Accusations of espionage, compromising audio leaks, complaints against political rivals, opening of investigations in the electoral body, disqualifications, threats… The political debate in Mexico has already acquired the tone of the day before a big date with the polls.

On June 5, Mexicans renew six governorships and the opposition arrives at the appointment knocked out after the leak of some audios that compromise the president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Alejandro Moreno, Alito.

The attack against the opposition leader has come from his native Campeche, the same state he governed until 2019, before making the final leap into national politics. His successor in office, the current governor Layda Sansores, from the ruling Morena party, has uncovered the scandal, which has shaken the electoral campaign.

In recent weeks, the Morenista leader has shared several audios in which Alito allegedly suggests “starving” journalists, orders the distribution of commissions, laments the lack of donations from multinational companies to his party and offers his plane private to his plastic surgeon: “You tell me who you want to go with, four, five, I’ll put my plane for you. You’re going to have a blast. (…) Don’t worry, you’re going to have an incredible time.”

“Hey, this bastard of Alexandro Arceo, I’m going to lie to his mother on Monday. Tell him to bring me my briefcase. I’ve always told them, whoever goes too far, a wild shame (beating),” follows the same audio . “I’m just going to give you one piece of information: journalists shouldn’t be shot to death, Dad, they should be starved to death!” These last words have generated particular outrage in a country that is going through a serious crisis of journalistic insecurity: 11 communicators have been murdered so far this year.

The PRI leader has completely rejected the accusations and has denounced that the Morena party “has launched a campaign to discredit me, publishing audio recordings that are clearly illegally obtained and vilely edited in order to compose phrases and conversations that did not exist”. Last Tuesday, Alito counterattacked in the audio war, filtering a call with Senator Manuel Velasco, where he informed him of threats from López Obrador. “If you don’t pull, they’re going to go with everything,” a voice identified as Velasco (of the Green Party) warns Moreno.

Alito has also been singled out for allegedly having pressured a supplier to give his party “100,000 caps” or lamented that the multinational Cinépolis had only given them donations worth 25 million pesos (1.25 million dollars): “It’s for 300 bastards, they have developments, they have several businesses, they have class.” Another of the leaks splashes the Spaniard Antonio Solá, one of the most prestigious political consultants in the world with more than 450 electoral campaigns behind him.

In the midst of the open war that the AMLO government maintains against the National Electoral Institute (INE) – which they accuse of being partisan – the directors of the governing body of the elections have found the perfect excuse to demonstrate to the ruling party its independence from political power : open an investigation against Alito to determine if there was “improper conduct”.

In parallel, the governor of Campeche has denounced the opposition leader before the Attorney General’s Office for “illicit enrichment” and does not rule out including other charges such as “bribery and criminal association” later.

Escorted by the other two leaders of the opposition alliance Va por México, Marko Cortés, of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), and Jesús Zambrano, of the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), Moreno has tried to explain why his rivals from Morena have launched these attacks: “With what intention is Morena doing this montage? Simple, they seek to divide us as an opposition bloc, they want to confront us with the media and with citizens.”

The PRI leader has also filed a complaint against Governor Sansores with the Attorney General’s Office for obtaining and disseminating these alleged audios of his, accusing her of “manipulating and fabricating facts.”

Moreno believes that the audios stolen from his mobile were “intercepted, recorded, altered and changed” by an Israeli espionage system that Renato Sales, former head of the National Security Commission of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and current attorney general of the state of Campeche, whom he has pointed out during a radio interview. The opposition leader has filed another complaint against Sales for “alleged theft of the nation’s security equipment.”

In the midst of this hostile environment, on June 5, nearly 12 million Mexicans are called to the polls to renew the governorships of Quintana Roo, Oaxaca, Hidalgo, Aguascalientes, Tamaulipas and Durango, as well as 39 city councils and 25 local deputies. Morena wants to take advantage of the moment of weakness of her rivals to continue dyeing the political map red for the 2024 presidential elections: they already govern in 18 of the 32 states and the polls indicate that they could obtain at least four more.

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