December 28, 2017 / 9:24 PM / a year ago

Regional Mexican lawmaker shot dead in Jalisco state

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Unidentified gunmen shot dead a local lawmaker in the western Mexican state of Jalisco on Thursday, authorities said, the latest killing in a gang-ravaged region ahead of elections next summer.

Saul Galindo, a lawmaker for the opposition center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution, headed the justice committee in the Jalisco state congress, according to its website.

Galindo was at home in the town of Tomatlan when gunmen arrived and shot him, a spokeswoman from the state attorney general’s office said. Galindo was running for mayor of Tomatlan, according to his Twitter feed.

Tomatlan lies in the western part of the state, an area where the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, one of the country’s most powerful drug gangs, has a strong presence.

Mexico holds a string of national, state and local elections on July 1, including in Jalisco and its 125 municipalities.

The motive for the slaying was unclear, said the office of the state attorney general, who is investigating the case.

Earlier this week, an activist for the center-left Citizens’ Movement, the party which holds the mayoralty of state capital Guadalajara, was also shot dead in Jalisco.

Elections in Mexico can cause violence in areas where gangs seek to influence local politics.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Alistair Bell

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