Elections death toll in Mexico: two candidates have been killed so far in 2012

This is not the kind of morning news that I enjoy reading in the morning but I feel they have been under reported in the U.S. as well as in Mexico.

Ahead of the July 1st general and local elections, two political candidates in Mexico were killed. One belonged to the leftist party PRD and he was running for the state Congress in Guerrero, home state of Acapulco, which is now considered the second most violent city in Mexico since criminal organizations are engaged in an intense battle to control the drug market of this touristic destination. The other assassinated candidate was running for Mayor of a small village in Chiapas and against his rival from PRI, the party that ruled in Mexico for 71 years until 2000, is the main suspect of the crime. It is unlikely that this crime is associated with criminal organizations but rather a result of an unstable democracy in Mexico in which authoritarianism is increasingly challenged by a set of new but weak rules and institutions.

Impunity of these type of crimes remains high. In 2010, the PRI´s candidate for governor in the border state of Tamaulipas, Roberto Torre Cantú, was killed on his way to the airport. This murder has not been yet investigated and no charges have been filed against any suspects. In 2011, CNN México created a map to track the killings of local mayors in Mexico.

With over 75 journalists murdered, as well as political candidates and members of local authorities, criminal organizations seriously threaten democracy in Mexico at the same time that the country builds stronger institutions to support a new political system.

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