June 28, 2006


Chávez's Image Becomes Tool for Attack in Mexican Presidential Race (Manuel Roig-Franzia, 6/28/06, Washington Post)

Hugo Chávez is not running for president of Mexico. But some days it's been hard to tell.

The Venezuelan president's face has been all over Mexican television at critical stages in this country's bitter mudfest of a presidential race.

For a while, the party of candidate Felipe Calderón filled its ads with shots of Chávez paired with less-than-flattering images of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the left-leaning Mexican presidential candidate. Later, a political activist group put Chávez back on the tube, surrounded by machine guns and soldiers, and accompanied by a dire voice-over: "In Mexico, you don't have to die to define your future -- you only have to vote!"

The strategy of López Obrador's opponents has been clear. By linking the candidate to Chávez, they have tried to frighten voters into believing López Obrador will be a carbon copy of the Venezuelan president, who has been accused of crushing dissent and crippling democratic institutions.

Mexican political experts generally agree the tactic has been effective.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 28, 2006 10:08 AM
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