On 20 April Eduardo Campos Espinoza, the National Action Party (PAN) candidate for the Mayoral election in Anáhuac, Nuevo León state, narrowly avoided assassination after suspected Zeta members attacked his residence. Espinoza has stated that he had refused a request to meet members of the Zetas, which is likely the reason he was targeted. Mayors in Mexico are responsible for appointing local police chiefs, and cartels frequently attempt to bribe or intimidate them in order to influence local security. Mayors may also be attacked if they are believed to be working for a rival cartel.
This is the first significant instance of violence relating to the July elections, which include the Presidential race and municipal polls in several states, including Nuevo León. Violence is likely to increase in the next two months as cartels seek to influence voting and intimidate candidates. Furthermore, officials working on the election can also be targeted, and in this period an election trainer (responsible for overseeing that the polls are free and fair) was killed by gunmen in Guerrero state.