There have been 132 candidates and politicians murdered since the electoral process began last September, compared to just nine during the 2011-12 election period, says the latest report on political violence in Mexico.
The numbers were revealed this week by the risk analysis firm Etellekt, which has tallied 48 murders of candidates, up from just one six years ago.
Over half of all political violence in the nine-month electoral period leading up to Sunday’s elections occurred in just five states.
There were 548 acts of aggression against politicians, candidates and their families between September 8, 2017 and June 26, with 51% of the recorded cases occurring in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, México state and Veracruz.
Six Pacific coast states — Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Jalisco, Colima and Sinaloa — accounted for 64% of candidate murders.
There were also 181 threats or acts of intimidation against politicians, 63 physical assaults, 51 attacks on politicians’ relatives, 47 attempted homicides with firearms, 36 violent assaults, 19 cases of gunshot wounds and 19 kidnappings of politicians, the report said.
All of Mexico’s 32 states are represented in the statistics although before the beginning of June, only 12 states had recorded acts of violence against politicians, showing that the political violence spread as polling day approached.
The violence occurred in 346 municipalities, or 14% of all municipalities in the country.
The incidence of violence spiked considerably this month, with 104 acts of aggression (18% of the total) including 17 homicides recorded in the two-week period between June 10 and June 23.
In total, 12 states recorded increases in their rates of acts of aggression against politicians this month compared to the preceding eight months.
Puebla reported the highest single number of acts of aggression against politicians during the entire electoral process period, with 77 incidents, followed by Guerrero with 60, Oaxaca with 52, México state with 46 and Veracruz with 44.
Michoacán, Mexico City, Quintana Roo, Chiapas and Jalisco were the next five most violent states for politicians with the number of reported acts of aggression ranging between 34 and 15.
The safest place for politicians has been Aguascalientes where there was just one aggressive act, and Nayarit, Colima, Campeche and Baja California were also relatively peaceful.
Of the 132 homicides, Oaxaca and Guerrero shared the undesirable title of being Mexico’s most murderous state for politicians, with both recording 26. Puebla, where 13 politicians were slain between September and June, was third-highest.
Two-thirds of the homicides were committed by groups of armed individuals, while victims were tortured before they were killed in 14% of cases.
In terms of which parties the targets of political violence belonged to, there were two clear standouts and together they accounted for just over half of all acts of aggression during the electoral period.
Those representing the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) were victims in 150 cases while those representing Morena — the party formed and led by presidential frontrunner Andrés Manuel López Obrador — suffered 130 acts of aggression.
Politicians representing the center-right National Action Party (PAN) were targeted in 57 cases while those belonging to the left-of-center Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) were victims in 56 cases.
Politicians for the Ecological Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) and the Citizens’ Movement party (MC) were targeted in 32 and 25 cases respectively while 21 independents were also victims of acts of aggression.
Politicians representing the PRI also accounted for the highest number of homicide victims with 45, followed by the PRD with 20; Morena with 17; and the PAN with 14.
Exactly one-quarter — or 12 from a total of 48 — of all slain candidates were destined to appear on ballots as PRI candidates, while 10 PRD and seven Morena candidates were killed.
Statistics show that municipal-level politicians were by far the most vulnerable to violence, accounting for 391 cases or 71% of the 548 acts of aggression recorded.
They were also almost four times more likely to be homicide victims than their state-level counterparts, with a total of 105 murder cases recorded, or 79% of the total.
There were 119 attacks on state politicians, including 26 homicides, while federal politicians were targeted in 38 incidents.
One federal politician was murdered during the official electoral period.
Homicides of pre-candidates, candidates, militant party members, former and current mayors, councilors, political activists, party leaders, former candidates and former members of council and Congress are all represented in the 132 political murders recorded.
Etellekt compiled its statistics from publicly available government, academic and civil society sources as well as media reports.
Mexico News Daily