Municipal candidate murdered in southern Mexico

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A candidate in the next municipal elections in Mexico was assassinated on Saturday in the state of Oaxaca, in the south of the country, local authorities and the president of the conservative party said.

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Ivonne Gallegos was shot dead by a group of attackers who fled and a man accompanying her was injured, police said in Ocotlán de Morelos, 30 km south of the capital of Oaxaca.

“We strongly condemn the murder of our candidate Ivonne Gallegos Carreño”, wrote Marko Cortés, the president of the National Action Party (PAN) on Twitter which demands “a thorough investigation, justice, and sanctions for those responsible”.

Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat also condemned the crime on Twitter, while the state prosecutor’s office said it has opened an investigation.

Elections will be held in June to renew the seats of governors of several states and mayors.

In addition to organized crime-related violence, hundreds of politicians have been assaulted or killed in attacks that escalate during election time.

According to a count by the consulting firm Etellekt, between September 2020 and March 5, 55 politicians were killed, including 14 candidates.

Since December 2006, when the government launched a controversial drug operation, Mexico has recorded more than 300,000 murders, according to official figures which do not specify how many of these crimes are linked to organized crime.