Mexico: narcos declare open season on politicians

A former presidential candidate in Mexico and prominent member of President Felipe CalderĂłn’s National Action Party (PAN) was declared missing May 15, in an attack being blamed on narco gangs. The car of Diego Fernández de Cevallos was found near his ranch in the state of Queretaro, the Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed. Authorities say they found his belongings in the car and “signs of violence.”

Narco-violence appears to be escalating as Mexico’s drug cartels seek to influence the outcome of July 4 local elections in 10 states—supporting candidates who cooperate with them, and killing or intimidating those who don’t. The intimidation been worst in the border state of Tamaulipas, scene an intensifying turf war between the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, the Cartel’s former paramilitary wing. In one notorious recent attack, on May 13, gunmen burst into the farm-supply business of JosĂ© Guajardo Varela and killed him and his son, after he ignored warnings to drop his bid for mayor of Valle Hermosa, about 30 miles south of Brownsville, Tex. (CSM, May 16; AP, May 15)

See our last posts on Mexico and the narco wars.

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