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Mexico: 2 more mayoral candidates killed ahead of election

April 20, 2024

The two mayoral candidates were reported killed on the same day. Their deaths bring the number of local politicians killed in the lead up to Mexico's June elections to 17.

National guard and military vehicles seen in the Tamaulipas state in a stock image
The government has provided security to 250 candidates running in national elections on June 2Image: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Two mayoral candidates were killed in two different parts of Mexico as the country heads to elections in June, authorities said.

Center-right mayoral candidate Noe Ramos of Ciudad Mante was fatally stabbed in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, said state attorney general Irving Barrios. Authorities are searching for the suspect.

Local media reported Ramos, who was seeking reelection, was meeting with residents in the street on Friday when the suspect stabbed him with a knife. 

Meanwhile, in the southern state of Oaxaca, another mayoral candidate, Alberto Antonio Garcia, was also found dead on Friday, according to the state prosecutor. 

He and his wife Agar Cancino, who is the mayor of San Jose Independencia, were reported missing on Wednesday. Cancino was found alive.

The electoral board said such crimes "should not occur during elections."

Violence preceding elections

Politicians have often fallen victim to organized crime in Mexico, especially those seeking or holding regional offices.

"They make an agreement and say, 'this person is going to be mayor; we don't want anyone else to register to run,' and anybody who does, well, they know" what to expect, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in April of drug cartels' efforts to control local politics.

The period leading up to the June 2 elections has been one of the most violent in the country's history. Since September 23, 17 such candidates have been murdered, said the consulting firm Integralia. 

Earlier this month, mayoral candidate Bertha Gaytan was shot in the street in Celaya, one of Mexico's most dangerous cities.

tg/nm (AFP, AP)