Mexico’s national elections are underway — ending a bloody 10-month electoral cycle which has highlighted the government’s inability to provide basic security for politicians and their families.
Voters will be choosing a new president, electing in a Congress, governorships, 1600 mayors, state and local lawmakers during a time when cartel violence has reached shocking numbers. Attacks include hitting the once peaceful tourist beach destinations as reported extensively by Breitbart Texas. In one incident, cartel gunmen rode up on jet skis and opened fire on their target. The attacks forced Mexican authorities to increase security in the region.
According to statistics compiled by Mexico City-based Etellekt, from September 8, 2017, to the current date, there have been 581 attacks on politicians and at least 162 during the last week of political campaigning. There have been 136 politicians murdered, 197 threatened, 70 have suffered physical attacks, 52 have been assaulted with a firearm, and 51 attacks have been reported against relatives of politicians.
Additionally, there have been 20 kidnappings or attempt kidnappings during the election cycle with attacks on males accounting for 400, women 147, and 34 targeting relatives of politicians.
In a most recent attack on June 29, a PRI congressional candidate in San Luis Potosí, Frinné Azuara, was unharmed during an attack after four armed men tried to enter a building where the candidate was. Following an exchange of gunfire, the gunmen fled. In Chiapas, five people were injured after a group of armed men ambushed a van with five Morena party members who were leaving a political rally.
In another incident registered in the border city of Tijuana, federal congressional candidate Hector Cruz Aparicio for the Juntos Haremos Historia coalition had a weapon pointed at him as he was traveling in a vehicle in colonia Sánchez Taboada during a campaign event that was captured on video. The video shows Cruz Aparicio, who was standing in a convertible that was traveling through streets of Tijuana as part of a caravan. A rear passenger seated behind the driver’s seat of a vehicle that was slowly approaching in the opposite lane points a handgun at the candidate as it passes. No shots were fired and the vehicle fled the area without being stopped.
The states most affected by the political violence have been Guerrero, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Puebla, Veracruz, Guanajuato, and Chiapas, according to the director of Etellekt, Rubén Salazar.
Not all of the violence can be attributed to the drug cartel violence which has spread throughout Mexico. Much of the violence involves bitter political party rivalries and disputes over political control between the old guard multi-generational political elites and upstart political parties and candidates who threaten the old order.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org