Violence erupts as Mexico’s deadly gangs aim to cement power in largest ever elections | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Violence erupts as Mexico’s deadly gangs aim to cement power in largest ever elections

Violent clashes between rival Mexican criminal groups – and their alleged allies in the security forces – are escalating ahead of mid-term elections in June, triggering a string of political assassinations and the forced displacement of thousands.

State and federal security forces have actively colluded with – and even fought alongside – the warring factions, according to local civilians, civil society activists and gunmen from various factions.

But as well as engaging in pitched gun battles, criminal factions are also confronting each other on the electoral field.

“All the [criminal] groups are trying to make gains right now,” said a Michoacán political consultant with first-hand knowledge of how arrangements are brokered between organized crime and political candidates.

With more than 21,000 posts in local, state and national government up for election – including 15 state governorships – the 6 June polls are the largest in Mexico’s history, and criminal groups see the elections as an opportunity to further their interests.

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