With the bonfire of Félix Salgado Macedonio still smoking on the horizon, a new case of machismo has rocked Morena, this time in Oaxaca. In a statement released this weekend, dozens of women activists from different regions of the state demand that the party deny Humberto Santos the candidacy for deputy. The women denounce that Santos created and managed a WhatsApp group, “Sierra XXX”, where he himself encouraged the sharing of intimate photos of Ayuujk women.
In the statement, the women argue that “the creation of this chat with these characteristics and their call to share photos of indigenous women in the region in that space so that a group of men can comment on their bodies shows a despicable normalization of violence. of genre”. For this reason, they demand that Morena “prevent her participation in the application process.” Santos aspires to a seat in the local Chamber of Deputies.
Although it has barely reached the national sphere, the case of chat has been controversial for a year. In March 2020, the Oaxacan lawyer Sandra Domínguez denounced the existence of the group for the first time, when she learned that an image of her was circulating among the participants. In the photo she appeared with a man. Someone had overwritten the weight sign above it.
“They gave me screenshots of my photo,” says Domínguez in an interview with EL PAÍS. They were images of his own photo in the chat, but also of comments from men who participated in the exchange. “I reported this to the prosecution, presented the captures and told who the people who appeared in the chat were. Then a person that I mentioned called me and told me that he had not created the chat or had anything to do with it, that they had only added it, ”says the woman. Domínguez explains that this person pointed to Humberto Santos. The woman got screenshots of the chat where the name of the now candidate for deputy appeared.
A year ago, the case barely affected Santos. Far from the electoral noise, the chat scandal hit the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI) above all. The man who had shared Sandra Domínguez’s photo was Rolando Vásquez, an official at the institute. Vásquez left the INPI, but denied any fault in an appearance before the media. He recognized the existence of the chat for the first time, he even showed Domínguez’s photo, but it did not seem like a problem. Furthermore, he pointed out Domínguez’s “political immaturity” for not knowing how to fit a joke.
The case revives now, in the middle of the electoral pre-campaign, with Santos at the center of the target. The candidate for deputy has appeared this Monday before the media, accompanied by his wife and daughter, to denounce a campaign against him. “I categorically deny that I have created any group that traffics in nude photos of women of any ethnicity. Where are the alleged victims? Where are the complainants? ”He criticized.
To Laura Morales, one of the signers of the communiqué, Santos’ attitude does not surprise her. “He wants to make it look like a political issue, but no. That also leaves a lot to be desired. We don’t want someone like that to represent us. They would take Facebook photos and post them and write misogynistic comments. Many victims have been silenced, they have not been able to report it out of fear, ”he criticizes.
A neighbor of the mountain town of Ayutla, Morales regrets the support of local Morena cadres for Santos. “They minimize it. Characters who were in that chat even worked at the INPI. The INPI director himself minimized the matter. And now the coordinator of the INPI in Ayutla has sent a message of support to this character ”.
The State Executive Committee of Morena has until March 21 to define the candidacies. At the moment, the party has not proposed a replacement for Santos. Far from that, the state leader of the formation, Sesul Bolaños, tried to lower the complaint against Santos this Sunday: “It is a campaign against the comrade. It is the public ministries who will determine whether or not he is guilty of the acts charged against him. We do not determine the guilt of a colleague ”.
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