More than a hundred politicians have been killed in recent weeks, as Mexico inches toward an election influenced heavily by the country's massive organized crime networks.
CNBC reports that around 13,000 Mexicans have died in acts of violence since the beginning of 2018 — a murder streak that the country, and its government, seem powerless to stop.
And the criminal element is working hard to make sure no one doubts its influence in the run-up to Mexico's national elections. Drug lords have been quick to remind political hopefuls that they aren't safe unless they're aligned with the right networks, and opposed to Mexico's president Felipe Calderon who has declared "war" on Mexico's drug kings. Around 112 declared candidates for Mexico's legislative body have been murdered since campaigns began in September of last year.
The country's overall violence problem is on a scale almost unknown in the developing world.
"May was the deadliest month in Mexico since the government first published homicide data 20 years ago, the latest record in what’s been three straight years of increasing crime rates," CNBC reports. "According to the national registry, 2,890 people were killed in one month — roughly 93 victims per day, or four per hour."
The drug lords have a lot riding on the next election.
“Whomever governs next will still have to deal with a situation that Mexicans feel has gotten out of control,” one expert told CNBC. They will be responsible not only only for curbing violence, but also trying to stem an economic crisis that has driven ordinary Mexicans into the drug business. It's no easy task, and everyone who is up for it has — largely — ended up on the wrong end of a weapon.