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Mayoral candidate was shot dead on the street in Mexico just as she was starting her election campaign

A candidate for mayor of a violence-torn city in Mexico was killed just as she was beginning her campaign. This means that another politician in the country has been shot dead in recent weeks.

Two authorities in the north-central state Guanajuato said candidate Bertha Gisela Gaytán Gutiérrez was shot on a street in a town just outside the city of Celaya. Mayoral offices in Mexico often included smaller surrounding communities. Authorities were not authorized to be named.

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Mayoral candidate Gisela Gaytán

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Video of the scene posted on social media showed a small procession of people shouting “Morena!” – the name of Gaytán’s party. At that moment, several shots are heard and people can be seen running and falling.

Just a few hours before she died, Gaytán posted a message on Facebook and shows her meeting local residents.

“Together, with determination and commitment, we will achieve the change we long for,” she wrote. “We want a Celaya in which every person has the opportunity to develop, we want transformation.”

It was the latest killing in the increasingly bloody run-up to Mexico’s June 2 elections. At least 14 candidates have been killed since the beginning of 2024.

Morena is the party of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is leaving office in September. The June 2 election will decide his successor as well as many state and local offices.

Guanajuato has had the highest homicide rate of any Mexican state in recent memory, and Celaya is arguably the most dangerous place to work as a police officer per capita in North America. At least 34 police officers have been killed in the city of 500,000 in the last three years.

In the state of Guanajuato, with just over 6 million residents, more police officers were shot dead in 2023 – about 60 – than in the entire United States.

In December, 11 people were killed and another dozen were injured in an attack on a pre-Christmas party in Guanajuato. Just a few days earlier, the Panels of five university students were found in a vehicle on a dirt road in Celaya.

It has been for years Santa Rosa de Lima cartel has waged a bloody turf war with the Jalisco Cartel for control of Guanajuato.

Violence against politicians is widespread in Mexico. At the weekend was the mayor of Churumuco, a city in the neighboring state of Michoacan shot in a taco restaurant in the state capital Morelia. Guillermo Torres, 39, and his 14-year-old son were both attacked in the restaurant. His son survived.

Two mayoral candidates were murdered in another city in Michoacan on February 26: Miguel Angel Zavala Reyes and Armando Perez Luna of the Morena and National Action Party, respectively.

Last month, prosecutors in southern Mexico said it was a mayoral candidate Tomas Morales was killed in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero. Also in March, Alfredo González, a mayoral candidate in the city of Atoyac, Guerrero, was shot.

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