Gran reportaje del periodista del diario The New York Times Dexter Filkins
Just a week before this country’s presidential election, the leaders of a southern Afghan tribe called Bariz gathered to make a bold decision: they would abandon the incumbent and local favorite, Hamid Karzai, and endorse his challenger, Abdullah Abdullah.
Mr. Abdullah flew to the southern city of Kandahar to receive the tribe’s endorsement. The leaders of the tribe, who live in a district called Shorabak, prepared to deliver a local landslide.
But it never happened, the tribal leaders said.
Instead, aides to Mr. Karzai’s brother Ahmed Wali — the leader of the Kandahar provincial council and the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan — detained the governor of Shorabak, Delaga Bariz, and shut down all of the district’s 45 polling sites on election day. The ballot boxes were taken to Shorabak’s district headquarters, where, Mr. Bariz and other tribal leaders said, local police officers stuffed them with thousands of ballots.
At the end of the day, 23,900 ballots were shipped to Kabul, Mr. Bariz said, with every one marked for President Karzai.
“Not a single person in Shorabak District cast a ballot — not a single person,” Mr. Bariz said in an interview here in the capital, where he and a group of tribal elders came to file a complaint. “Mr. Karzai’s people stuffed all the ballot boxes.”