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New law to direct funds from fines on political parties to education

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Despite the popularity of this new law, critics argue that it is not much more than a publicity stunt for Gov. Vila. Photo: Courtesy

Yucatán’s Congress has approved a new law that funds education whenever a political party pays a fine.

The funds collected through this mechanism will fund scholarships for people wanting to pursue higher education.

The bill was presented by Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal and received nearly unanimous support across the political spectrum.

“We owe it to the youth in our state to find new and innovative ways to fund education. This is, of course, just one such action, but every bit helps,” said Rep. Crescencio Guitérrez of Nueva Alianza. 

The bill’s passing has been widely celebrated across the state, with Yucatecos joking that electoral crimes and transgressions will now be seen as a net positive. 

Earlier: New law in Quintana Roo prohibits putting most wild animals on display 

But others, mostly on social media, say that this is nothing more than a public relations stunt for the governor and that the funds collected are likely to disappear into the state’s giant bureaucracy.

“How about you guys just follow the law and fund education through the taxes we pay. Was that not the deal?” said Tizimín resident Manuel Cahuich on Facebook.

Electoral crimes have become fairly routine across Mexico over the past few decades, and Yucatán is no exception.

Common transgressions include violations of moratoriums on political events and marketing immediately before elections, as well as demonstrable slander against parties and candidates. 

Other electoral crimes such as voter intimidation, suppression, and the long-held practice of buying votes in exchange for goods or cold hard cash continue to be common.

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