Mexico: Mayor gunned down after swearing-in ceremony | News | DW | 02.01.2019
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Mexico: Mayor gunned down after swearing-in ceremony

Alejandro Aparicio had been sworn in as mayor and was walking with supporters on the street when assailants shot him. Mexico has had a recent rise in political violence, with local politicians being targeted the most.

Mexican police officers patrol a Mexican city

A file photo showing Mexican police officers on patrol

The major of Tlaxiaco, a small municipality of Oaxaca, Mexico, was gunned down on Tuesday straight after he had been sworn in.

Alejandro Aparicio was elected mayor of the town in Mexico's most recent elections in 2018. He was a member of the MORENA political party, founded by current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

According to Mexican newspaper El Universal, the attack occurred around noon in the downtown area of Tlaxiaco. Aparicio was taking a walk through the streets of the town after his swearing-in ceremony had concluded. 

Read more: US-Mexico relations: Will AMLO bring a new era?

Regional media outlet Monitor de Oaxaca reported that five others were also wounded in the attack and shared footage purported to be from the scene of the crime.

Witnesses said several people fired shots at Aparicio, but authorities were only able to arrest one individual at the scene. The suspect was labeled as the perpetrator by the crowd, which attempted to lynch the man until police intervened and took him away.

Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat confirmed the death of Tlaxiaco's mayor and "forcefully condemned" it in a post on his Twitter account Tuesday.

"I express my condolences to the family and the people of Tlaxiaco," he said. Murat promised a thorough investigation and confirmed that a suspect was already in custody.

According to El Universal, the community of Tlaxiaco had previously been the scene of several acts of violence, including three attempted lynchings.

Read more: Mexico: Election campaign tainted by political violence

Mexico has been plagued with a spike in political violence in recent years. A recent study showed that local politicians have borne the brunt of the violence. In the latest electoral period, some 130 politicians and candidates were killed.

By contrast, just nine murders took place during Mexico's previous presidential campaign in 2012. 

jcg/se (AP, EFE)

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