Solomon Peña, who denounced having been defeated at the polls by fraud, ordered the houses of four politicians to be riddled with bullets in a case that once again questions the consequences of Trumpism
The defeat in the elections to the House of Representatives in New Mexico, in the United States, has been the presumed motive for which a former Republican candidate ordered hit men to shoot at the houses of several Democratic officials. Last Monday Solomon Peña, 39, was arrested by the Police for the alleged conspiracy with four men to cause these incidents. The gunmen riddled the facades of the houses of four of Peña’s political adversaries without registering any injuries.
Two commissioners and two state legislators were targeted in the attacks, carried out from stolen cars in December last year and January. Even the Alburquerque Police, who made the arrest, accuses Peña of having “pulled the trigger” on one of the occasions, but he also missed the shot. The gun didn’t work. According to the police version, the defendant decided to participate in the attack, upset because the hitmen had aimed “too high at the walls” in previous attacks.
Anger over his defeat in the November midterms reportedly prompted the failed political hopeful to pay the men cash and give them the locations of homes he wanted to attack. It is unknown if those involved were aware that the houses belonged to American rulers. The last shooting was on January 3. That day, the authorities intercepted a vehicle near the scene of the events with weapons and items related to the crime. The car was listed as the property of the former candidate. The telephone records and several witnesses were enough to link Peña to the attacks. In one of them, the bullets went through the room of the 10-year-old daughter of a senator.
Hispanic and a faithful follower of Trump’s policy, Peña did not get a seat in Congress during the last November ballots. He lost to Democrat Miguel García, who accumulated 48 percentage points more, which represents about 3,600 votes. Then, he accused the Democrats of electoral fraud and went to the homes of the officials elected by the polls with “documents proving” the deception, according to his version. However, so far this fraud has not been proven. The shootings began shortly after those visits. Investigators believe that the former Republican candidate wanted to cause “serious injury or death” to his rivals.
Peña came close to missing out on the November race due to a criminal record, but a judge allowed him to stay. He served nearly seven years in prison for robbery. According to a local Albuquerque newspaper, he was convicted in 2008, when he was one of a group of thieves accused of vandalizing retail stores and making off with expensive electronics with the help of stolen cars.
Although in New Mexico there is a law that makes it impossible for ex-convicts to hold public office, the magistrate justified his decision in favor of Peña because “the Constitution establishes that if a person is qualified to vote, he is also qualified to participate in the elections”. The judicial information was kept secret until the request to eliminate his candidacy was submitted without success.
Excited about Trump’s candidacy for the presidential elections in 2024, Peña was already considering his options to reach the Government. But the New Mexico Republican Party has turned its back on him, saying that if convicted, he “deserves the full weight of the law.” One of his alleged victims has attributed Peña’s actions to the “narrative that has been around for a long time: if you don’t get your way, it’s okay to be violent. The message came from above. It came from Trump », he stressed.
The Secretary of State of Colorado, Jena Griswold, has also criticized the rhetoric of the deniers who have grown like foam since the Republican magnate lost the elections against Joe Biden and denounced the existence of a conspiracy against him to block the way for the White House. Griswold has asked Americans not to vote for candidates who support these types of theories and not condemn the Albuquerque attacks, fed up that “so many people have to look down on living in fear in an environment of political violence.”
A Trump spokesperson has responded to all these claims, calling it “appalling that some people are using this tragedy to try to score cheap political points. ‘President’ Trump had nothing to do with this and any claim to the contrary is totally reprehensible,” he concluded.
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