Candidates Placed Under Federal Protection After Dozens Killed

( – Political violence is rampant in Mexico. This year has been especially violent as criminals have murdered dozens of politicians in the 2024 election cycle. Many candidates have called on the president to offer protection to them. He’s now responded to the requests.

Protection for Politicians

Mexican publication El Universal reported President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said more than 500 candidates running for local and federal elections are receiving federal protection. He stated the campaigns are “going well” and that the government will continue to provide security before, during, and after the June 2 elections.

According to AMLO, as he’s often called, he had a meeting with the Security Cabinet and officials from the Instituto Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Institute) about the issue. They decided the government would “continue supporting so that there is full security and freedom” when the country votes. The president said they are guaranteeing the elections will be “clean and free.”

AMLO also spoke out about the other problems with Mexican elections in the past, including vote buying. He said that he hopes those crimes stay “in the garbage dump of history” so they never occur in Mexico again.

Violence Rocks Mexico

Laboratorio Electoral, a Latin American think tank, found more than 30 political candidates have lost their lives during the campaign season so far. Others have dropped out after being assaulted or receiving death threats.

Moises “Moy” Juarez Abarca, a prominent gay rights activist, disappeared on September 1 in Guerrero. He was a candidate for the opposition PRD party for a local government seat. Reports later revealed he was kidnapped by armed men. Authorities found his body in a mass grave with 16 others. Ricardo Taja, a candidate for mayor of Acapulco, was also murdered. He was shot to death while at a restaurant in December.

Evodio Velazquez decided to drop out of a race after armed men appeared at his home. He told a reporter with BBC that he’d endured threats throughout his life, but it’s different now. When talking about his decision to drop out of the 2024 race, he said, “I’d rather be safe than sorry,” explaining that he didn’t “want to become another murder statistic.”

Drug cartels are accused of carrying out many of the killings. They allegedly want to eliminate politicians who might not be so friendly to their operations. Instead of convincing people to vote for the other candidates in the races, they are using bullets to take out the politicians they don’t like. Some Mexicans will likely have to vote for candidates who are in it for themselves and the cartels, not the people.

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