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AMLO’s Sexy New Campaign Ad Got Taken Down After Less Than A Day

Mexico's electoral dirty war got a bit too dirty for voters.

Posted on June 7, 2018, at 6:39 p.m. ET

The newest spot from presidential frontrunner Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s team, released Thursday, left people feeling a bit…uncomfortable.

In it, we open on a couple that is pretty clearly about to have sex.

The man, dark-haired and muscular, starts to unzip a woman’s jeans when she pushes him off, looking anguished. He puts his hand on her shoulder but she recoils.

“It’s just that…I’m going to vote for Andrés Manuel,” she tells him cautiously, in the tone of a person revealing that she has a ~dark secret~, like she shoves the elderly when waiting in line or listens to RBD's music or something.

After an uncomfortable silence, he smiles and consoles her: He's voting for López Obrador too. They fall back on the couch and continue gleefully making out.

Juan Pablo Espinosa, part of the team in charge of combating misinformation relating to López Obrador, told BuzzFeed News the ad is meant as a response to the other candidates' attacks on AMLO.

Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP / Getty Images

With only 23 days to go before Election Day and polling above 50% in recent polls, many believe his victory is virtually guaranteed — even though it’s still taboo to say you’re voting for López Obrador among some sectors of the upper-middle class.

“We’re going to troll ourselves to expose how ridiculous the content of their videos and their messages is," Espinosa said.

López Obrador’s rivals, anxious about the widening distance between them, lately have focused less on concrete policy proposals and more on portraying the 64-year-old candidate as old and sick.

Handout . / Reuters

In one of the latest taunts, a woman is talking to a doctor while a white-haired man wearing López Obrador’s signature guayabera, a linen shirt popular in Southern Mexico and the Caribbean, sits behind her, gesticulating wildly.

Siguen los ataques contra @lopezobrador_ por su edad. Lanzan un anuncio en que el dicen que "si ya no está en condiciones... no pongas el futuro de tu familia en sus manos".

Old people who repeat things “can do very dangerous things,” the doctor warns.

In another, a young woman introduces her boyfriend, Andrés, to her parents.

View this video on YouTube

Filmed from behind, with only his white hair visible, the looks of horror on the parents’ faces fill the rest of the screen.

“There are choices in life that we can’t turn back,” the mother says in the ad, produced by Nueva Alianza, a party that is running on the ticket with the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

“I’m sorry Andrés, I think I’m going to give it more thought,” the young woman concludes.

In recent weeks, people have reported getting phone calls from unidentified numbers claiming to be pollsters but instead accusing López Obrador’s advisers of threatening to unleash violence if he loses the election.

Gustavo Graf / Reuters

The anti–López Obrador propaganda comes at a particularly sinister time in Mexico, during which 110 candidates from nearly all political parties have been killed, according to Etellekt, a political consulting firm. The National Electoral Institute reports 19 candidates and pre-candidates killed.

López Obrador’s team has retaliated with a message of love — they’ve driven the point so hard that his supporters have started referring to themselves as AMLOvers.

Alfredo Estrella / AFP / Getty Images

They’ve created a political action group — called Abres Más Los Ojos, or, “Open more your eyes” — tasked with disseminating a “resistance manual,” an explainer on López Obrador’s economic policy proposals, and a document that lists the challenges women in Mexico face.

It’s a sharp contrast to his previous two campaigns, during which López Obrador responded impulsively, and often aggressively, to critics.

Alfredo Estrella / AFP / Getty Images

He described his rivals in a flurry of inventive swears and dismissed many of the people he disagreed with. After his first presidential bid, in which he lost by less than 1%, he called on his supporters to take over Mexico City’s most emblematic thoroughfare for months, wreaking havoc on the city.

Thursday’s spot intended to “put the debate over this dirty war on the table,” said Espinosa. It followed another video which showed a young man talking to his parents nervously, appearing to brace himself to come out of the closet.

View this video on YouTube

“I am…” the man scrunches his face, the parents reach for each other’s hands, “an AMLOver.” Relieved, the parents get up to hug him, telling him they’re proud.

But the ads have not gone over quite as well as Espinosa and his team expected, even though he says they knew there would be some backlash.

@AbreMasLosOjos No, no chinguen! No se rebajen al nivel de la oposición, ustedes son mejores que eso. Yo sé que el spot tiene buenas intenciones pero hay mejores maneras de demostrarlo.

“No, no chinguen! Don’t go down to the level of the opposition, you are better than this,” one user tweeted.

“I’m going to vote for AMLO. But the campaign is terrible, it accomplishes the opposite of what it set out to. It lacks humor, it’s not intelligent. Bad,” another supporter tweeted.

@AbreMasLosOjos Voy a votar por AMLO. Pero la campaña es pésima, logra el efecto contrario. No tiene humor, no es inteligente. Mal.

"That was nice but I lied about voting for AMLO."

Shortly after posting the video of the couple about to have sex, the “Open More Your Eyes” Twitter account ran a poll: “Should we take down the two sketches? You decide.”

¿Quitamos los 2 Sketches? Ustedes deciden.

The result after more than 5,000 votes: 37% in favor, 33% against. And down went the ads.

Con la participación de 5,293 personas, ganó el sí. Vamos a borrar los vídeos. ¡Gracias por participar!

When asked whether the ads were a mistake, Espinosa told BuzzFeed News that they weren't. "The users decided. That is the internet. Period."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.