The situation in Mexico, during the run up to its elections, was marked by a concerning rise in kidnappings and cartel-related violence. Here’s an review of the recent surge in activity as Mexico approached the election of Claudia Sheinbaum:

  • Chiapas Hostage Crisis: The towns of Frontera Comalapa and Chicomuselo in Chiapas are under the control of drug traffickers. These criminal elements have imposed severe restrictions on the townspeople, controlling their access to basic necessities such as electricity and food. The grip of these groups is so tight that movement into or out of these towns requires their express permission.
  • Election-Related Violence: On the run up to the elections on the 2nd June, there was a noticeable increase in cartel violence. This year alone, over 100 politically-motivated assassinations have occurred, including the deaths of approximately 20 candidates. The violence is a tactic used by cartels to attempt to assert their dominance over political entities and to influence the outcome of the election which saw Claudia Sheinbaum create history by becoming Mexico’s first woman president in a landslide win.
  • Kidnapping of Foreign Nationals: The recent abduction of U.S. citizens in Mexico has brought international attention to the dangers present in cartel-dominated regions. Tragically, this incident resulted in fatalities, highlighting the risks faced not only by Mexicans but also by visitors to the country.
  • Mass Kidnappings: In a shocking display of the kidnapping crisis, Mexican authorities rescued 42 individuals, including 18 children, from a mass abduction in Sinaloa. This event is a stark reminder of the pervasive threat posed by criminal organizations in the area.
  • Political Violence and Cartels: The influence of drug cartels in political violence is undeniable. To date, 29 candidates, primarily those running for local offices, have been murdered. The cartels engaged in this violence to intimidate the political sphere, suppress voter turnout, and ensure the election of officials who are susceptible to their influence.

As Mexico concluded its elections, the intertwining of organized crime with politics poses a significant challenge to the democratic process and the safety of its people. The government and law enforcement agencies face the daunting task of ensuring a fair and secure election while combating the deep-rooted issue of cartel violence throughout the election of all members of Mexico’s Congress and governors in eight states and thousands of local officials. How Ms Sheinbaum implements a regime to combat the cartel’s violent influence once she takes up office will be one of the largest obstacles the country has encountered.

For more information on how to protect against these risks, feel free to contact us.