Mexico: Gangs Are Likely To Influence in Elections in 7 States
Morelos, Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Sinaloa, and Jalisco are the states where organized crime has better conditions to influence local political processes.
Mexico’s Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection Rosa Rodriguez on Thursday reported on seven states where there is a higher risk of organized crime interference in June’s subnational elections.
Morelos, Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Sinaloa, and Jalisco are the states where there are risks of pressures and homicides by criminal gangs against candidates. These groups collude with local politicians and authorities to offer financing, donations, or personal protection for electoral campaigns.
“They establish fear campaigns to intimidate the political class and citizens. They assassinate, threaten, co-opt, impose, and finance,” Rodriguez said.
“Among their strategies of violence are homicide, kidnappings, deprivation of liberty, intimidation of families, burning of homes, and extortion,” she added.
Describing the criminal groups in these states as “the party of the crime,” the Security Secretariat is set to deploy federal forces to detect threats, risks, and vulnerabilities ahead of Election day.
Rodriguez highlighted that it is a priority to provide protection to candidates and reinforce security in municipalities. At least, 73 crimes related to political events have been registered so far, 64 of which have taken place in Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Veracruz, Guerrero, Morelos, Baja California, and Jalisco.
On Jun. 6, over 21,000 local posts will be at stake, including 500 federal lawmakers positions, 1,63 local congresses, 17,000 city council offices, 15 governorships, and over 1,900 municipal presidencies.
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“Organized crime has affected Mexico for decades. There are regions where criminal gangs still seek to decide on candidates through campaigns of fear,” SSPC Secretary Rosa Rodriguez said.
Over half of the murders occurred in the states of Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Veracruz, Guerrero, Morelos, Baja California, and Jalisco.
To contain the wave of violence, Rodriguez presented the “Strategy of protection in electoral context” ahead of the elections scheduled for next June 6.
“With less than four months to go before the elections, we are focusing efforts on curbing these crimes and preventing criminal groups from strengthening their political influence,” Rodriguez said.
The Strategy will include working tables between judicial and electoral authorities, reinforcing security in high-risk municipalities, and protecting threatened candidates.
“Protection must be previously accepted by the candidate. We will not interfere by force in an electoral process,” she added.
On June 6, millions of Mexicans will elect 500 lawmakers, 15 governors, and 1,900 city council leaders.
The government will enforce an strategy to curb this wave of violence ahead of the elections scheduled for next June 6.