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Did the PRI buy votes with gift cards?

Just a few moments ago, I got an anonymous email from someone with a photo of a receipt from the Soriana grocery store. The receipt is dated July 4th and was printed at about 10 p.m. from a Soriana store in Monterrey.

The sender artfully placed a red arrow on a line of the receipt that reads: “PRI benefits.”

So is the PRI behind a vote-buying scheme that tilted the outcome of the July 1 presidential election? I can’t answer that. But certainly the evidence indicates that in some parts of the country – Mexico City, the state of Mexico, San Luis Potosi and now Monterrey – people went to the Soriana grocery chain with gift cards and bought foodstuffs thinking that the cards were a gift from the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Was this a “donation” from Soriana to buy goodwill for the PRI? I don’t know that either. Click here, here and here to read more about this case.

Moments ago, the PRI sent out an indignant communiqué saying it wants prosecutors to investigate whether its opponents committed a crime by alleging that the PRI had bought votes in what is quickly being dubbed “Soriana-gate.”

A PRI spokesman, Eduardo Sanchez, said videos that have been circulating on YouTube about the alleged vote buying contain only one interview with a person who said a PRI official offered them the gift card.

“It’s part of the lies and the farce. They brought people to the stores and told them they were from the PRI, which is false,” Sanchez said in the statement.


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Yes there are tons of evidence about the vote buying in the presidential election in Mexico. This election is a FRAUD. NOBODY support Enrique Peña Nieto. He represents the oppression against people for example Atenco. (Documentary Atenco english subtitles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh_RPDgBG5Y ) There have been many demonstrations against Enrique Peña Nieto in all the country.

Jose Villalobos

We mexicans are being witness of one of the biggest frauds on our democracy history, we are also being intimidated by authorities not to protest against this imposition, this elections process has been plagued with hundreds of abuses against human rights, the main media here in Mexico is hiding the true and are accomplices together with some public institutions, this is so wrong, we are hopeless it seems nothing can be done to stop this anarchy imposition!


There are many more interviews and evidence is circulating about these and many more incidents.

I can point you to clips done by Telemundo, Telesur and other International news channels, some of which even interviewed people at the Soriana stores.



There are many other videos posted on youtube, but of course no mexican news outlet will show them.

There were also many incidents about vote buying outside poll stations, 'carrying' voters to the polls. And possibly one of the most despicable acts was using children over and over again (8-10 years old) to accompany adults into voting booths so they could observe adults voting for the PRI (Talk about crafty, a picture with a vote wasn't enough, lets send small children). The children are dubbed 'halconcitos' or little hawks.

Among the NGO reports that show this are http://www.alianzacivica.org.mx/ who have been covering elections for 16 years.

Any criticism toward the election and the national media is disqualifying everything on the premise of the 'radical left'.

However, the current government and the incoming are misreading a large part of the population, which don't live on the countryside and cannot be bought with small charities from Soriana.

Students (like the 132 movement) and many professionals like myself who were once right-wing orientated and voted for the PAN, are outraged and fed up with the political system. The cronyism instituted by the PRI in the past century was only prolonged by PAN. And it will come back with a vengeance now that the PRI appears will come back to power.

Most of us don't necessarily want the PRD, we just don't the PRI who governed suppressing free speech, brought economic crisis every 6 years and brainwashed people through TV media and small charities (just like Soriana-gate).

It will be a long 6 DARK years for Mexico if EPN is confirmed as President and the PRI take hold of the government, which appears will be the case. The PAN was bad for 12 years, the PRI will be worse with their track record in every state they've governed and their dark history in the presidency.

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This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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