May 7, 2018

#EleccionesMéxico: How can candidates be protected from violence?

Dozens of Mexican politicians reported killed - and many threatened with the same - ahead of a July election.

There have been at least 173 attacks against Mexican political candidates since election season began in September. The violence has occurred primarily in provincial areas - far away from the country's political centre - leaving some candidates to wonder whether they will be alive by the time polls open on July 1. The attacks serve as grim reminders of the intense gun and gang violence that has gripped Mexico for the past 12 years.

Although authorities have confirmed the deaths of 30 candidates, the Reuters news agency and security consultancy firm Etellekt report that at least 82 politicians have been killed, making this "the bloodiest presidential race in recent history." 

Though many of the cases remain unsolved, political analysts point the finger at warring drug cartels. Colegio de la Frontera Norte professor Vicente Sanchez says criminal gangs are stepping up attacks to "maintain their power networks", no matter who ends up in the National Palace

So, what can be done to ensure the safety and security of Mexico's politicians ahead of the general election?

In this episode, The Stream speaks with some of the political candidates who have vowed to continue campaigning, despite threats to their lives. Join us on Monday at 1930 GMT.

Read more:
​'We are watching you': Political killings shake Mexico election - Reuters
Widespread killings of candidates cast shadow over Mexican elections - Los Angeles Times
Mexico’s murder rate heads for a new record - The Economist

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