List of politicians killed in the Mexican Drug War
This is a list of politicians killed in the Mexican Drug War. Since the start of the military-led offensive by the Mexican government in 2006, the drug trafficking organizations have slaughtered their rivals, killed policemen, and now increasingly targeted politicians – especially local leaders. Most of the places where these politicians have been killed are areas plagued by drug-related violence. Part of the strategy used by the criminal groups behind the killings of local figures is the weakening of the local governments. Extreme violence puts politicians at the mercy of the mafias, and thus allowing the cartels to take control of the fundamental government structures and expand their criminal agendas. In addition, because mayors usually appoint local police chiefs, they are seen by the cartels as key assets in their criminal activities to control the police forces in their areas of influence. The cartels also seek to control the local governments to win government contracts and concessions; these "public works" help them ingrain themselves in the community and gain the loyalty and respect of the communities in which they operate.
Currently, the criminal organizations in Mexico earn a substantial amount of money from extortion and retail drug sales, known in Spanish as "narco-menudeo." Unlike the transnational drug trade, which can be carried out without the aid and protection of authorities, local police forces are more likely to be aware of the local extortions and drug sales. Hence, government tolerance – and at times, government collusion – is necessary for the cartels to operate. Politicians are usually targeted for three reasons: (1) Political figures who are honest pose a direct threat to organize crime, and are consequently killed by the cartels; (2) Politicians make arrangements to protect a certain cartel and are killed by a rival cartel; and (3) a cartel simply kills politicians to heat up the turf of the rival cartel that operates in the area. Another issue behind the assassination of politicians is that Mexico is more democratic than how it used to be a couple of decades ago, when the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) ruled Mexico uninterruptedly for more than six decades. Today, the criminals groups have to deal with three major political parties, posing challenges to the long-relationships the cartels had during the past regime. Drug-related assassinations, however, are not solely limited to local and low-profile politicians. As demonstrated with the killing of Rodolfo Torre Cantú on June 2010, a candidate for the PRI who was running for the state government of Tamaulipas, drug lords are interfering with Mexico's election process.
- A municipal president is comparable to a mayor of a town or city.
- A deputy is a member of the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico.
- Politicians who are reported as "disappeared" are included in the list with a note in References box.
|Teodoro Herrera Sosa||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||18 January 2005||Soto la Marina, Tamaulipas|||
|Raúl Delgado Benavides||N/A||Municipal president||15 July 2006||Cuautitlán, Jalisco|||
|Juan Antonio Guajardo Anzaldúa||PAN-PRD-PT||Former municipal president, Senator, and Deputy||29 November 2007||Río Bravo, Tamaulipas||[nb 1]|
|Leopoldo Juárez Urbina||Convergencia||Former municipal president||8 May 2008||Cherán, Michoacán|||
|Marcelo Ibarra Villa||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||1 June 2008||Villa Madero, Michoacán|||
|Manuel de Jesús Angulo Torres||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||4 June 2008||Topia, Durango||[nb 2]|
|Juan Manuel Orozco Serrano||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||24 July 2008||Cuautitlán, Jalisco|||
|Héctor Lorenzo Ríos||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Municipal president||24 September 2008||Ayutla, Guerrero|||
|Salvador Vergara Cruz||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||8 October 2008||Ixtapan de la Sal, State of Mexico|||
|Claudio Reyes Núñez||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||6 February 2009||Otáez, Durango|||
|Francisco Javier Rodríguez Aceves||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Former municipal president||22 February 2009||Petatlán, Guerrero|||
|Octavio Manuel Carrillo Castellanos||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||24 February 2009||Vista Hermosa, Michoacán|||
|Gonzalo Paz Torres||N/A||Chief of city council||7 March 2009||Tancítaro, Michoacán|||
|Dimas Arzeta Cisneros||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||14 March 2009||Tecpan de Galeana, Guerrero|||
|Gustavo Bucio Rodríguez||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Candidate for Deputy (legislator)||7 April 2009||Michoacán|||
|Nicolás León Hernández||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||3 April 2009||Isla del Cayacal, Michoacán|||
|Alfonso Rivera Cruz||N/A||Municipal president pro tempore||20 April 2009||Zapotitlán Tablas, Guerrero|||
|Luis Carlos Ramírez López||National Action Party||Municipal president||2 June 2009||Ocampo, Durango|||
|Efraín Gutiérrez Arcos||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||11 June 2009||Santa Ana Maya, Michoacán|||
|Héctor Manuel Meixueiro Muñoz||National Action Party||Municipal president||14 July 2009||Namiquipa, Chihuahua|||
|Ismael Rivera||N/A||Treasurer of the municipality||14 July 2009||Namiquipa, Chihuahua|||
|Armando Chavarría Barrera||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Congressman||20 August 2009||Chilpancingo, Guerrero|||
|Estanislao García Santelis||N/A||Municipal president||9 October 2009||Palomas, Chihuahua|||
|José Sánchez Chávez||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||16 October 2009||Tiquicheo, Michoacán|||
|Aurelio Fausto Cháidez Chavarín||N/A||Former municipal president||9 January 2010||Culiacán, Sinaloa|||
|Ramón Mendívil Sotelo||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||18 February 2010||Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua|||
|Manuel Estrada Escalante||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||23 February 2010||El Mezquital, Durango|||
|José Santiago Agustín||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||28 April 2010||Zapotitlán Tablas, Guerrero|||
|Abel Uribe Landa||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||3 May 2010||Tetipac, Guerrero|||
|José Mario Guajardo Varela||National Action Party||Candidate for municipal presidency||12 May 2010||Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas|||
|Jesús Manuel Lara Rodríguez||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||19 June 2010||Guadalupe, Chihuahua|||
|Óscar Venancio Martínez Rivera||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||19 June 2010||San José del Progreso, Oaxaca|||
|Rodolfo Torre Cantú||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Candidate for governor||28 June 2010||Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas|||
|Enrique Blackmore Smer||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Deputy (legislator)||28 June 2010||Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas|||
|Nicolás García Ambrosio||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Municipal president||30 June 2010||Santo Domingo, Oaxaca|||
|Romero Núñez Montiel||Compromise for Puebla (coalition party)||Candidate for municipal presidency||3 July 2010||Jololalpan, Puebla||[nb 3]|
|Alberto Herrera Casillas||N/A||Former municipal president||10 July 2010||Tecalitlán, Jalisco|||
|Edelmiro Cavazos Leal||National Action Party||Municipal president||18 August 2010||Santiago, Nuevo León|||
|Marco Antonio Leal García||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||29 August 2010||Hidalgo, Tamaulipas|||
|Alexander López García||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||8 September 2010||El Naranjo, San Luis Potosí|||
|Prisciliano Rodríguez Salinas||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||23 September 2010||Doctor González, Nuevo León|||
|Gustavo Sánchez Cervantes||N/A||Interim municipal president||27 September 2010||Uruapan, Michoacán|||
|Antonio Jiménez Baños||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president-elect||8 October 2010||Mártires de Tacubaya, Oaxaca||[nb 4]|
|José Felipe García||N/A||Municipal president||16 October 2010||Cruillas, Tamaulipas||[nb 5]|
|Rito Grado Serrano||N/A||Municipal president||17 October 2010||Praxedis G. Guerrero, Chihuahua|||
|Jaime Lozoya Ávila||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Municipal president||6 November 2010||San Bernardo, Durango|||
|Gregorio Barradas Miravete||National Action Party||Municipal president||9 November 2010||Juan Rodríguez Lara, Veracruz|||
|Omar Manzur||National Action Party||Municipal president pro tempore||9 November 2010||Juan Rodríguez Lara, Veracruz|||
|Jesús Silverio Cavazos Ceballos||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former governor||21 November 2010||Colima, Colima|||
|Saúl Vara Rivera||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||5 January 2011||Zaragoza, Coahuila|||
|Abraham Ortiz Rosales||Ecologist Green Party of Mexico||Municipal president||11 January 2011||Temoac, Morelos|||
|Luis Jiménez Mata||N/A||Municipal president||13 January 2011||Santiago Amoltepec|||
|Juan Carlos Guardado Méndez||Labor Party||Former municipal president||4 February 2011||Fresnillo, Zacatecas||[nb 6]|
|Adán Ocampo Ortiz||National Action Party||Municipality director||9 February 2011||Chinameca, Veracruz||[nb 7]|
|Saturnino Valdez Llanos||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||12 February 2011||Tampico Alto, Veracruz||[nb 8]|
|José Luis Prieto Torres||N/A||Former municipal president||22 February 2011||Allende, Chihuahua|||
|Enrique Chávez Gómez||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Former candidate for municipal presidency||28 February 2011||El Saucillo, Chihuahua|||
|Mario Chuc Aguilar||N/A||Former municipal president||10 March 2011||Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo|||
|Enterbio Reyes Bello||N/A||Former municipal president||7 April 2011||Copanatoyac, Guerrero|||
|Silvia Moreno Leal||N/A||Former municipal president||14 May 2011||Balleza, Chihuahua|||
|Fernando Duarte Flores||N/A||Former municipal president||18 May 2011||Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas|||
|Alfonso López Vázquez||N/A||Former municipal president||27 May 2011||Jalapa, Tabasco||[nb 9]|
|Eduardo García Delgado||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||7 June 2011||Lerdo de Tejada, Veracruz||[nb 10]|
|Gonzalo Amador Ortega||National Action Party||Former candidate for municipal presidency||24 June 2011||Huauchinango, Puebla|||
|Ernesto Cornejo Valenzuela||National Action Party||Former candidate for deputy; State delegate for the PAN||21 July 2011||Villa Juárez, Sonora|||
|Fortino Cortés Sandoval||N/A||Municipal president||28 July 2011||Florencia de Benito Juárez, Zacatecas|||
|Wilfrido Campos González||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former deputy (legislator)||8 August 2012||Matamoros, Tamaulipas|||
|José Eduviges Nava Altamirano||Labor Party||Municipal president||20 August 2011||Zacualpan, State of Mexico|||
|Luz María García Villagrán||N/A||Municipal president||24 August 2011||Gran Morelos, Chihuahua|||
|René Carreón Gómez||N/A||Former municipal president||29 August 2011||Cuancamé, Zacatecas||[nb 11]|
|Gustavo Pacheco Villaseñor||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||15 September 2011||Tuxtepec, Oaxaca|||
|Moisés Villanueva de la Luz||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Deputy (legislator)||17 September 2011||Tlapa de Comonfort, Guerrero|||
|Ricardo Guzmán Romero||National Action Party||Municipal president||2 November 2011||La Piedad, Michoacán|||
|Roberto Miguel Galván||N/A||Former municipal president||19 November 2011||Tepetzintla, Veracruz||[nb 12]|
|Fortunato Ruiz Blázquez||N/A||Former municipal president||12 December 2011||Ixhuacán de los Reyes, Veracruz|||
|José Martínez Mendoza||N/A||Former municipal president||21 December 2011||Cosalá, Sinaloa|||
|Porfirio Flores Ayala||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||31 December 2011||Cuernavaca, Morelos|||
|Arturo García Solano||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Former candidate for deputy (legislator)||10 March 2012||Ciudad Valles, San Luis Potosí|||
|Alfonso Peña Peña||National Action Party||Former municipal president||16 March 2012||Tepehuanes, Durango||[nb 13]|
|Francisco García Girard||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||14 April 2012||Aquiles Serdán, Chihuahua|||
|Rafael Landa Fernández||N/A||Municipal president pro tempore||18 April 2012||Atzalan, Veracruz|||
|Horacio Barquín Cevallos||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president pro tempore||28 April 2012||Taxco de Alarcón, Guerrero|||
|Rafael Ariza Bibiano||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Former municipal president||2 June 2012||Coyuca de Benítez, Guerrero||[nb 14]|
|Margarito Genchi Casiano||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Candidate for Deputy (legislator)||11 June 2012||Florencio Villarreal, Guerrero|||
|Marisol Mora Cuevas||National Action Party||Municipal president||28 June 2012||Loma Bonita, Oaxaca|||
|Pedro Filemón Luis Hernández||N/A||Municipal president pro tempore||2 August 2012||San Miguel Tilquiapam, Oaxaca|||
|Nadin Torralba Mejía||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||5 August 2012||Tecpan de Galeana, Guerrero||[nb 15]|
|Rodolfo Leal Alanís||Social Democratic Party||Former candidate for Deputy||7 August 2012||Escobedo, Nuevo León|||
|Édgar Morales Pérez||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president-elect||12 August 2012||Matehuala, San Luis Potosí|||
|Ignacio Pérez Rodríguez||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Former candidate for municipal presidency||18 August 2012||Tamuín, San Luis Potosí||[nb 16]|
|Nahum Tress Manica||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||28 August 2012||Isla, Veracruz|||
|Hernán Belden Elizondo||National Action Party||Former deputy (legislator)||7 September 2012||Santa Catarina, Nuevo León|||
|Miguel Jaimes Palacios||N/A||Former municipal president||8 September 2012||Tierra Caliente, Guerrero|||
|Eduardo Castro Luque||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Deputy-elect||14 September 2012||Ciudad Obregón, Sonora|||
|Jaime Serrano Cedillo||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Deputy (legislator)||16 September 2012||Nezahualcóyotl, State of Mexico|||
|Lorenzo Salinas Mendoza||N/A||Former municipal president||26 September 2012||Santa María Temaxcaltepec, Oaxaca|||
|Raúl Antonio Rodríguez Barrera||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||31 October 2012||Miguel Alemán, Tamaulipas|||
|María Santos Gorrostieta Salazar||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Former municipal president||16 November 2012||Cuitzeo, Michoacán|||
|Rafael Piña de Luna||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Former candidate for municipal presidency||15 December 2012||Ciudad Valles, San Luis Potosí|||
|Amalia Terán Rubio||National Action Party||Deputy pro tempore||16 December 2012||Huehuetlán, San Luis Potosí|||
|Pablo Antonio Pintor||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||16 December 2012||Ciudad del Maíz, San Luis Potosí|||
|Miguel Ángel Farfán Ortega||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former candidate for municipal presidency||18 December 2012||Salvador Escalante, Michoacán|||
|Ignacio Domínguez Carranza||National Action Party||Former candidate for municipal presidency||18 January 2013||Tlaquiltenango, Morelos|||
|Wilfrido Flores Villa||N/A||Interim municipal president||4 February 2013||Nahuatzen, Michoacán|||
|Jesús Manuel Landero||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Candidate for municipal president||18 February 2013||Lerdo, Durango|||
|Enrique Marín Lara||National Action Party||Former municipal president||22 February 2013||Soledad de Doblado, Veracruz|||
|Francisco David Carrasco Carnero||National Action Party||Former municipal president||23 February 2013||Julimes, Chihuahua|||
|Feliciano Martínez Bautista||N/A||Municipal president||25 March 2013||San Juan Mixtepec, Oaxaca|||
|José René Garrido Rocha||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Municipal president||20 April 2013||San Salvador el Verde, Oaxaca|||
|Celestino Félix Vázquez Luis||N/A||Municipal president||4 June 2013||San Miguel Tilquiapam, Oaxaca|||
|Jaime Orozco Maxdigal||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Candidate for municipal presidency||11 June 2013||Guadalupe y Calvo|||
|Guillermo Maceda Cervantes||Party of the Democratic Revolution||Pre-candidate for municipal president||15 June 2013||Tlacoachistlahuaca, Guerrero|||
|Isaac López Rojas||Partido Cardenista||Candidate of municipal president pro tempore||15 June 2013||Martínez de la Torre, Veracruz|||
|José Ramírez Román||Institutional Revolutionary Party||Former municipal president||21 June 2013||Saín Alto, Zacatecas|||
|Francisco Navarro Montenegro||Partido del Frente Cardenista de Reconstrucción Nacional||Former candidate for governor||29 June 2013||Saltillo, Coahuila|||
|Ricardo Reyes Zamudio||Movimiento Ciudadano||Candidate for municipal president||1 July 2013||Durango, Durango|||
|Víctor Tapia Ocampo||N/A||Former municipal president||14 August 2013||Tetecala, Morelos|||
- Guajardo Anzaldúa was municipal president for PAN (1993-1995) and later for PT (2002-2003); Federal deputy for PRD (1996-2000) and PT (2004-2006); and Senator for Tamaulipas for the PRD (1994).
- Angulo Torres was kidnapped with his brother at a restaurant on 4 June 2008. His body has not been found and he is not reported as dead.
- Compromise for Puebla (Compromiso por Puebla) was a coalition party made up of the PAN, PRI, PRD, PANAL, and Convergence.
- Jiménez Baños is also referred to as Artemio Tomás.
- José Felipe García was kidnapped by gunmen on 16 October 2010 and is currently disappeared. Officially, he had not been reported dead.
- Guardado Méndez was abducted on 4 February 2011 and is currently disappeared. He is not reported as dead.
- Ocampo Ortiz was kidnapped on 9 February 2011 and has not been found. He is not reported as dead.
- Valdez Llanos was intercepted by gunmen and has not been found. He is not reported as dead.
- López Vázquez was forced out of his vehicle and kidnapped while he headed to his ranch. He has not been found.
- Seven gunmen kidnapped García Delgado outside a hardware store. His wife tried to impide his abduction and was beaten.
- Carreón Gómez is currently disappeared. He was last heard of on 29 August 2011 when he called his family. He is not reported as dead.
- Cartel members broke into Galván's house and kidnapped him. He remains disappeared.
- Peña was abducted on 25 July 2010. Nonetheless, his body was found inside a clandestine mass grave on 16 March 2012.
- Ariza Bibiano was forced out of his domicile by armed men. They never called back for ransom.
- Torralba Mejía was kidnapped by armed men after they intercepted his vehicle. He is currently disappeared.
- Pérez Rodríguez disappeared in Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas with four family members. Nothing is known of their whereabouts.
- Mexico's missing local election candidates — Al Jazeera on YouTube
- Mexico: Drug Cartels Have Growing Stake In Mexican Politics (archive) — The Huffington Post
- Why are Mexican mayors getting killed by traffickers? (archive) — Viridiana Ríos, Harvard University
- Mexico drug war worsened by organized crime's tight grip on politics (archive) — The Christian Science Monitor