Two Mexican Mayoral Candidates Killed Ahead of June Elections

Two Mexican mayoral candidates killed, highlighting the influence of drug cartels in local politics and the challenges to ensuring a safe and democratic electoral process.

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Hadeel Hashem
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Two Mexican Mayoral Candidates Killed Ahead of June Elections

Two Mexican Mayoral Candidates Killed Ahead of June Elections

Two mayoral candidates in Mexico were killed in separate incidents on Friday, bringing the total number of slain candidates ahead of the country's June 2 presidential, congressional, and local elections to 17.

Noé Ramos Ferretiz, who was seeking re-election as mayor of Ciudad Mante in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, was stabbed to death while campaigning. Alberto Antonio García, the ruling party's candidate for mayor of San Jose Independencia in the southern state of Oaxaca, was found dead a day after going missing.

The killings are part of a surge in violence against politicians in Mexico, with drug cartels often targeting candidates to control local governments. "Violence will not decide these elections," said Lorenzo Córdova, president of the National Electoral Institute, condemning the crimes. The government has provided bodyguards for around 250 candidates, but those running for municipal positions remain the most vulnerable.

Ramos Ferretiz was reportedly stabbed while meeting with residents on the streets of Ciudad Mante. García's body was discovered after he and his wife, the current mayor of San Jose Independencia, were reported missing earlier in the week. His wife was later found alive.

The recent slayings have prompted condemnation from political parties and electoral authorities. "These crimes should not occur during elections," the electoral board said in a statement. The period leading up to the June 2 elections has been one of the most violent in Mexico's history, with a total of 156 attacks on politicians and people linked to the political system recorded so far this year, including 50 murders.

Why this matters: The escalating violence against politicians in Mexico underscores the challenges the country faces in ensuring a safe and democratic electoral process. The killings highlight the pervasive influence of drug cartels and organized crime groups in local politics, as they seek to maintain control over municipal governments and resources.

Authorities have launched investigations into the killings of Ramos Ferretiz and García, but no arrests have been made so far. The wave of political violence has raised concerns about the safety of candidates and the integrity of the upcoming elections. As Mexico prepares to head to the polls on June 2, the government faces mounting pressure to provide adequate security for politicians and ensure a fair and peaceful electoral process.

Key Takeaways

  • 2 Mexican mayoral candidates killed in separate incidents, bringing total to 17.
  • Violence against politicians linked to drug cartels seeking control of local governments.
  • Authorities have provided bodyguards for 250 candidates, but municipal candidates remain vulnerable.
  • The recent killings have prompted condemnation from political parties and electoral authorities.
  • The escalating violence raises concerns about the safety and integrity of the upcoming elections.