On Sunday, July 1, up to 88 million Mexicans will head to the polls to choose their next president and to fill various federal, state, and local government positions. With 3400 posts up for grabs, it will be the largest election in Mexico’s history. Four candidates are vying for the presidential office; the favorite is Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA). The official campaign period will end on June 27.
Political violence in Mexico has resulted in the murders of at least 46 candidates since September 2017; scores of similar assassinations targeting politicians, journalists, and family members have also been reported during the same period. The victims come from a variety of political parties, with most running for local offices. Recent examples include the murder of a mayoral candidate in Ocampo (Michoacán state) on June 21; the town’s entire police force has been arrested in connection with the assassination. It was the third such killing reported in Michoacán in the span of a week. Furthermore, a candidate vying for a position in the Oaxaca state assembly was assassinated in San Vicente Coatlán on June 25.
Political rallies and protests are also to be anticipated in the coming days, as well as following the release of results. A significant security presence is to be anticipated in the vicinity of polling stations on election day.
Officials believe that warring cartels are behind much of the violence as they attempt to gain influence over city governments nationwide.
Individuals in Mexico are advised to avoid all demonstrations and political rallies as a precaution, report all suspicious objects and behavior to the authorities, and keep abreast of the sociopolitical climate. Due to extreme levels of violence linked to the presence of various armed groups, some Western governments advise against travel to various parts of the country, notably the states of Guerrero, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas, as well as the northeastern border with the US.