Tuesday, May 18

Tamaulipas: The ‘Cabeza de Vaca case’ threatens to open the first cracks in the opposition bloc


Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, leaving the National Public Security Council
Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, leaving the National Public Security CouncilMoses Paul / Moses Paul

The investigation for corruption and organized crime against the PAN governor of Tamaulipas, Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca, has put on the table the difficult balances on which the opposition alliance supports in the face of the June elections. The PRI, PAN and PRD presented in December an unprecedented electoral agreement, Va por México, to join forces against Morena. Beyond the fundamental ideological differences, the particular nature of the alliance, whose perimeter does not cover the entire electoral territory, opens the door to potential friction and tensions in the strategy between the three partners.

The first cracks have opened in Tamaulipas, where the three parties do not appear together in the elections. The closing of the ranks of the PAN with its governor has not been supported with the same firmness by the other parties, even arousing some early criticism from both the PRI and heavyweights from the opposition governors’ front, the so-called Federalist Alliance. A principle of confrontation that threatens to become entrenched and break the tune at the dawn of the electoral campaign.

The response of the PAN to the request by the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) before the Chamber of Deputies to initiate the violation of the governor, that is, the loss of parliamentary immunity, was the call for an act of support a Cabeza de Vaca in the state capital, Ciudad Victoria. The rally provoked the first criticism from the state leadership of the parties. “It is not worth that they use their position to force unionized workers from the state and the pianist municipalities to attend obligatorily,” says Edgardo Melhem, president of the state directive committee of the PRI in Tamaulipas.

From the federal level of the party they remove iron to a hypothetical escalation of the tension between the formations in Tamaulipas that could affect the agreements in other states. “Our position is that the Justice resolve any possible crime or irregularity. There is no conflict because we are not going to hang on to the issue as an electoral weapon, ”they point out from the PRI federal table. The state president confirms the preventive position of the party, but with more nuances. “People are very disappointed and our campaign is not going to be based on the process against the governor, but it is true that the case may permeate the electorate. At the end of the day, here we have our own strategy and that is why it was decided not to go together with the PAN. “

Mexico will renew on June 6 the Chamber of Deputies and the governors of 15 of the 32 states. The campaign, which has already started in five states, starts on April 19 in Tamaulipas, where the governor’s office is not in the running, but a handful of deputies and city councils are. PRI, PAN and PRD will contest the electoral battle on their own, as well as in Chihuahua, Querétaro, Nuevo León and Guerrero, territories where an agreement was not reached under the joint brand of Va Por México. A distribution that responds to a strategic logic of securing the places where some of the parties is strong separately, and to present themselves together in the rest of the constituencies.

Tamaulipas had been a PRI stronghold until the victory in 2016 of García Cabeza de Vaca on behalf of the PAN. Almost from the beginning of his term, the confrontation with the local opposition has been fierce. Both the PRI and the PRD denounced the governor for threats related to organized crime. The PRD, the third alliance partner, now shows a much more tempered position. “We are against the use of the Public Ministry to combat political rivals. Our party will always support reason and Justice ”, they point out from the federal apparatus.

The Cow Head case It has also caused tensions within the so-called Federalist Alliance, the bunch of 10 governors – from across the opposition spectrum – who broke last year with the federal negotiating table (Conago) to establish themselves since then on a common front critical of the López government. Obrador. The alliance published a joint statement a few days after the intention to initiate the outrage was known, showing its “absolute support” for the governor of Tamaulipas. However, a few days later, two of the state leaders with the greatest prisoner, Javier Corral and Enrique Alfaro, in charge of Chihuahua and Jalisco respectively, came to the fore to demarcate themselves from the statement.

The distance shown by Corral is the most striking, since both are part of the PAN, illustrating the potential divisive risk of a case that, for now, is on the table of the congressmen. At the expense of the progress of the investigation by the FGR, the news of the case has come to light for the moment through leaks to the press.

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