A man threw a severed head at a voting station in the Terrazas del Valle neighborhood of the Mexican border city of Tijuana on Sunday, local authorities said, as Mexicans were casting votes in midterm elections.

By Lizbeth Diaz

In one of the bloodiest election campaigns in Mexico’s recent history, security consultancy Etellekt said 91 politicians had been killed and attacks rose by 17.5% to 910 compared to the 2017-2018 election cycle.

Local authorities said the man tried to run away but did not specify whether he was captured. They said they also found plastic bags with human remains and severed hands nearby.

It was not immediately clear whether the violence was related to the election.

Mexicans vote in midterm elections

All 500 seats in the lower house, 15 state governorships and thousands of local leadership positions are up for grabs, with some 93.5 million Mexicans eligible to vote.

Security analysts said most electoral violence tends to occur at the municipal level, where gangs exert pressure to influence the outcome in the hope of securing more control over drug trafficking and other criminal rackets.

Members of the National Guard keep watch the a scene where unknown assailants left a plastic bag with human remains near a polling station, during the mid-term elections in Tijuana, Mexico June 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

A man lobbed a severed human head at a voting station in the border city of Tijuana on Sunday and plastic bags filled with body parts were found nearby, local authorities said, as Mexicans voted across the country in midterm elections.

Authorities said the man ran away, but they did not specify whether he was captured. They said they found plastic bags with human remains and severed hands in the area.

A member of the National Guard keeps watch the a scene where unknown assailants left a plastic bag with human remains near a polling station, during the mid-term elections in Tijuana, Mexico June 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

It was not immediately clear what message the gruesome act was meant to send and how it related to Sunday’s election.

The campaign for lawmakers and state authorities has been one of the bloodiest in Mexico’s recent history. Security consultancy Etellekt said 97 politicians had been killed and 935 were attacked.

A police officer walks by a polling station where a man threw a severed human head, during the mid-term elections in Tijuana, Mexico June 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

Elsewhere on voting day, someone threw an inactive grenade into a voting station in Mexico State, authorities said. One voter, who asked not to be named, told Reuters that the crowd dispersed but then returned.

“People said that they would vote, and that they would not be intimidated,” the person said, adding that she had cast her ballot. “It was ugly.”

Electoral workers count ballots after polls closed on mid-term election day at a polling station in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico June 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

In Sinaloa, armed men robbed electoral material from voting stations, a source at the state prosecutor’s office said.

Erik Ulises Ramirez, a candidate for the left-wing opposition Citizen’s Movement party who survived an assassination attempt last month in Cocula, Guerrero state, said two of his allies had been kidnapped, beaten and then released on Sunday.

Security analysts said most electoral violence tends to occur at the municipal level, where gangs exert pressure to influence the outcome in the hope of securing more control over drug trafficking and other criminal rackets.

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(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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