Mayoral Candidate and Five Others Killed at Campaign Rally

( – Mayoral candidate Lucero López Maza and five others were killed during a campaign rally on May 16 in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

State prosecutors said the gunmen opened fire at the campaign rally in the town of La Concordia after “a confrontation broke out” at the candidates’ campaign “between armed civilians.” According to state prosecutors, the shooting left the mayoral candidate, a young girl, and four others dead and two more injured. However, it is unclear if the mayoral candidate was the intended target.

The attack was condemned by the Institute of Elections and Citizen Participation (IEPC), which stated that “fear and uncertainty among citizens” are created by these attacks, potentially discouraging people from participating in the upcoming election.

The mayoral candidate is the 20th candidate to be killed so far in 2024 as Mexico prepares for its June 2 elections, the largest elections in history. According to a private consulting firm, Integralia, since September 2023, when the electoral process officially began, there has been an average of at least two people a day who have suffered some type of political violence. However, the official government figures are lower.

In a statement, Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, downplayed the violence, instead calling those who report on the violence “vultures” who seek to attack his administration.

Located near the Guatemalan border, the area is known for violence as two of Mexico’s biggest drug cartels, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and Sinaloa Cartel, have been fighting for control of the region, which is a major smuggling route for migrants and drugs.

In the nearby town of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, 11 people were killed and their bodies burned on May 12, with the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas stating the people were killed by drug gangs after they refused to leave their homes or work for the drug gangs. According to the church, Chiapas “is awash in violence.”

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