Mexico candidate murdered, sixth in just over a week

Acapulco (Mexico) (AFP) –


A candidate for state legislature in Mexico's upcoming elections was shot dead, authorities said Tuesday, at least the sixth politician murdered in the past 10 days in what has become a blood-soaked campaign.

Abel Montufar Mendoza, a mayor who was running for a legislative seat in the violent state of Guerrero, was found dead inside his car in the city of Ciudad Altamirano, said Roberto Alvarez Heredia, the state's security spokesman.

"We have confirmed that it is the state legislature candidate Abel Montufar Mendoza," who was running for the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Alvarez said.

The candidate's body was riddled with bullets and naked from the waist down, said a police source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

At least six candidates for the July 1 general elections have now been murdered since April 29 in various incidents around the country.

Dozens more have been murdered since election season opened last September.

Public safety is one of the biggest issues of the campaign, after Mexico registered a record 25,000 murders last year.

Mexico is awash in violence linked to its powerful drug cartels.

Since the government deployed the military to fight drug trafficking in 2006, the country has registered more than 200,000 homicides, though the statistics do not track how many were linked to organized crime.