Jun 29 2012

In The Lead Up to Mexico Elections, Violence and Voter Fraud Allegations on the Rise

Armed men kidnapped Marisol Mora Cuevas from her home in Mexico on Sunday, just a week before national elections. Cuevas is the Mayor of a city in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz and the second Mayor of the city to be disappeared. In the run-up to next Sunday’s elections, candidates running for various offices throughout the country have reported being intimidated and threatened. Meanwhile, the Special Prosecutor for Electoral Crimes Care has received hundreds of complaints of electoral offenses, including voter bribery, as election day nears. On Monday, in the busy Mexico City international airport, three policeman were shot and killed by two federal state officers suspected of working for drug traffickers. In the contentious race for President however, the harassment and violence has reportedly been avoided as a major topic of concern in campaign speeches.

Enrique Pena Nieto, candidate with the Institutional Revolutionary Party, continues to be pegged as the front runner in polls, followed by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador running for the presidency a second time with the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD. Obrador lost his 2006 bid for the office to current President Felipe Calderon by less than 1% of the vote, a result he and his supporters view as manufactured and illegitimate. This time around Obrador has pledged to be a unifying force if elected, proposing a cabinet that includes members outside of his own party.

The populist Yo Soy 132 movement has not officially aligned with any candidate, instead turning out hundreds of thousands of protestors during multiple demonstrations to oppose a return of the PRI to power, which held the Presidency for nearly 80 years before the PAN captured the office in 2000. Yo Soy 132 also called international attention to allegations that Televisa, the largest Spanish language broadcasting network, sold airtime for candidates and gave disproportionately favorable coverage to Nieto during the 2009 mid-term elections. The Guardian this month substantiated their claims and this week broke news that Televisa ran a unit codenamed “team Handcock” dedicated to enhancing Nieto’s image in 2009.

GUEST: Ruben Tapia, producer of Enfoque Latino, the longest-running Spanish language news magazine show in Los Angeles.

* Mayor Cuevas was found on Thursday afternoon, bound, gagged, and killed.

On this Sunday July 1st, KPFK will have eight hours of special programming covering the Mexican National Elections.

There will be a two hour biligual special from Noon to 2pm – produced and coordinated by some of KPFK’s Spanish Language programmers including the folks that bring you Voces de Libertad, Enfoque Latino, Infornativo Pacifica, and other shows.

Then, our coverage picks up again at 6pm (when the polls close across the country), with three hours produced by the Contragolpe team (which will be reporting from Mexico City) and anchored from KPFK’s studio by a team including the news department’s Ernesto Arce.

Then at 9pm, we have three more hours of coverage of this historic night, produced by the team that brought you the Noon to 2pm shows.

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