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Leader of conservative Partido Encuentro Social shot dead in street

Zihuatanejo, Guerrero — Another political leader has been shot dead, this time in a tourist port in the south of the country.

Gabriel Hernández Alfaro, who was the leader of the conservative Partido Encuentro Social (PES) in the municipality of Petatlán, in the state of Guerrero, was shot and killed Thursday.

The murder occurred a few months before the presidential elections which are set for July 1. Numerous political leaders have been killed in different parts of the country. Hernández Alfaro was shot in the tourist port of Zihuatanejo, while another person was wounded during the attack, police said Thursday.

Hernández Alfaro was shot outside a department store. The party leader was badly wounded by small arms bullets and minutes later he died in the street.

The PES, faced with political forces rooted in Guerrero as the official Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), appeared on the local electoral scene thanks to the coalition at the national level with the Labor Party and the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), the party led by the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, presidential candidate for the third time.

Guerrero, one of the poorest regions of the country and whose lands are disputed by drug traffickers to plant marijuana and poppies, registers high levels of homicides as a result of the violence of organized crime.

From January to November of last year there were 2,114 murders, according to official figures.

On December 29, Arturo Gómez Pérez, mayor of Petatlán, was shot while eating in an establishment in this municipality. On New Year’s Eve, a PRI candidate for the municipal candidacy of Atoyac, Guerrero, was shot dead.

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