Political violence in Mexico has resulted in the murders of at least 94 politicians, including candidates for the upcoming July elections, and their family members between September 2017 and mid-May 2018. The victims come from a variety of political parties, with most running for local offices. Officials believe that warring cartels are behind much of the violence as they attempt to gain influence over city governments nationwide. Federal and state governments have begun increasing security, providing many candidates with bodyguards and, in some cases, bullet-proof vehicles, but the measures have so far proven largely ineffective.
At least 80 candidates have withdrawn from elections in Chihuahua state because of the high levels of pre-election violence. In early May, the leader of the Social Encounter Party (PES) in Chihuahua was killed and in a separate event, an estimated 250 gunmen descended on the community of Ignacio Zaragoza in Chihuahua killing the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) city council candidate and a campaign coordinator.
The campaign period for the upcoming general elections officially began on March 30. On 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 to be filled, it will be the largest election in Mexico’s history. Four candidates are vying for the presidential office. The current favorite is Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA). The official campaign period will end on June 27.
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.
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