Three candidates for mayor were attacked Friday in the states of Quintana Roo, Puebla and México in the lead-up to next week’s elections.
In México state, Citizens’ Movement (MC) Party candidate Israel Amador knew that he was at risk. There had already been death threats against himself, his father and his children by callers who demanded he drop out of the race for mayor of Tlalnepantla. Then on Friday, as he traveled to a meal with his campaign staff, he was attacked by two men on a motorcycle.
“One of them stopped in front of us and began to shoot at the place where I was sitting [in the car]. Luckily we are all OK, my team and I,” Amador told the newspaper Milenio in a television interview shortly after.
In Quintana Roo, Green Party (PVEM) candidate Blanca Merari was the target of a gunman in her home in the town of Leona Vicario. Two security personnel were injured in the attack. Merari is running for mayor of Puerto Morelos.
The attack occurred just hours after the arrest of the Yazmin “N,” a suspect in the assassination of Ignacio Sánchez, who was the Green Party’s pre-candidate for mayor and Merari’s ex-husband. Yazmin “N” is the sister of another candidate for mayor.
The shooting was the second attack on Merari this month. On May 4, an attacker opened fire on the her security team but there were no injuries.
Meanwhile, in Puebla a Morena candidate in Santa Clara Ocoyucan was attacked after a working meeting in a nearby town. Francisco Cortés was shot in the hand by a person whom he stopped to greet after the meeting.
Puebla Governor Miguel Barbosa had previously warned of violence against candidates in the area, saying that criminal groups there are known to pressure political candidates for their own ends.
“There are criminal groups trying to control public and private life in those municipalities, we can see that clearly. Santa Clara Ocoyucan has always been a complicated municipality.”
As of Friday afternoon 89 politicians have been murdered so far this election season, according to the risk analysis firm Etellekt Consultores; 35 of them were candidates.