A wave of political violence shakes Mexico. More than 90 politicians were killed shortly before the election, many of them candidates.
Mexico City – In Mexico, voters have voted on the future balance of power – after a violent election campaign: At least 91 politicians and dozens of their families and employees have been killed since last September. The consulting firm Etellekt gives the numbers. Most of the time, criminal groups or political competitors are behind the attacks.
It was not until Saturday night that there was another case. The left-wing mayor candidate in Cazones de Herrera, René Tova was shot dead by strangers – in his home, according to a government official of the state of Veracruz AFP stated. Tovar died on the way to the hospital.
The Mexican government blames the powerful drug cartels for most of the murders. Organized crime is trying to expand its political influence by killing undesirable candidates and securing the loyalty of potential allies, the International Crisis Group also reported.
Election marathon in Mexico as a mood test for President López Obrador
More than 300,000 people have been killed in the drug war since the army began its controversial use against the gangs in 2006. Since left-wing President López Obrador took office alone, 83,000 murders have been recorded. Last year, Mexico’s economy shrank by 8.5 percent. In addition to the economy, the high level of crime and violence in the country now plays a bigger role in the election than the government’s poor handling of the corona pandemic.
Nevertheless, the 67-year-old president still has over 60 percent approval. The left-wing populist owes much of his popularity to his social programs: his supporters say he is the first president to put the interests of the Mexican majority, who often live in poverty, before those of the rich elite. His critics accuse him of a dangerous tendency towards authoritarianism. With his attacks on the judiciary and the electoral authority, he undermines the democratic control mechanisms.
Around 95 million voters were called on Sunday to allocate the 500 seats in the House of Representatives, 15 of 32 governor posts and thousands of mandates at the municipal level. The elections are seen as a mood test for Obrador. The polling stations should be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (1 a.m. CEST). First projections were expected shortly after their closure.(AFP / dpa / frs)