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133 politicians murdered ahead of Mexico elections: study

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A total of 133 politicians have been murdered in the run-up to Mexico’s elections on Sunday, the consulting firm Etellekt said, as the violence gripping the country exploded into politics on a record scale.

The murders — mostly of local-level politicians, the most frequent targets for Mexico’s powerful drug cartels — were recorded between September, when candidate registration opened, and the close of campaigning on Wednesday, when an interim mayor was killed in the western state of Michoacan.

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The victims included 48 candidates running for office — 28 who were killed during the primary campaigns and 20 during the general election campaign, Etellekt, which carried out a study of election-related violence, told AFP Thursday.

“This violence has been concentrated at the local level. At least 71 percent of these attacks have been against elected officials and candidates running for office at the local level,” said the firm’s director, Ruben Salazar.

“This is the result of very serious problems of governability at the local level,” he told Mexican radio network Formula.

Just one of the victims was running for federal office, he said.

It is by far the most violent election on record in Mexico, which also registered a record number of murders across the board last year: 25,339.

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“In the 2012 elections… there were only nine politicians murdered and one candidate, according to our records,” said Salazar.

Mexico has been hit by a wave of violence since the government deployed the army to fight drug trafficking in 2006.

Since then, more than 200,000 people have been murdered — though the statistics do not track how many of the cases were linked to organized crime.

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Another 30,000 people are missing.

Salazar says political violence has been driven by the fragmentation of the cartels since the drug war began.

“The new cells that emerge… get rid of the (politicians) they don’t manage to strike a deal with,” he told AFP in a recent interview.

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Mexico will elect a new president, Congress and thousands of state and local officials Sunday, following a campaign where corruption and violence have been dominant issues.


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‘It’s a disgrace’: Conservative torches Trump and the GOP — saying they’ve betrayed voters

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In 2012, Stuart Stevens served as the chief strategist for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and tried to prevent President Barack Obama from winning a second term; in 2020, he is a Never Trump conservative who is rooting for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. And when Stevens appeared on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour” on Thursday night, August 6, he stressed to host Brian Williams that many GOP incumbents — from President Donald Trump to members of Congress — could be in trouble in November.

Promoting his new book, “It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump,” Stevens told Williams, “This is a very negative environment for Republicans…. There are external forces out there that make this a very tough race for incumbents in the Republican Party.”

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Mask-hating Trump supporter banned from local store after she ‘rammed someone with a cart’: report

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A woman who was permanently banned from entering a local hardware store for refusing to wear a face mask tells Vox that she's proud that her defiance of public health standards got her kicked out.

In an interview, a Wyoming resident named Jacqueline says that her local Menards home and garden store has told her that she is no longer allowed to shop there for refusing to wear a face mask on two separate occasions.

Although she was still allowed to shop at the store after the first time she came in without a face mask, she was permanently given the boot when she got into a physical altercation with an employee during her second trip to the store.

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Expert: NRA had to be obliterated by New York for one very important reason

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The New York attorney general's aggressive moves against the National Rifle Association might have been handled by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to a former federal prosecutor.

State attorney general Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the powerful lobbying group over claims of rampant fraud, but former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade's new column for The Daily Beast calls out the Justice Department's inaction.

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