Violence clouds the last day of campaigning in Mexico’s elections – WTOP News

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico held the last day of campaigning ahead of Sunday’s nationwide elections, but the closing rallies…

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico held the last day of campaigning ahead of Sunday’s nationwide elections, but the closing rallies Wednesday were darkened by a wave of attacks on candidates.

Late on Tuesday, a mayoral candidate in the western state of Jalisco was shot multiple times by intruders in his campaign offices.

Two members of Gilberto Palomar’s campaign staff were also wounded, and all three were hospitalized in serious condition, according to Jalisco state security coordinator Sánchez Beruben.

Mexicans will vote Sunday in historic elections weighing gender, democracy and populism, as they chart the country’s path forward in voting shadowed by cartel violence. With two women leading the contest, Mexico will likely elect its first female president — a major step in a country long marked by its “macho” culture. More than 20,000 congressional and local positions are up for grabs, according to the National Electoral Institute.

Gunmen killed an alternate mayoral candidate in Morelos state, just south of Mexico City on Tuesday, state prosecutors said.

Local media reported attackers on a motorcycle shot Ricardo Arizmendi five times in the head in the city of Cuautla in Morelos. Alternate candidates take office if the winner of a race is incapacitated or resigns.

About 27 candidates, mostly running for mayor or town councils, have been killed so far this year. While that is not much higher than in some past elections, what is unprecedented is the mass shootings: candidates used to be murdered in direct attacks that killed only them, but now criminals have taken to spraying whole campaign events with gunfire.

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