Mexico City (CNN)Some parts of the campaign trail in Mexico look like anywhere else — rallies, bumper stickers, candidates making lofty promises. Other parts — the threats, the assaults, the murders — are more unique.
Political violence mars every election season here and the run up to the June 6 midterm elections has been no different. But this year has been particularly gruesome, even for a country more used to it than most.
At least 88 politicians or candidates for office have been killed since last September, according to Mexican consulting firm Etellekt Consultores.
They’re part of a group of at least 565 politicians or candidates that have been targeted by some sort of crime, according to the firm.
Mexico’s government says this year’s midterm elections will be the largest ever. By the time the polls close on June 6, they might also be its deadliest.
Candidates keep being killed
Abel Murrieta was handing out campaign flyers in broad daylight two weeks ago, along a busy street in Cajeme, the municipality where he was running for local office. The former prosecutor in the northern state of Sonora was with supporters when police say two men in a vehicle gunned him down, shooting him 10 times.
As a candidate, he consistently said fighting crime was his number one issue.
“Enough with the drugs that steal our kids and destroy our families. I’m a man of the law. I’ll lay down the law. My hand isn’t shaking. I am not afraid,” Murrieta said in his final campaign ad — recorded only one day before his murder.
Social media footage showed Murrieta lying motionless after the shooting in a bloodied white button-down shirt as a supporter waved his party’s flag nearby, one hand on her heaving chest. A second video shot later showed him being put on a stretcher and into an ambulance.
Authorities say he was deliberately targeted though they don’t know by whom. An investigation is underway.
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