Apr 20, 2013

Mexico fires 7 for allegedly planning to use aid programs to promote ruling party in elections

The Washington Post 
April 18, 2013

MEXICO CITY — The head of Mexico’s Social Development department dismissed seven officials Thursday after some of them were mentioned in taped discussions about how to use anti-poverty programs to promote the governing party in upcoming local elections.

The dirty tricks discussed at the meetings included kicking opposition supporters off a federal program that provides small monthly stipends to poor families and handing out government-supplied wheelchairs in the name of the ruling party.

It reads like a laundry list of abuses from the past of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI, which ruled Mexico for seven decades with graft and handouts until it lost the presidency in the 2000 and the 2006 elections.

When Enrique Pena Nieto’s regained the presidency for the PRI last year, he said the party had reformed itself. But the tapes released by the conservative National Action Party reveal officials from the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, which is governed by the PRI, discussing how to get National Action supporters off government social programs and insert PRI supporters.  Read more. 

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