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Winning candidates in Mexico get death threats, party says

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Winning candidates in two municipalities in Veracruz state were threatened
  • The candidates were told they would be killed if they took office
  • The threats come less than two weeks after a gubernatorial candidate was slain in Tamaulipas state
  • Mexico held elections Sunday for 12 governors and state and local offices

(CNN) -- At least two winning candidates in Sunday's elections in Mexico have received threats saying they will be killed if they take office, the government-run Notimex news agency reported Thursday.

Notimex quoted a state leader of Mexico's ruling National Action Party, known by its Spanish acronym PAN.

Agusti Martinez Ganboa, the newly elected president of the Jose Azueta municipality in Veracruz state, was one of the officials who received a death threat, said PAN representative Víctor Salas. In addition, Salas said, an unnamed candidate from another party fired a weapon into the air, which also was perceived as a threat.

Gabriel Lagunes Lagunes, the winning candidate for the presidency of the Soledad de Doblado municipality, also was threatened, Salas said.

Municipalities in Mexico are roughly equivalent to the county level in the United States and often contain many towns and cities. Veracruz, on Mexico's Gulf of Mexico coast, has 210 municipalities, third-highest in the nation.

The threats come less than two weeks after unknown gunmen ambushed and killed Rodolfo Torre Cantu, who was at the time the front-running candidate for governor in Tamaulipas state. Torre, a candidate for the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, was killed six days before Sunday's election.

Sunday's voting was to elect the governorship of 12 states and numerous state and local offices.