Mexican elections going relatively smoothly despite a few macabre incidents

Mexico City, Jun 6 (EFE).- Mexico’s mid-term elections on Sunday, considered to be the largest in the country’s history, are proceeding “normally” and just 14 of the more than 162,000 polling stations could not be brought online, the head of the National Election Institute (INE), Lorenzo Cordova, said.

“Of the 162,570 polling stations, it’s been confirmed that 81.3 percent have been set up properly. In like manner, we have the report that 14 will not be set up, representing just 0.009 percent of the total,” Cordova said in a statement issued shortly after noon.

Expectations are that in the coming hours the rest of the polling places will be opened, the INE told EFE.

The head of the INE said that “in all states … the elections are being held normally,” noting that on Sunday, Mexico is holding “the largest election in the history of our democracy.”

“More than 93.5 million citizens have the opportunity to influence the future of our country via their votes,” he emphasized, adding that the 300 INE district councils and the 32 local council have been installed to monitor the election.

“To get here, we’ve had to overcome assorted technical and political challenges,” he said, noting that on election day not only will all lawmakers in the Chamber of Deputies be selected but “the vote is being vindicated as the best way to defend democracy as the regime Mexican men and women have built for our social and political coexistence.”

He invited people to vote “peacefully” until the precincts are scheduled to close at 6 pm, going on to say that the INE has put in place “protocols and health measures so that going to the polls will be a free experience in democratic terms and also free from infection.”

“We honor the struggles of several generations of Mexicans freely exercising our right to vote,” he concluded.

Mexicans are going to the polls on Sunday to select their Chamber of Deputies lawmakers, 15 of the country’s 32 state governors, the members of 30 local legislatures and more than 1,900 mayors and other city officials.

The election campaigns have been marred by violence and the activities of organized crime with at least 91 politicians being murdered since last September, 36 of whom were running for office.

In addition, in all more than 910 attacks on politicians and candidates have been registered so far during the run-up to these elections, surpassing the previous record of 774 attacks in 2018, when the country held presidential, federal and local elections.

Meanwhile, on Sunday several people rolled human heads near polling places in the border city of Tijuana.

There, a man approached a polling place and rolled a human head along the ground before fleeing. The macabre incident occurred at 9 am, and about 40 minutes later on another street in the border city another person hurled two bags containing human remains into the street about 100 meters (yards) from another polling place.

A little after noon, another similar event occurred in the Mariano Matamoros neighborhood, with someone rolling another human head along the ground.

In Mexicali, several incidents were noted, the first early in the morning when armed men opened fire on the offices of the Morena political movement, the party of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

According to local authorities, 32 shell casings were found at the scene and the gunfire damaged walls and windows in the building, but nobody has yet been arrested and no injuries to passersby or people inside were reported.

A few hours later, another armed group stole ballots from a couple of precincts in Mexicali.


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