Latin America & Caribbean

'Dead' Mexican poll winner Lenin Carballido arrested

In this June 4, 2013 photo, Lenin Carballido poses for a portrait during his campaign in Oaxaca, Mexico

A Mexican man who won a mayoral election even though he had been certified as dead, has been arrested on suspicion of providing false testimony.

Lenin Carballido won the election for mayor of San Agustin Amatengo, in Oaxaca state, on 7 July.

Days later it emerged that official documents suggested he had died in 2010 after a diabetic coma.

Police suspect he faked his death certificate to escape accusations of gang rape.

'Zombie candidate'

Officers say they arrested Mr Carballido, popularly known as the Zombie of Amatengo, at the home of a relative where he was hiding.

Police had issued an arrest warrant for Mr Carballido in 2010 on suspicion of taking part in the gang rape of a woman in 2004.

Eight days later, his family presented a death certificate in his name, stating that he had died of natural causes following a diabetic coma.

The certificate was signed by a doctor and issued by the local records office, which also marked his death in the official registry.

Mr Carballido did not come to the attention of the authorities again until he won the mayoral election of Amatengo by 11 percentage points, for the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD).

The party said it had been tricked by Mr Carballido, who had "presented all his paperwork, his birth certificate, a letter stating he had no criminal record".

"He fooled the prosecutors' office, he fooled the office of records, he fooled electoral officials," PRD official Rey Morales said.

Mr Carballido is facing charges of giving false testimony and providing false documents; the rape case against him could also now be reopened.

The official who issued Mr Carballido's death certificate has also been arrested.

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