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.