Former mayor of Piedras Negras gunned down in border town following debate

MEXICO CITY – Officials in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila have confirmed the killing of a candidate for Mexico's Chamber of Deputies.

A video released to local media shows a man approach ruling party candidate Fernando Puron at the end of an electoral debate Friday in the border city of Piedras Negras. 

In the video, Puron can be seen taking a photograph with a woman when the man draws a gun and shoots Puron in the back of the head.

Eagle Pass Mayor Ramsey Cantu said Puron had made an eerie prediction before his death.

"'No one's going to come up to me in front and actually try to do something to me. If anything, they'll always come from behind,'" Cantu said Puron had predicted.

Puron had told Cantu that he didn't want protection during his congressional race.

"Fernando, on occasions, had said, you know, that he was always working for the people. He was never afraid of anybody," Cantu said.

Coahuila Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme did not comment on the video, but lamented the killing in a statement.

"He transformed his city, Piedras Negras, and distinguished himself by his fierce fight against crime during his tenure as mayor. He was also a fundamental factor in recuperating peace in Coahuila," he said.

Riquelme said he would commit his law enforcement forces to finding the gunman. In the meantime, Riquelme announced he would bolster security during the elections process, including two surveillance helicopters and additional coordination with security forces for candidates, Periodico Zocalo reported.

Campaigning has been suspended in wake of Puron's death.

Puron had served as mayor of Piedras Negras, which has been hard-hit by organized crime.

Cantu said Puron's wife recently gave birth to a child. Puron was married for approximately one year.

Cantu said Puron will be laid to rest on Saturday. 

More than 20 candidates have been killed ahead of the July 1 elections.

Learn more about how the Mexican government works by clicking here

About the Authors: