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5 Mexican Politicians Killed in Week Before National Elections

Image: 5 Mexican Politicians Killed in Week Before National Elections

Relatives and friends of the mayor of the Mexican community of Petatlan, Arturo Gomez, carry his coffin during his funeral in Petatlan, Guerrero State, on Dec. 29, 2017, a day after he was shot dead while dining at a restaurant. (Francisco Robles/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Jan 2018 10:13 AM

Five Mexican politicians have been killed in the past week as national elections approach, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Most of the politicians who were killed were locally based, where drug gangs often attempt to use violence to exert influence, the newspaper said.

The deaths included, according to the Post:

  • Adolfo Serna Nogueda, a mayoral candidate in the town Atoyac de Alvarez in the state of Guerrero, was shot outside his home Sunday after calling for unity in a Facebook post.
  • Gabriel Hernández Arias, a town council member in Jalapa in the state of Tabasco, was discovered stabbed to death in his home Saturday, local authorities said.
  • Attorney Juan José Castro Crespo, a candidate for state congress and president of the local bar association, was killed in Mexicali, a city in the border state of Baja California, on Saturday.
  • Petatlan, Guerrero, Mayor Arturo Gómez Pérez was shot at point-blank range Friday inside a restaurant in his town in front of several witnesses, according to local news reports.
  • Saúl Galindo, a state congressman from Jalisco and president of the justice committee, was shot Thursday while driving near his ranch in Tomatlan. The Post said he had planned to run for mayor of Tomatlan, a position he held previously.

Such violence against Mexican politicians is nothing new. The New York Times reported in 2016 that cartels fought for political power over the past 10 decade of the Mexican drug wars. Cartels seek such power in city hall to drain the towns of their resources, the newspaper reported then.

"We are six months from the presidential election and of course these attacks against our members are taken as a warning against participating," Angel Avila Romero, secretary general of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, told El Universal newspaper last week, according to The Washington Post.

There have been 61 current or former mayors killed since current president Enrique Pena Nieto took office in 2012, an increase from 49 killed in the previous administration, the Post quoted the National Association of Mayors.

Mayors in Mexico, with the exception of the mayor of Mexico City, are elected for one three-year term and cannot be re-elected, according to the website CityMayors.com. Mexican mayors share power with municipal councils, who are indirectly elected, also for three years, noted the website.

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Five politicians in Mexico have been killed in the past week as national elections approach in areas where drug gangs often attempt to use violence to exert influence, The Washington Post reported.
5, mexican, politicians, killed, week
Wednesday, 03 Jan 2018 10:13 AM
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