Assassination victim Montufar, left, and Governor Astudillo. Assassination victim Montúfar, left, and Governor Astudillo.

Candidate for state Congress assassinated in Guerrero

He is the 18th Guerrero politician slain since last September

A candidate for state Congress has been shot dead by unidentified assailants in Guerrero, adding to the already high tally of political assassinations since the electoral process started last September.

Security authorities said police found the bullet-riddled body of Abel Montúfar Mendoza inside his pick-up truck just before 5:00pm yesterday on the road between Ciudad Altamirano and Coyuca de Catalán in the state’s notoriously-dangerous Tierra Caliente region.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate, who took leave as mayor of Coyuca to contest the July 1 elections, is the 18th politician slain in Guerrero since September, according to risk analysis firm Etellekt.

Montúfar had recently said that he had received anonymous death threats but didn’t elaborate.

The National Executive Committee of the PRI condemned the attack on its candidate, describing it as a “cowardly assassination.” It also called on authorities to clarify the facts and punish those who are responsible for the crime.

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State Governor Héctor Astudillo Flores called Montúfar’s murder “cowardly and reprehensible” in a post to his Twitter account.

The Congress position sought by Montúfar represents four Tierra Caliente municipalities and is currently vacant because its holder is a fugitive from justice on homicide charges. His replacement was murdered in April last year.

The official campaign period in Guerrero started just 10 days ago, before which Astudillo distributed a risk map to party leaders designed to warn candidates about campaigning in certain parts of the state.

Earlier this month, Etellekt said there had been 88 political assassinations since the electoral process began and Guerrero has recorded more than any other state.

There were at least 24 other homicides reported in six states yesterday, including two more in Guerrero.

Chihuahua was the worst affected with 14 victims, including nine in Ciudad Juárez, while murders also occurred in Mexico City, Veracruz, Oaxaca and San Luis Potosí.

Source: Milenio (sp), El País (sp), El Financiero (sp), Excélsior (sp)

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