Campaigning with … Jesús Rangel Bautista (PRD)
By Jesús Aguado
The candidate from the PRD party, Jesús Rangel Bautista, took his proposals to the Presa Allende and la Huerta.
On the 37th day of the campaign, a Thursday, I contacted Jesús Rangel and expressed interest in attending his events that day. I learned that the team would depart at 5pm from Rangel’s home in colonia San Antonio. It seemed as if it was going to rain, a bad sign for campaigners since people do not go out to attend the meetings.
I arrived in colonia San Antonio, where there was no room for me in the advance car. Rangel Bautista’s borrowed his daughter’s car, and Adriana Pérez (candidate for assistant mayor) traveled with the group in a Jetta heading towards Presa Allende. On the road they shared their opinions on the bad work the local administration is doing, the possible return of Mayor Mauricio Trejo to the city hall, and federal, state, and local politics in general.
The candidate’s car arrived at Presa Allende, where some women were waiting. Rangel Bautista invited them to get closer and listen to his proposals. His information was accompanied by the sound of water pouring from the dam into the ravine as well as the sounds of cars traveling on the road. The candidate did not need a microphone or amplifiers. He didn’t hand out flags with the party’s logo, caps, t-shirts, or bracelets. To him, these things are not important. What really matters are his proposals, he says.
The residents listened very carefully to the proposal for opening a commissary cafeteria at that location. He also talked about improving security with their participation by using whistles when there is a crime in progress, as practiced by people in León. He said that if he wins the election, the police officers will receive training courses on human rights. Another proposal he wants to adopt is to hire only sanmiguelenses to work in the various departments rather than to follow the current administration “that brought many of its directors from Michoacán.”
He finished his speech and invited people to express their opinions and talk about their needs. The ladies complained about the practice of candidates to ask for their votes, yet never return when they become mayor. The ladies, some sad and some angry, said, “When they (the mayors) are elected, they do not even want to look at us when we go to ask for help, but when they have events, they want our presence to cheer them on. ”They expressed further dissatisfaction about the lack of public work in their community as well the bad treatment young men receive from the police officers. The comments also included statements that the police officers never show up when they are needed.
The meeting ended, and the PRD group headed to La Huerta. On the way they encountered the other half of the team, just arriving from La Huerta, where the candidate for City Councilor of the PRD, Francisco Tovar, had given a speech. It was time to head home.
At the end of the road, at la Presa, the three vehicles stopped briefly. I listened to Tovar, who is really eager to be a city councilor. After having a quick torta paseada (paraded torta)— called this because it was prepared in the morning and has been traveling in the car since then—and a Coca-Cola, I rode with the candidate to Centro. On the way, Rangel Bautista commented that he has visited 100 of the biggest rural communities, and he wants to visit 100 more. At the end of the campaign, he will visit all the neighborhoods in San Miguel. He is tired, but the impunity of the government, the people’s needs, and the social injustices give him energy to keep working and asking people to believe in his project.
This was a singularly busy day for the candidate. In the morning he scheduled private meetings and interviews with the media. That is why he visited just one community on this night.