In Mexico, voters don't punish governors who get their states into debt

Veracruz (45 billion pesos), Chihuahua (42 billion pesos), Quintana Roo (22 billion pesos), Oaxaca (13 billion pesos) and Tamaulipas (12 billion pesos) are the five states with the largest amount of debt.

Jacqueline Peschard, researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), said that debt in general does not affect electoral preferences. (Photo: Archive / EL UNIVERSAL)
English 03/04/2016 16:07 Actualizada 16:13
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In Mexico governors get their states into debt without legal consequences, and they do not get punished by voters either, according to experts consulted by EL UNIVERSAL.

An analysis made by this newspaper revealed that in the 12 states that will hold gubernatorial elections on June 5, the level of indebtedness of the local governet will have no effect on votes.

Veracruz (45 billion pesos), Chihuahua (42 billion pesos), Quintana Roo (22 billion pesos), Oaxaca (13 billion pesos) and Tamaulipas (12 billion pesos) are the five states with the largest amount of debt, according to information from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP). One billion pesos equals to 57.7 million dollars.

They are followed by Puebla (8 billion pesos), Zacatecas (7 billion pesos), Durango (7 billion pesos), Hidalgo (6 billion pesos), Sinaloa (4 billion pesos), Aguascalientes (3 billion pesos) and Tlaxcala (33 million pesos).

Researchers and academics consulted by EL UNIVERSAL agreed that governors get their states into debt to build new infrastructure in an attempt to keep voters happy.

In the past five years the state debt grew four times more than the income received by local governments from the federal government, according to Kristóbal Meléndez, expert from the Center for Economic and Budgetary Research (CIEP).

He added that one example is Durango, whose debt rose 32.3% from September to December 2015, while in the case of Oaxaca it increased 16.7%.

Javier Duarte from Veracruz; César Duarte from Chihuahua and Roberto Borge from Quintana Roo are the three governors who top the list of indebtedness in their states, according to reports from the Ministry of Finance.

Jacqueline Peschard, researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), said that debt “is not an element that affects electoral preferences, unless debt was highlighted in political campaigns.”

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