Saturday 15 September 2012

Has Peña Nieto’s dirty war begun with the “disappearance” of political dissenter Ruy Salgado?

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has expressed concern regarding the disappearance of the Mexican blogger Ruy Salgado of the “El 5antuario” (The Sanctuary) website. Salgado went missing exactly one week ago on Saturday, September 8.

Salgado’s last post was just after 11 pm. The blogger was expected to attend a rally the next day in Mexico City’s central square for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist candidate who lost Mexico’s contested presidential election on July 1st.

Salgado's trade: "uncomfortable information"

Salgado, who is sympathetic to Lopez Obrador and the Mexico’s #Yosoy132 youth movement, has not been heard from since, despite a concerted effort by friends and supporters to find him.

Representatives of Mexico’s Citizens Movement have been seeking clarification as to Salgado’s whereabouts. Salgado became well-known as a  ghost blogger who tracked electoral irregularities alleged by the Progressive Movement coalition.

The deputy coordinator of the Citizens' Movement, Ricardo Mejia, has demanded that both federal and local authorities investigate Salgado’s disappearance.

Salgado is a "very prominent character in social networks and currently we do not know his whereabouts,” said Mejia. “He has made strong allegations, and has been a follower of all the post-election processes. "

Salgado’s real name is Rodrigo Lopez Salvador Gonzalez. He is also known on Twitter as @el5anto (The Saint).

RSF noted that, for the time being, it is unknown whether this is a voluntary disappearance, a kidnapping, or "worse".

During a video blog from June 21, which Salvador Gonzalez recorded masked in order to hide his identity, he claimed that the federal government was investigating him for acts against the state, and that they knew his real identity, including a photograph of his face, his date of birth, etc.

Specifically, the alleged accusation was that he belonged to the “Anonymous” hacking group. Salvador Gonzalez denied that he belonged to Anonymous, saying that he would have no idea how to hack a computer. Instead, he asserted that his work was simply to provide information.

If it is true that the Mexican government had made such accusations, this is more than a little ironic, given that it is relying heavily on a supposed leak from Anonymous when building its case against Cynthia Vanier, the Canadian accused of plotting to smuggle Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saadi, to Mexico.

This story, though a week old, is breaking fast, including radio coverage in Mexico. Given the television duopoly in Mexico, and Salvador Gonzalez’s politics, we can expect a news blackout on that medium.

Post-election political violence is still a major concern in Mexico. Just before 9 pm on Friday, September 14, a local deputy-elect in the state of Sonora for the ruling PRI,  Eduardo Castro Luque, was murdered. The 48-year-old politician was shot to death as he stepped out of his Ford Explorer outside his home in Ciudad Obregon.

Televisa gave heavy coverage to this story, quoting the president of the PRI in Sonora, Rosario Rodríguez Quiñones, as saying that Castro Luque was “flawless, honest, upright, hardworking and committed to the welfare of society.”

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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