential election in July.
Michoacan has long been dominated by drug cartels specializing in marijuana, heroin and methamphetamines. It is President Calderon's home state, and he chose Michoacan to launch a military-led offensive against traffickers in December 2006. Yet violence has persisted.
A PAN mayor was assassinated a week before the election as he campaigned for Luisa Maria Calderon, and numerous candidates quit local races out of fear.
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