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Congresswoman-elect is kidnapped in Mexico

AFP-JIJI

An incoming member of Mexico’s Congress was kidnapped at gunpoint Tuesday, an official said, the latest violent episode surrounding the July 1 elections, the bloodiest in the country’s history.

Azucena Rodriguez Zamora, who was elected to the lower house of Congress for the eastern state of Veracruz, was driving on a highway in the neighboring state of Hidalgo when gunmen in another car opened fire on her vehicle, said a police source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The car flipped over, injuring two people who were traveling with Rodriguez.

The gunmen then pulled her from the car and abducted her, said the source.

It is the second such kidnapping in Hidalgo in recent days.

On August 6, the mayor of the town of Naupan, in Puebla state, was found dead after being abducted at gunpoint on a Hidalgo highway.

At least 152 politicians were murdered in the run-up to Mexico’s elections, according to the consulting firm Etellekt.

The murders — mostly of local-level politicians, the most frequent targets for Mexico’s powerful drug cartels — were recorded between September, when candidate registration opened, and election day.

It is by far the most violent election on record in Mexico.

The country also registered a record number of murders across the board last year: 28,711.

And the record is on track to be broken again in 2018.

Mexico has been hit by a wave of violence since the government deployed the army to fight drug trafficking in 2006.

Since then, more than 200,000 people have been murdered. Another 30,000 are missing.