Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, May 31, 2024

Mexico’s Drug Cartels And Gangs Appear To Be Playing A Wider Role In Sunday’s Elections Than Before

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Mexico’s drug cartels and gangs appear to be playing a wider role in Sunday’s elections that will determine the presidency, nine governorships and about 19,000 mayorships and other local posts.

The country’s powerful drug cartels have long staged targeted assassinations of mayoral and other local candidates who threaten their control. Gangs in Mexico depend on controlling local police chiefs, and taking a share of municipal budgets; national politics appear to interest them less.

But in the runup to Sunday’s vote, gangs have increasingly taken to spraying whole campaign rallies with gunfire, burning ballots or preventing the setting up of polling stations — even putting up banners seeking to influence voters.

Security analyst David Saucedo says it’s likely some drug gangs will try to force voters to cast ballots for their favored candidates.

“It it is reasonable to assume that the cartels will mobilize their support bases during Sunday’s elections,” Saucedo said. “They have loyal voters who they have won over through the distribution of food packages, cash, medicine and infrastructure projects. They will use them to support narco-candidates.”

In some places, it appears the gangs are encouraging people to vote while discouraging voting in areas controlled by their rivals.

On Friday, electoral authorities reported that assailants burned a house where ballots were being stored ahead of Sunday in the violence-wracked town of Chicomuselo, in the southern state of Chiapas. While they did not say who was behind the attack, the town is completely dominated by two warring drug cartels, Jalisco and Sinaloa.

On May 14, gunmen apparently linked to a cartel shot and killed 11 people in a single day in Chicomuselo. On May 17, five people were killed along with a mayoral candidate when gunmen opened fire on a crowd in the town of La Concordia, Chiapas, about 45 miles (75 kilometers) east of Chicomuselo.

Targeted assassinations of local candidates continued. On Wednesday, dramatic video images showed a mayoral candidate in the southern state of Guerrero being shot in the head at point-blank rage with a pistol.

And mass attacks on campaign rallies, once exceedingly rare in Mexico, are becoming common.

Also on Wednesday, the last official day of campaigning, unidentified gunmen opened fire a couple of blocks away from a mayoral candidate’s final campaign rally in the western state of Michoacan, sending hundreds of people scrambling for safety.

“It seemed like a normal evening, like the campaign closers of other candidates,” said Angélica Chávez, a homemaker who was at the rally in Cotija. “Then there were gunshots, several rounds of gunfire very close. And then people started running and diving to the ground, crouching.”

Chávez was hurt in the stampede and had to take refuge in a local church.

In Celaya, a city in Guanajuato, gunmen opened fire on a campaign event in April, killing a mayoral candidate and wounding three of her supporters.

Saucedo, the analyst, sees the shootings as a sign that narco gangs are no longer willing to see their handpicked candidates lose.

“Rather than allow the victory of a candidate who is not in line with their criminal interests, or allow a candidate linked to a rival drug gang to win, they use this tactic,” Saucedo said. “What we’re seeing in the final stretch is pretty desperate strategy on the part of some groups of drug traffickers.”

Saucedo said that such attempts at narco-control of local politics had been seen previously in some particularly violent states, like Tamaulipas. “What was once limited ... is now spreading to include the whole country,” he said.

The National Electoral Institute says it has had to cancel plans for 170 polling places, mostly in Chiapas and Michoacan and mostly because of security problems. In Chiapas, electoral authorities say there are places they can’t even go to.

In the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo, a shadowy group that local media reports link to the dominant Northeast drug cartel has put up posters claiming one mayoral candidate is linked to the rival Gulf drug cartel.

Authorities have not confirmed the origin of the crude poster, which includes a photoshopped image of the candidate waving an assault rifle and wearing a bulletproof vest with the Gulf cartel’s insignia.

In the state of Morelos, just south of Mexico City, residents awoke this week to find a banner strung over a road claiming a gubernatorial candidate was tied to rival drug gangs. The banner was signed by a local drug boss whose name is unknown, “the Commander of the Three Letters.”

Another apparently gang-related banner threatened that anyone trying to buy votes would be “punished severely.” That banner was signed by “Those who have always called the shots here.”

Such events appear to indicate that past calculations by the cartels — take out the strongest candidate you don’t like, and the remaining major-party candidate will win by default — have become more complicated.

In one town in Michoacan, Maravatio, the gangs apparently tried to eliminate any doubts as to who will win this year and killed off three candidates for town mayor who were not to their liking.

News Break


  1. Replies
    1. My PCV was failing, but the tech said it could also be the PCM. For get calling the FBI I will check with BCS.

  2. Where im from the cartel wants all votes for the morena candidate.

  3. Is just another day on the job for the Cia nothing out of the ordinary

    1. whatever helps you sleep at night 926 CIA LOL ok kid

  4. It’s amazing that this isn’t national news

    1. Sad truth. But no one cares about MX.

    2. Best comment I've seen on this site.

    3. 1:22 Humm bug🤔
      You are bought to a short sentence that my baby can

  5. Replies
    1. You are absolutely correct. What is happening here in Mexico is the very definition of narco state. When every town president or governor is in the pocket of a cartel group they basically own the whole damn town including local police. Maybe we should just drop a nuke on Mexico and start over from the beginning. Elect me Nuffy as your Mexican president and everything will be OK. I will make a national whiskey holiday where everybody stays home and gets drunk. Nuff Said!!!

    2. El presidente Nuffers will rule with an iron fist, cruel but just!

    3. NuffY:
      We all know that you and the Free Beer Party are way ahead in the polls and that you are expected to win in a landslide. However, you don't have the juice that Sheinbottom has.

  6. And ELMO does absolutely nothing to stop the violence.

    1. It's the bribes he cares the most.

  7. The video of the candidate for mayor in Guerrero can be found on

  8. Its a quim/quim battle

  9. Where I'm from the candidate for Morena was murdered by the CDG. News outlets say a palm tree landed on him. Javier Soto Leal aka "El Turnio" and his people must have given him a few slaps too many with the "palm" of his hand. And they think its funny to say a palm tree killed him.

    1. you're from Hildago? you live there now?

  10. Lol wild tnag this happens im thr country nrxt to america


    Well the Mexican Peso reacted to the news by going down!

    Mexico has 46.8% of its people living at poverty level. Now Mexico will get poorer under her leadership of the Rich!

    Here is one of her greatest accomplishments when she was mayor of Mexico City as reported by the WEF!

  12. We'll hang a star on this one, sr. Sol..
    Saludos, viaje bien..


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