Political candidates slain in Mexico

Mexico City, May 15 (EFE).- A pair of Mexican political candidates were gunned down in separate incidents at opposite ends of the country, authorities said Friday.

Hector Lopez Cruz, who was running for a seat on the municipal council in the southeastern city of Huimanguillo, was fatally shot Thursday night as he arrived at his home, the Tabasco state Attorney General's Office said.

Lopez Cruz was a member of Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

The candidate's brother was wounded in the shooting and remains hospitalized in Huimanguillo, Tabasco's largest municipality.

In the western state of Michoacan, a man running for mayor of the town of Yurecuaro was gunned down Thursday night at a campaign rally.

Enrique Hernandez Salcedo, of the leftist Morena party, died in a drive-by shooting that appears to have been the work of hired killers.

Three other people were wounded and one of them is listed in critical condition at a nearby hospital.

Enrique Hernandez was the former leader of one of the armed militias that arose in Michoacan in early 2013 to defend their communities from the Caballeros Templarios, a drug cartel with sidelines in kidnapping, extortion and armed robbery.

Hernandez and 19 members of his militia were arrested in March 2013 on charges they murdered a local mayor.

The charges were subsequently thrown out due to lack of evidence and Hernandez accused federal authorities of having attempted to frame him.

More than 83 million Mexicans are eligible to cast ballots July 7 to choose 500 federal legislators, nine state governors and hundreds of regional and local officeholders.