Violence Strikes: Mayor-elect Ambushed and Killed Outside Acapulco

Violence Strikes Mayor-elect Ambushed and Killed Outside Acapulco

The latest in a string of attacks on politicians, the assassination of the mayor-elect of a small municipality close to the crime-ridden Mexican vacation city of Acapulco occurred early on Monday, according to local prosecutors.

Prosecutors in Guerrero state stated in a statement that Salvador Villalba Flores, who was scheduled to assume office in October in Copala, a hamlet of roughly 4,000 people located about 80 miles southeast of Acapulco, was shot and died while driving on a highway.

While acknowledging that they had opened an inquiry into the killing, the prosecutors would not disclose more information.

Villalba, a retired Navy captain, was assassinated while going alone to Mexico City, according to the local newspaper El Sur de Guerrero. Normally, he was escorted by National Guard members.

The site stated that “the mayor-elect was taken off the bus he was traveling on when it stopped near San Pedro las Playas” and was then shot.

Additionally, according to the local media, Villalba chose to run for mayor following the June 2023 murder of a candidate who was a friend of his.

On June 2, socialist Claudia Sheinbaum emerged victorious in Mexico’s general election, becoming the nation’s first female president with an overwhelming majority.

Mexicans cast ballots for approximately 20,000 posts, including members of Congress, several state governors, numerous local authorities, and the next president.

More than twenty-two political candidates have died in Mexico since the election season started in September of last year, according to non-governmental organization Data Civica.

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A local councilwoman was shot and killed earlier this month while she was leaving her Guerrero home. Her assassination occurred a few days after Sheinbaum’s election victory, shortly after the mayor of a town in western Mexico and her bodyguard were shot and killed outside of a gym.

Acapulco was once a playground for the affluent and famous, but in the past ten years, murder has rendered it one of the world’s most violent towns, frightening away foreign visitors.

Three days after ten more remains were discovered in the vacation city of Acapulco, five more individuals perished in an armed attack there last month.

Given its location along Mexico’s Pacific coast, Guerrero is one of the states most impacted by drug cartel violence. In 2023, 1,890 killings were reported in Guerrero.

Since the Mexican government sent the army to fight drug trafficking in 2006, more than 450,000 people have been killed and thousands more have vanished.


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