|Birthday Bash for Famous San Blas Mayor Who 'Only Stole a Little Bit'|
Mexico News Daily
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January 3, 2017
|The Mayor of San Blas with singer Guardia|
Was it a political campaign rally or a birthday party? Election authorities suspect the former, the birthday boy was cautious but the evidence suggests it was a bit of both.
The mayor of San Blas, Nayarit, famous around the world for admitting he had only stolen “a little bit” from municipal coffers during a previous term in office, celebrated his birthday Saturday.
The event was typical for Hilario Ramírez Villanueva, also known as “Layín,” whose parties and campaign rallies are big and brash events that adhere to his popular slogan: “un taquito, un traguito y un ruidito,” or “a little bit to eat, a little bit to drink and a little bit of noise.”
Some 10,000 people turned up at Ramírez’ mango packing plant in the Nayarit coastal town, many of them bused in from various other municipalities of the state.
They ate birria, a traditional Jalisco stew that required 100 head of cattle, and a tonne of tortillas. They drank 12,000 beers and danced to the music of two famous singers and at least five bands.
Some have estimated the party cost 5 million pesos, or US $240,000, but Ramírez would not confirm the figure. He said a friend was in charge of the expenses and promised to ask him. In the meantime, the source of the funds was “thanks to God, so many friends, so many donations, they gave us a nice little festival . . . .”
But one hint that this was more than a birthday party came with the arrival of officials from the National Electoral Institute, their visit triggered by denunciations from the leaders of various political parties who saw the event as campaign-related.
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