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Presidential Candidates Spamming Voters

With more than 20 million Mexicans now surfing the net, Mexico's presidential candidates have found an easier way to campaign and further their reach to the voters. They are making use of cyberspace, by flooding Mexican voters with online games, cartoons and spam e-mails ahead of the election to be held on July 2nd.

This is the first time in the Mexican history that Internet is being used for election campaigning. Most of the Mexican net users are under the age of 30 and they also total up to more than 40 percent of the 71 million registered voters in Mexico. So, using the cyberspace for election campaigning is a good move to have a wider reach.

Arturo Sarukhan, spokesman for the conservative candidate Felipe Calderon, said, "This is the first Mexican election in which the Internet is having a real impact. Our war room believes it is a crucial vote-winning tool." Felipe Calderon takes the character of a superhero fighting dinosaurs and sharp-toothed fish (portraying his opponents) in an Internet video.

To counter attack, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of the leftist camp used spam e-mails. It includes a slide show with rivals depicted as attacking vampires and Nazi propagandists. Claudia Sheinbaum, his spokeswoman said, "They show the creativity of a social movement. People are outraged at seeing the candidate attacked so viciously and want to do something."

In response Calderon supporters forwarded numerous messages, several of them called Lopez Obrador a dishonest demagogue and a threat to Mexico, some nicknamed Obrador as "El Peje" (a sharp-toothed fish), while some messages reflected Mexico's harsh class divisions.

Ricardo Monreal, campaign coordinator of Lopez Obrador, filed a complaint claiming that the President's administration used government workers to forward 7 million spam e-mails backing Calderon.

Although Calderon is winning the e-mail battle, there are voters who are fed up with the bombardment of campaign e-mails everyday, which literally blocks up their accounts.

Related article: Presidential Candidates’ Electronic Passport Files Improperly Accessed

» SPAMfighter News - 6/24/2006

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