Mexico mayor-elect assassinated amidst surge in political violence News
Image by Carlos Alcazar from Pixabay
Mexico mayor-elect assassinated amidst surge in political violence

A mayor-elect was shot and killed on Monday in the southern Mexcian state of Guerrero, according to a statement by the State Prosecutor’s office. Salvador Villalva Flores, returning from a trip to Mexico City, was traveling on the highway on the bus when he was fatally shot in the town of San Pedro de las Playas.

The local politician was elected 16 days prior to taking office in October in Copala, a municipality in the state of Guererro, two hours north of the crime scene. He was running for the center-left party “México Avanza,” which later expressed its grief and condolences for Villalva Flores’ loss in a Facebook post. Villalva Flores decided to run for the office after June 2023, when his friend and then-candidate in Copala running for the Mexican Green Party PVEM fell victim to an assassination as well.

According to local media, Villalva Flores was a Navy veteran, and thus normally protected by national guard personnel. However, upon his request, he was unaccompanied at the time of the crime.

At least 37 political candidates have been killed amid a historic surge in political violence surrounding the June 2 national elections. On the biggest election day in Mexico’s history, voters not only went to the ballot to choose the president but also elected members of Congress, state governors and local officials, for a total of more than 20.000 positions. Local officials have been the main targets of violence and threats.

The state of Guerrero, where dozens of criminal organizations fight for territorial control, is the hot spot where most political attacks have occurred in recent months. Already earlier this month, a councilwoman backing newly elected president Claudia Sheinbaum was shot outside her home in the state.

Correction: This article misidentified which Copala Villalva Flores was the mayor of. Villalva Flores was mayor of Copala in Guerrero, not Sinaloa.