Mexico councilwoman who backed Claudia Sheinbaum’s party shot dead outside her home

A local councilwoman was gunned down Friday as she was leaving her home in the southern state of Guerrero, authorities and local media said, marking the second female politician to be killed in Mexico after Claudia Sheinbaum became the first woman to win the country’s presidency last week.

Esmeralda Garzon, a councilwoman in the municipality of Tixtla, was shot dead as she was leaving her house, local media reported. The Guerrero state attorney general’s office said in a statement that police were sent to the scene to gather evidence and find those responsible for the shooting.

Garzon, who led the equity and gender commission in Tixtla, had been elected under the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the Reuters news agency reported. However, she eventually backed Sheinbaum’s Morena party in the June 2 elections, according to posts on social media. Garzon herself was not running in the elections.

Her murder comes a few days after the mayor of a town in western Mexico and her bodyguard were killed outside of a gym. Yolanda Sanchez Figueroa was killed just hours after Sheinbaum won the presidency.

Most violent elections in modern Mexican history

At least 23 political candidates were killed while campaigning before the elections, according to official statistics, marking the most violent elections in modern Mexican history, according to Reuters.

But some non-governmental organizations have reported an even higher toll, including Data Civica, which counted at least 30 killings of candidates. The toll increases to more than 50 people if relatives and other victims of those attacks are counted, according to Data Civica.

A few days before the elections, one mayoral hopeful’s murder was captured on camera — an assassination that came just one day after another mayoral candidate in the central Mexican state of Morelos was murdered.

The week before that, nine people were killed in two attacks against mayoral candidates in the southern state of Chiapas. The two candidates survived.

Last month, six people, including a minor and mayoral candidate Lucero Lopez, were killed in an ambush after a campaign rally in the municipality of La Concordia, neighboring Villa Corzo.

In April, one mayoral hopeful was shot dead just hours after she began campaigning.

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