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Mexico councilwoman killed after bloodiest-ever elections

In World
June 08, 2024

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A local Mexican councilwoman in a small town in the Pacific coastal state of Guerrero was killed on Friday by armed men who showed up at her front door, authorities and local media said, following the most violent elections in modern Mexican history.

Esmeralda Garzon, who led the equity and gender commission on the municipal council of Tixtla, was killed in the early afternoon as she was leaving her house, local media reported.

The state attorney general’s office said in a statement that police had been deployed to the scene to investigate and find those responsible.

Garzon had been elected under the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the once-dominant party which joined forces with other opposition groups to form a coalition against the now-ruling MORENA party.

However, Garzon backed MORENA candidates in the June 2 elections, posts on her social media accounts show.

“Vote, without fear!” Garzon wrote.

The most recent election season has been called Mexico’s bloodiest by human rights groups, with 39 political candidates who had been vying for a range of posts assassinated.

Garzon was not running in the elections.

Analysts point to Mexico’s mix of powerful drug cartels and often-corrupt local governments as contributing to the dangers faced by candidates.

On Sunday, MORENA candidate Claudia Sheinbaum clinched the presidency by a landslide, putting her on track to become the nation’s first female president. She will be tasked with the tall order of curtailing violence in her new role.

On Monday, the mayor of a western Mexican town was ambushed and killed by gunmen, along with her bodyguard. Yolanda Sanchez, the mayor of Cotija in the state of Michoacan since 2021, was shot 19 times in the town center, according to the local press.

(Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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