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Graphic Truth: Mexico’s political murder problem

Political violence in Mexico

Political violence in Mexico

Luisa Vieira

The Mexican political campaign season that concluded with the June 2, 2024, general election was the deadliest on record, with at least 34 candidates for local or state office killed during the preceding nine months.

According to observers at the Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City, nearly a third of the dead were members of current president Andres Manuel López Obrador’s ruling Morena party, whose candidate Claudia Sheinbaum won the presidential vote in a landslide.

Over the past two decades, homicides have soared in Mexico, driven in large part by the rise of powerful drug cartels warring for territory and markets. Between 2000 and 2018, the rate of killings more than tripled to 16 per 100,000 people, before coming down slightly in the years since.

But within that, there’s also been a staggering rise in political violence specifically. This includes assassinations of candidates, officials, human rights defenders, journalists, and other activists.

During the presidential term of Vicente Fox, between 2000 and 2006, there were a total of 58 such killings. In the current term of López Obrador, which extends until October, there have already been 500.

Here is a look at how political violence in Mexico has evolved over the past quarter of a century.


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