Violence casts a shadow over the presidential election in Mexico

A common sign that elections are approaching in any country is when opinion polls begin flooding the media, trying to anticipate which candidates have the upper hand in the race. 

But polls are not making headlines in Mexico, where ruling party candidate Claudia Sheinbaum is widely considered the likely winner on June 2, replacing Andrés Manuel “AMLO” López Obrador in the presidency.

Instead, attention is focused on the latest Mexican candidate to be murdered in what has become one of the most violent countries in the world.

Violence has become a recurring part of every Mexican election, rising as the visit to the ballot box approaches. This year is no exception, as voters prepare to elect not only a new president, but also a full Congress and several key state and municipal races. 

Preliminary data from Laboratorio Electoral shows that 33 candidates or politicians of some sort have been killed during the 2023-2024 electoral cycle, rising to 50 if their relatives are included in the death toll.

Twenty-eight of the 33 were affiliated to political parties, with AMLO’s left-wing National Regeneration Movement (Morena) leading this sad list with 11 politicians killed.

The latest assassination was that of Jaime González Pérez, a Morena mayoral candidate for the small district of Acatzingo in the central-eastern state of Puebla, a region notorious for fuel and cargo robberies. 

Mr. González was shot dead by a group of unidentified gunmen in scenes reminiscent of organized crime disputes, a problem that explains much of the 171,000 homicides registered nationwide since AMLO took office in 2018. 

It was the 12th politically connected murder in March alone.

Although Mexican authorities say the…

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