Man certified dead in 2010 wins election for mayor in Mexico village
Prosecutors are investigating how a man certified as dead was elected mayor of a village in southern Mexico.
Authorities say relatives of Lenin Carballido used a death certificate showing he died of a diabetic coma in 2010 to convince police to drop an arrest warrant against him for allegedly participating in a 2004 gang rape.
But Carballido emerged the narrow winner of last Sunday's election in San Agustin Amatengo in Oaxaca state.
In his campaign, he posted photos of himself all around the village of 1,400 residents, with slogans like "Now is the Time" and "United for Development".
Just after his victory, the death certificate surfaced with his full name of Leninguer Carballido.
Officials in Oaxaca said on Thursday that the certificate had been drawn up and signed by a public registry official, but that the information had been faked.
Carballido's party, the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, known as the PRD, said it had been fooled by the candidate.
"When he registered as a candidate, he presented all his paperwork, his birth certificate, a letter stating he had no criminal record," said Rey Morales, the state leader of the PRD. "He fooled the prosecutors' office. He fooled the office of records. He fooled electoral officials.
"If all this is true, he cannot take office as mayor."
Haydee Reyes Soto, the director of the Oaxaca public records office, said the registry official who drew up the fake death certificate used a real official form, signed it and stamped it with an official seal. It was even listed under a file number used to record a real death.
"The form is real; what is false is the information," Reyes Soto said. He added that "the decision has already been made to fire" the official, Abel de la Rosa Santos, who is also being questioned by prosecutors.
According to records, a woman accused of Carballido and four other men of raping her in Oaxaca city in 2004.
Mayra Ricardez, spokeswoman for the Oaxaca state prosecutors' office, said the arrest warrant against Carballido was "never served, because his family showed officers a false death certificate".
Ricardez said the statute of limitations had not run out on the crime. "The prosecutors' office is taking all the legal steps necessary to revive the case and serve the arrest warrant that is still pending," she said.