Mexican Mayoral Candidate Found Dead.

Ricardo Reyes Zamudio, a Mexican mayoral candidate, has been found dead after he was kidnapped Sunday while attending a funeral. 

His body was discovered Monday in Tayoltita, a rural mining town in the northwestern state of Durango, covered in bullet holes,BBC News reported

Zamudio was a member of the leftist Citizen’s Movement party and a candidate for mayor of the northern municipality of San Dimas. He is the third politician to be killed in less than a week, as Mexico is preparing for its first elections since last year’s presidential vote, set for July 7, Reuters reported.

“The cowardly killer of comrade Reyes is part of an alarming climate of violence and impunity, which seems to be aimed at inspiring terror … before the elections next Sunday,” said the Citizen’s Movement party in a statement. 

It remains unclear who was behind the killing. 

Zamudio’s death is the most recent in a string of violence against politicians this week. A candidate for the state legislature in Oaxaca was shot multiple times and is now in critical condition, just days after Nicolas Estrada, leader of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, was found dead by police, according to Reuters. 

Also this week, two political candidates in Sinaloa state, which neighbors Durango, dropped out of the race after a member of their coalition was killed. 

The Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s several powerful gangs, controls organized crime in the region, and is believed to be behind the rash of killings in the region.

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PRI State Assembly Candidate Wounded in Assassination Attempt.

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A candidate in next week’s regional elections in Mexico has been critically injured in a gun attack in the south of the country.

Rosalia Palma, a candidate of the governing PRI party for the Oaxaca state assembly, was hit when her vehicle was fired on, officials said.

Her husband and an aide were killed.

Violence has marred the election campaign, the first since President Enrique Pena Nieto came to power last December.

He has promised to review Mexico’s “war on drugs” policy.

More than 70,000 people are estimated to have died in drug-related violence under the presidency of Felipe Calderon between 2006 and 2012.

Saturday’s attack comes two days after the leader of the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) in Oaxaca, Nicolas Estrada, was found dead with gunshot wounds.

On Friday, two candidates in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa dropped out of the race after a member of their coalition was killed.

 

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Police Clash With Protesters Outside Confederation Cup Football Final in Brazil

Protesters have clashed with police near Rio’s Maracana stadium, minutes before the start of the Brazil-Spain final of the Confederations Cup, AFP reported.

Al Jazeera’s Adam Raney reporting from Rio de Janeiro, after the match had begun, said that clashes had died down.

Earlier, some 5,000 people sang and danced to samba music as they marched towards the stadium, before being blocked by a police security cordon on Sunday.

The marchers responded to calls on social media to turn out to back the national squad but also to protest the country’s inadequate public services – a key gripe at the core of two weeks of demonstrations that have rocked the South American giant.

More than 11,000 police and troops were mobilised to ensure security for 78,000 fans at the Maracana arena as the curtain falls on a tournament hit by the unprecedented social unrest, with more than 1.5 million Brazilians taking to the streets nationwide over the past two weeks.

Our correspondent said the protests were likely to continue, though it was unclear what the protesters would direct their energy at with the football tournament now being wrapped up.

Public anger

“We are against the privatisation of the stadium and forced housing displacement, linked to the 2014 World Cup and the (2016 Rio summer) Olympics,” said Renato Cosentino, a spokesman for one of the groups sponsoring Saturday’s protest.

Hundreds of demonstrators also rallied in the Tijuca district, about one mile from Maracana, dancing and chanting: “FIFA, pay my (bus) fare” or “Maracana is ours.”

Police invited the country’s Bar Association as well as federal and state prosecutors to monitor their security deployment following charges of police brutality during earlier protests.

A small demonstration was also held in the northeastern city of Salvador outside the stadium where Italy took third place in the Confederations Cup on Sunday after beating Uruguay 3-2 on penalties.

Protesters complain the government has found billions of dollars to build brand new stadiums for 12 World Cup host stadiums while transport, education and health remain underfunded.

President Dilma Rousseff, whose popularity has plunged since the start of the unrest, will not attend the Spain-Brazil final.

Two weeks ago, she and FIFA President Sepp Blatter were booed by demonstrators at the opening game of the tournament in Brasilia.

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Police Clash With Protesters Outside Confederation Cup Football Final in Brazil