Achieving political civility

Democratic rights are violated when electoral and ideological confrontations lead to physical aggression

AMLO rally in 2014 demanding justice in the Ayotzinapa case - Jair Cabrera/EL UNIVERSAL
English 09/01/2018 08:55 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 08:55
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During political campaigns, civility is always put to the test in the face of fanaticism and discrediting tactics. Sadly, Mexico underperforms on this account. In recent decades, it's only enough to remember the murder of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio in 1994.

The problem is not exclusive of our country. Spite and division can cause damages in any other country. In June 216, a few days after the UK voted to leave the European Union, Brexit opposer MP Jo Cox was murdered.

Democratic rights are violated when electoral and ideological confrontations lead to physical aggression. Recent pre-campaign rallies in Mexico City have registered riots which have ended in clashes amongst the attendants and objects being thrown at aspiring candidates.

For this reason, the civility agreement was signed yesterday. Seven out of the ten political parties registered in Mexico City agreed to preserve the rights of freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly and demonstration.

As long as there isn't a real commitment by the political parties and their national leaders not to encourage their sympathizers to lash out against political adversaries, this situation will remain unchanged, regardless of the number of agreements signed.

The main signal that political parties are trying to change the electoral environment has to be reflected in the speeches of the aspiring candidates to Mayor of Mexico City. It's not about discrediting rivals, it's about focusing on the proposals that can truly improve daily life in the capital.

It will also be important to have the violent incidents that have occurred thus far be clarified by authorities. The adequate resolution of the complaints filed will be a guarantee for the trust of the electoral process. The three parties which didn't sign the agreement have all filed complaints to denounce aggressions at the moment they were about to start their rallies.

When the political and ideological position of a political rival is respected in Mexico City, when proposals are more focused on the citizenship and when incendiary speeches are left aside, a key milestone will have been achieved for the life of Mexico City inhabitants...and the same shall apply to all pre-campaigns and campaign activities leading to July 1.


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