Self-Inflicted Attack on PRI Candidate

Sunday, August 6, 2000.
La Jornada

Attempt to Prevent Anyone From Winning Government, In Order To Impose an Interim Governor, He Accuses

Angeles Mariscal and Juan Balboa, correspondents. Tuxtla Gutie'rrez, Chiapas.
August 5.

One day following the attack in Soyalo' on PRI candidate for state government, Sami David David, his main opponent, Pablo Salazar Mendiguchi'a, accused the 'tricolor' party itself of the incidents. He went on to say that [the party], along with the federal and state governments, is trying to create a crisis which will make the August 20 elections impossible, so that none of the candidates will be able to form the government and a new interim governor will be imposed.

Roberto Madrazo Pintado, in support of the assaulted candidate, took part in campaign activities in Palenque and Pichucalco, where he said that Sami David was the "victim of intolerance, of violence." He called for the rapid rebuilding of the PRI, and he expressed his confidence that the 'tricolor' would win the elections in Chiapas and Tabasco.

During a trip to the municipality of Tapilula, the Alliance for Chiapas (made up of eight opposition parties), stated: "Since they (the PRI and the federal and state governments) know that Sami David is not going to win, they don't want Pablo Salazar to win either, they gave instructions to Pedro Rene' Bodegas (the state Secretary of Education) to provoke a crisis in Chiapas, so that his cousin, Jose' Antonio Aguilar Bodegas (Senator-Elect), will be imposed as the new interim governor."

This was the framework, he said, in which the attack on Sami David in the municipality of Soyalo' took place: "It's part of the destabilizing plan, of the campaign of malicious lies and slander against me," referring to accusations that he had not completed his legal studies, which would have rendered impossible his holding the positions he held in the state government.

The opposition candidate said the people will not allow a new imposition of an interim governor. "The PRI is dreaming," he remarked at rallies in the municipalities of Rayo'n Pantepec, Tapalapa and Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuaca'n.

Meanwhile, the municipal president of Soyalo', Jose' Miguel Torres Herna'ndez, was called to the PRI campaign office, in order to explain how Friday's incidents took place.

The mayor, however, did not hold Pablo Salazar's sympathizers responsible for the attack. "There were so many people, you couldn't tell where they (the attackers) came from."

In addition, a campaign began today against Pablo Salazar on all radio and television channels in the state, through a 10 second spot with images of the events in Soyalo'.

While images of the confrontation take place - among them those attending the campaign rally and references too the moment when Sami David received a blow to the head - an off-camera voice relates them to the past.

"No to violence. No to aggression. The chiapanecos vehemently condemn the cowardly attack against Sami David, which took place in the municipality of Soyalo' on August 4."

In some state papers, the lead story carried the headline: "Pablo Salazar Tries To Kill Sami David."

On Saturday, Sami David did not take part in his campaign team's trip to the northern region of the state. He was recovering and under medical care in his home in Tuxtla Gutie'rrez. Instead, the governor of Tabasco, Roberto Madrazo Pintado, was present during the planned trips.

Surrounded by twenty Tabasco government security agents, the governor said that PRIistas would be rebuilding the PRI from the states of the Mexican southeast, where they would win the governorships and they would be seeking the presidency of the Republic.

Madrazo confirmed that he had spoken with Sami David following the violent incident in the municipality of Soyalo', the birthplace of the Alliance for Chiapas candidate. During the chat, he said, the candidate asked him to go to Palenque and Pichucalco in order "to carry the voice of hope" to the chiapanecos.

Conflict in Chiapas: Understanding the Modern Mayan World
by Worth H. Weller, Ben Weller (Photographer), Julia Weller (Photographer)
$16.95, Paperback, March 1, 2000
Rebellion in Chiapas : An Historical Reader
by John Womack (Editor)
$14.36, Paperback , March 1999
Voices from Exile : Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History
by Victor Montejo
$18.17, Hardcover, October 1999
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