By Pedro Valenzuela Parcero
The Campaign Starts
Federal and local campaigns began yesterday, April 5, in Mexico. The national leaders of the main political parties were in key places supporting their candidates for federal deputies and governors:
- César Camacho, from the PRI, was in Nuevo León, where the state governor will be elected. During the rally, he said that the left tolerated and brought to power criminals, while the right has been inconsistent and ineffective over the past 12 years. With those arguments, he emphasized, the PRI will win these elections.
- Gustavo Madero, from the PAN, was in Michoacán, where he said that Guerrero and Michoacán, both states where a new governor will be elected, are “hot spots” because of the institutional weaknesses that they present. Madero was also in Querétaro, a state which he declared is a high priority for his party.
- Carlos Navarrete, from the PRD, was also in Michoacán, where he said that his party will focus on pulling Michoacán out from the “night” it has been in lately. At the same time, he emphasized that the security conditions ahead of the elections should be assessed by the Minister of the Interior, the parties, and the candidates in at least 4 states: Tamaulipas, Estado de México, Michoacán, and Guerrero.
- Martí Batres, from MORENA, said that the only useful vote is for his political party, as the other political forces are all the same. He was at a rally for a federal deputy candidate in the Estado de México.
Elections in Guerrero
For days, the National Electoral Institute (INE) has been engaged in a public debate with the teachers’ union in Guerrero (CETEG). The union has indicated that the only way they will let the elections happen is if the 43 students from Ayotzinapa appear alive. Under this condition, the CETEG has been pressuring authorities through blockades and protests, including the detention of officials. CETEG leaders have emphasized that an important portion of the polling stations have to be installed in schools, threatening to impede it. On the other side, the INE and local authorities have indicated that the way teachers are conducting the negotiation is not correct and that they will not tolerate violations and acts intending to derail the legal implementation of this electoral process. In the same vein, the interim governor of Guerrero has said that the main task of all the authorities is to guarantee that the elections occur.
It remains to be seen whether the CETEG continue their protests mainly against local and federal authorities or whether they attempt to intervene in the political campaigns themselves. Also, it will be important to see how the candidates, parties, and authorities will discuss the delicate and sad topic of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, which has shaken the credibility of the entire political system in Guerrero and has had a profound impact on politics nationwide.