Violence in Mexico marks the biggest elections in the country's history

At least 17 candidates for public office have been murdered before the electoral process scheduled for June.

The violence in Mexico will not stop. In recent days, according to non-governmental organizations, at least 17 candidates for public office have been murdered in various parts of the country. This happens four months ahead of what the National Electoral Institute described as the biggest elections in the history of Mexico.

"In 2024 there will be an approximate projection of 98 million voters, and the installation of 170,000 unique polling stations throughout the national territory, as well as the participation of 1,530,027 officials of the Polling Station Boards of Directors, which will be the largest electoral process in the history of Mexico," explained the INE on its official website.

As the elections approach, citizens and experts warned about the increase in fear in the midst of the electoral campaign. It is not only politicians that are suffering from the violence. In recent days, the country is experiencing an escalation of violence that has worried the whole nation.

One of the latest cases was that of Manuel Hernández, general director of politics and government for the Misantla City Council and candidate for Morena to be a local deputy in the next elections. He was murdered in the town of Santa Margarita in Misantla.

The Veracruz Prosecutor's Office highlighted that it is investigating the incident.

Widespread violence

For example, last week, four members of a family who were reported missing in the state of Guerrero, in southern Mexico, were found dead from suspected violence in an indigenous region. A few weeks ago, in this same region, a group of 20 children were armed and integrated into the community police force while adults searched for the missing.

"The bodies were found in black bags this Monday morning on the Chilapa-Tlapa highway, at the point known as Las Antenas, where indigenous authorities have accused the criminal group Los Ardillos of the criminal violence that devastated the region in recent years," explained AFP.

In the south of Veracruz, the former municipal president of Sayula de Alemán, Andrés Valencia Ríos of the opposition National Action Party (PAN), was shot and killed. As explained by AFP, the crime was perpetrated on the Sayula-San Juan Evangelista highway. The politician was supporting residents in rescue efforts for a drowned person.

'Violence has seen serious increases in recent years'

Another notable case in the state happened on Jan. 27, when the president of the Municipal Committee of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) in Cuitláhuac, Alejandro Naredo, was shot and killed. This generated the repudiation of opponents of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party, which currently governs Veracruz.

The federal representative of district 16 of the municipality of Ecatepec, state of Mexico, Yair Martín Romero Segura, was also murdered, along with his brother.

In total, a report from the Electoral Laboratory organization explained that, so far, 50 cases of electoral violence have been recorded from June 4, 2023 to Feb. 7, 2024. Thirty-three people have been murdered, of which at least 16 were political candidates:

  • Samantha Carolina Gomes Fonseca
  • David Rey González Moreno
  • Sergio Hueso
  • Miguel Ángel Cruz Robles
  • Alejandro Lanuza Hernandez
  • Jaime Damaso Solis
  • Ricardo Taja Ramirez
  • Marcelino Ruiz Esteban
  • Moisés Tomás Juárez Abarca
  • Jaime Vera
  • Miriam Noemi Ríos
  • Dagoberto García Rivera
  • Alfredo Giovanni Lezama Barrera
  • Porfirio Hernandez
  • Javier Torres
  • Wilman Monje Morales

"Political violence and widespread violence in Mexico have seen serious increases in recent years. National organizations such as Data Cívica have also initiated monitoring processes to understand how the increase in violence has been having strong impacts on the democratic life of the country," said the organization.

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