Monthly Archives: September 2009

Juanito steps aside

Rafael Acosta, aka Juanito, announced that he would seek a leave of absence for 59 days immediately after being sworn in as borough president of Iztapalapa on October 1st. The announcement was made after a meeting with Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard. Juanito said he was making the decision for reasons of health and so that “Iztapalapa could live in tranquility.” He said that he would nominate Clara Brugada as his minister of government, which would clear the way for her to take control of the borough government after he steps down.  His supporters will get a few posts in the borough government. Noted columnist Salvador García Soto:

Juanito, the comic parody created by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is finished; politics destroyed him. The popular personality who ridiculed [AMLO] and put the entire Mexican Left in check was finally was broken. In exchange for a few public offices and startled by the machinery of power that had raised him up, he wound up ridiculed and humiliated. Thus ends one of the most folkloric and embarrassing episodes of modern Mexican politics.”

(Universal 9/29)

Federal Electoral Tribunal backs Sodi and Orvanaños victories

The Federal Electoral Tribunal unanimously ruled in favor of the two PAN candidates who won elections for borough presidencies in Mexico City on July 5th, overruling the Federal District’s electoral tribunal (TEDF). The decision will allow Demetrio Sodi and Carlos Orvañanos to take office on October 1st as presidents of Miguel Hidalgo and Cuajimalpa delegations, respectively.  The TEDF had ruled that the candidates had surpassed the spending limits and that new elections should be called, from which the PAN would be disqualified. The Federal Tribunal ruled that the imputed value of a Sodi televised interview during the half time of a soccer game should not be charged against his spending limits. It also ruled that the TEDF had erred in calculating the total amount of spending of the Orvañanos campaign. (Reforma 9/28)

Poll: Voters prefer Brugada

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Click to enlarge

A BGC/Excelsior poll of Iztapalapa residents in Mexico City showed that they preferred Clara Brugada as borough president by a wide margin, although 70% recognized that Rafael Acosta, aka Juanito won the vote on July 5. They believed that he should fulfill his pledge to take a leave of absence and turn the reins over to Brugada, AMLO’s favored candidate for the borough – Mexico City’s most populous, and the heart of the PRD’s power base. (Excelsior 9/28)

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Click to enlarge

Human rights commission accuses military of torture

The National Human Rights Commission, CNDH, issued a formal report on a military operation in Ciudad Juárez earlier this year that concluded that the confessions of eight men who were caught in a military sweep were extracted by torture, including the use of electric shocks and asphyxiation with plastic bags. In addition, the men were held incommunicado for 24 hours before being turned over to the public prosecutor. The report called on the Ministry of Defense to give psychological and medical assistance to the men, and for military justice officials to begin an investigation of members of the 76th Infantry Battalion for probable illegal acts. (Universal 9/28)

PAN elders criticize government’s tax plan

Former PAN Senator and presidential candidate Diego Fernández de Cevallos criticized the Government’s tax plan: “If the government wants to bring in more resources to address so many problems and so many deficiencies, in my opinion, it ought to … reduce tax rates and broaden the tax base and raise more revenues that way.”  Former President Vicente Fox said he favored a generalized 15% value added tax (i.e., not raising rates, but removing exemptions) while warning that only a successful economy could reduce poverty, not direct subsidy programs. (Universal 9/28, Reforma 9/26)

PRD enderses electoral alliances with PAN, PRI

The PRD National Council endorsed the principle of a “broad opposition front” in next year’s gubernatorial elections in Puebla, Oaxaca, and Veracruz. In practical terms, this means an alliance with the PAN against the PRI. In Tlaxcala, the Council endorsed an alliance with the PRI to unseat the PAN. Given internal opposition to any form of alliance with the PAN, a final decision will be taken next month. (Reforma 9/27)

Dueling governments likely in Iztapalapa

AMLO protégé Clara Brugada declared herself president of the borough of Iztapalapa in Mexico City, even as Rafael “Juanito” Acosta, who won the vote but who had pledged to resign in favor of Brugada, repeated his vow to take office on October 1st. “They may ask me to resign, but I will not. I am the Delegate-elect. I won, and the people want me to govern,” he said. (Reforma 9/27)