Yaqui for Borderland Beat
The former self-defense leader, who will be the PES candidate for state government, warns that there will be violence in the next election. In his proposals, he raises the penalties for offenders.
Hipólito Mora joins forces with PES ( Partido Encuentro Solidario) to compete for the governorship of Michoacán.
The former self-defense force said that the political route is the option to solve the problems of the state and “not the weapons, because with these there is a lot of pain.”
Hipólito Mora expressed his intention to be considered, when electoral times allow, as one of the candidates for the governorship of the state of Michoacán and said that he joined the PES because it is not a party marked by scandals.
“Now I have the opportunity to participate in political life; I am completely sure that this is the way to solve the problems that exist in the state, and not with weapons, because with these there is a lot of pain,” he said in his message at the press conference where he was presented this Wednesday.
The president of the PES Michoacán, Eder López, expressed his satisfaction with the strengthening of the party in Michoacán and clarified that the PES in Michoacán will not carry out electoral alliances of any kind for the next electoral process in 2021.
It is not the first time that the businessman aspires to a popular election position, the Citizen Movement nominated him as federal deputy in 2015, but he did not reach the votes to represent District 12. Today he seeks to succeed the PRD Silvano Aureoles, of whom he has been critical of on security/ safety issues.
Hipólito Mora is the founder of the La Ruana self-defense group, which in 2013 took up arms to confront La Familia Michoacána and Los Caballeros Templarios. In the middle of that period he was imprisoned and one of his sons killed in a confrontation.
Hipólito Mora attracted national attention in 2013, when he and other agricultural producers decided to form self-defense groups to confront criminal organizations operating in Michoacán. Today, eight years after that and with those groups of armed civilians mostly dissolved, Mora wants to regain relevance in his state, where he will be a candidate for governor for the Solidarity Encounter Party (PES) and where he aspires to lead a new alternation partisan in the local Executive Power, which has been in the hands of the PRI and the PRD.
Less than five months before the voting on Sunday, June 6, Mora knows that insecurity will be one of the main issues for debate in this contest. Furthermore, he warns that crime will be a key factor to consider during this process, as he foresees that criminals will carry out violent acts and even try to define candidacies.
“I’m pretty sure it will happen. There is a lot of violence. Organized crime wants to put in its candidates, it has already done so in other elections, and I do not think that today they are going to stop and have a fair election. They are going to try to put people who have to serve them and I have no doubt about that, but if we are determined to serve others, we have to take some risks and forget about what might happen ”, he says in an interview .
Originally from the town of La Ruana, Mora is aware that insecurity is one of the pending problems in Michoacán. In 2020 alone, the state registered 2,433 victims of intentional homicide, equivalent to 7% of the total recorded in the country, according to the most recent figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP).
Faced with the violence carried out by criminal groups such as the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) or Los Viagra, Mora proposes measures such as boosting the generation of jobs and giving more opportunities to young people to avoid being recruited by organized crime, although its main bet is to toughen the penalties for those who violate the law.
“I think that what needs to be changed is that there be more severe penalties for offenders, because they put them in jail and the next day they are free again, and apply pressure so that those who are arrested are kept there for a long time, so that when they get out , leave in fear and do not participate again ”, he argues.
This year’s election will not be the first time Mora has been on a ballot. He already was once, in the federal elections of June 2015, when he was a candidate for the Chamber of Deputies for the Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) party, but he lost in his district and did not reach a seat.
Today, he affirms that he accepted to be nominated by the Encuentro Solidario – formerly the Encuentro Social Party – because he was able to establish a good relationship with the party leaders and because he considers that he and this political force share some key principles.
“They have also fought in defense of life, I also did it in another way, and I think we agree on that,” he says.
About what he offers to the citizens of Michoacán after the PRI and PRD governments, Mora assures that his commitment is to be honest and not govern for his personal benefit, but for that of the entire entity.
“I offer them that I will always speak the truth, that I will work for them if I have the opportunity, that I will find a way that there is not as much violence as there is now, and find a way not to suffer so many deficiencies and neglect”, he says.
“If the Michoacanos support me this time I will become a candidate”.
“I am not going to enter a public office to loot the state … We need someone who really wants things to change,” adds the future candidate of the PES, who declares himself ready for the 2021 contest and is sure that he will win “the person in whom Michoacános trust the most ”.
Eight years after he took up arms to fight a battle against crime, Mora is now getting ready to hold another fight, this time by electoral means, but in which the issue of insecurity will be present again.
Seven years after the emergence of the self-defense groups, how is Michoacán doing in terms of security?
There is a lot of violence, yes all Michoacános are seeing it. For years now they are murdering many women, but also many men, but unfortunately those of us who are suffering the consequences are the citizens. I wonder: how long are we going to be like this? When are we going to have authorities who really want to do their job and carry out the position as it should be for the good of society, to give us peace? I don’t know if they don’t want to, if it is because they are in collusion with criminals or it is due to ineptitude.
It was my turn to see the process of the self-defense groups, I am the true founder here in Tierra Caliente, later more self-defense leaders emerged, but some leaders let the self-defense groups fill up with pure criminals and put on the self-defense shirt, that’s why it was lost. Then the federal government came through Alfredo Castillo and joined with them. The federal government is responsible for the fact that the self-defense groups did not function as they did at the beginning.
Now there is more violence than before, there is payment of the floor, (piso), kidnappings, homicides, everything. I think it is time to organize in another way, by way of peace, to convince people that we should not vote for the same politicians as always, who only enter to enrich themselves, to steal, to loot. We should change our mentality, look for profiles of honest people, who really want change, and stop supporting those who only live off politics and who in elections will remember to look for us to give them the vote.