Men say they were hired to disrupt Mexico City political event

Mexico City is going through a political contest that seems more heated than usual, with some appearing to resort to physical violence to sabotage their rivals. The latest incident ended with one dead and several people wounded.

On January 3, a political event in Col. Villa Quietud (Coyoacán) was led by Claudia Sheinbaum, member of the opposition party MORENA and candidate for Mexico City’s major.

The event was interrupted when sympathizers and staff of MORENA were allegedly attacked by individuals who began throwing seats, stones and other objects at the audience. Several people were injured in the incident. A journalist of the newspaper La Jornada, Ángel Bolaños, was also assaulted. (Capital CDMX)

Martha Patricia Reyes — a woman who gained some notoriety after recovering the bodies of her grandchildren from the rubble, during the recent September 19 earthquake, was later reported dead (W Radio). Officials said she died from a cerebral hemorrhage caused by an hypertensive crisis she suffered during the event.

Given the public nature of the event, MORENA was able to gather several pieces of evidence and has made a formal criminal complaint. The publication La Razón has named those who are being investigated. Some of them are public servants directly related to the PRD administration. The investigation is ongoing.

MORENA has accused current PRD legislator and former Coyoacán major Mauricio Toledo Gutiérrez of being the instigator. MORENA says some witnesses heard the aggressors shouting “arriba el PRD” and his name. He later responded, denying all claims.

PRD has ruled Mexico City since 1997. Formerly the main leftist party in the country, it lost its founder Cuahtémoc Cárdenas and all major figures in recent years, and is currently suffering an identity crisis. MORENA is an emerging leftist party vying for much of the same voters that previously favored PRD. Elections, both local and presidential, will be held on July 1.

A similar incident happened in December 15, 2017, as reported by Associated Press in USA Today: “Morena organizers said they had asked since early December for permission to use the plaza for a political rally, but the [PRD] Democratic Revolution-controlled borough held a holiday party in the same place. One Morena supporter alleged it was staged to disrupt the meeting.”

January 8 update:

According to the latest reports (Milenio), people involved in the attack admitted to be part of a strike team hired to disrupt the political event. However, they claim they were hired by MORENA to self-sabotage and that they are still pending payment for their “services.” MORENA denies the accusation.

Enrique Vargas Anaya, leader of the local PRD branch for Mexico City, referred directly to this incident as one of the reasons behind his resignation today:

“The events of violence that took place in Coyoacán on January 3 is the clearest sign that the PRD is determined to do everything to bury the legacy of struggle built for decades.”

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