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Mayor found murdered in back of van days after politician assassinated in same region of Mexico

2 female lawmakers killed in Mexico
Two female lawmakers killed days apart in Mexico following election of first woman president 01:56

A mayor has been found murdered in southern Mexico, local authorities announced Saturday, less than a week after another politician was assassinated in the same region plagued by cartel violence.

The murder of Acacio Flores, who represents Malinaltepec, comes days after the killing of Salvador Villalba Flores, another mayor from Guerrero state elected in June 2 polls.

Acacio Flores Facebook

Prosecutors in Guerrero said in a statement that Flores' death had been ruled a homicide and agents of the Ministerial Investigative Police were probing the case.

The body of Flores was discovered with a bullet wound to the back of the head in the back of a van in Malinaltepec, a human rights campaigner told AFP.

The rights activist had been involved in negotiations to free the politician after he was detained Thursday in an indigenous village. The mayor, who belongs to the Solidarity Encounter Party (PES), was attacked and kidnapped while traveling to Alacatlazala, local media reported.

Guerrero's public prosecutor said an investigation into aggravated murder had been opened, with a possible land ownership dispute part of the probe. In a statement on social media, Guerrero's governor, Evelyn Salgado Pineda, said she strongly condemned the murder and vowed that authorities would "identify, locate and bring to justice the people responsible."

In the days leading up to his death, Flores had taken to social media to say he was "delivering results" and "leaving a mark on the most remote villages of the municipality." 

Since Mexico's campaign season began last September, around 30 political candidates have been killed, according to Data Civica, a non-governmental organization.

In Mexico's general election on June 2, leftist Claudia Sheinbaum was elected by an overwhelming majority as the first woman president of the country.

Two female politicians have been killed since the election. Earlier this month, a local councilwoman was gunned down as she was leaving her home in Guerrero. Her murder came a few days after the mayor of a town in western Mexico and her bodyguard were killed outside of a gym, just hours after Sheinbaum won the presidency.

Guerrero, one of the states most affected by drug cartel violence given its location along Mexico's Pacific coast, recorded 1,890 murders in 2023. It is among six states in Mexico that the U.S. State Department advises Americans to completely avoid, citing crime and violence.

Guerrero is also the home of the Acapulco, a resort city that was once a playground for the rich and famous but in recent years has been plagued by violence. Last month, five people were killed in an armed attack in Acapulco, just three days after 10 other bodies were found in the resort city.

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