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The murder scene in Juventino Rosas on Tuesday. The murder scene in Juventino Rosas on Tuesday.

State legislator and mayoral hopeful murdered in Guanajuato

Juan Antonio Acosta was hoping to run for mayor of Juventino Rosas

A Guanajuato state legislator who was hoping to run for mayor of Juventino Rosas was shot in the back and killed Tuesday morning.

Authorities said Juan Antonio Acosta Cano’s killers shot him seven times from behind, then left him for dead in his exercise clothes on a downtown street in the city of Juventino Rosas.

Acosta, 55, had registered as a National Action Party candidate for mayor of the municipality, where he had served two previous terms from 2006–2009 and 2012–2015.

“I profoundly lament the killing of state Deputy Juan Antonio Acosta Cano and vehemently condemn these deeds,” Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo said on social media. “I call on the state Attorney General’s Office to investigate this case and bring justice to those responsible.”

Attorney General Carlos Zamarripa Aguirre has assigned the case to a specialized, high-impact-crimes unit for investigation, according to a statement by his office.

Acosta is the second precandidate for the 2021 elections to be killed. Antonio Hernández Godínez, a Democratic Revolution Party hopeful for mayor of Chilapa de Álvarez, Guerrero, was shot and killed on November 25 at his construction materials business.

It was just a few weeks after he had announced his intention to run for office.

Acosta’s killing cut short a diverse political career. In addition to serving as mayor of Juventino Rosas, he had also served as director of municipal services and as director-general of the DIF family services agency for Guanajuato.

State PAN president Román Cifuentes Negrete said Guanajuato had lost a man committed to Mexico.

Violence in the state, which led the country in homicides last year, has carried on into the new year: 119 people were killed in the first 11 days, including nine members of a family attending a funeral last week in León for a man believed to be a lower-level member of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel. The man himself had been shot and killed the day before.

Juventino Rosas, considered by many to be territory of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, is bordered to the south by Villagrán and to the southeast by Celaya.

State lawmaker Acosta was killed while jogging in Juventino Rosas.
State lawmaker Acosta was killed while jogging in Juventino Rosas.

The two municipalities were the sites of five firefights between security forces and presumed members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel on Monday that left 10 dead, including one state police officer.

Police attributed those attacks on police to the CJNG and said they had found messages to another unidentified criminal group afterward among the vehicles, explosives, and weapons they confiscated.

Sources: El Universal (sp), Infobae (sp)

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