Rape Allegations Divide Mexico’s Governing Party

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Fearing for her life, Ms. Castañeda said she never went to the police. Two years later, as depression seeped in, she said she went to the local prosecutor’s office with the intent of filing a formal report detailing the abuse.

But she said the employee at the office persuaded her to reconsider when he found out she was accusing Mr. Salgado, warning he was too powerful to confront. Ms. Castañeda said she relented and gave up on filing an official report — until last year, when it became apparent that Mr. Salgado would run for governor.

When Mr. Salgado first joined Morena in 2017 and was asked by a newspaper about his past, he laughed it off.

“I have more defects than virtues. I am not running to be a cardinal,” he said. “I am a womanizer, a partygoer, a gambler, a drunkard.”

Then in November of last year, Mexican news outlets reported explosive allegations: An unnamed woman had accused Mr. Salgado in 2018 of brutally assaulting her while she was an employee at La Jornada Guerrero, a newspaper he owned. The woman’s claims are detailed in an investigative file opened by the attorney general of Guerrero that year, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.

According to the document, the employee said she was summoned to Mr. Salgado’s house in 2016, and that he gave her a soda that tasted funny. When she woke up, she said her clothes were put on incorrectly and Mr. Salgado was looking down at her.

“Do you feel better now, little girl?” he asked her, according to the documents.

She said she fled, but that Mr. Salgado later lured her back to his house by sending photos of her naked and unconscious which he threatened to disseminate online unless she met him again. When she returned, he attacked her, she said, raping and beating her as she struggled to tear herself away.

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