Murder of Mexican mayoral candidate caught on camera

Mexico’s election season came to a bloody end when a gunman shot dead an aspiring mayor during a rally Wednesday, days before the country elected its first female president.

His assassination brings to at least 23 the number of candidates assassinated during what was a particularly violent electoral process in this Latin American country, according to an official count.

Alfredo Cabrera, an opposition coalition mayoral candidate, was shot dead in the southern state of Guerrero, causing chaos and panic among protesters.

Cabrera’s killing was caught on camera, with footage showing him smiling and flanked by fans before being shot multiple times.

The prosecution indicated that “the alleged attacker was killed on the spot”. Three people were also injured and two others arrested, according to witnesses.

Members of the National Guard monitor the crime scene of opposition mayoral candidate Alfredo Cabrera who was murdered during the closing of his election campaign in Las Lomas, Guerrero, Mexico, May 29, 2024. / Credit: FRANCISCO ROBLES/AFP via Getty Images

Cabrera belonged to the same opposition coalition as presidential candidate Xochitl Galvez, who expressed outrage over his assassination.

“He was a generous and good man,” she wrote on social media.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), a member of the opposition coalition, accused the government of having “not made the slightest effort to guarantee the security of the candidates”.

Cabrera’s death came just a day after a candidate for mayor of the central Mexican state of Morelos was defeated. murderedwhile another was shot and injured in the western state of Jalisco.

Last week, nine people were killed in two attacks against mayoral candidates in the southern state of Chiapas. Both candidates survived.

Earlier this month, six people, including a minor and a candidate for mayor Lucero Lopez, were killed in an ambush after a campaign rally in the municipality of La Concordia, neighboring Villa Corzo.

A candidate for mayor was shot last month just as she was starting her campaign.

About 27,000 troops and National Guard members will be deployed to strengthen security on Election Day.

New leader will face a crisis of cartel violence

Combating the cartel violence that has shaken Mexico and made it one of the most dangerous countries in the world will be one of the major challenges facing the next leader, along with migration management and relations delicate with the neighboring United States.

More than 450,000 people have been murdered and tens of thousands have disappeared since the government deployed the army to combat drug trafficking in 2006.

Barring a major upheaval, a woman appears almost certain to be elected leader of the world’s most populous Spanish-speaking country when millions of Mexicans vote on Sunday.

Leader Claudia Sheinbaumof the ruling Morena party, ended his campaign with a rally in the capital’s main public square.

“We are going to make history,” Sheinbaum told the cheering crowd.

“I tell young women, all women in Mexico – colleagues, friends, sisters, daughters, mothers and grandmothers – that you are not alone,” the 61-year-old said.

Mexican presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum speaks at a banking convention in Acapulco, Mexico, in this handout distributed April 19, 2024. / Credit: Fuente Broadcast Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo / Handout via REUTERS

Sheinbaum has pledged to continue the social programs and crime-fighting strategy behind outgoing left-wing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – a controversial policy he calls “hugs, not bullets.”

At his closing rally in the northern city of Monterrey, Galvez promised a tougher approach to cartel-related violence.

“You will have the bravest president, a president who takes on crime,” she said.

Galvez accused Lopez Obrador of implementing “a security strategy where hugs have been for criminals and bullets for citizens.”

A woman on track to become the next president

Sheinbaum, a former mayor of Mexico City and a scientist by training, enjoys a considerable lead in the polls with 53 percent of the vote, according to research firm Oraculus.

Galvez, a center-right senator and businesswoman of indigenous descent, came in second with 36 percent.

Presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez of the “Fuerza y ​​Corazón por México” coalition speaks during the 2024 campaign closing event at Arena Monterrey on May 29, 2024 in Monterrey, Mexico. / Credit: Medios y Media / Getty Images

The only candidate – centrist Jorge Alvarez Maynez – has 11 percent.

Thousands of Sheinbaum supporters gathered Wednesday to hear him speak, many of them wearing purple, the color of the ruling party.

“People have woken up. We don’t want old governments to steal from us anymore because the poor come first,” said Soledad Hernandez, a 23-year-old housewife from the southern state of Oaxaca. country.

Sheinbaum owes much of his popularity to Lopez Obrador, better known as AMLO – a close ally who has an approval rating of over 60 percent but is only allowed to serve one term .

“People from the countryside had nothing and now they are better off with AMLO,” said Maria Isabel Zacarias, 55, a street food vendor who came from the south to hear Sheinbaum speak.

Bertha Diaz, 71, a Galvez supporter, said she fears that if Sheinbaum wins, “it will be a bit like with Lopez Obrador, who sunk Mexico and wants to make it another Venezuela.”

Nearly 100 million people are registered to vote for the president, members of Congress, several state governors and local officials, in the largest elections ever in this country of 129 million people.

Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez said Tuesday – before Cabrera’s killing – that 22 local election candidates had been killed since September.

Some non-governmental organizations have reported an even heavier toll, notably Data Civica, which counted at least 30 assassinations of candidates.

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