As election campaigns gain steam political assassinations continue to climb: 11 have already been recorded so far this month.
By the end of March, 67 politicians had been slain since the electoral process kicked off last September. As of Tuesday, the figure was 78, according to a report published by the University of the Americas Puebla (UDLAP) and the risk analysis firm Etellekt.
There have been 203 acts of aggression against politicians since September, 173 of which were armed attacks. The third edition of the report, entitled Political Violence Mexico, also counted, for the first time, 30 attacks against candidates’ relatives.
The report estimates that organized crime was behind 80% of the assassinations.
With 29 of its members killed so far this electoral season, the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) tops the list as the most targeted political party.
The attacks have been mostly at the municipal level, where threats and acts of intimidation against politicians to dissuade them from pursuing public office have also increased.
The aggression has been reported in more than 160 municipalities in 29 states, noted the report, adding that two-thirds of all assassinations were recorded during the pre-campaign period.
Guerrero topped the list of the most dangerous states for politicians with 18 assassinations. Oaxaca followed with 13, Puebla with nine, Veracruz with eight and México state with six.
In Guerrero, criminal elements are seeking to maintain control of opium poppy production while in the center of the country the attraction is petroleum and freight carried by cargo trucks.
CORRECTION: The original version of this story incorrectly reported there had been 67 politicians slain in March. In fact, the figure is the total for September through March.