HomeNewsBriefPolitical Candidate in Mexico Murdered as Elections Near
BRIEF

Political Candidate in Mexico Murdered as Elections Near

MEXICO / 12 MAR 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

A mayoral candidate in Mexico's turbulent state of Guerrero was found dead draped in a threatening message from a local criminal organization, a case that reveals the importance of political collusion for organized crime groups in Latin America.

On the night of March 10, authorities in Guerrero found the decapitated body of Aide Nava Gonzalez, a woman who was running for mayor in the small town of Ahuacuotzingo, reported Proceso. Nava Gonzalez had been kidnapped the day before by an armed group, according to Milenio

A banner threatening other Guerrero politicians and candidates was alongside the body, signed by criminal group Los Rojos, reported BBC Mundo. It read in part, "This will happen to all the politicians who do not want to get in line." 

The candidate's husband had served as mayor of the same town from 2009 to 2012 and was shot dead in June 2014, according to Proceso. Her son also went missing last year and has yet to be found. 

Local and congressional elections in Mexico will be held in June.

InSight Crime Analysis

The brutal killing of Nava Gonzalez -- and threating note directed to other like-minded politicians -- is a manifestation of the need for criminal groups to subvert political institutions in Latin America. This can be done either through intimidation, as seen in the Nava Gonzalez case, or through bribery and illegal campaign funding, as has happened in Peru. Regardless of the means, organized crime groups have the common aim of winning political cover in order to carry out their criminal activities without fear of repercussions. 

Although the phenomenon of organized crime seeking to influence the political arena is a region-wide problem, it is particularly acute in Mexico. According to a 2013 report by the Local Authorities Association, at least 250 mayors across 10 states were threatened by organized crime groups in Mexico that year.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

The close ties between criminal groups and public officials in Guerrero was brought into sharp relief in 2014, when it was revealed a local mayor had criminal group the Guerreros Unidos on his payroll. On orders from the mayor, the Guerreros Unidos disappeared and allegedly killed over 40 students from a local teachers college last September, leading to outrage within Mexico and internationally. 

The Guerreros Unidos are currently engaged in a bitter turf war with Los Rojos over drug trafficking routes, which may make the run-up to elections this year especially violent. However, political violence is not contained to just Guerrero. In the past week alone, mayors in two states with a heavy presence of organized crime, Tamaulipas and Sinaloa, have seen political violence, according to the Guardian.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MERIDA INITIATIVE / 11 AUG 2011

In a sign of the increasing level of security cooperation between the two countries, an elite United States military unit…

GULF CARTEL / 14 FEB 2012

The shifting balance of power in northeast Mexico has been bad news for the Gulf Cartel, which has…

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 29 NOV 2012

A village in Sinaloa, Mexico was burned to the ground by armed men in an attack likely linked…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…