THE candidates in Mexico's presidential election are legally forbidden to campaign until March 30th. But President Felipe Calderón, who is barred from running, is hard at it. Opponents accused him of breaking the electoral rules when, at a bankers' conference last month, he brandished a poll showing the candidate of his conservative National Action Party (PAN) just four points behind Enrique Peña Nieto, the front-runner from the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). (Other polls say the gap is much wider.)
Leaks say that federal prosecutors are investigating three former governors of Tamaulipas, a northern border state where criminals and politicians rub shoulders. All three, who deny any wrongdoing, belong to the PRI. Last year the finance ministry exposed an accounting scandal in Coahuila, another PRI-run border state. That led to the resignation of Humberto Moreira, the PRI's president, who had been Coahuila's governor at the time of the alleged book-cooking.