After occupying the Iztapalapa borough offices for nine days, Rafael Acosta, aka ‘Juanito,’ submitted his resignation as borough president. The turnaround occurred after Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard threatened to prosecute him for electoral law violations. (Juanito falsified his birth certificate and voter identification card when he registered as a candidate for the July elections.) Ebrard quickly nominated AMLO-favorite Clara Brugada, who was borough president during Juanito’s first temporary leave of absence, and she was ratified by the D.F. assembly.
Rafael Acosta, aka Juanito, declared he would take over as borough president of Iztapalapa in Mexico City, after a 59-day leave of absence, reviving an intense embarrassment for the PRD. Juanito and his supporters seized the borough offices and camped out overnight. Clara Brugada, the acting borough chief, said Acosta was “mentally ill.” The Federal District Government Secretary José Ángel Ávila Pérez promised a rapid solution “to guarantee the governability of the borough and the delivery of services.” A two-thirds vote by the DF’s legislative assembly could remove Juanito. (Reforma 11/28, Universal 11/30)
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.”
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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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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)