On May 25, another candidate contesting in the parliamentary and subnational elections scheduled for June 6 in Mexico was assassinated. The candidate for mayor of the Moroléon municipality in the state of Guanajuato, Alma Rosa Barragán of the center-left Citizens’ Movement (MC) party, was murdered in the middle of a campaign rally in La Manguita neighborhood. Barragán was shot several times by gunmen traveling in a truck. In the armed attack, two other people -a man and a minor- were injured.
The MC party strongly condemned her assassination and demanded that the authorities thoroughly investigate the case and bring the perpetrators to justice. The party also demanded that the federal and state governments ensure the safety of all candidates and take immediate measures to put an end to the ongoing political violence in the country.
“We will not allow her death to go unpunished. Our sincere condolences to her family and friends, they have the full support of the Citizens’ Movement. The violence in this electoral process must stop, we demand that the federal and state governments ensure the security of the candidates. Mexico deserves peace,” said the party in a statement.
The national coordinator of the MC, Senator Clemente Castañeda Hoeflich, denounced that “this is the most violent election in the recent history of Mexico and that the Citizens’ Movement is not willing to normalize it.” He demanded that the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador assume the responsibility of guaranteeing “peace, security and justice” as well as “a democratic, but above all, a peaceful electoral process.”
The Guanajuato Prosecutor’s Office condemned the incident and reported that it had assigned a group of experts to “investigate, clarify and arrest the accused.”
Earlier the same day, Castañeda and the MC party also denounced the murder of Arturo Flores Bautista, the husband of MC’s candidate for mayor of Landa de Matamoros municipality in the state of Querétaro, Leticia Delgado Rodríguez. They demanded an expeditious investigation into it.
On May 26, President AMLO said the killing was “without doubt” the work of organized criminal gangs, who were killing candidates to scare voters away from the polls. “When there is a lot of abstentionism, the mafias dominate the elections,” said the head of state during his daily news conference.
According to the consulting firm Etellekt’s latest report on political violence, so far, 88 politicians have been assassinated since the beginning of the election campaign in September 2020. 34 of them, including Barragán, were candidates for the upcoming legislative, regional and municipal elections.
The report further elaborated that “of the 34 aspiring and assassinated candidates, 29 wanted to compete for regional and municipal positions, and 89% of whom were opponents of the current mayors.” It also reported that “the four other assassinated candidates were running for state deputations, all were opponents of ruling state governments. While one remaining victim was a candidate for a federal council, he was also an opponent of the federal government.”
The Etellekt’s report also revealed that “of the 88 politicians killed, 39 victims belonged to the alliance of the opposition PAN-PRI-PRD parties, while 25 were members of the ruling alliance of the Morena-PVEM-PT parties and 8 were associated with the MC.
According to Mexico’s Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection (SSPC), the states of Guanajuato, Baja California, Jalisco, State of Mexico, Michoacan, Chihuahua, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, and Guerrero are the territories with the highest number of assassinations.