Did a 'dead' man win election in Mexico town?

OAXACA, Mexico (AFP) - A man who was allegedly certified as dead almost three years ago has won a race for mayor in the southern state of Oaxaca.

Mr Leninguer Raymundo Carballido Morales won the election in the small town of San Agustin Amatengo by just 11 votes last Sunday as the candidate of a coalition of conservative and leftist parties.

But now prosecutors are investigating whether Mr Carballido Morales faked his own death in 2010 in order to escape arrest in connection with the gang rape of a woman in 2004.

A living and breating Carballido Morales actually campaigned in the election, appearing in public events and giving interviews to reporters.

But two days before the vote, the local daily Tiempo de Oaxaca reported that the candidate's lawyer had delivered a forged death certificate to authorities in 2010.

The document, which was certified by a doctor, declared that Mr Carballido Morales had died of "natural causes" following a diabetic coma, the newspaper said.

Ms Iliana Araceli Hernandez, a state prosecutor for crimes against women, said her office launched an investigation in the wake of the report "to determine if a crime was committed."

Oaxaca's civil registry director, Aide Reyes, acknowledged that a public servant signed the document and that her office opened an investigation.

The state head of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), Rey Morales Sanchez, whose party was part of the candidate's coalition, told AFP that if the mayor-elect committed a crime, "he will have to be replaced" by his substitute.

Mr Carbadillo Morales proved once again he's alive and well on the eve of the election, writing on his Facebook page that he had gone to the prosecutor's office "to ask for information related to the incidents linked to me, which are totally false."

"The proof," he added, "is that there's not even a formal complaint."

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