Mexico elections cast light on governors – and state systems built on corruption

6/2/2016 The Guardian

2000px-Veracruz_en_México.svgAlexander Figueroa was eating lunch with his family when armed men burst in and forced them to the ground, screaming, “Where’s the boss?” The assailants, who wore bulletproof vests, military-style boots and buzzcuts, methodically searched the house before dragging the 22-year-old away.

Minutes later, a convoy of Mexican army vehicles pulled up at the house in Córdoba, a colonial town in Mexico’s south-eastern Veracruz state. Like the gunmen, the soldiers said they were also looking for Figueroa’s father, a local leader of the sugar cane workers’ federation. He was not at home, and escaped arrest, but his son has not been seen since the raid in December 2014.

“We’ve searched for him in the hills, rivers, and mass graves but there’s no news of him,” sobbed Figueroa’s mother, Ana Lilian Ortiz. “We have photos and witnesses but the authorities deny the military were ever here.”

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