Mexico City police have seized about $1 million in Mexican currency from two men who were allegedly delivering the bills to the headquarters of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party just days before national elections.
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A city government statement says the seizure occurred Tuesday after an anonymous caller tipped police to a Lincoln Navigator that was driving suspiciously. Inside, police found 20 million pesos, and officials say the men could not explain its origins.
The news website Animal Politico showed a photograph of a bill of lading supposedly for the cash, which had the party headquarters as the delivery address.
The party in a statement denied any connection and called for a thorough investigation.
On Tuesday a U.N.-sponsored group of election observers warned of pervasive vote buying.
A coalition of non-governmental groups monitoring Mexico’s election campaigns say vote-buying schemes and threats of cutting off social programs for those who vote wrong have targeted entire communities.
The United Nations-sponsored Citizen Electoral Observation Network said Tuesday it has identified widespread schemes in the run-up to Sunday’s elections.
Civic Alliance, one of 28 participating organizations, says it has received 350 reports from 30 states with violations, such as giving voters cash or cards that will work for purchases after the election.
Beatriz Camacho of Civic Alliance Nuevo Leon says complaints have been made against all the parties, but most have been directed at the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party.
The coalition documented 6,434 active government social programs in Mexico, creating opportunities of the ruling party in each jurisdiction to pressure voters.