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News > Latin America

Companies In Mexico Ordered To Cease, Desist Anti-AMLO Calls

  • Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) greets supporters during a campaign rally, in Cancun, Mexico June 26, 2018.

    Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) greets supporters during a campaign rally, in Cancun, Mexico June 26, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 June 2018

Mexico's electoral institute orders five companies to end their negative propaganda against the presidential candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE) gave several communications and polling companies three hours to stop sending out veiled political surveys that are, in fact, anti-AMLO propaganda phone messages.

Index of Political Violence In Mexico 2018

After a special session on Tuesday, the INE sent a communique via its Twitter account giving Inteliphone, Next Contact, TKM Customer Solutions, Focus Research and Massive Caller three hours to cease sending out phone messages, dressed as legitimate political surveys, intended to create a negative perception of presidential candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), his Morena political party and coalition, Together We’ll Make Change.

The electoral institute stated the recorded calls qualified as “negative political propaganda,” interfered with the nation’s electoral process, and try to influence voter preference.

Adriana Favela, president of the INE complaints committee, said of her committee took the measure: "Because of the way in which these apparent surveys were carried out, it can really be seen that this is electoral propaganda to discourage the vote towards Morena and its candidates."

The companies called out by INE say they weren’t contracted by any political party to carry out the supposed surveys but were merely using their “freedom of expression” in making the calls.

Under the guise of being a political survey, the recordings set up listeners to disagree with AMLO’s promised policies. In one recording, listeners could easily be convinced that the candidate’s anti-narcotrafficking proposals were bad ideas.

The calls began last month and by early June Morena party members presented a complaint to the electoral institute saying that some 4,000 of these calls had been made to the public. It took until Tuesday for the INE to identify the sources of the calls and to release the names of the companies allegedly at fault.

According to the INE statement, the five accused companies said they had only conducted the calls between June 1 and 6, but the institute refutes that claim saying that there’s “evidence” that the phony surveys continue.

Over the past month, candidates and voters have posted the recorded calls to social media under the hashtag, #GuerraSucia, or ‘dirty war’.

The INE says the communications and survey companies will incur legal repercussions if the calls continue past Tuesday night at midnight when the country begins its electoral silence and news blackout in the runup to Sunday’s general elections.  

Favela told the press, "we consider this a precautionary measure and we are ordering that within three hours, from the notification of this agreement, the companies involved suspend any telephone call they were making." The named businesses could face further investigation by the Regional Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal.

Leftist AMLO increased his longtime lead in the polls by .5 a percentage point this week to 37.7 percent, according to Mitofsky Consulting.

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