Mexico’s president expresses condolences after two local candidates were killed just days into campaign

mexican president He was hurt Tuesday by the killing of a mayoral candidate just hours after he asked for protection and began campaigning. A city council candidate who was injured in the same attack on Monday also died, authorities said.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador He said the killing of his party’s candidate “caused a lot of damage” but did not announce any measures to increase security for politicians.

Candidate Bertha Gaytán was shot dead on the street in a small town outside the city of Celaya in north-central Guanajuato state. She just launched her Zelaya mayoral campaign on Monday and acknowledged that she had asked for protection.

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City Council candidate Adrian Guerrero died Tuesday after being injured in the same attack.

Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador spoke after two local candidates were killed days after announcing their candidacy. (Solrac Santiago/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“These incidents are very regrettable because these are people who are fighting to defend democracy and who are taking to the streets, face to face,” López Obrador told a daily news conference.

The killing is the latest in Mexico’s increasingly bloody June 2 election. At least 15 candidates have been killed since the start of 2024, and expressions of regret have become commonplace.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the killing, but mexican drug cartel Mayors and mayoral candidates are often targeted with assassinations to gain control of local police or to extort money from the city government.

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The killings have prompted the government to provide some with bodyguards or bulletproof cars, but candidates for municipal offices – although the most dangerous – are among the last to receive security.

According to a video posted on social media, shots rang out as Gaitan was walking down the street on Monday, shouting “Morena!” and she collapsed on the sidewalk. Footage then shows people running and falling.

Guerrero was part of a small group of people traveling with Gaitan. It was unclear whether anyone else was injured.

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“The people are with us, they are guarding us, but of course we will have security,” Gaitan said shortly before she was killed, noting that the request was made through her Morena party. “Let’s see if we can get some sort of answer today.”

The leader of López Obrador’s Morena party issued a statement calling the killings “cowardly” and calling for an investigation.

Federal Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez said on Tuesday that the government had pledged to respond to requests for protection within 72 hours. She said more than 100 candidates across the country have requested protection.

For some time, Guanajuato The highest number of homicides Celaya is arguably the most dangerous place for police in North America. At least 34 police officers have been killed in the city of 500,000 people in the past three years.

Guanajuato, a state with a population of just over 6 million, saw more police officers shot to death in 2023 (about 60) than in the entire United States.

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Violent turf wars between Jalisco’s drug cartels and native Santa Rosa de Lima gangs have plagued the state for years.

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Violence against politicians is common in Mexico. Over the weekend, the mayor of the town of Chulumco in neighboring Michoacan state was shot dead at a taco restaurant in the state capital, Morelia.

In late February, in another town in Michoacán, two mayoral candidates were shot dead within hours of each other.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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