Fernando Purón had just finished an election debate with his rival congressional candidates in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras, when a well-wisher asked to join him for a selfie. But as he posed for the photograph outside the auditorium in the border city of Piedras Negras, a bearded gunman stepped up behind the pair and shot Purón in the head. The cold-blooded murder on Friday – captured by a CCTV camera – has cast a harsh light both the stunning levels of violence in Mexico, and the risk taken by those who run for elected office in the country. Purón was the 112th political candidate murdered in Mexico since September 2017, according to Etellekt, a risk analysis consultancy.
And the country is bracing for more bloodshed before 1 July elections, when voters will pick a new president, renew congress and fill hundreds of state and local positions.
The motives for the murder remain uncertain, although Purón had received death threats during his stint as mayor of Piedras Negras, where he had 10 bodyguards and was said to have incurred the displeasure of the city’s dominant crime group, the notoriously ruthless Zetas.