Mexico goes to the polls this Sunday, June 6, to renew the 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 20,000 regional and local positions. One of the protagonists of this electoral campaign has been the denunciations of feminist and women’s groups to prevent any male chauvinist aggressor from reaching a position of popular representation.
Luis Puente is a businessman who wanted to run for the candidacy of the Morena party to the Government of Ahome, in the state of Sinaloa. But his political aspirations hit a wall, a wall erected by his ex-partner, Nadia Loera. Puente is in a judicial process for crimes of psychological violence, economic violence and family abandonment.
That a candidate is a macho aggressor has not always been an impediment, neither in Mexico nor in other parts of the world. However, this time Nadia did not want to repeat history.
“The objective was achieved that one more aggressor did not come to power, not precisely because he is my spouse, the father of my child, but mainly because he is an aggressor. I had not mentioned any of this before, it was my private life and I I was defending in the courts and before the courts. But when he launched himself and said ‘I want to be …’, I lowered my hand and said ‘You can’t be, you’re an aggressor’ “, Nadia tells in an interview with France 24.
The violence that she suffered at the hands of Luis Puente is more invisible than the beatings or physical abuse. “It is a violence in different aspects, psychological, economic, patrimonial, and family abandonment. These violence are silent but lacerating like the most”, recalls Nadia.
Loera also comments that he has had to fight a battle against the law enforcement officers who denounce that they are being sold to the highest bidder. And furthermore, he has done it without financial resources: “From the moment he (Puente) leaves home, the next day he cuts checkbooks, accounts, everything, and leaves me in a defenseless state. But since I was his guarantor, he began to default on his multi-million dollar debts. In addition to not paying the pension for his son, who has health problems, he leaves me with his debts ”.
Nadia recognizes that, if she had not had the support of feminist groups, she would not have been able to stop the candidacy of an aggressor like Puente, a victory for the feminist movement that has broken into Mexican electoral politics with the firm objective of preventing any man who has violated a woman reaches a position of popular representation.
Feminism moves to the electoral arena
One of the most visible cases of this new target is that of Félix Salgado Macedonio, candidate of the Morena party for the Guerrero government, who was accused of rape and sexual assault by different women.
At the voice of “A rapist will not be governor!”, Multiple feminist groups organized marches and demonstrations to ask that his candidacy be withdrawn, but Morena did not listen. In fact, even President Andrés Manuel López Obrador came out to defend Salgado, arguing that it was up to the people of Guerrero to decide who should govern them and ensuring that the protests against the Morenoist and alleged aggressor had political-electoral reasons.
The position of the president and the party to ignore the complaints against Salgado further inflamed the feminist movement of denunciation. In social networks, a movement led by public figures, actresses, intellectuals and writers emerged, which consisted of recording a video with a cardboard that carried the message “President, break the pact”, alluding to the patriarchal pact.
At the same time, groups of women projected huge messages on the facade of the National Palace with the legend “A rapist will not be governor” and “AMLO, realize it.” López Obrador responded that he was breaking the pact, but the pact of the mafia and the conservatives.
Finally, Salgado lost the candidacy, but not because of the complaints that weigh on him of sexist aggressions, but because of an administrative fault, an omission in the presentation of his expenses for inspection.
The 3 of 3 rule against bullies
However, the seed was already sown. Since October 2020, women grouped in the collective Las Constituents MX, led by the activist Yndira Sandoval, managed to get the National Electoral Institute (INE) to approve the guidelines of an initiative they designed to prevent an aggressor of women from reaching a candidacy and contend for public office in these elections.
They called the mechanism Rule 3 of3, and it consists of the obligation to meet “three basic requirements: one, not to be a debtor of alimony. Two, not be a sex offender, including bullying and harassment. And three, not to be an aggressor in the public or private sphere against women based on gender ”, Yndira details in an interview with France 24.
Although the way to prove that an applicant did not incur any of the assumptions of the 3 of 3 rule was simply by word of mouth, under protest of telling the truth, the pressure of feminist groups caused the INE to certify, cross data and verify that in fact the applicant did not have an open file for some type of violence against women. However, it did so in a random and sample manner, despite the fact that “violence against women is neither random nor sample,” Yndira reproaches.
The activist points out that the state of Chiapas is the only one that certified all the candidates, crossing information with the prosecutor’s offices, becoming an example at the national level.
The antiboletas, public display of aggressive candidates
For the founder of Las Constituents MX, in an ideal scenario the political parties would have to “reserve the right of admission” and say “here the aggressors, the debtors, the stalkers cannot even serve in the military.” But reality is not like that.
That is why Yndira, her group and 153 other groups of women created La Observatoria Ciudadana Todos MX, a group of activists, academics and human rights defenders who are dedicated to ensuring that no aggressor holds a candidacy and eventually occupies a position. public.
Thus, for those who managed to circumvent Rule 3 of3, they have devised another complaint mechanism: the anti-ballot.
The anti-ballots have the design and format, precisely, of an electoral ballot, the one that citizens cross when casting their vote, and show the photograph of the aggressor, the position to which they are being nominated, the party that is championing them, the municipality, district or state for which they are participating, and the crime for which they are being charged.
Yndira assures that they do not launch any anti-ballot without first verifying that, indeed, the candidate has complaints against him for some type of sexist aggression.
The All MX Observatory works based on five areas: “one that observes political violence, another that observes the media and social networks, another that observes issues of platforms and proposals for women, another that observes commitments and pacts that it gives them in these seasons to sign in favor of women, and one that reviews how many candidates complete the 3 of 3 ”, explains Yndira.
Since its launch, the Observatory and the Chiapas electoral body have detected 81 aggressors who already held a candidacy or pre-candidacy, on whom different types of complaints of violence weighed, from complaints of rape to pimping, to family violence, pedophilia and harassment.
Complaints for assaults make all parties dirty
The case of Luis Puente is not the only one in Morena and, above all, it is not the only affected party. Aspirants of other political militancies have been removed from the electoral contest, some by their parties and others, later, by the electoral authority. Among them is Gamaliel Ochoa, registered to run for a federal deputation for Durango, but whose nomination was withdrawn by the PRD after allegations of harassment and sexual abuse.
There is also José Elías Medel Galindo, who sought to be a deputy for the Citizen Movement, but had accusations of equal rape, corruption of minors and human trafficking in its modality of other forms of exploitation, after he had stored child pornography. Finally it was linked to process.
About Jesús Alberto Camacho Carranza, a candidate for the local council for the 15th district of Veracruz also for the Citizen Movement, there was a criminal complaint for sexual harassment and attempted rape.
Likewise, Isaac Ferez Esparza resigned as candidate of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico to the Coatzacoalcos deputation; has at least five complaints of attempted sexual abuse and rape on the #MeToo Anáhuac page.
Brunette sees political intentions behind
But, without a doubt, the cases that have attracted the most attention are those of the Morena party. In addition to the case of Félix Salgado, another that monopolized the spotlight and the headlines of the press is that of David Monreal, a Morenoist candidate for the Government of the state of Zacatecas, who is seen in a video, which circulated profusely on social networks, touching without consent to a candidate of his party.
Despite the political and social scandal, the victim herself uncovered the aggressor and came out to declare that Monreal had always behaved with her with respect.
What does Morena’s secretary general, Citlalli Hernández, say about all this? The second in command in the party founded by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a licensed senator, assumes herself a feminist and celebrates that cases of abuse are made visible.
“I believe that the feminist movement has helped us to make visible candidates who would not necessarily have to represent us in a society that aspires to greater equality and greater combat against violence against us,” she says in an interview with France 24.
However, she regrets that the focus has primarily been on Morena, as she ensures that all parties have candidates that the feminist movement questions.
For Citlalli, it is undeniable that “there is a partisan sector opposed to us that tries to build the narrative that Morena is a party of males, that Morena is a party that does not support women.”
In addition, remember that the party has mechanisms to prevent aggressors from participating in political life under the acronym of Morena: “Almost all of our candidates are chosen through polls, and in those polls we add a question, how much does the public consider that the possible candidate respect the rights of women. “
Although some sectors of his party, including President López Obrador, insisted that, as long as there is no sentence against Félix Salgado, his right to contest should be guaranteed, the Secretary General is one of those who thinks it is better to violate political right of a partner, rather than trampling the rights of a woman who has been a victim.
“When there is an aggressor, the first thing we can at least do is show that a person is an aggressor, and that at least in his public fame there is a stain or at least a hint of doubt,” he stresses.
The truth is that, in light of all the cases described and those that come up every day, it has been shown that there are more and more women and victims who will no longer remain silent in the face of abuse and assaults by men. And even worse if that aggressor intends to participate in politics.
“Precedents are being set, the rules in democracy have changed, the number of votes is not enough and there is no prestige that can be achieved when one is a debtor, aggressor or harasser,” concludes Yndira Sandoval.