MEXICO.- The attitude that caused the most anger among the fans of rival teams towards soccer player Cuauhtémoc Blanco was a mixture of cynicism and sarcasm. The way of celebrating the goals imitating a puppy or a bullfighter nailing the banderillas earned him resentments as sharp as those he now provokes in politics.
As governor of the State of Morelos since 2018, the citizens have demanded the same lack of tact in his governorship as on the soccer field, but without the brilliant passages in sports.
After the publication of a photograph at the beginning of the year in which he appears next to local drug lords of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) and allies, he replied that the image was a mere coincidence on the way to going taking photographs right and left. sinister due to its fame.
“You know where he went,” countered an anonymous poster posted on the street.
Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Mexico City, 1973) jumped from being one of the most important scorers of the National Team to a short political career and successful that led him to become the first soccer player to become governor.
Whether Blanco’s explanation in Morelos is true or not, the country has unleashed an avalanche of criticism, indignation, accusations and complaints that corner the state president with the demand for more explanations about his alleged relationship with organized crime.
“In the case of intentional homicides we have a very large increase of 27% percent, of which, a quarter were committed with a firearm in the last year,” warned Fernando Vela, director of the Citizen Council of Public Security ( CCSP) of Morelos, one of the organizations that keeps track of the damage.
The activists reproach the former Americanist for “the constant impudence”. Last Christmas, he went on vacation to Brazil when action was demanded to stop the intentional homicides that accumulated 3,500 victims during his government.
The people of Morelos realized that he was around Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro with his wife when they saw the photos leaked to the press between December 17 and January 2, while Morelos bled to death between gunshots.
The newspaper El Sol de Morelos documented the violent death of a 15-year-old pizza delivery boy whose body appeared on a property; the femicide of Yuridiana, a young woman who disappeared on Christmas Eve after fighting with her boyfriend; the murder of some boyfriends who were walking down a popular street when they were shot and the attack in Cuernavaca on a federal judge and his 18-year-old son, among others.
“During the most complicated crises in Morelos, Blanco has shown that his leisure and fun times are a priority for him,” the newspaper warned.
Last September, opposition groups reproached the governor for going to play golf with businessman Arturo Elías Ayub and former goalkeeper Jorge Campos, while the Yautepec River and Laguna Seca flooded hundreds of homes in four municipalities.
Around that time, the municipality of Yecapixtla accumulated so many murders that the increase in proportion to 2020 was 260%, according to the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP). Zacatepec, increased to 122%; Cuernavaca added 157 intentional homicides, Yautepec with 106 cases and Jiutepec with 80.
2021 closed with 1,058 homicides, the highest number in recent years, and the new year followed the same rhythm. Among the most recent cases is that of Benjamín López Palacios, elected mayor of the municipality of Xoxocotla on January 11. In a blanket/message it was said that the intention of the assassination is for the governor to run out of allied mayors.
“The state of mind that these attacks provoke is very stressful because you always feel that you can stay between fires, in the middle of the street, in the bar, in the supermarket, wherever,” said Avelina Barrera, a fashion designer who moved to Cuernavaca. from Mexico City a decade ago.
Avelina was looking for a better climate in the “city of eternal spring” like many people from the capital who bought houses or land in Morelos in recent years. The entity neighboring the Mexican capital has an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, which is why it was very attractive for those who wanted to escape from the chaos and pollution of CDMX.
Now they regret it. The vise grip closes even in unsuspected social circles and in a cyclical manner. In 2011, Morelos became the focus of attention after the murder with a plastic bag of the son of the poet Javier Sicilia; In recent days, entertainment was shaken by the femicide of Tania Mendoza, protagonist of the movie “La mere, mere Reyna del Sur”.
“It’s not just the murders but the quality of life in general. For example, extortions are the daily bread: tortillerías, to grocery stores, to bakeries, they leave nothing of the economy”, warns Barrera. “It is a country problem, but in some areas it is more brazen. I want to leave here but I can’t sell”.
The lack of rule of law and the complicity of authorities through intimidation or collusion make Morelos a target of battles between cartels. In past months, banners have appeared in tourist sites, kiosks, local squares, highways, and neighborhoods. They had the signature of the Northwest Cartel that promised to liberate the population from the yoke of the CJNG.
“For all citizens. No more kidnapping, extortion, all the crap that all those fucking local groups have been doing. We are here, hold on, ”says a first poster. “Notice to all citizens. We continue in the cleanup of kidnappers, rapists, extortionists, collection of flat”, said another.
In the history of the fight for jobs between criminal organizations in Mexico, the promises of release are just a front to announce the arrival of a new executioner.
The devoured idol?
Before diving into the muddy waters of Mexican politics, Cuautémoc Blanco was a man of visible talent. On the pitches a goal is scored or not and the former soccer player sneaked many during a career that started from below. He was born in Tepito, one of the poorest and rudest neighborhoods in the Mexican capital, the cradle of criminals and athletes in striking contrasts.
He started playing soccer when he was six years old until he was discovered by Angel González, a popular scout who oriented him towards the Águilas del América to put him in competition with legends like Hugo Sánchez or Luis Roberto Alves “Zague”.
He went through Necaxa, returned to the Eagles, participated in the Copa Libertadores and in the National Team, to which he gave glories such as the defeat of the legendary Brazilian team in 1999; He was in European football with Real Valladolid and when age led him to relegation he emigrated as a legend to the Chicago Fire of the MLS.
At the end of his sports career he won the Copa MX trophy in 2015 with Puebla and he still gave game in his retirement with the Lobos from where he swung on the trapeze to politics when he became mayor of Cuernavaca, where he had his residence like many citizens of the capital.
Thus began complications of another kind. In 2017, the State Public Security Commissioner of then Governor Graco Ramírez accused three officials of Mayor Blanco of having links to organized crime and the former scorer of having “perverse” interests to gain control of the municipal police.
The former soccer player had reached the mayor’s office for the Social Democratic Party (PSD) that convinced celebrities to join their ranks to capitalize on society’s weariness of traditional politicians. From there he flirted with leftist organizations.
In the leap to the governorship, the opposition accused Blanco of agreeing with local drug lords to seize local power while criticizing his predecessor’s corruption and rampant insecurity.
“I do not sell myself,” he said as a candidate for governor for the alliance between the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), the Labor Party and the Social Encounter Party.
Over time, his detractors have insisted on proving that the monster of corruption, impunity and the lack of rule of law devoured the idol of football.
In mid-September 2021, the scorer was reported to the state Anti-Corruption Prosecutor for allegedly hiding the origin, ownership and destination of triangulated money in various bank accounts between 2016 and 2018 when he served as municipal president.
The alleged money laundering network and millionaire accounts were detected in 2020 by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). There was still no news about the progress of these investigations when the photography scandal with the CGNG capos was added.
The image disclosed by El Sol de Morelos was obtained on one of its phones from an alleged CJNG operator and PR person who operates locally in association with the Guerreros Unidos criminal organization.
Esther Yadira Huitrón is also the sister of the state president of the Progressive Social Networks Party and alleged lover of Senator Angel García Yáñez, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
The expansion of cancer from the criminal leadership to the political spheres or vice versa was widely exposed last October when a verbal confrontation broke out in the Morelos Congress between the Morelos security commissioner, José Arturo Ortiz, and the Panal deputy and former mayor of Yautepec, Agustin Alonso.
The deputy requested the resignation of Ortiz Guarneros in view of the figures of insecurity in Morelos and he replied that he had relevant information on the pacts with organized crime established by narco-politicians from Morelos such as Agustín Alonso, who is accused of trying to link Blanco with the organized crime.
After the governor said that he did not know who the criminals were with whom he appeared in the photograph published in January, a blanket appeared in which Blanco was reproached for not knowing the criminal leaders. “Puto”, it was read and threatened to give details of the death of the activist
The operators with whom the Morelos president was portrayed were: Irving Eduardo Solano Vera, alias el Profe, leader of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG); Homero Figueroa Meza, nicknamed the Gut, head of the Tlahuica Command and Raymundo Isidro Castro, the Ray, lieutenant of the CJNG. All accused of facilitating drug dealing in Morelos.
When it was leaked that the meeting had taken place through the intermediary of the Catholic Church, Tomás Toral, vicar general of the Diocese of Cuernavaca, acknowledged that it was during a mass on December 12, 2018 for the Virgin of Guadalupe in Yautepec, but denied that it took place. It was about links between Catholics.
“It was known that the governor was there but not who else,” he said.
In another recently released photograph, the former soccer player appears alone with El Ray, founder of the Tlahuica Command and due to the clothing of both, it is presumed that it was the same day of the mass.
In the midst of the scandal, the Morena party has been neutral. “Actually, he has declared that he is very kind and that he takes photos with whomever asks. I believe that he will have to be subject to the review carried out in this regard by the corresponding authorities,” said the deputy coordinator in the Chamber of Deputies, Aleida Alavez.
“We cannot point out something that we do not know by means of a photo or a saying, it is better for the authorities to define it that way.”
For this controversy Cuauhtémoc Blanco opted for the game between politics and sports as a crisis management strategy or escape route. In an interview he said that the accusations of links to organized crime were part of the beating of opponents and announced his future, again as a scorer:
“I want to manage America or the Mexican National Team.”
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