Jaime Bonilla, Baja California’s toxic ex-governor

Jaime Bonilla has formally returned to Baja California as the state leader of the political extension of MORENA, Partido del Trabajo (PT) (Work Party). During his first popular speech in the city of Tijuana, he revealed without any restraints what political power, impunity, and shamelessness means in Mexico: Jaime Bonilla spoke about peace.

The subject matter of this speech should not surprise anyone; what is interesting, because of how brazen it is, is that he is talking about achieving peace and does so by attacking. More than peace and harmony, in the words that the new PT leader mentioned, it is the safety that this criminal feels, knowing that he is out of the reach of justice.

True to his style, Jaime Bonilla blamed Governor Marina del Pilar in Baja California of the violence that is currently being experienced in the region; of being away from the people; of not touring the streets of popular neighborhoods (of which he says he is a part of); all of which he said in front of a tired audience which was asking for justice for his deaths and that very probably ignores the almost 6,000 deaths that occurred between 2019 and 2021, when the now PT leader was the governor of Baja California. These numbers were reflected by a 4% increase, well above the figures of the previous administration; not to mention, the 68% perception of insecurity from the people during his administration, according to data by INEGI; or the 32.7% of Baja Californians who claimed that they were victims of armed crimes.

Zeta Tijuana
Zeta Tijuana

What is Bonilla talking about when he talks about peace? If by peace he means the fuero (political privilege status) given by the senate, his proximity to the President of Mexico, or his alleged links with criminal groups, the distance to achieve peace for the people of Baja California has been diluted. Common people, unable to get a protection similar to fuero, are exposed to the power plays of organized crime, product of the distance between the federal branch and the people.

I have previously said that Bonilla carried out himself out “true to his style” during his first speech by blaming the Governor Marina del Pilar of the insecurity experienced in Baja California. What’s outstanding here is not just the accusation but the fact that he is repeating the same patterns from the past: “attacking anyone who is considered an enemy”.

An article by Prensa Bajo Fuego reveals some information about this interesting attitude that Bonilla has against women. In less than two months, the article says, between June 6 and July 31, 2020, when he was still governor, alongside three officials from his administration, they attacked women journalists 38 times with offensive comments or mockery about their work; four women journalists were a target of his attacks during his public speeches or during his livestreams on social media for writing articles about his political actions.

Graphic by Borderhub.org with information from Prensa Bajo Fuego
Graphic by Borderhub.org with information from Prensa Bajo Fuego

The same article mentions that the former governor almost never names anyone, as that is what is most convenient for cowards, but he did expose their work on social media where the articles were signed. That is why in the two years of his administration, he vilified the work by Erika Gallego from La Voz de la Frontera and Elizabeth Vargas from Ensenada.net; other cases such as Adela Navarro from Zeta or Aline Corpus from Reforma were actually singled out by the former governor.

The most outstanding case has been the suspicious death of journalist Lourdes Maldonado, murdered last January 23, 2022, four days after it was announced that she had won a labor lawsuit against PSN, media outlet owned by Bonilla.

The now leader of PT has made several different comments on several different occasions against Governor Marina del Pilar, after a series of investigations put him as the main culprit of multiple million-dollar frauds against the public treasury of Baja California, among other crimes.

It should be noted that in the months where it was requested that he appear in court, nothing was known of his location. His first act in front of the cameras was when his unconstitutional return was approved in the senate and he recovered his fuero protection. Only then did he dare to talk and openly attack Marina del Pilar, who had given the order to bring him to justice as he had compromised the future and economy of Baja Californians.

Due to the multiple attacks by Jaime Bonilla against Marina del Pilar, the governor pointed out in an interview for Ciudad Capital that just like many other people, she has a toxic ex-governor. "There are some people who have toxic ex-partners, I have a toxic ex-governor. Now, as the song goes, get over me, stop talking about me, learn how to lose,” she said.

However, Bonilla is not only a toxic former governor for Marina, but for the people since he took office as governor in 2019. Bonilla’s return as the state leader of PT is not only a reflection of arrogance and abuse of power, above the law, but it is also the face of gender violence and impunity.


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