Mayoral Candidate, Five Others Killed in Shooting at Campaign Rally in Mexico

Mayoral Candidate, Five Others Killed in Shooting at Campaign Rally in Mexico

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A mayoral candidate and five other people were killed when gunmen opened fire at a campaign rally in the violence-racked southern Mexico state of Chiapas.

State prosecutors said a young girl was among the six people killed in the gunfire late on Thursday, along with the mayoral candidate Lucero Lopez Maza. Two others were injured, they said, The Guardian reported.

“A confrontation broke out between armed civilians during a political campaign event,” prosecutors said in a statement.

It was unclear whether Lopez Maza was the intended target of the attack, because shootings have become so common and widespread in the area.

The mass shooting took place at a crossroads in the rural town of La Concordia, Chiapas, about 80 miles (125km) from the border with Guatemala.

The area near the Guatemalan border is a major smuggling route for drugs and migrants and Mexico’s two main drug cartels have been fighting for control of the region.

On Tuesday, 11 people were killed in mass shootings in a village in the township of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, a few dozen miles away from La Concordia.

The surge in violence in Chiapas proved embarrassing for the president, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, as he visited the border state on Friday for a meeting with Bernardo Arevalo, Guatemala’s president.

As usual, Lopez Obrador – who has refused to confront the drug cartels – sought to minimize the problem of violence.

“There are those who maintain that Chiapas is on fire. No, as I’ve explained, the problem is in this region and we are going to solve it,” the president said during a press briefing in the border city of Tapachula.

Thursday’s killings also cast a spotlight on the fact that the run-up to Mexico’s 2 July elections has been marred by violence, with about 20 candidates killed so far in 2024.

Again, Lopez Obrador sought to downplay the violence and depicted those who report the killings as “vultures” seeking to smear his administration.

“Fortunately, there have been fewer attacks than in other elections, but nowadays there is a lot of sensationalism, it is very unfortunate, there are a lot of people seeking to profit from the killings and the human suffering,” he said. “This is a time of vultures.”

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