HomeNewsBriefPolitical Party Pulls Out of Mexico Elections After Narco Threats
BRIEF

Political Party Pulls Out of Mexico Elections After Narco Threats

MEXICO / 10 JUN 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

One of Mexico's main political parties has withdrawn from local elections in Chihuahua state after candidates received death threats from alleged drug traffickers, highlighting a trend of increased political violence as cartels look to secure political protection in July's vote.

The National Action Party (PAN) has pulled candidates out of the coming elections in the municipalities of Maguarichi and Gomez Farias after party members were threatened by groups of armed, masked men, and received threats by phone, reported Terra.

According to the chairman of the PAN's State Executive Committee, Mario Vazquez Robles, candidates were warned to "stay out of here because your life is at stake, there is no option here other than the PRI [the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party]."

Robles added that the party had faced threats in 40 municipalities in the region, but would continue to contest the other elections, albeit with a low-profile campaign.

The PAN's withdrawal follows several recent incidents in the state of Guerrero. Last week, there was an attempt on the life of a PRI mayor and an assault on the house of local politician from the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD). Another Guerrero mayor, also from the PRD, reported that in April he was abducted, beaten, and told to leave the area.

InSight Crime Analysis

Before 71 years of unbroken PRI rule came to an end in 2000, Mexican drug cartels seeking protection from corrupt politicians always knew exactly who to turn to.

Since the arrival of multi-party democracy, the situation has become more complicated for the cartels. According to a Wilson Center report [pdf], the cartels have responded by hedging their bets -- paying off local politicians on all sides before an election, so that they have a friend in office regardless of whoever wins.

While the bribes handed out to individuals may be smaller, cartels must now pay out a greater amount of money overall. This financial drain could arguably spur criminal groups to rely more on violent threats instead of just bribery. It could also motivate them to try and eliminate all but their favored option from the field of candidates. 

The politicians favored by the cartels are not necessarily the PRI representatives, as demonstrated by the attack on the PRI mayor in Guerrero. Such incidents cast doubt on assertions that the PRI's return to the presidency could signal a return to the so-called "narco-pact" that once existed between the PRI and the drug cartels. However, the threats faced by the PAN in Chihuahua could also feed such suspicions. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 16 NOV 2011

As smugglers' tunnels between the U.S. and Mexico grow increasingly common, Washington is pouring resources into the search for a…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 8 APR 2019

The swim bladder of an endangered fish caught only in Mexico nets tens of thousands of dollars in China’s black…

MEXICO / 27 JUN 2013

Mexico’s president has sent new reforms to Congress aimed at cracking down on money laundering, but the measures’ potential…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…