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News Photographer Threatened by Campaign Workers

By: Patrick Ellis | Real Acapulco News - 17 December, 2010

(Acapulco, JG 17 December) Workers for the Añorve campaign attacked news photographers yesterday when they arrived to photograph suspected campaign law violations. Responding to a tip from the opposing PRD campaign of Ángel Aguirre, reporters for the left-of-center Jornada Guerrero arrived at a working class neighborhood atop Acapulco’s ridgeline on the east side. It is called “Cumbres de Llano Largo,” and is up the hill from the Botanical Gardens and Loyola University. The PRD accused the Añorve campaign workers of handing out boxes and bags of food items and staples to local residents in exchange for electoral credentials, which would then be voted by staffers at the polls.

The photographers arrived and found two trailers with out-of-state plates, hurriedly fleeing from the main street of the community. One of the reporters blocked the exit with his pickup truck while a photographer took photos. The campaign workers verbally threatened the journalists, insisting on being allowed to make their getaway.
Local residents later denied that the trailers were handing out food and staples in exchange for votes; rather, the trailers had arrived to show a movie, they said.

Political campaigns routinely spy on the activities of the opposing campaigns, hoping to catch them red-handed in illegal acts. The use of campaign resources to distribute gifts to voters is a standard tactic, technically illegal, but widely practiced. Sometimes the quid pro quo is just loyalty, but sometimes the recipient must relinquish his voter card. Favored vote-getters in working-class neighborhoods are “tinacos” (water cisterns) and food baskets.

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