How Sexual Assault Allegations Have Divided Mexico’s Governing Party



Eventually, the woman went to the state’s attorney general at the time, Xavier Oléa. In an interview, Mr. Oléa said the woman handed over the photos that Mr. Salgado sent her of the rape and text messages in which he threatened to kill her if she went to the authorities. Mr. Oléa said he felt there was enough evidence to prosecute.

But Guerrero’s governor told him to drop the case, Mr. Oléa said in the interview, repeating an assertion he has made to Mexican media outlets. The governor’s spokesman declined to comment when contacted.

“He told me not to go forward with it; otherwise the current president would go for his jugular,” Mr. Oléa said, referring to Mr. López Obrador.

A spokesman for the president declined to comment on the claim.

In a news release, the Guerrero Attorney General’s office said the investigation into the woman’s claims was “under revision.” The office said that it “does not endorse” Mr. Oléa’s statements and noted that Mr. Oléa was “solely responsible for deciding and coordinating investigations” while he was the state’s top prosecutor.

Ms. Castañeda said she eventually decided that if she wanted Mexico to change, she needed to pursue her allegations against Mr. Salgado with the authorities.

She said she filed a statement with the Guerrero attorney general’s office in November, shortly before Mr. Salgado was named as the candidate. She said she also filed the accusations with the president’s party, which confirmed receiving them in an internal document obtained by The Times. Ms. Castañeda is now represented by Mr. Oléa, the former attorney general, now in private practice.

Last month, the current attorney general’s office informed Ms. Castañeda that it would not be pursuing her case because the statute of limitations had passed, according to a letter it sent her and viewed by The Times. The attorney general’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

“Many years have passed, but I am here,” Ms. Castañeda said. “The pain is still here.”

Oscar Lopez in Mexico City contributed reporting.


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