Two Mexican mayoral candidates killed hours apart in same town

Fernando Llano/AP

A municipal police officer stands guard in Maravatio, Michoacan state, Mexico, on February 27.


Two candidates for mayor of the central Mexican town of Maravatio were killed just hours apart, according to the Prosecutor’s Office of Michoacan state.

Armando Pérez, of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), and Miguel Ángel Reyes, from the ruling left-leaning party, Morena, were both found dead in their personal vehicles having suffered gunshot wounds, the prosecutor said in two separate statements.

Pérez was found on Monday evening, while Reyes had been found a few hours earlier near the hospital where he worked as a doctor.

Both candidates were set to run in the elections on June 2.

During his daily press conference on Tuesday, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the killings were “unfortunate.”

PAN and Morena both condemned the killings and demanded justice for the candidates.

Political violence usually surges around election season in Mexico, and this year is shaping up to be the most violent in Obrador’s six-year term, according to analysts consulted by CNN.

In January alone there were 36 events associated with political-electoral violence, according to data from Data Cívica, a civil association dedicated to data analysis. Eight candidates have been killed since last September when the current electoral process began, according to a report from Intergralia Consultants.

Criminal gangs are known to finance campaigns during election season, intimidating candidates and violently intervening to compel politicians to cooperate with them, the report wrote. It added that criminal organizations center their attacks at the municipal level because mayors can offer them impunity in the territory due to their links with law enforcement and the local economy.

Mexico’s Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez said in early February that the government is working to curb the violence leading up to the 2024 elections.

On June 2, more than 100 million Mexicans will be called to vote in general elections where 20,375 positions will be elected, of which 19,746 are local and 629 are federal, including the presidency.

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