René Tovar: History of a political crime: the elected mayor arrested for the murder of a candidate in Veracruz


René Tovar, candidate of the Citizen Movement for the municipal presidency of Cazones, Veracruz.
René Tovar, candidate of the Citizen Movement for the municipal presidency of Cazones, Veracruz.RRSS

The case of the murder of René Tovar, candidate for mayor of Cazones (Veracruz), has taken an unexpected turn. The authorities confirmed this Wednesday the arrest of Omar Ramírez, his campaign manager, as the main suspect in his murder. Tovar, assassinated in the hours before the election on June 6, was the most voted candidate and Ramírez stepped forward as a substitute. In less than 20 days, the one who was officially the elected mayor has become directly targeted for the death of his former colleague and political ally.

The president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has anticipated the announcement of the arrest and has revealed details about the main line of investigation during his morning press conference. “One of the possible involved, according to the investigations, was his campaign manager,” said the president without hiding his surprise. “For him to stay as a candidate and win. We don’t want those horrors ”, he added.

The Prosecutor’s Office has released the arrest of another man, Gustavo N (last name omitted), for the murder. The judicial authority requested ex officio imprisonment for both detainees. The national press has published that Ramírez is identified as the intellectual author of the murder, but the public ministry did not provide information about it.

Tovar, nominated by the Citizen Movement, was shot dead. The candidate was ambushed at night by a group of armed men when he was at his home, local media reported the morning before election day, and in what initially appeared to be an attempted kidnapping. The politician died when he was transferred to a hospital.

His party called for the crime not to go unpunished and demanded that the state and federal government guarantee the safety of citizens. “The Citizen Movement expresses its deep indignation and anger at the aberrational and brutal murder of René Tovar,” the group said in a statement. This month’s elections were the largest in the country’s history in terms of the number of public offices to be elected and the number of people called to vote. They were also classified as the most violent that there has been, with around 800 attacks against politicians during the campaigns, according to the Etellekt consultancy.

Tovar was elected as municipal president with 49% of the votes and took an advantage of more than 30 percentage points over his closest competitor, according to preliminary results. Four days after the election, it was Ramírez who received the majority certificate and officially appointed as the elected mayor of Cazones de Herrera, a town of less than 25,000 inhabitants in the north of Veracruz, one of the states most affected by violence and insecurity. in recent years. Eight candidates in Veracruz, which renewed the local Congress and 212 municipalities, were assassinated in the last electoral process.

Miguel Ángel Uribe, part of Tovar’s team, had also introduced himself as his substitute and had said he was willing to assume the position, although the state council of Movimiento Ciudadano opted for Ramírez, according to a post of the representation of the party in the municipality. “The triumph of Cazones is yours, you won, friend,” Ramírez wrote on his social networks on June 13. A week later he dedicated another message to him on his Facebook account about Father’s Day, celebrated in Mexico last Sunday. “Wherever you are, I know that you will take care of us and you will always be with us. Thank you for offering us your friendship, your love and, above all, the change you gave Cazones ”, the publication reads.

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