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Mayor Denies Añorve Campaign Used City Funds

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 14 December, 2010

(Acapulco, JG 14 December) Interim mayor José Luis Ávila Sánchez took the initiative yesterday to deny that the Añorve campaign for governor has received any money from the city government’s budget. The national director of the PRD, the main party in opposition to Añorve’s candidacy, Jesús Ortega Martínez, had said publicly what many had been whispering privately for weeks and months: that City funds had been surreptitiously siphoned off and injected into the Añorve campaign. Mayor Ávila loudly denounced such allegations as “irresponsible.” He recited that Acapulco’s books have been audited five times by five different federal, state and municipal oversight agencies, “peso by peso, cent by cent.”

The allegation was made because Acapulco’s annual financial report, due shortly, will almost certainly not be revealed before the January 30 elections, even though the Mayor is constantly saying that the report is being prepared, and a release date will be announced soon. Part of the credibility problem is the Mayor’s assertion that the books are “squeaky clean” and that no money has been deflected away from official purposes. Such an affirmation is almost certain to be inaccurate, as municipal governments everywhere have issues with the misallocation of funds. That the books have been inspected several times by government bureaucrats does not resolve matters, as it is the off-book income and payments that interest the politicians. Moreover, the local “political wisdom” of long-standing is that he who would be governor should first run for mayor, to fund his war chest for the campaign. Mayor Ávila is facing an uphill battle to persuade the electorate that the city’s finances are completely free of error and defalcations.

On more solid ground, Mayor Ávila pointed the finger at previous administrations of the City, namely the PRD administration of Felix Macedonio Salgado and his predecessor. He said that “they nearly killed the City,” and that those irresponsible people who make their claims should contemplate who it was that governed the City when the fiscal harm occurred.

Moving to a more cheerful topic, the Mayor said that Acapulco will be paying the year-end bonuses (“Aguinaldo”) on December 15 and February 15, right on schedule, and that the total amount to be paid is $121 million pesos.

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