Mexico’s election on Sunday, the largest in the nation’s history, was marred by political violence that led to the deaths of nearly 100 politicians, which is not even the most violent election cycle in the nation’s history.
“Security consultancy Etellekt said 97 politicians had been killed and 935 were attacked,” Reuters reported. “Security analysts said most electoral violence tends to occur at the municipal level, where gangs exert pressure to influence the outcome in the hope of securing more control over drug trafficking and other criminal rackets.”
The election saw more than 93 million voters elect officials to more than 21,000 officials to office in governorships in most states, all 500 members of the lower house of Congress, members of the 30 state legislatures, and 78% of municipal governments.
But despite its size, this elections is, in many respects, about a single man: current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. López Obrador is not on the ballot, but Mexican analysts, experts, a former President and a former presidential candidate consulted by CNN say the elections amount to a referendum on the 67-year-old President, a populist, leftist political veteran and former Mexico City mayor who won the presidency in 2018 on his third attempt.
Lopez Obrador came to power promising “hugs, not gunshots,” but has so far failed to curb gun violence in Mexico. A wave of political assassinations has shaken the current campaign season leading up to the June 6 election in a country already devastated by organized crime turf wars for most of the last two decades.
“The country is at peace. It’s being governed. There are no risks of instability,” López Obrador said Tuesday. “We are facing the scourge of violence every day.”
Just a couple of years ago, the number of politicians in Mexico who were murdered during the nation’s elections soared to well over 100.
Border and cartel expert Robert Arce reported on July 1, 2018:
According to statistics compiled by Mexico City-based Etellekt, from September 8, 2017, to the current date, there have been 581 attacks on politicians and at least 162 during the last week of political campaigning. There have been 136 politicians murdered, 197 threatened, 70 have suffered physical attacks, 52 have been assaulted with a firearm, and 51 attacks have been reported against relatives of politicians.
Additionally, there have been 20 kidnappings or attempt kidnappings during the election cycle with attacks on males accounting for 400, women 147, and 34 targeting relatives of politicians.
Initial results from the 2021 elections showed that López Obrador’s party, Morena, lost its super-majority in the lower house, meaning that he could face a more divided government that limits his power.
The Washington Post reported:
The biggest prize in Sunday’s’ election was the lower house of Congress, where López Obrador had hoped to maintain the supermajority he assembled after his landslide 2018 win. Morena won between 190 and 203 seats in Sunday’s vote, according to projections by the national electoral institute. With several small parties, it could potentially control nearly 300 seats, short of the two-thirds needed to pass constitutional amendments.
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