Crime and Violence

Two Mayoral Candidates Killed Just Hours Apart in Maravatío, Michoacán

Source: El Pais

03/11/2024 (written by cahtoong) – On February 26, 2024 two mayoral candidates in Michoacán were murdered hours apart while campaigning in Maravatío. According to CNN, Miguel Angel Zavala of the Morena party and Armando Perez Luna of the National Action Party (PAN) were campaigning until they were both shot in their cars. Zavala was shot and killed by two men who stopped him while he was in his vehicle. Five hours later, two men on a motorcycle shot Perez Luna (El País). The State Attorney General’s Office has begun investigation but there has not been any report on the identity of the perpetrators yet. 

Miguel Ángel Zavala Reyes, Morena’s candidate for mayor of Maravatío, had a career as an OB-GYN prior to running for office. His campaign platform focused on working on mental health, labor reform, and financial and political development (El Universal). Back in November, Zavala Reyes announced his candidacy to become mayor of Maravatío. Shortly before his passing, he celebrated the anniversary of his medical career, posting on Facebook stating that he had 26 years full of the best memories (Milenio).

Source: Milenio

Armando Pérez Luna was the PAN candidate and had a preexisting career in politics as a transportation leader. Pérez Luna also served as general counsel during José Luis Abada Bautista’s administration and was the father of current district counsel, Andrea Pérez Solís. In the 2018 election he sought to become the mayor Maravatío but lost the race. According to Infobae, before his passing he was heading to his family burger stand to visit his wife, but was later found dead. Both men were killed with firearms and it remains unknown if either victim faced any threats from organized crime groups in the region (El Financiero).

Source: Infobae

Government Response

CNN reported that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador referred to the killings as “unfortunate.” The head of the State Attorney General’s Office, stated that these deaths could be related to possible interference of criminal groups. The Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE), PAN and Morena parties have all released statements condemning the murders of Zavala Reyes and Pérez Luna (Latin US). INE  is trying to work with authorities in order to make sure the investigations are conducted appropriately. A PAN representative, Victor Hugo Sondón, stated that he hopes that efforts to protect candidates begin to ramp up. Sergio Gutiérrez Luna, a Morena spokesperson, believes there needs to be further actions to prevent these events from continuing. The representatives of PAN and Morena are working to increase protection for the candidates that have requested it (Latin US).

Ongoing Electoral Violence

Political violence usually increases when election season approaches in Mexico. During the month of January there were 36 events that were associated with political-electoral violence based on evidence from Data Cívica. Since last September eight candidates have been killed, including Dagoberto García Reyes who also aspired to be mayor of Maravatío. Most criminal groups are known to finance campaigns, as well as intimidate candidates that are not cooperating with these groups (CNN). Attacks usually occur on the local level since those elections have the largest effect on law enforcement and businesses. 


“Two Mayoral Candidates Murdered in Mexican City of Marvatío.” Democracy Now. February 28, 2024.

Alvarado, Abel. “Two Mexican mayoral candidates killed hours in same town.” CNN. February 27, 2024

“Él era Miguel Zavala, aspirante de Morena asesinado en Maravatío, Michoacán.” Milenio. February 27, 2024. 

“Matan a Armando Pérez, candidato del PAN en Maravatío; es el segundo aspirante asesinado.” El Financiero. February 27, 2024

Mayen, Baruc. “Quiénes eran Armando Pérez y Miguel Ángel Reyes, precandidatos de Maravatío asesinados en menos de 24 horas” Infobae. February 27, 2024’

Monroy, Jorge. “Confrontación en el INE por asesinatos en Maravatío: PAN y PRD exigen al gobierno actuar y Noroña responsabiliza de los hechos a “la derecha.” LATINUS. February 27, 2024

Rosete, Erika. “El terror en Maravatío: asesinados dos precandidatos a la alcaldía en menos de 12 horas.” El País. February 27, 2024.

Sandoval, Anayeli Tapia. “Matan a balazos a Armando Pérez Luna; en menos de 24 horas asesinan a dos candidatos a la alcaldía de Maravatío.” Infobae. February 27, 2024

García, Mariana. “Quién fue Miguel Ángel Zavala, candidato de Morena asesinado en Michoacán.” Infobae. February 26, 2024.

Sosa, Samyra. “¿Quién era Miguel Ángel Zavala, el médico y precandidato de Morena asesinado en Michoacán?” El Universal. February 26, 2024

“Votar Entre Balas.” Data Cívica. February 24, 2024

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