Being a mayor in Mexico has become a risky profession in recent years, but never more so than during the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto: 73 have been assassinated.
The most recent victim was the mayor of Jilotlán de los Dolores, Jalisco, who was ambushed and killed yesterday in the state’s Tierra Caliente region.
Juan Carlos Andrade Magaña, 47, was on the campaign trail, seeking another term under the flag of the Citizens’ Movement (MC) party when he was ambushed by armed civilians near the Michoacán border.
It has been a particularly dangerous election season for politicians. As of last week, 78 had been murdered since the electoral process began last September.
Andrade became No. 80. The 79th was 25-year-old Maribel Barajas, a Green Party candidate for state deputy in Múgica, Michoacán, also in Tierra Caliente, who was stabbed to death near Morelia, the state capital.
“Jalisco has become a national reference for the murder of activists, politicians and more recently laypersons,” said Enrique Alfaro Ramírez, mayor of Guadalajara and the MC candidate for governor.
“It cannot go on like this,” he wrote on Twitter. “We cannot speak of democratic normality under these conditions, nor can we speak of a free electoral process.”
At the beginning of the current electoral season, the National Association of Mayors (Anac) prepared a risk map for candidates. It indicated that Durango, Michoacán, Oaxaca and Veracruz were the most dangerous places one could run for mayor.
Founded in 2004, Anac brings together all the mayors affiliated with the National Action Party (PAN). It says violence against mayors has got worse since Peña Nieto took office in 2012.
During the administration of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (2006-2012), 47 mayors were murdered, a figure that has risen to 73 so far in Peña’s six-year term, the organization said.
Last year was the worst on record, with a total of 22 murders reported.
Anac’s figures include mayors who had been elected but not yet sworn in, those who were actually in office and mayors who had completed their terms.
Source: Reforma (sp)