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Candidates Donate “Christmas Cheer” to Win Votes

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 20 December, 2010

(Chilpancingo, JG 20 December) The 185th annual Year-End Fiesta took place in Chilpancingo yesterday with food, drink and dancing for the city’s population, including old and young alike. The name of this long-standing and traditional city-wide community party is “El Pendón,” a term defying easy translation. When applied to a woman, it means “of very easy virtue,” and when applied to a man, it means “slob or jerk.” In Chilpancingo, it is the annual year-end “blow out.” Crowds gathered in the streets of the city, numbering fifty thousand or more. One notable feature of the event are folk dancing presentations from over 100 different areas of the state. The multitude makes a kind of loosely organized parade through the city’s streets, stopping at various houses and watering holes along the way.

PRI candidate Añorve Baños was at the “Pendón,” as well as his major opponent, PRD candidate Ángel Aguirre Rivero. The campaigns took advantage of the large crowd to win votes in the gubernatorial elections, which take place on January 30. The competing political groups handed out free beer, brandy, tequila and mescal to anyone who expressed the intention to favor them with a vote.

One family erected a banner saying, “This family supports Manuel Añorve and we are giving away everything.” Ex-deputy Marcelino Díaz de Jesús shouted, “To anyone who votes for Ángel Aguirre, I’ll give him a beer!” The deputy and aides carried large bags filled with cold bottles of beer. The undersecretary of Public Services for Chilpancingo, Héctor Rodríguez, placed a banner outside his house, declaring his support for Añorve and inviting all PRI sympathizers to come in and have a beer. The banner said, “The Rodríguez family participates in the “Pendón 2010” and supports Añorve.”

Governor Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo appeared at the event, taking advantage of the large crowd tos ay his formal farewell to the citizens. Townspeople gathered around him, singing and dancing, even though his security personnel tried to keep them at a safe distance. During the party a number of large banners were erected thanking the governor for his service over the last six years. For example, one of them said, “Thank you, Governor, for the public improvements in the Santa Cruz neighborhood.” Another expressed a similar sentiment from the Tequicorral neighborhood, and another thanked him for participating in the traditions of Chilpancingo. No one really knew where the banners had come from.

Over 900 policemen and other public safety personnel were on hand to protect the crowds and maintain order.

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