Posted on June 26, 2018

Mexico Detains Town’s Entire Police Force Days After Mayoral Candidate’s Killing

Associated Press, June 25, 2018

State police have detained and disarmed the entire police force of a town in western Mexico where a mayoral candidate was killed on Thursday.


In statements on its Twitter account Sunday, the state police department did not directly tie the detentions to the Thursday killing of Fernando Angeles Juarez, the mayoral candidate for the leftist Democratic Revolution Party. He was killed in Ocampo, Michoacán on Thursday.

Angeles Juárez’s is just one of at least 18 candidates killed so far in campaigns leading up to the July 1 elections. Just last week, another mayoral candidate was also gunned down last week in the conflict-ridden rural town of Aguililla in the western state of Michoacan.


Almost all of the 18 candidates killed across the country so far have been running for local posts in the July 1 elections, which will also decide the presidency, governorships and Congress. Other politicians who were considering a run have been killed before they could even register as candidates. The killings have particularly hit states like Michoacán, Guerrero and Oaxaca.

Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope said that in part, the level of violence against candidates can be explained by “simple mathematics:” There are far more elections being held simultaneously than ever before in Mexico. {snip}

“Secondly, this speaks to the changes in criminal groups,” Hope said, noting that drug cartels have expanded into extortion, fuel theft and other crimes. “With the evolution of crime, it becomes much more important to gain control over territory, over local governments.”


In crimes like fuel theft, for example, local police can be valuable allies to act as look outs or cover up for illegal pipeline taps and illicit fuel warehouses. And some gangs have even taken to extorting money from local governments by forcing them to sign inflated public works contracts.