Campaigning mayor accuses state police of ‘intimidation

On-leave Guadalajara Mayor Enrique Alfaro has long maintained less-than-cordial relations with Aristoteles Sandoval, Jalisco’s governor.

No doubt some of their mutual animosity is thanks to their membership in rival political parties, with Sandoval a PRI man and Alfaro a member of Movimiento Ciudadano.  Perhaps exacerbating matters is Alfaro’s current gubernatorial bid, to be decided in July.  Alfaro lost his previous run for the governorship to Sandoval in 2012.

alfIf Alfaro’s account is to be believed, this long-simmering political and personal animus may have manifested itself physically last week, when he and his campaign team were the subject, he says, of “intimidation” by state police while campaigning in the Cañadas de Obregón region of northern Jalisco, Tuesday, January 9.

“A few minutes ago,” communicated Alfaro via Twitter, “on a dark bridge going towards Jalostotitlan, my team and I were the object of an apparent act of intimidation on the part of the state police.  With weapons pointed at as, we were threatened for absolutely no reason.”

Alfaro ended his tweet by demanding Sandoval detain those responsible for the alleged show of force.

The governor quickly replied to Alfaro’s strident communique by downplaying the allegations as an attempt by the mayor to portray himself as a victim, stating that “your convoy, made up of a bunch of trucks and unidentified armed men, was seen on a state highway.  State forces, in accordance with security protocol, detained the convoy in order to identify it. Having done so, they let them go on their way.”

Alfaro, rarely known to back down from a fight, volleyed back by saying he had no need to resort to victim posturing, that his campaign was on solid footing.

“It’s just not believable that the state government wouldn’t know [my campaign’s] agenda,” said Alfaro during an interview with news anchor Ciro Gomez Leyva. “[The inspection by state troops] wasn’t by chance.”

Corroborating Sandoval’s version of events was State Attorney General Raul Sanchez Jimenez.  He, too, claimed the bridge stop was only a routine check, and that, furthermore, those performing their duty were a part of a team who had taken part in an operation detaining nine heavily armed people in stolen vehicles the previous Friday. Alfaro and his team’s detention, according to Sanchez, was undertaken as part of the same operation.