Sunday 24 June 2018

Tabasco is fully behind local hero López Obrador

La politica es la politica has posted 32 articles - one for each state in Mexico, including Mexico City - in advance of the July 1, 2018, presidential election. For links to all 32 articles, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Tabasco is a state in southeast Mexico, with a population of about 3.4 million. It is located on the northern part of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, at the base of the Yucatan Peninsula, with a northern shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico. There is heavy rainfall year-round, with most of the state covered in rainforest. The capital city is Villahermosa, an important business center for the Mexican oil industry.

The current governor is Arturo Núñez Jiménez. Núñez Jiménez is with the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), but was formerly with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The previous governor, the PRI's Andrés Granier Melo, completed his term as governor in December 2012.

On 14 June 2013, Granier was arrested on charges of corruption and embezzlement of public funds. He was subsequently charged with tax fraud and money laundering more than 196 million Mexican pesos (US$ 9.5 million at today’s rate, but worth more at the time of the embezzlement). In March of this year Granier was sentenced to ten years and ten months in prison.

Tabasco is one of eight Mexican states with a gubernatorial election on July 1. A poll conducted in late May by Opinión Pública (Public Opinion) found that Adán Augusto López Hernández of the left-leaning and Morena-led “Juntos Haremos Historia” (Together We make History) coalition had the support of 45.6% of the electorate. This is a commanding lead, with López Hernández 28 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Georgina Trujillo Zentella of the PRI, who polled at 17.6%.

The other candidates – Gerardo Gaudiano Rovirosa for the PAN-led “Por Tabasco al Frente” (For Tabasco In Front) coalition, which includes the left-of-center PRD and the Citizens’ Movement (MC); Manuel Carlos Paz Ojeda from Nueva Alianza (New Alliance); and Óscar Cantón Zetina for the Green Party (PVEM) – appear to be out of the running entirely.

Tabasco also has three federal senate seats up for grabs. Polling here, again from Public Opinion, for some of the named candidates shows that Mónica Fernández Balboa of the Morena-led Together We make History is well in the lead in her contest, with 53.1% of respondents supporting her. In a distant second place is the PRI’s Candita Victoria Gil Jiménez, with only 15.2% support.

One reason why there might be such strong support for Morena is that Tabasco is the home state of Morena presidential candidate Andrés Manuel LópezObrador’s (AMLO). The local fondness and sense of solidarity with a fellow “tabasqueño” is so strong that a PRI federal senator representing Tabasco, Humberto Mayans Canabal, has announced publically that he is voting for AMLO, even as he remains a member of the PRI.
Flooding in Tabasco (2007) 

It therefore goes without saying that AMLO has the advantage over Ricardo Anaya of the PAN-led “Frente” coalition and the struggling José Antonio Meade of the PRI-led “Todos por México” (All for Mexico) coalition.

AMLO might also be a good bet for Tabasco, given that social inequality is a major issue in the state. Tabasco produces significant quantities of petroleum and natural gas, yet the state has about 150,000 families, or about half a million people, living in poverty. Last year the Tabasco economy contracted by 2.3%, with that number increasing to 8.82% when reduced petroleum revenue is taken into account.

There has been some election violence in Tabasco. On May 15, television and radio broadcaster Juan Carlos Huerta Martínez, 45, was pulling out of his subdivision in the outskirts of Villahermosa in his silver BMW sedan when two vehicles blocked his way. Gunmen then riddled his car with bullets, killing him. In the months preceding his death Huerta had provided extensive coverage of the July 1 elections.

Tabasco has also become a dangerous place to be a journalist. Before the modern drug war, which began in December, 2006, three journalists had been killed: two in 1912, and one in 1920. It was 87 years until the next death, on January 20, 2007, but that was sadly a harbinger of things to come. Within the last 12 years a total of nine journalists have been killed in Tabasco, including  Juan Carlos Huerta.

According to the National Electoral Institute (INE), on June 25, 11,000 ballots were stolen in Macuspana, Tabasco. INE claims it is working to correct the issue, including reprinting new ballots.

Below are the links to the posts for each state: 

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