Photo: Max Kleinen/Unsplash

By KELIN DILLON

The beginning of Mexico’s political campaign season back in September of last year seemed to also be a declaration of open season on its politicians, considering 64 politicians having met their untimely demise by assassination in the months following up until Jan. 31, according to a report by Integralia Consultants.

The report found that the violence was spread throughout opposing political parties, with 32 assassinations of National Regeneration Movement (Morena) politicians, 23 deaths from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), 16 deaths from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), 13 killings of the Citizen’s Movement politicians and three assassinations of National Action Party (PAN) affiliates. Morena-affiliates notably made up 44 percent of the recorded fatalities. 

Oaxaca, Guanajuato and Veracruz were the states with the most reported violence during this time frame, with nine, seven and five politically motivated murders in each respective state.

The most prominent murders were of Aristóteles Sandoval (PRI), former governor of Jalisco, who was shot dead in Puerto Vallarta in December, as well as of Florisel Ríos Delfín (PRD), mayor of Jamapa, Veracruz, who was kidnapped and murdered back in November. Other notable assassinations were of Carlos Beltrán Bencomo (PRD), mayor of Temósachic, Chihuahua, and Juan Antonio Acosta Cano (PAN), a local deputy from Guanajuato.

The consulting firm revealed that, of those killed, there were 17 municipal officials, five federal and state officials, six activists, five candidates up for election, four journalists, three former municipal presidents, three party leaders, three local legislators, two judges, two municipal presidents, two local prosecutors and 12 from other political areas.

A reported 54.7 percent of political violence was enacted against active officials, with 17.8 percent against candidates for office and militants, followed by 12.3 percent against former officials and 15.07 percent against activists and journalists.

Integralia also announced most acts of violence against politicians came from organized crime, with 73 recorded acts of political violence and 88 victims (76 men and 12 women) have taken place from September to January.

With Mexico’s midterm elections still months away in June 2021, politicians beware — this may have only been the beginning of the hunt.

…Feb. 11, 2021

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