Two more candidates for mayor in separate cities in Mexico were killed within 24 hours of each other, according to reports by the Associated Press Thursday.
The election is set to take place on July 1, with over 3,400 seats in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies vacant, but the election season has been violent and traumatic, causing hundreds of candidates to pull out of the race in the corrupt and crime ridden country.
An independent mayoral candidate, Omar Gomez Lucatero, was shot to death on Wednesday, and the leftist Democratic Revolution Party candidate, Fernando Angeles Juarez, was killed on Thursday, both in the state of Michoacan. Juarez’s political party issued a statement declaring their candidate dead and pleaded with the government to offer protection to the other candidates running. (RELATED: American Airlines Weighs In On Illegal Immigration Debate)
Since September, 113 politicians, including at least 18 candidates running for office, have been killed, according to the Associated Press.
The crime wave has been fueled by gangs and drug violence in the country, while the tactics and interests of these groups continues to evolve, said Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope to the Associated Press.
“With the evolution of crime, it becomes much more important to gain control over territory, over local governments,” said Hope, referring to drug cartels who employ corrupt local law enforcement to help them in schemes to extort government, tap pipelines, and steal fuel from warehouses. “There has been a breakdown in the management of disputes.”
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