A woman campaigning to be mayor of a city in Mexico's Guanajuato state invited voters to meet with her Tuesday, only to be murdered. Alma Barragan, a candidate for the Citizen's Movement party who hoped to lead the city of Moroleon, had posted a Facebook Live video from the campaign trail, naming the street she was on. "Here I'm waiting for you to talk about my proposals," she said, per Sky News. She was later shot dead—becoming the 34th candidate across the country to be murdered ahead of the June 6 elections—while two others were injured, per Al Jazeera. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday that her murder was "without doubt" the work of organized crime gangs aiming to scare voters. "When there is a lot of abstentionism, the mafias dominate the elections," he said.
Experts say the gangs hope to usher in candidates who will allow them to operate unabated, and look the other way while they extort money from their budgets. The Citizen's Movement party said "it is unthinkable that participating in political life means putting one's life at risk," per the Independent. "This is the most violent election in Mexican history, and in Citizen's Movement we are not willing to act as if that is normal," it added. Other elections have triggered more killings. Still, according to the Etellekt consulting firm, 88 politicians have been killed since election campaigns took off last year, including 34 candidates or aspiring candidates for elected positions. Another local candidate who touted a tough stance on crime was murdered while handing out flyers, per CNN. The election will select hundreds of mayors across Mexico. (Read more murder stories.)