Mexican prez sister accused by former ruling party

AP News
Posted: Feb 20, 2012 5:54 PM
Mexican prez sister accused by former ruling party

The sister of Mexican President Felipe Calderon was hit with accusations of possible corrupt practices Monday

Mexican news media widely played n audio recording purporting to be of Luisa Maria Calderon talking with campaign staffers about giving cash in exchange for support during her failed race to be governor of Michoacan state last year.

The opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, filed a complaint accusing her of buying votes with public money. The PRI said prosecutors should investigate possible corruption and punish those responsible.

President Calderon's National Action Party, known as PAN, said the accusation was false and called it a "smokescreen" to distract voters before the July presidential election.

Jose Espina, president of the PAN's election commission, told reporters that he hadn't heard the audio.

In the recording, a woman, allegedly Luisa Maria Calderon, talks to her staff about garnering support in Michoacan towns, saying she will "toss money" wherever the other candidate has done it. The PRI said the conversation referred to the PAN primary elections.

The PAN charged during the same November state elections that the PRI intimidated voters with phone calls and a message published in a newspaper that threatened anyone who voted for PAN candidates.

It also complained after Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez wore the PRI's logo on the left leg of his trunks during a match broadcast in Mexico the day before the state vote.

The federal electoral tribunal ruled in the PAN's favor in the case of the race for mayor of Morelia, the state capital, but confirmed the victory of Calderon's PRI opponent for governor, Fausto Vallejo.