El Universal today published a short video of Eva Cadena, the Morena candidate for mayor of Las Choapas in Veracruz state, receiving Ps. 500,000 in cash from an unidentified person off camera with the instruction to give it to López Obrador. Ms. Cadena accepts the cash and promises to deliver it. The video was apparently made on April 6, and AMLO appeared with Cadena on April 8 to launch her campaign.
The person giving Cadena the cash says that she is being given the cash to pass on to AMLO because he “is very fond of you and has absolute trust in you.” Cadena’s only request is to be given something in which to put the money. (She is given a large manila envelope.)
This afternoon, Cadena resigned her candidacy for mayor of Las Choapas, a town of 83,000 people in the oil belt. In a radio interview, she reportedly said, “I recognize the error I made in having this meeting. … I was set up, [and] I will put myself at the disposition of the party. I made a mistake, and I take responsibility.” In a statement, she also said that when she was told that cash campaign donations were not legal, she returned the money.
López Obrador reacted immediately with a YouTube video saying “the Mafia in power is full of fear of Morena; Salinas, Peña, Fox, Calderón and their flunkies are trying to destroy us politically in this dirty war,” but that, “we’ve always emerged unwounded from slanders. Our shield is our honesty.”
The video does have the feel of a frame-up, but it unleashed a wave of denunciations from all the other parties directed at AMLO and Morena.