Mexican gubernatorial candidate of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) Rodolfo Torre Cantu was killed on June 28th in an ambush less than a week before the elections.
While the United States prepares its annual July 4 celebration, Mexico
will hold its own date with history on the same day.
In a dozen states, voters will go to the polls to elect local and state
officials. Coming one year after mid-term Congressional elections that
delivered a stinging defeat to President Calderon’s National Action Party
(PAN) and two years before the presidential election of 2012, when some
analysts predict a victory of the former ruling Institutional
Revolutionary Party (PRI), this year’s contests represent an important
highway marker in Mexico’s political roadmap.
More importantly, the 2010 elections are an important gauge in the health
of Mexico’s official transition from an authoritarian state to a plural
democracy in which human rights, transparency and the rule of law are
upheld. But if this year’s campaigns are any indication of the country’s
political direction, the compass is fast spinning backwards.
The June 28 assassination of Rodolfo Torre Cantu, the front-running
gubernatorial candidate for the PRI and two smaller allied parties in the
border state of Tamaulipas, plunged the electoral process into a new
crisis, prompting President Felipe Calderon to cancel scheduled events and
convene an urgent meeting of his national security cabinet.
On Sunday, June 27, a bus load of sympathizers of an electoral coalition
including the PAN was shot up in the violence-torn state of Sinaloa, but
no injuries were reported. Sergio Ocampo Brito, a PAN leader and mayoral
candidate in a Guerrero mountain community notorious for its colorful
crops of opium poppy, was not so fortunate. Dragged from his home June 25
by armed men, Ocampo’s bullet-riddled body was found over the weekend.
Widespread violence and threats against candidates, party militants,
election officials and the press have been registered. In Aguascalientes,
unidentified assailants tossed a grenade at a warehouse used ...
Farmworkers risk their health to feed others
Confronting a long-standing health issue in the United States and signed into law on September 26, 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, the third week of March is National Poison Prevention Week. According to Melanie Forti, Director of the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs’ (AFOP) ...
Civil rights leader rallies immigrants in Selma
Among the tens of thousands of people who converged on Selma, Alabama this week to honor the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday were hundreds of immigrants from across the country marching to advocate for their own civil rights.
Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers with César Chávez in the ...
Libre Initiative's deceptive practices
In September 2011, the Center for Public Integrity reported that former Bush administration official Daniel Garza had launched the Libre Initiative, a new group dedicated to bringing Latino voters back into the fold of the Republican Party. Garza declined to say where he found the funding for ...
Community celebration for Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Library
Denver residents are invited to join Mayor Michael B. Hancock, District 1 City Councilwoman Susan Shepherd, Denver Public Library Commission President Jay Mead, City officials and community partners to celebrate the grand opening of the new Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library in West Denver ...