Mexican Arkancide?


Sometimes, the coincidences get just too...coincidental.

Now we have, in Mexico, the sudden helicopter crash of a newly elected governor, after an apparently very bitter election.  Here's the Globe and Mail report:

A Mexican governor and her senator husband were killed on Monday in a helicopter crash near the city of Puebla in central Mexico, the government said, just days after she had taken office following a bitterly contested election.

Martha Erika Alonso, a senior opposition figure and governor of the state of Puebla, died with Rafael Moreno, a senator and former Puebla governor, when their Agusta helicopter came down on Monday afternoon shortly after take-off, the government said.

This seems to happen a lot in Mexico, quite unlike any comparable place in the region that I know of.

A number of Mexican politicians have died in aircraft accidents in recent years, including federal interior ministers in 2008 and 2011.  The latter two were also members of the PAN.

Maybe it was just the wildest of coincidences, but given the savage character of Mexican politics, I think it's natural to be a little suspicious.  In most of these incidents, the motive is suspected but not utterly obvious.  This one is different: it came after a bitterly contested election that the rabid left says was stolen.  It sounds like the sort of fury we saw from the left when Trump won – except that now we see Mexican politics at play, potentially a straight-up assassination, possibly by the embittered left.

Mexico sees a lot of these helicopter downings, and what's more, it sees a lot of full blown assassinations.  A presidential candidate from before Mexico got into multi-party politics, Luis Donaldo Colosio, was straight-out assassinated in 1994, and his wife died under murky circumstances shortly after that.  Other elected officials have been gunned down or else died in mysterious car crashes.  There was definitely one of those in Michoacán.  Yes, some probably were the work of drug-dealers.  But others were far more likely to be Mexico's toxic politics.  It does happen.

Yet the Mexican government can get real touchy when you bring up any suspicions about the helicopter crash phenomenon.  I remember how furious Mexico City's response was to an actually sympathetic editorial I wrote for Investor's Business Daily, I think in 2008, when a Mexican official was similarly killed in a helicopter crash.  At the time, they were obviously worried about the potential impact on foreign investment, but my thought was to praise the Mexicans for their resolve and sacrifice in fighting drug lords.  That's not the way they think over there.

Why does it matter?  Well, because the U.S. under President Trump is trying hard to get along with the new Mexican administration, run by the leftist Andrés Manuel López-Obrador.  His followers are the top suspects in this mysterious helicopter crash, which, if the investigation leads anywhere, is likely to cast a Putinesque pall over López-Obrador just as it gets its grounding.  Prepare for relations to deteriorate if that grows as a backstory. 

Perhaps even more, it matters because Mexico's politics seems to be the model for Democratic Party politics these days as rage over Trump dominates.  In California, ballot-harvesting has been adopted as a legal practice, in what's a straight-out cultural appropriation of Mexican politics.  If the Democrats are planning to make themselves the "perfect dictatorship" along the PRI model of one-party rule, starting in California and taking that style national, well, the unhappy question is, what else are they borrowing from Mexican politics as they (without saying so, of course) borrow from the Mexican Model?  Yes, it sounds far-fetched.  But we also know how implacably angry the Democrats still are at the election of Donald Trump and how they like to get away with things.

Image credit: Martha Erika Alonso de Moreno Valle, own work, via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0.

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