02 July 2007

Durango archbishop: Not voting is a mortal sin

The archbishop of Durango, Mexico, Hector Gonzalez Martinez, told reporters that not voting is a mortal sin, after casting his vote in the northern Mexican state's local election on Sunday. Catholic leaders in Mexico have previous encouraged the faithful to participate in elections and vote for parties that promote Catholic values - usually not the PRD. But calling absenteeism a sin sets a new standard.

As the Mexfiles blog playfully points out, "48% of the state is expected to put their souls in peril."

The PRI-Green alliance should come out as the big winners in Durango, a state famous for being the scene of many old Western movies. The PRI also looks to be doing well in Chihuahua.

In Zacatecas state, a traditional PRD hotbed, the left-leaning party was trailing in the state capital of Zacatecas to the PAN, but claimed a majority of the municipalities. Previously to taking the state capital, the only panista with any notoriety in Zacatecas was Andres Bermudez, the migrant-turned-millionaire mayor of Jerez, who is better known as the Tomato King. (He now sits in the federal Congress.) Perhaps in a sign of how unremarkable his run as municipal president (mayor) of Jerez was, the town swung back to the PRD.

Internal bickering - nothing new for the PRD - has been common Zacatecas and no doubt played a role in the election outcomes.

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