By KELIN DILLON
With Mexico’s midterm elections fast approaching on Sunday, June 6, instances of violence against politicians has increased in turn, with the shooting of four candidates, the kidnapping of one election hopeful and the torture and execution of a political operator all happening with just days left to go before the vote.
Just last week, Etellekt Consultancy revealed that 88 politicians had already been killed in 2021’s electoral cycle, with consulting firm Integralia estimating an even higher figure of 143 election-related fatalities.
Rosa Elia Milan Pintor, candidate for mayor of Cuitzeo in Michoacán, was the target of a gunshot attack that caused her husband to be injured in the crossfire, while Salvador López Amaro, candidate for Mayor of Villa de Arriaga in San Luis Potosí was ambushed by armed gunman in the middle of a political rally, seriously wounding one of his associates, though López Amaro himself escaped unharmed.
In Veracruz, Gerson Morales Villanos, former mayor of and current candidate for city council of Yanga, saw his campaign headquarters riddled with bullets and was rushed to the hospital in Córdoba with head injuries, while another person died in the attack and yet another was injured.
On Saturday, May 29, Porfirio Eusebio Lima, who was running for the office of mayor in Acajete, Puebla, was kidnapped, with his car found abandoned in nearby Rancho de Santa Rosa, with no word on the status of his wellbeing since his disappearance.
The deceased body of Omar Ku Urtiz, a political operator for the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), was found in an abandoned house in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, on Monday, May 31, two days after being declared missing.
“This election cycle is turning into one of the most violent in Mexican history,” head of the National Electoral Institute (INE) Lorenzo Córdoba told Pulse News Mexico. “And free elections are a vital element in democracy.”
Meanwhile, candidate for governor of Baja California Lupita Jones, alleged that she was offered a bribe of $5 million to end her gubernatorial run by her electoral opponent Jorge Hank Rhon’s campaign team, which she claimed only strengthened her resolve to win come June 6.