Cartels Use Murders, Threats, Attacks to Influence Mexican Elections

Cartel Shoots PAN Office
Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Tamaulipas — Threats, murders, and attacks have been escalating for more than 10 months as numerous criminal organizations throughout Mexico seek to impact the upcoming elections. To date, 114 politicians and candidates have been murdered since the electoral cycle began in September 2017.

Earlier this month, a gunman fired an AR-15 rifle at the headquarters of the National Action Party headquarters in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas. The gunman fired at the entrance to the building and at a vehicle that had been parked outside. Neighbors claimed to hear a long series of shots followed by the sound of a vehicle speeding off. Ciudad Victoria has been the epicenter of a fierce territorial cartel war between rival factions of Los Zetas cartel who have been fighting for control.

The shooting of the political building came place just days after a team of Gulf Cartel gunmen in the border city of Reynosa shot and killed the brother of the Tamaulipas Governor’s chief of staff. As Breitbart Texas reported, Heriberto Hiram Saenz Martinez was coming out of a local news outlet when he was shot. Saenz was the brother of Victor Saenz the chief of staff for the governor’s office. The murder came just one day after Tamaulipas Governor Francisco Cabeza de Vaca made a public statement claiming his government would be fighting cartels head-on. 

At the scene of the crime, authorities found a poster-board where a faction of the Gulf Cartel took credit for the murder. Reynosa, just like Ciudad Victoria, is ground zero for a fierce cartel war where rival factions continue to fight for regional control.

Just one day after the gunman shot the PAN headquarters in Ciudad Victoria, gunmen in the border city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila assassinated a congressional candidate following a political debate. As Breitbart Texas reported, former Piedras Negras mayor and congressional candidate Fernando Puron was leaving an auditorium for a political debate when a lone gunman walked up behind him and shot him while the candidate was taking photographs with his supporters.

As Breitbart Texas reported, the consulting firm Etellekt has documented 113 murders in Mexico since the start of the political cycle in September 2017. The number does not include the most recent political murder that took place this week when a team of cartel gunmen shot the mayor of the city of Taretan, Michoacan, during a political event as part of his re-election run.

Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities.  The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “Francisco Morales” from Tamaulipas. 

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