When Mexican voters go to the polls on 1 July to pick a new president, they will able to choose between candidates including Richie Rich, Alligatorfish, and the Untamed One thanks to a ruling by the country’s electoral institute. Voters will now be allowed to scribble a candidate’s nickname, initials or campaign slogan anywhere on the ballot – rather than mark an X over their names – and have it count as valid. The National Electoral Institute (INE) – which organises the election and referees all partisan political activities in Mexico – changed the rules barely three weeks ahead of the vote that will also renew congress, elect nine governors and hundreds of mayors.
Articles about voting issues in the United Mexican States.
The website of a Mexican political opposition party was hit by a cyber attack during Tuesday’s final television debate between presidential candidates ahead of the July 1 vote, after the site had published documents critical of the leading candidate. The National Action Party (PAN) said that its website, targeting front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, likely suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyber attack with the bulk of traffic to the site nominally coming from Russia and China. Lopez Obrador’s Morena party said it had nothing to do with the outage. The Chinese and Russian embassies in Mexico did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Reuters could not confirm the PAN’s account of the attack.
Fernando Purón had just finished an election debate with his rival congressional candidates in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras, when a well-wisher asked to join him for a selfie. But as he posed for the photograph outside the auditorium in the border city of Piedras Negras, a bearded gunman stepped up behind the pair and shot Purón in the head. The cold-blooded murder on Friday – captured by a CCTV camera – has cast a harsh light both the stunning levels of violence in Mexico, and the risk taken by those who run for elected office in the country. Purón was the 112th political candidate murdered in Mexico since September 2017, according to Etellekt, a risk analysis consultancy.
For every peso declared to Mexican electoral authorities by political parties and candidates, 15 more are moving under the table, according to a report Tuesday on the problem of illegal campaign finance. The nonprofit Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity published the report after months of investigation, concluding that Mexico’s public campaign finance system has failed to keep illegal money from influencing elections. The report says that the cash moving around electoral campaigns is such that Mexico’s central bank has documented inexplicable increases in the amount of cash circulating in the economy in the five months before elections. The money comes from both public and private sources. Money is siphoned from public programs and local governments to fund campaigns and is funneled to candidates by businesses interested in winning public contracts and having access to elected officials.
Mexico: 36 local candidates have been assassinated in Mexico. And the election is still 2 months away. | The Washington Post
This election season has been the most violent in Mexico’s recent history, with 36 candidates killed since September, and dozens of other politicians and campaign officials slaughtered. That macabre statistic has created a fresh challenge for the country’s political parties: They are now trying to fill dozens of candidacies left open by the assassinations. “There are some positions that no one wants to contest right now,” said Eduardo Guerrero, a security expert at Lantia Consultores in Mexico City. “It’s something that we’re seeing in several states in the country.” Earlier this month, the body of Abel Montufar, a candidate for congress from the state of Guerrero, was found in his truck. He had been shot several times. After Montufar’s funeral, members of his party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), began what has become a familiar search.
About 80 candidates for Mexico’s upcoming elections have withdrawn from their respective campaigns in the northern state of Chihuahua because of the high levels of violence during the election campaign, reported the executive secretary of the State Electoral Institute, Guillermo Sierra. A candidate for the state legislature was shot dead, authorities announced Tuesday, at least the sixth politician murdered in the past 10 days in what has become a blood-soaked campaign. Abel Montufar Mendoza, a mayor who was running for a legislative seat in the violent state of Guerrero, was found dead inside his car in the city of Ciudad Altamirano, said Roberto Alvarez Heredia, the state’s security spokesman.
No, President Trump didn’t write a personal letter to Mexico’s leading presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, inquiring about the Mexican presidential plane. Nor did presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya offer to help Trump build a border wall. And Pope Francis hasn’t come out against López Obrador, a Christian. Mexico’s presidential campaign, already dirty, has had its share of fake news headlines. And the campaign is expected to get messier. The election is less than two months away on July 1st, when voters will pick candidates in 3,400 local, state and federal races — with the six-year presidential term being the biggest prize.
For generations Mexicans have been moving abroad, mostly to the United States, where they’ve often tried to leave behind the troubled politics of home. “I never considered voting iMexico” after moving to the US, says Sergio Guerrero, a shuttle driver in Houston, who left the central state of Puebla more than two decades ago in search of work. “Why would I vote for the corrupt politicians that created the conditions that [pushed me] to leave in the first place?” Mr. Guerrero asks. But Mexicans abroad play an important role back home, largely in the form of remittances, and, observers say, they are starting to wake up to the influence they can have politically, too.
The message that circulated on social media earlier this year — most Mexicans would have to re-register within days if they wanted to vote in the presidential election — set off a low-level panic on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. The thing is, it wasn’t true. The source remains unclear. But whether the message was a dirty trickster’s attempt to undermine the system or just an ill-informed public service effort, the anger and uncertainty it generated represented an early skirmish in the battle over disinformation in this year’s fiercely contested election season. “What candidates do on social media will be decisive,” said Carlos Merlo, managing partner of Victory Lab, a marketing firm dedicated to spreading viral claims, saying they must respond quicker than ever to combat disinformation.
Mexico’s lower house of Congress has voted to remove politicians’ immunity from prosecution, a move meant to curb corruption and impunity and lessen perceptions the country’s political class can act above the law. Under the constitutional changes approved late on Thursday, the country’s president – who can currently only be impeached for treason and “serious crimes of the common order” – could be put on criminal trial while in office, but only after a vote in congress. “This bill will put an end to the impunity that prevails in Mexico’s political circles,” congressman Jesús Álvarez López of the leftist Morena party told AP. Politicians from all sides were quick to claim credit for the changes – which have long been pushed by parties while in opposition but blocked by the party in power.