We are facing the most violent elections in Mexico's history: Armando Vargas on Con los de Casa - Expat Community

We are facing the most violent elections in Mexico’s history: Armando Vargas on Con los de Casa

May 31, 2024 | Mexico, News & Articles | 0 comments

By Ariana Paredes

The Public Security consultant at Integralia described the Mexican State’s intervention as slow and insufficient in response to the violence in this electoral process.

The end of political campaigns in Mexico culminated in a tragic event, the assassination of Alfredo Cabrera, the mayoral candidate of Coyuca de Benítez in Guerrero.

The violence during this electoral season has been a significant issue. According to the latest report from Integralia, as of May 28, 2024, there have been 749 cases of political violence nationwide since the process began on September 7, 2023. The number is expected to reach 760 by the end of the elections on June 2.

This week on Con los de Casa, David Aponte, Maite Azuela, and Héctor De Mauleón meet with Armando Vargas, Public Security consultant at Integralia, in the program titled Elections under the Shadow of Crime.

To start, Armando Vargas pointed out the indelible mark of political violence in these elections, noting that the risk factors had been accumulating and were prone to explode this year.

“Today we can affirm, depending on the type of approaches, that we are facing the most violent elections in Mexico’s history.”

Maite Azuela mentions that Alfredo Cabrera’s assassination reminded her of the assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio, 30 years ago in Lomas Taurinas, Tijuana.

“The tolerance we have reached with the levels of violence in the elections should have a limit, and hopefully, this is the limit,” she said.

Héctor de Mauleón stated that political violence erupted since 2018 and was reaffirmed in the 2021 elections because “it already had the clear mark of organized crime in the electoral process.”

He asserted that the advance of organized crime increased, and in these elections, the political violence exercised is related to territorial control.

“If one reviews the list of violent events in these elections, Guerrero leads the list,” De Mauleón pointed out, adding that Chiapas occupies the second place.

Armando Vargas highlighted the 230% increase in violence from 2018 to 2023 and pointed to three factors: greater accumulation in territories of non-traditional illicit markets, a higher number of criminal groups disputing territories, and the deterioration of the State’s institutional capacities.

“Violence allows criminal groups to intervene in the elections,” he mentioned.

Slow and insufficient, Armando Vargas described the Mexican State’s intervention in this electoral process.

Maite Azuela believes there is collusion between political forces and organized crime; “the ones who are supposed to protect you are taking sides with those who attacked you.”

Armando Vargas explained that there could be dynamics and relationships between the government and organized crime, indicating two types of dynamics: collaboration, where organizational growth is sought, and domination, where organized crime subjugates the government to grow organizationally. He noted that without understanding these dynamics, one is attempting to address an unknown problem.

“The reality surpasses the President,” De Mauleón stated, referencing Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s comments about the current political campaigns, which he described as “very mild.”

The Integralia Public Security consultant mentioned that one explanation for the higher number of murdered Morena candidates is their proximity to power; “whether as opposition or as officialdom, this makes criminal groups try to get close to figures who can give them access to power or threaten the power already established.”

Maite Azuela suggested that the number of assassinated Morena candidates might be due to the resistance they put up against organized crime, “because if there were this acquisition and growth of power shared with organized crime, they would not be desirable targets of those gaining political power with this force.”

Héctor de Mauleón recalled the assassination of Aníbal Zúñiga Cortés, a candidate for councilor in the municipality, and his wife Rubí Bravo Solís on Thursday, May 16. “There were signs that something terrible was happening,” he said.

He accused that, in response to these events, the reaction has been denial, blaming the media for sensationalism, calling it vulture season, claiming it is overblown, saying the election is mild, and that it is the most peaceful in Mexico.

Finally, Armando Vargas expressed that violence will have different effects on citizen participation and will motivate “protest votes.”


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