Thursday, June 20, 2024

Violence characterizes election day in Mexico – two killed

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People vote at a polling station in Mexico City. Photo: Matias Delacroix / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 02.06.2024 23:53:02

Policy: One of the victims died after unknown persons entered a polling station in the town of Coyomeapan to steal election papers, while the other person was killed in a shootout following an attack on a polling station in Tlapanala, a representative of the local authorities told the AFP news agency.

The state’s electoral authority states that voting has been put on hold in Coyomeapan until further notice following the murder in the town.

The killings on election day come after a violent election campaign. Thousands of security forces have been deployed to protect voters after more than 25 local candidates were killed.

Elections were also put on hold in two municipalities in the southern state of Chiapas due to violence, local authorities said on Saturday.

Around 100 million of Mexico’s 129 million inhabitants are registered as eligible to vote. It is expected that for the first time in history, Mexico will have a female president.

The ruling party’s Claudia Sheinbaum and the opposition’s candidate Xochitl Galvez, both 61, have dominated the presidential election. In an average survey by the company Oraculus on the eve of the election campaign, Sheinbaum had 53 percent support against Galvez’s 36 percent.

The only man running, Jorge Alvarez Maynez, was at 11 percent in the average poll.

– It is a historic day. I’m very happy, Sheinbaum said when she left home to vote.

– Many women are oppressed by their partners. They are not allowed to leave home to work, she says.

30-year-old Daniela Perez says it will be historic to have a female president, although in her view neither of the two leading candidates are “completely feminist”.

– We will see where they stand on matters such as strengthening women’s rights and solving the problems of femicide – which has become absolutely insane – we must support women more, she says.

Around ten women and girls are killed every day in Mexico, according to AFP.

Galvez has promised a tougher line against the cartels. She has declared that there is an end to “hugs for criminals”. More than 450,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands have disappeared since the government deployed the military to crack down on drug crime in 2006.

On top of gang crime, the next president also has to deal with a relationship with the United States with several controversial issues, particularly issues of drug trafficking and migration across the border between the countries.

The polling stations in the country opened on Sunday afternoon Norwegian time. In addition to electing a new president, Mexicans will also elect people to Congress, several governors and also local officials around the country. In total, it concerns more than 20,000 positions and roles.

Cleaning worker Clemencia Hernandez (55) tells AFP that a female president will be a “transformation for the country”. She hopes the next president will do more for Mexico’s women.

Sheinbaum has pledged to continue mentor and outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s “hugs, not bullets” strategy, which is about trying to address the root causes of crime in the country.

(© NTB)

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