It was after the arrest of three Politiqueras from the city of donna in December by FBI agents that has tainted their reputation. Now some question their role in our political system.
It seems that nowadays without Politiqueras, candidates in the valley would have a tough run.
Considered as campaign workers, these runners use their contacts to deliver votes to whom they work or volunteer for.
A common sight is them holding banners or knocking on doors.
“This started with individuals who volunteered their time for a candidate and to assist voters,” Paul Vazaldua, justice of the peace candidate for Hidalgo County pct. 2 pl.2
The name Politiquera now has a negative tint following criminal charges against three women from the city of donna for buying votes during a 2012 race
Diana Castañeda, Rebecca Gonzalez and Guadalupe Escamilla allegedly used campaign funds provided by managers or candidates to bribe the electorate with up to 10 dollars in cash and even in some cases with cigarettes.
“They were working for my campaign,” explains Ricardo Rodriguez, hidalgo county district attorney candidate
The reality is Politiqueras such as Gonzalez and Escamilla have worked for numerous other campaigns apart from rodriguez’s. However the candidate denies ever asking them to do such illegal acts.
According to these two candidates, it is the low voter turnout and the lack of information about local races that creates a use for Politiqueras.
“Only 9 percent of the McAllen electorate actually votes,” explains
“As long as they don’t do anything illegal they are useful for political campaigns,” says Rodriguez.
While the Donna Politiqueras case continues to unfold in federal court, current campaigns prepare for election day on March 4th.
How much the controversy will affect the outcome is yet to be seen.