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Política y gobierno

versión impresa ISSN 1665-2037


ANG, Milena. Criminal Contagion. How Governor Detentions Weakened the PRI. Polít. gob [online]. 2020, vol.27, n.2, ePYG1280.  Epub 17-Feb-2021. ISSN 1665-2037.

Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented rise of Mexican governors prosecuted and incarcerated for corruption, most of which were from the ruling party PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional). Could these judicial cases partly explain the resounding electoral loss suffered by the PRI party in 2018? In this paper, I argue that the criminal behavior of PRI governors who were prosecuted affected the PRI’S most recent presidential electoral outcome. First, I argue that this criminal behavior affected the partisan reputation of the PRI. I illustrate this claim by showing that these criminal actions were often referenced by the media as evidence not only of individual malfeasance but of networks —embodied in the PRI party— that had enabled the criminal behavior. Second, I argue that these discourses affected electoral choice. I propose that if these discourses were indeed affecting the PRI vote, we should observe lower support for PRI among voters that are most exposed to these discourses such as voters of places with criminal governors and voters in districts with higher access to internet. Using a difference-indifferences setup and a cross-sectional analysis, I show that both of these groups indeed voted less frequently for the PRI. I conclude the paper by discussing the aftermath of the election and what the existence of this contagion means for partisan accountability.

Palabras llave : corruption prosecution; elections; political parties; governors.

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