Mexico saw record violence in 2017, when its 25,339 homicide cases were the most in a year since the government began releasing data in 1997. The homicide rate also rose to 20.51 per 100,000 people in 2017 from 16.8 per 100,000 in 2016 — higher than the 19.37 per 100,000 in 2011, the drug war’s peak. Newly released data underscores the growing insecurity in the country, but for politicians, particularly those at the local level, the final months in 2017 and first months of this year were especially deadly. Those politicians are preparing for general elections in July, when more than 3,400 positions — including the presidency, hundreds of federal legislature seats, and eight state governorships — will be up for grabs. There are varying estimates of the toll this violence has taken.
Mexican news site Nacion321 reported last month that between September 2017 and the beginning of March, 58 political figures, including mayors, deputies, and candidates, were killed. Excelsior reported in mid-March that since September, 62 political figures, including candidates, mayors, former mayors, city councilors, and party members, were slain around the country. At the beginning of April, El Universal reported that 42 political figures, including mayors, former mayors, councilors, activists, and party functionaries, had been killed since September.
According to El Universal’s report, the most recent, killings took place in 16 states — the most in Guerrero, which had 12, eight in Oaxaca, and three each in Jalisco and Veracruz. Thirteen members of the governing center-right Institutional Revolutionary Party were slain, 10 from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, and five from the conservative National Action Party. Morena and Movimiento Ciudadano, both leftist parties, had three members killed.