Chapala’s Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) mayoral candidate Moy Anaya has been put under special guard by state police following a violent confrontation between several of his sympathizers and men allegedly associated with the rival Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
The encounter occurred around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, May 13 when several masked and armed individuals reportedly assaulted MC supporters as were they driving through a Chapala neighborhood.
During the fray one of Anaya’s campaign hands was shot in the abdomen, another in the backside and a third sustained head wounds from being pelted with rocks. Two cars bearing MC insignia were savagely vandalized and campaign materials pilfered.
After medical evaluation and stabilization at the Cruz Roja clinic, the gunshot victims were transported to a Guadalajara hospital for treatment. Their companion was patched up and released.
At 5:30 a.m. in the morning Anaya was awakened by the sound of gunfire near his downtown Chapala home. Stepping outside, he discovered a menacing banner stretched out in front of the carport. The hand-lettered message read: “Sigues tu (you’re next) Moy Anaya,” with crude images of three pistols painted below.
In a hastily called press conference several hours later, Anaya blamed the attack on a PRI-operated grupo de choque (strike team), including an individual he identified as the chauffeur and bodyguard of his principal opponent, Mayor Javier Degollado, who is running for reelection.
MC state coordinator Guillermo Medrano added that the party’s candidate in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Otilia Díaz Enciso, has likewise been subject to a barrage of anonymous threats.
In solidarity, MC gubernatorial candidate Enrique Alfaro fired off a tweet, demanding that state authorities provide “answers, justice and the guarantee of a free, democratic and peaceful election process.”
In veiled reference to members of the ruling party, he wrote, “They are not going to shut us up, they are not going scare us, they are not going to stop us.”
Like Anaya, National Action Party (PAN) candidate Alejandro Aguirre has decried vandalism and defacement of campaign propaganda on public display.
For his part, Degollado promptly issued a press release stressing his concern for Anaya and those hurt in the brawl and strong condemnation of any acts of violence or intimidation during the campaign. He expressed confidence in state authorities to investigate the matter thoroughly.
In contrast to Degollado’s measured posture, a number of PRI supporters and Chapala City Hall employees went on social media to label the incident a fake scandal trumped up by MC operatives to boost sympathy for Anaya.
Jalisco Attorney General Raúl Sánchez has since ordered state police to beef up pre-election vigilance in the Chapala area, including giving Anaya a personal police escort.
And while local candidates continued campaign activities without further incident this week, their followers have been engaged in rampant mudslinging on numerous Facebook sites.