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Dozens of Mexican Candidates Have Been Killed in a Bloody Election Season

Abel Murrieta, candidate for mayor in the Mexican city of Ciudad Obregón, was handing out fliers to a crowd on May 13 when he was approached by two men and shot 10 times in the face, neck, and chest, killing him. The 58-year-old lawyer and former prosecutor is the latest victim in a bloody election season for Mexico. The midterm elections are set to occur on June 6, and the months leading up to this event have brought the murder of dozens of Mexican candidates who are planning on running for political office. Mexico has a history of electoral violence, however, this year’s election is shaping up as the most bloody in recent years, with small criminal gangs looking to control local areas by intimidating or killing off politicians. The scare tactic has lead to vacancies in positions and public concern over whether the government is in control.

From February to April of this year, 46 elected officials, members of political parties, and candidates for office were killed. This represents a 44% jump when compared to the 2018 elections, according to a Mexican political consulting firm. Since September, when the electoral process began, a shocking 82 politicians have been killed, most of them by firearm. More than 60 mayoral candidates withdrew from the campaign across the country due to the spiral of violence, according to official tallies by party officials. Last week, a candidate and former Olympic athlete was kidnapped for several hours by members of a local gang in Valle de Bravo. Roughly 150 candidates have received protection from the government following incessant death threats since campaigning began.

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