The presidential pre-candidate for the Citizen Movement party (MC), Samuel García Sepúlveda, announced the end of his intentions to seek the presidency [in 2024] and resumed his duties as the governor of Nuevo León. He had previously requested from the local Congress a six-month leave, which had taken effect on Saturday. His decision stemmed from the appointment by the PRI and PAN-controlled legislature of a figure from outside his party as the interim governor, a local coup d’etat, which represented the ouster of the party and project chosen by the people of Nuevo León in elections.

The conflict arose from a combination of errors: on the one hand, Garcia’s insistence on temporarily stepping down, despite knowing that his political rivals in Congress have sought to oust him since the beginning of his term; and on the other hand, the disregard of PRI and PAN lawmakers for the people’s will and their efforts to seize the governorship through maneuvers that violate democratic order. Since the Congress granted permission for Garcia to step down on October 25, a series of struggles ensued over the appointment of his replacement, leading inevitably to legal battles. It’s noteworthy that the appeals from the PAN and the PRI were swiftly resolved, while those from the MC remain frozen.

Just before Garcia Sepúlveda’s leave took effect, the third district judge in labor matters in Mexico City revoked the appointment of former deputy prosecutor Luis Enrique Orozco Suárez as interim governor. In an exceptional display of sensibility in this saga, the judge determined that the local Congress must respect the ruling by the Electoral Court and as such, respect the political vehicle with which Samuel García won the elections, that is, the Citizen Movement party and must align its decision with the popular will expressed by voters. However, hours later a Supreme Court Justice ordered Orozco Suárez to assume the role of substitute governor, displaying once more a clear partisan bias and an undemocratic attitude. The ruling was issued with unprecedented speed and sloppiness: according to the Court’s electronic records, the ruling was issued before it had been accepted for processing. Additionally, it was shared on social media before the parties were officially notified, which leaves the impression that they sought to portray Orozco’s assumption of office as a fait accompli that left the constitutional governor with no other option.

Orozco not only has well-known partisan ties with the PRI but is also deeply discredited in the state of Nuevo León. He was the deputy prosecutor when the young woman Debanhi Susana Escobar Bazaldúa was forcibly disappeared and murdered, and participated in simulated investigations that served to hinder the discovery of the victim’s body for 13 days. Debanhi’s parents accuse him of being among those who obstructed the investigation and constructed the narrative of an “accidental death”. Her parents criticized the lack of shame, heart, and dignity of the lawmakers who appointed him interim governor.

The fact is that Nuevo León woke up with two governors on Saturday, and there is currently no clear resolution to this crisis, as local laws do not provide a mechanism to reinstate a governor who took a leave. While the local Congress claims Garcia is no longer in office, he asserted that he has fully resumed his duties. He accused PRI and PAN lawmakers of attempting to extort him by offering the appointment of his choice of his replacement in exchange for yielding control of the prosecutor’s office and the archiving all of the corruption investigations against members of the aforementioned political parties. Thus, the sedition of PAN and PRI lawmakers, along with the political incompetence of the Citizen Movement candidate, has given rise to an unnecessary crisis that leaves the inhabitants of this significant industrial and financial hub as hostages to the power struggles between irresponsible representatives and officials.

This editorial first appeared on the pages of Sunday’s La Jornada newspaper and was translated by the Mexico Solidarity Project.