Gunmen in Mexico attack mayoral candidate’s campaign headquarters

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The headquarters of a mayoral candidate was attacked by a group of gunmen in the latest episode of violence ahead of Sunday’s midterm elections in Mexico.

A resident of Villa de Reyes, San Luis Potosí, captured as attackers opened up Wednesday on a convoy that Erika Briones drove through outside her campaign facility.

The shooting allegedly happened after a man identified by her challenger Abigail Hernández as Briones’ husband opened fire during a street fight, hitting Hernández’s car and injuring a member of a political party.

Briones, who runs under the dual National Action Party and Democratic Party Party, said she was about to leave the building when the attackers arrived and started shooting.

The gunmen also collided with another SUV and kidnapped five members of her campaign staff. Their whereabouts were not known Thursday.

Briones, her son and none of the people on the scene were injured.

Gunmen opened fire outside the campaign office of mayoral candidate Erika Briones in Villa de Reyes, a town in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosí, on Wednesday.

Gunmen opened fire outside the campaign office of mayoral candidate Erika Briones in Villa de Reyes, a town in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosí, on Wednesday.

Erika Briones pinned the attack on former mayor Juan Gabriel Solís and his brother Jonathan Solís.  The ex-mayor's wife, Abigail Hernández, also runs into Briones

Erika Briones pinned the attack on former mayor Juan Gabriel Solís and his brother Jonathan Solís.  The ex-mayor's wife, Abigail Hernández, also runs into Briones

Erika Briones pinned the attack on former mayor Juan Gabriel Solís and his brother Jonathan Solís. The ex-mayor’s wife, Abigail Hernández, also runs into Briones

In an interview with Millennium Television, Briones pinned the attack on former mayor Juan Gabriel Solís and his brother Jonathan Solís.

She takes on the ex-mayor’s wife, Abigail Hernández, who is supported by the Institutional Revolutionary Party and the People’s Conscience Party.

“They should give people the chance to vote freely for what they want, they shouldn’t want to stop people from playing these dirty games. It’s not worth it,” Briones said, bursting into tears in a video message posted to her Facebook account after the attack.

“The PRI must recognize that loss. They have to recognize that they lost at Villas de Reyes, that the people don’t like them, that they detest them. Nobody wants that family, it won’t come to power. Is that what they want power for? For things like this? We won’t allow it.’

A campaign banner depicting Erika Briones was vandalized on Wednesday.  It said, 'You get up or we'll take you down.  Your head will be next'

A campaign banner depicting Erika Briones was vandalized on Wednesday.  It said, 'You get up or we'll take you down.  Your head will be next'

A campaign banner depicting Erika Briones was vandalized on Wednesday. It said, ‘You get up or we’ll take you down. Your head will be next’

Authorities also discovered the severed heads of two pigs in a cooler with Erika Briones' name on it after it was left on a nearby viaduct.

Authorities also discovered the severed heads of two pigs in a cooler with Erika Briones' name on it after it was left on a nearby viaduct.

Authorities also discovered the severed heads of two pigs in a cooler with Erika Briones’ name on it after it was left on a nearby viaduct.

Erika Briones runs under the dual National Action Party and Democratic Party Party and seeks the mayor's office in Villa de Reyes, a town in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosí

Erika Briones runs under the dual National Action Party and Democratic Party Party and seeks the mayor's office in Villa de Reyes, a town in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosí

Erika Briones runs under the dual National Action Party and Democratic Party Party and seeks the mayor’s office in Villa de Reyes, a town in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosí

Hours before the attack, Briones learned that death threats had been made against her son.

Authorities also discovered the severed heads of two pigs in a cooler with her name on it after it was left on a nearby overpass.

The perpetrators also destroyed a campaign banner bearing Briones’ image with a warning message that read: ‘You get up or we’ll take you down. Your head will be next.’

In a separate incident, Hernández’s SUV was attacked by a gunman, whom she identified as Alfredo Telléz, Briones’ husband.

Still image from a cellphone video shows a man opening fire during a street fight in Villa de Reyes on Wednesday.  Mayoral candidate Abigail Hernández said her SUV was attacked by the gunman (pictured), whom she identified as Alfredo Telléz, Erika Briones' husband.  Briones takes on her in Sunday's midterm elections

Still image from a cellphone video shows a man opening fire during a street fight in Villa de Reyes on Wednesday.  Mayoral candidate Abigail Hernández said her SUV was attacked by the gunman (pictured), whom she identified as Alfredo Telléz, Erika Briones' husband.  Briones takes on her in Sunday's midterm elections

Still image from a cellphone video shows a man opening fire during a street fight in Villa de Reyes on Wednesday. Mayoral candidate Abigail Hernández said her SUV was attacked by the gunman (pictured), whom she identified as Alfredo Telléz, Erika Briones’ husband. Briones takes on her in Sunday’s midterm elections

Video footage shows several individuals arguing in the middle of the street before a man started firing into the air. Aurelio Luna, an important political figure in the People’s Conscience Party, was injured in the incident.

“We saw Mr. Alfredo Telléz fire directly at the truck I was in,” Hernández told the online news portal. Code San Luis,. “Yes, he and his criminal group have been hired.”

Hernández said he filed a report with the police on Wednesday evening. No arrests were reported.

Codigo San Luis reported that the Villa de Reyes midterm election process has at times turned violent with incidents of kidnapping and beatings of party officials, as well as threats via phone calls and text messages. Civilians have also been reported openly carrying military weapons.

According to consultancy Etellekt, 89 political party members have been murdered since September 2020.

The most recent victim, 65-year-old Cipriano Villanueva, was shot on Friday. He was the Chiapas United Party’s candidate for mayor of Acapetahua, a municipality in the southern state of Chiapas.

Marilú Martínez, who is running for mayor in the Guerrero city of Cutzamala de Pinzón, and her family were kidnapped by an armed mob on Tuesday. They were safely located on Wednesday, according to Clemente Castañeda, director of Citizen’s Movement.

There have been more than 780 criminal incidents targeting politicians in the current campaign as opposition parties try to regain control in the lower house and senate of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement.

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