Mexico’s Guerrero state, which hosts tourist hotspot Acapulco, is seeing an increasing wave of political killings as criminal groups appear to fight for control, the latest case of violence hurting the Latin American country ahead of general elections next year.
(Bloomberg) — Mexico’s Guerrero state, which hosts tourist hotspot Acapulco, is seeing an increasing wave of political killings as criminal groups appear to fight for control, the latest case of violence hurting the Latin American country ahead of general elections next year.
Over the weekend, a member of Governor Evelyn Salgado’s family was murdered in his vehicle, the second relative of the state’s highest authority to be assassinated in less than a week, Reforma newspaper reported. This follows a series of other homicides, burning of vehicles, and clashes between local groups, forcing the government to bolster the presence of the military and National Guard in Mexico’s southwest state.
While Mexico tends to see an uptick in political violence in electoral periods, the Guerrero situation and the country’s general insecurity problem can be a growing liability for the party of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as the June vote approaches. Salgado and her father, a senator for the government Morena party, are close allies of Lopez Obrador, who has sought to stave off criticism and vowed to investigate the crimes.
“Unfortunately, there was this assassination and the wife of the person who lost his life is injured,” AMLO, as the president is known, said at a press briefing Monday about the relative, who Reforma reported was a candidate from Morena for a local post. “They’re doing the investigation to determine who was responsible.”
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Homicide has done a great deal to drive away tourists from Acapulco, which late last century was the preferred destination for everyone from Hollywood stars to Mexico City weekenders. Some of the recent incidents took place on the highway that links Acapulco with the country’s capital, one of Mexico’s most used transportation links. Iguala, where Salgado’s relative was murdered over the weekend, was also the site of the infamous police-involved disappearance of a group of students in 2014.
“Even though the military has been much more involved and has been given so much power and leeway in the administration, it doesn’t seem to have translated into lower levels of violence,” said Rodolfo Ramos, strategist at Banco Bradesco SA. “When we see some of these incidents reaching up to close levels to the governor, it could be a preamble of what could come in the election.”
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