Violence in Mexico leaves more than 50 politicians killed during election campaign

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By LatAm Reports Staff Writers

Javier Torres, Alejandro Lanuza, Gisela Gaytán and Jaime Damaso wanted to be municipal presidents. Miriam Nohemí Ríos and Mauro Hernández, regents. Samantha Fonseca, senator. And Yair Martín Romero, deputy.

But they did not achieve their goal, as they were killed during the campaigns that this week culminate in Mexico for next Sunday’s general elections, and that will be the largest in their history because, in addition to the presidency, there are 20,000 positions at stake.

According to a report by the organization Causa en Común, the victims are on the list of 32 people who ran for a position but ended up dead, in most cases, shot dead.

They are joined by 24 other leaders or officials linked to the campaigns that have also been completed.

Thus, political violence has marked the electoral process, although President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promises that they will be the freest, fairest and peaceful elections in history and criticizes and insults those who talk about the politicians killed throughout the country. He accuses them of profiting with tragedies.

But the dead are. And most of the 56 political actors killed were from his party, as 26 belonged to the National Regeneration Movement (Morena).

No party is saved from deadly violence, whether it’s Morena’s allies or opponentsMorena.

Seven of the murdered candidates or politicians were members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI); seven others, in National Action (PAN); four, in the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD); four more, in the Green Ecologist of Mexico (PVEM); three, in Citizen Movement (MC); two, in the Solidarity Meeting Party (PES); one, in the Labour Party (PT); and two, in state parties.

The most dangerous states to run are Guerrero and Chiapas, with 11 victims each. They are followed by Michoacán, with six; Guanajuato, with five; State of Mexico, Jalisco and Veracruz, with three each; Oaxaca, Puebla, Sinaloa and Zacatecas, with two; and Mexico City, Colima, Morelos, Tamaulipas and Quintana Roo, with one in each entity.


A common denominator of the crimes is that they affected mostly men and those seeking some office at the municipal level.

The violence generated a widespread climate of fear in the campaigns. That’s why Navy Secretary Rafael Ojeda confirmed at Tuesday’s presidential conference that the government has had to protect 560 politicians.

In this way, in addition to the official presidential candidate, Claudia Sheinbaum, and her rivals Xóchitl Gálvez and Jorge Álvarez Máynez, 11 aspiring governors have special custody; 185 to senators and deputies; 354 local deputies and municipal presidents; and seven electoral officials.

“The high levels of violence are clouding the quality of democracy and governance of the country,” warned the College of Mexico in a study entitled “Urnas and Tombs,” in which it analyzed what happened during the 2021 elections to alert what could happen this year.

The picture is black and murky for the Mexican elections. Taking into account that one of the greatest achievements of the Mexican transition to democracy was its peaceful character, the growing electoral violence is increasingly disturbing for both democracy and electoral institutions, he lamented.

The organization Data Civic, for its part, explained the real and concrete impact of violence, as it increases the absence of electoral officials on election day, as well as of voters.

The reduction of citizen participation in electoral processes strengthens the ties between organized crime and the state apparatus, he warned in his report “Vote between bullets.”

The escalation of violence includes threats, attacks, kidnappings and disappearances. Murders are the last step.


In the last week leading up to the elections, the picture is not improving.

On Monday, Pedro Salazar, candidate for mayor in Jiménez (Tamaulipas) by Movimiento Ciudadano was atacadoshot and attacked. Although he was unharmed, five other campaign militants were injured.

The next day, Gilberto Tito Palomar González, Morena’s candidate for the municipal presidency of Encarnación de Díaz (Jalisco); and Eduardo Díaz López, candidate of the PVEM in Chalco (State of Mexico), also suffered gun attacks.

On Tuesday, the list of political crimes increased with the execution of Ricardo Arizmendi Reynoso, alternate candidate of the PAN, PRI and PRD the municipal presidency of Cuautla (Morelo); and Gerardo Gallegos, coordinator of the campaign team of Silvestre Mata Ruiz, candidate for re-election in the mayor’s office of Padilla (Tamaulipas).

And there are still four days to go before the elections.

This article has been translated after first appearing in El Pais