Kidnapped mayoral candidate found alive

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Kidnapped mayoral candidate found alive

A mayoral candidate who had been kidnapped at gunpoint in Mexico on Sunday has been found alive.

It is not yet known who seized Albino Gómez or why.

Mr Gómez is running for mayor for the governing Morena party in the municipality of Cochoapa el Grande, in southern Guerrero state.

The campaign for Sunday’s election in Mexico has been wracked by violence and Guerrero is the most dangerous state for candidates.

Mr Gómez was targeted shortly after he attended his closing campaign rally when gunmen stormed his home and opened fire.

One man, identified by local media as Mr Gómez’s campaign manager, was killed and two more people were injured in the attack.

The mayor of the nearby town of Chilpancingo sounded the alarm about the kidnapping on social media.

She urged authorities to “take the necessary action to safeguard the life of our colleague and those of his team”.

The run-up to the election, in which a new president as well as members of the legislature, nine governors and almost 20,000 local officials will be chosen, has been the most violent in recent history.

Dozens of candidates have been killed and hundreds have been threatened.

Candidates running for local office have been the worst affected.

Mexico’s powerful criminal groups target them to ensure that their favoured candidate wins, or to frighten rival candidates into complying with their demands.

Corrupting or threatening local officials can yield huge rewards for criminal groups.

Not only can municipal authorities be coerced to turn a blind eye to criminal activity in their area, they can also be forced to channel lucrative building contracts to the gangs.

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