In a violent spree ahead of Mexico’s crucial elections, a mayoral candidate was assassinated, and another was wounded. The incidents occurred just days before voters head to the polls to elect a new president and 20,000 other officials.

Ricardo Arizmendi, a candidate for mayor of Cuautla in Morelos, was shot by two men on a motorcycle at a market on Tuesday. The attack also injured a woman. Meanwhile, Gilberto Palomar, running for mayor of Encarnación de Díaz in Jalisco, and two of his staffers were wounded in a shooting at his home while wrapping up his campaign, as confirmed by state security coordinator Ricardo Sánchez. Videos from a social media user shows the alleged crime scene, a market where Arizmendi was shot down:

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These attacks came less than 24 hours after Rubén Cruz, a mayoral candidate for Hueypoxtla in the State of Mexico, was targeted. Cruz recounted, “Arriving at my home they shot at us. We ran inside, scared.”

As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made in connection with any of the three shootings. These attacks are part of a disturbing trend of violence against politicians, with at least 34 politically motivated murders since the start of the campaign in September 2023.

One of the most gruesome incidents involved the severed heads of Aníbal Zuñiga, a councilman candidate for Coyuca de Benítez in Guerrero, and his wife, Rubí Bravo, which were found in Acapulco on May 16. Last week, two candidates in Chiapas survived assassination attempts in attacks that left nine people dead.

At least 100 candidates have either quit their campaigns or decided not to run due to threats. In March, 46 candidates from Michoacán and Morelos abandoned their political aspirations after receiving threats from criminal organizations.

Edgardo Buscaglia, a senior scholar at Columbia University and advisor to UN agencies, told that cartels are exploiting the situation by funding candidates who ignore their activities. “Honest people cannot present themselves for fear of being murdered,” Buscaglia said.