In the announcement about his departure from Mexico, Ricardo Anaya, 43, has received the mockery of opponents, the lukewarm support of his party, the indifference of the right and the slaps of history. “With pain, Juárez, Madero, Melchor Ocampo, the brothers Flores Magón and José Vasconcelos left Mexico,” he said in his last video in which he announced his departure from the country and in which he quoted the Venezuelan opponent Leopoldo López about whom he said “ he went into exile in Spain to escape from Nicolás Maduro ”. Anaya, however, omitted that before his arrival in Madrid, Leopoldo López spent three years in jail and another two years under house arrest before fleeing the country last year.
After an erratic reaction after his electoral defeat in January 2021, Anaya announced that he was returning to political life with a view to the 2024 presidential elections, thus beginning a premature electoral campaign that was to last three years. For this, he chose an audiovisual format with the compulsive broadcasting of videos in which he recorded himself traveling through different scenarios in contact with the popular classes: the subway, eating a taco, rural areas, talking to low-income families …
At the beginning, Anaya even said that his party, National Action, had offered him a position in the Chamber of Deputies, but that he had rejected it because his main objective was to travel the entire country to listen to Mexicans and “not to to be in a tribune or an office, but in the street, in the community and with the people ”, he said. Only four months later he announced that he will not be in any of those places because he is leaving the country while comparing López Obrador with Porfirio Díaz and Santa Anna. Put to evoke history, there are not few who this Tuesday have reminded Anaya of the phrase of former South African president Nelson Mandela when in his autobiography ‘The long road to freedom’, he wrote: “In my country, first you go to jail and then you become president ”.
Within the right itself, they have received with suspicion a maneuver by Anaya that, although it could help him temporarily avoid jail, could also permanently bury his presidential aspirations not so much the action of justice but by a badly played political operation. Despite the lukewarm support received from Vicente Fox and his arch enemies Felipe Calderón and Margarita Zavala who have emphasized the use of institutions by the current president, other prominent voices from the right have raised their eyebrows at the maneuver.
Ricardo Zavala wrote in his column in The financial that “we still do not know if the Prosecutor’s Office requested an arrest warrant against the PAN. What is striking is that in this country jail is for those who do opposition politics, the hugs and respects of the president are for members of organized crime and freedom is for the corrupt confessed “. For his part, former presidential candidate Diego Fernández de Cevallos rejected Anaya’s decision, although he said he understood the motivations behind it. “I understand that decision that Ricardo has made to go into exile, but I do not share it. I would never go into exile or be sentenced to death by these ruffians, but I understand Ricardo Anaya just by hearing what that stupid man has just declared, who, unfortunately for all of us, has the presidential inauguration, “said Fernández de Cevallos.
Ricardo Anaya, who obtained 12 million votes compared to 30 million for López Obrador, acknowledged on his return to political life that “losing the election was a bitter pill” but also “an opportunity to mature and put my character to the test” .
His departure from the country, however, has stirred the debate on the persecution of political rivals and the two existing measuring sticks according to the degree of presidential ill will. In front of an Emilio Lozoya, the former director of Pemex who has not set foot in jail thanks to his confessions before the Prosecutor’s Office, Ricardo Anaya is charged with crimes that involve 30 years in prison. His case is also supported with pins and after having originally accused him of having received almost 7 million pesos to vote on the energy reform, when he verified that he was not a legislator, the accusation of bribery and money laundering was modified, which casts doubts on the transparency of the case.
The controversy has reached the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, where the opposition coalition Goes for Mexico denounced this Monday the “factious, malicious use of institutions to persecute and intimidate opponents.” Just this month, he recalls, the pro-government deputies Saúl Huerta, accused of sexual abuse of minors, and Mauricio Toledo, investigated for corruption, also argued that they were victims of persecution to avoid their lawlessness in Congress.
“He has dedicated himself to persecuting all the political leaders of the opposition that he considers a threat to the continuity of his project,” affirms the complaint from the parties of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Institutional Revolutionary (PRI) and National Action ( PAN), where Anaya is active.
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