There will be no beauty queen at the carnival celebrations in the Mexican city of Jerez this year due to a spate of violence. After a series of acts of violence, the seven candidates withdrew from the competition on Thursday (local time) a few hours before the election, according to local media and the women themselves.
In recent weeks, there have been several serious acts of violence in the town, located around 400 miles north of Mexico City, including an armed attack on a bar that killed eight. According to the authorities, many of the attacks are linked to drug-related crime.
"I would like to officially announce my retirement as a candidate for the 2023 Carnival Queen election," wrote candidate Edith Duarte on her Facebook page. "My colleagues and I have decided to express our solidarity with the affected families of Jerez." The candidate Samy Escobedo justified her decision: "I prefer to support and stand by our community and the affected families by demanding peace and security!"
Tens of thousands of homicides in Mexico
Jerez, a city of 60,000 people in the state of Zacatecas, is one of the so-called Magic Villages of Mexico. This designation by the Ministry of Tourism is intended to attract visitors.
Mexico has been suffering from a wave of violence for years. Last year, 31,936 homicides were registered in the Latin American country. Numerous drug cartels and other criminal groups fight for control of areas of influence and smuggling routes. They often have ties to corrupt politicians and security forces. Most homicides are never solved.