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Mexico Election Chaos: 24 Candidates Killed, Hundreds Drop Out – Is Democracy Under Threat?

Daniel Kim Views  

As the aftermath of Senate elections early next month in Mexico, a wave of violence by criminal gangs has left 24 candidates dead, leading hundreds of candidates to drop out of the race due to fear.

The Yucatan Times reported on the 12th that Noé Ramos Ferretiz, a mayoral candidate for Ciudad Mante, was killed on Friday.

On the same day, Alberto Garcia, another mayoral candidate from southern Oaxaca state, was found dead a day after he was reported missing. The area where Garcia’s body was found was previously a battleground for drug cartels, leading local media to suspect that he was beaten and killed by a criminal organization.

On the 2nd of next month, Mexico will simultaneously hold presidential, legislative, and local elections. To date, violence linked to organized crime has resulted in the deaths of 24 candidates. These groups either try to support candidates that favor their interests or eliminate those they view as hostile.

An armed revolt has led to hundreds of candidates withdrawing from the elections. Additionally, over 400 candidates have requested protection from the federal government. According to the Washington Post, Willie Ochoa, a candidate for the Mexican Senate (Institutional Revolutionary Party), has also been targeted by cartels.

After a campaign event in February, he stopped at a restaurant for lunch and was shot at by armed men on motorcycles. He managed to escape and now travels in an armored vehicle, always under the protection of bodyguards. His vehicle even includes a surveillance role to guard against drone attacks. While Ochoa continues his campaign under protection, many other candidates have dropped out. Carlos Palomeque, a leader of the opposition National Action Party (PAN) in Chiapas state, said that more than 20 PAN mayoral candidates have withdrawn from the race. “In the past, criminal gangs bribed voters, but now they pull candidates out of the race. It costs less,” he said.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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