By Jose Gil Olmos for Proceso translated by Reed Brundage MexicoVoices
With the spread of various recordings in which he appears with several players in Michoacan politics, making agreements or giving orders and demonstrating the power he has gained over the government of Fausto Vallejo and the political institutions of Michoacán, Servando Gómez, "La Tuta", became the Lord of the videos.
The teacher from the rural municipality of Arteaga, founder of La Familia Michoacana and the Knights Templar, has shown that he has a very clear vision of the political and strategic use of the media and social networks. His criminal group is the only one, among those that exist in the country, which has in its structure a special area dedicated to implementing a communications policy to impact public opinion and the government.
During the administration of Fausto Vallejo, the leader of the Knights Templar held meetings with various officials, including the interim ex-gobernador, Jesus Reyna, and the son of the former governor, Rodrigo Vallejo Mora, who were recorded as being tied up and subject to his will.
So far, five recordings have been leaked that demonstrate the intimate links between organized crime and the political class of Michoacan, which, according to Father Gregorio Lopez, vicar of the cathedral of Apatzingán, is linked almost entirely to the Knights Templar.
In a society of images, broadcast video and photographs have become an important part of the strategy of any group that wants to impact public opinion, influence government decisions or strike back at the actions of their opponents. This is well understood by "La Tuta", who knew very well the value of the recordings of the meetings held with various players from Michoacan politics.
"Information is power", this is the starting point of "La Tuta's" strategy, who, in key moments, has dispersed video images or compromising photograph of meetings, such as the ones he had with Reyna and VallejoMora. In that sense, the video recently released by Reporte Indigo also stands out; it shows PAN deputies at a party with prostitutes, after an alleged meeting for legislative work, a party also attended by an alleged drug trafficker.
In 2015 there will be elections in Michoacan for the governorship, the local Congress and 113 municipal mayors, while, at the federal level, new members of the Chamber of Deputies will be elected. The spread of these videos with compromising pictures may be a foretaste of the foul play that different political groups will deploy in the campaigns to impact the image of their opponents.
But beyond this, and the media strategy of organized crime and political groups which these videos reflect, is the close link between these two groups, the political parties and criminal groups, that, as time passes, more and more meld together, integrating into one body a single power group that begins to govern some states such as Michoacán, Tamaulipas and some others that are about to enter this facet of co-government or of the capture of the State by drug traffickers