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Your tragic loss is our gain

16 June 2009

With “negative advertising” officially banned in Mexico, political parties have had to come up with new and creative ways of mud-slinging.  Most of the attention so far has been on PAN’s attempts to pin drug-dealing on PRI (and PRI’s attempts to restrain their glee that a PAN candidate was caught on a wire-tap negotiating with the Beltran Leyva gang), but with the suspicion that narcotics gangsters are equal opportunity corrupters of politicians, perhaps there’s a need to refine the tactic.  PAN has found a suprisingly gruesome opportunity in trying to associate their opponents with dead children.

I suppose the call by PAN Senate leader, Gustavo Madero, to launch a Senate investigation into the role of Sonora Governor Eduardo Bours in awarding contracts for federal day care centers in that state isn’t that out of line. The Fifth of this month, a fire at a federally-run  Hermosillo day care fire,  killed 35 children outright, with several more dying from burns and others maimed for life.  Although some of President Calderon’s relations are involved in the business that ran the center, Madero is singling out PRI political influence for investigation.  Naturally, Manlio Fabio Beltrones, speaking for the PRI, claims the investigation is political, and shows a lack of respect for the families who are still mourning their loss (the equivalent of “invades the privacy” excuse used in the United States for making political points off recent deaths).

Last year this month, there was a another senseless loss of young lives, during the botched police raid on the  “News Divine” club in Mexico City.  A promised crack-down on clubs that served alcohol to minors led to a massive police operation on the over-crowded club, which resulted in a stampede for the exits.  Three minors, six other patrons between the ages of 18 and 22, and three police officers died as a result.  In this instance, as this El Universal video reports, PAN is “assisting” the families in remembering the event… mostly as a way of blaming PRD political leaders for the disaster.

Tacky, tacky, tacky… though I’m sure some at PRI and PRD headquarters are already looking for “appropriate” (or, inappropriate) mud-slinging opportunities of their own.

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