The number of Mexican politicians murdered since September has exceeded 113 as drug cartels continue to escalate a wave of violence that has transformed several popular vacation spots into mini-murder capitals.
And after 2017 marked the country’s bloodiest year in two decades, with more than 25,000 murders, some Mexican officials are starting to fight back against endemic corruption.
As Fox News reports, the entire police force of a small Mexican town in Michoacan, a province in western Mexico, has been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the murder of a mayoral candidate.
In all, 28 officers in Ocampo, Michoacan, in western Mexico have been transferred to the internal affairs unit of the state security secretariat.
The probe is reportedly focusing on potential violations of the police code of conduct – though the official statement on the arrests didn’t include any more details.
“All of them are being interviewed to proceed as due under law in the event anyone has taken part in acts that violate the town’s codes,” according to the Security Secretariat.
Mayoral candidate Fernando Angeles, who was the candidate of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution in the city, which is home to 24,000 people, was shot dead on Thursday. And less than 24 hours before Angeles’ death, Omar Gomez, an independent candidate for mayor of Anguililla, also in Michoacan, was fatally shot. Before that, a candidate for mayor of Taretan, also in the state of Michoacan, was killed on June 14, according to the AFP.
The killings have intensified ahead of the July 1 elections, where Mexicans will be voting for a new president, as well as other local and federal posts. More than 200,000 people have been murdered since 2006 in the country’s war against the cartels, while another 30,000 are missing (and presumed dead).