MEXICO CITY (AP) — A state assembly candidate in southern Mexico has been killed along with several other people in an ambush of his vehicle, his party and state officials said.
He was the 19th candidate to be killed during the current nationwide election campaign. Another 29 people who were planning to run have also been killed
Presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador issued a tweet saying candidate Emigdio Lopez Avendano and four other people died in the attack Monday. However, other officials reported that one or two of those accompanying Lopez Avendano may have survived the attack near the town of Ejutla, south of Oaxaca city.
Lopez Avendano was running for Lopez Obrador’s Morena party. It was unclear whether those accompanying him were campaign staff.
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Officials did not immediately speculate on a motive for the attack on Lopez, and the reasons for attacks on other candidates have often been unclear. While some may have been personal disputes, security experts say many are carried out by organized crime groups trying to ensure compliant local governments.
All but one of the dead candidates had been running for state and local posts, three-quarters of them for mayor.
Those killed include candidates from all major political parties; according to the Etellekt security consulting firm, the neighboring state of Guerrero had the largest of killings.
The July 1 elections will also decide the presidency, governorships and Congress.