Six people killed during campaign event in southern Mexico state of Chiapas

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Six people were killed and two injured by gunfire at a political campaign event in Chiapas, Mexico on Thursday, according to a statement from the state Attorney General’s Office.

A preliminary investigation found that the deaths occurred after a confrontation between armed civilians during an electoral campaign event that was attended by a candidate for the municipal presidency of La Concordia for the Chiapas Popular Party, Lucero López Maza.

The statement did not specify if López Maza was among the victims. However political violence has spiked across the country as Mexico heads toward its largest election in history on June 2.

The Attorney General’s Office said three of the victims, one of whom was a minor, were women, and three men. All died from gunshot wounds.

The investigation is ongoing as police search for the identities and whereabouts of the perpetrators.

Violence has been on the rise in the southern state, which borders Guatemala, as cartels fight for control of lucrative routes for migrant and drug smuggling routes. Earlier this week, eleven people were killed in mass shootings in the neighboring municipality of Chicomuselo, the state prosecutor said.

The Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel have been engaged in a turf war in the area, with hundreds forced to flee their homes in January.

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