Mexico is facing a political scandal over accusations of sexual harassment by one of the leading candidates for Governor of Guerrero, Felix Salgado Macedonio.
The challenger enjoys active support from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, which has provoked divisions within the ranks of the ruling party and criticism from feminist movements. However, the head of state is still not going to abandon his candidacy.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has faced a wave of criticism amid the promotion of the ruling National Revival Movement's candidate Felix Salgado Macedonio for Governor of Guerrero.
The main reason for the dissatisfaction of the public and political associates of the head of state was that the applicant was twice accused of rape.
According to Bloomberg, Obrador's party is mired in an inconclusive debate over whether it is worth keeping Macedonio as its candidate in the upcoming June 6 elections. Some critics even accuse the National Revival Movement of nepotism of refusing to persecute the politician.
According to the agency, the Macedonio factor seriously affects the image of the presidential party and the head of state himself, since almost three years ago, the struggle for women's rights became one of the fundamental principles of the National Revival Movement's election campaign. Winning, Obrador increased the number of women in the cabinet and pledged to empower them in Mexico.
So far, polls do not signal a decrease in the level of support for the president. Thus, according to a March study by El Universal, 64% of Mexicans have a positive attitude towards the activities of Obrador, and only 30% of respondents negatively assess the work of the president. According to the poll, the level of support for the head of state increased by 4% compared to last year.
However, this does not negate the fact that a certain part of society perceives Macedonio and Obrador's actions extremely negatively. At the end of February, more than 500 politicians and supporters of the National Revival Movement signed an open letter demanding the removal of the candidate from the party and the lists for the election of Governor Guerrero.
Moreover, the Mexican feminist movement, which received special attention during last year's mass protests against crimes against women, also came out with strong criticism of the pro-presidential candidate.
As local feminist activist Iolitsyn Himes told The New York Times, many women voted for Obrador because they believed in the future transformation of the Mexican nation. According to her, she has already lost this faith.
At the moment, it is known about two women who accused Macedonio of rape. One of them claims that the politician attacked her almost five years ago, having drugged her in his home. The accusations were brought forward by an employee of the newspaper La Jornada Guerrero, where Macedonio was at that time in charge. According to her, the politician not only raped her but also beat her and took nude photos of her, which he later blackmailed.
The second charge concerns 1998 by Basilia Castaneda Maciel. The woman claims that Macedonio raped her in his home when she was 17 years old. This case is of particular importance as Maciel initiated the opening of the first regional headquarters of the presidential party in the state of Guerrero. However, having brought charges, she faced the refusal of the prosecutor's office to open a case, under the pretext of expiration of the statute of limitations.
According to an El Financiero poll, 62% of Mexicans oppose Macedonio's candidacy in the elections amid accusations against him. However, within the state, the situation is somewhat different, according to a Parametria study, the scandalous politician is gaining 40% of support, which makes him the leader of the election race.
At the same time, Macedonio takes the accusations against himself absolutely calmly, calling himself a somewhat unconventional politician. He bluntly said that he did not see the point in вЂњgood behaviorвЂќ, as it would not bring the desired result.
вЂњI have more disadvantages than advantages. I'm not going to be a cardinal. I am a womanizer, a party-goer, a gambler, a drunkard, вЂќMacedonio remarked jokingly when Obrador joined the party.
However, the politician categorically rejects the direct rape charges. And his lawyer Jose Luis Gallegos Peralta has repeatedly noted that the case against the politician is вЂњfull of contradictions.вЂќ