Mar 30, 2012

Valdés: unsafe areas are obstacle to the electoral process

La Jornada (translation Americas Program) Leonardo Valdés, president of the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) warned the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the Special Prosecutor for the Investigation of Electoral Crimes (Fepade) that the existence of public insecurity, as well as legal loopholes, were the main obstacles to the electoral process. At a presentation of the 2012 Fepade work program, Valdés Zurita indicated that security is necessary for citizens who organize elections since, along with the development of the party system, elements which threaten the social compact have surged. He added that the existence of unsafe areas hurt social interaction and could eventually inhibit the development of democratic life.
“I therefore believe that the climate of insecurity and legal loopholes are the two main obstacles to the electoral process (...) We need the candidates to freely present their proposals all across the country; it is also necessary for leaders, candidates, officials, and supporters to avoid exploiting imperfections in the legal framework to interfere with voters’ choices.”
During his speech, the head of Fepade, Imelda Calvillo said the institution will pursue all leads where suspicions of illegal election processes take place, for which it has trained 29,000,069 people online, 33,000,395 in person in 25 states, and 349 Federal prosecutors.
He also noted the preliminary investigations will be exhaustively undertaken in a comprehensive manner and all lines of inquiry will be looked at with an integrated approach. Between January and today 627 investigations have been initiated, representing an increase of 58 percent over the same period last year.
Of these, he added, 339 have been resolved: 187 criminal prosecutions and 152 in other ways, representing a 23 percent increase compared to 275 recorded in 2011. Read Spanish Original

(Translation by Michael Kane, Americas Program) 

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