In Mexico, 132 politicians were killed in the 9-month lead-up to the recent presidential election, a recent study states.
According to Etellekt, a Spanish risk and political analysis firm, 48 of those killed were presidential candidates. The remainder were party workers, CNN reported.
The study also showed that 22 of Mexico’s 31 states have had instances of political assassinations since September 2017.
Rafael Elias, an analyst for Exotix Capital, said that politicians are particularly vulnerable when they don’t support or “choose not to turn a blind eye to” the activities of criminal organizations, CNBC reported.
Since the war on drugs began in 2006, the two previous governments have failed to control the drug cartels from their dominance and influence in the nation’s politics. The government registered over 25,000 homicides in 2017—Mexico’s highest number of homicides in a year on record. The increase in drug-related violence is resulting in homicides that have increased by 23 percent since 2016, CNN reported.
Edgardo Buscaglia, a senior research scholar in law and economics at Columbia Law School, said that the Mexican political system suffers from a complex “cancer.” Criminal organizations are able to intimidate the good guys, and its at an intensity that’s enough to keep them silent.
They also invest their money into areas where the federal government is weak so that any efforts for reform have little to no effect, perpetuating a political system eroded by a shadow government of organized criminal groups, ABC News reported.
President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador suggested that he would consider giving a pardon to any drug war criminals who will commit to rehabilitation. He calls it a plan of reconciliation and peace for Mexico, The New Republic reports.
The plan is one that abides by the principles of transitional justice, adopted when a system is rife with so many human rights violations that the current mechanisms of the justice system have no way of resolving them.
Loretta Ortiz Ahlf, a member of Lopez Obrador’s security advisory council and human rights lawyer, said that Mexico’s situation isn’t normal and that they need to create a proper framework in order to make the transition to peace. The administration aims to hold those at the top of the criminal organizations responsible for the crimes committed, rather than the vulnerable pawns, The New Republic reports.
Lopez Obrador will be inaugurated on Dec. 1 to officially become the president of Mexico. Lopez Obrador has also invited President Donald Trump to attend his inauguration.