MEXICO CITY — For a dead man, Lenin Carballido apparently ran a pretty good campaign.
Last Sunday, nearly three years after he was officially declared dead, Carballido was narrowly elected mayor of San Agustín Amatengo, a small town in Mexico’s Oaxaca state.
Carballido faked his own demise in 2010, according to Mexico’s Reforma newspaper, in order to evade charges stemming from a 2004 sexual assault.
With police on his trail, Carballido “died” and obtained a coroner’s certificate in September 2010, affirming he had succumbed to “natural causes” after slipping into a diabetic coma. The charges were dropped.
Carballido’s resurrection occurred this year when he ran as a local candidate for Mexico’s leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), beating his opponent Sunday by a margin of 11 votes, 515 to 504.
Isidoro Yescas, a state election official in Oaxaca, said investigators were seeking to obtain an official copy of Carballido’s death certificate, which would leave him unfit for office.
“Even if he’s been elected, such proof that he committed a crime would make him ineligible and strip him of his right to serve,” Yescas told Reforma, adding “this is not a typical electoral crime.”
PRD officials said they were not aware that their candidate was legally dead.
Washington Post special correspondent Gabriela Martinez contributed to this report.
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