‘We Condemn The Events’: At Least 16 Mexican Politicians Killed In Four Months As Mexico’s Election Race Ramps Up

(Public/Screenshot/Facebook/Gobierno del Estado de Tamaulipas)

John Oyewale Contributor
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A mayoral candidate in northern Mexico was fatally stabbed Friday, rendering him at least the 16th Mexican politician killed ahead of the country’s national elections slated for June 2, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Noé Ramos Ferretiz was seeking reelection as mayor of Ciudad Mante city in Tamaulipas, a border state troubled by drug cartel turf wars, at the time of his untimely death, according to the news report. Ramos was running on the platform of the coalition between the opposition National Action Party and the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, the report noted. The PRI dominated Mexican politics for 71 years, losing an election for the first time in 2000, according to Reuters.

“From the Government of the State of Tamaulipas, we condemn the events that occurred in El Mante, where the licensed Municipal President, Noé Ramos Ferretiz, lost his life,” ran a translation of a statement on Twitter, by the state government.

A video of Governor Américo Villarreal Anaya of Tamaulipas speaking to reporters on the death of Ferretiz at a press conference accompanied the statement.

“We condemn the cowardly murder of Noé Ramos Ferretiz,” PRI party president Alejandro Moreno said in part on Twitter.

Such condemnatory statements following the deaths of politicians have become routine in Mexico as Ramos’ killing brings the tally of politicians killed since Jan. 2024 to at least 16, the AP report noted. (RELATED: Anonymous Tip Leads Authorities To 27 ‘Hacked-Up’ Bodies: Report)

Hardly had mayoral candidate Bertha Gaytán requested police protection and settled into her campaign for the mayoralty of Celaya city in the north-central state of Guanajuato than she was shot dead Apr. 2, a separate AP report revealed. Gaytán reportedly belonged to Morena, the party of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose tenure ends in September.

Mayor Guillermo Torres Rojas of Churumuco in Michoacán state and his 14-year-old son were shot in a taco restaurant Mar. 30, according to a statement from the state’s attorney general. The mayor reportedly did not survive.

Two mayoral candidates were shot dead hours apart elsewhere in Michoacán late Feb., according to the AP report.

Mexican drug cartels try to influence local politics by fielding their candidates or getting rid of potential rivals, a situation President López Obrador admitted existed, according to the outlet.

“They make an agreement and say, ‘this person is going to be mayor; we don’t want anyone else to register to run,’ and anybody who does, well, they know” what to expect, López Obrador reportedly said.

The Mexican government reportedly reacted to the killings by providing bodyguards for some 250 candidates. Mayoral candidates, while being the most vulnerable to attacks, often are the least protected, the outlet noted.

“We reiterate the call to the authorities to guarantee the protection of candidates on this election day. We will not allow violence to decide the election!” Moreno added, according to his statement.