Illustration for article titled In photos: bouts of electoral violence in Guerrero smear otherwise peaceful Mexican midterms

TIXTLA, Guerrero — Bouts of violence at voting stations in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero are threatening to smear what was otherwise a peaceful and uneventful midterm election throughout much of the country.

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Protests started peacefully on Sunday, after brief roadblocks on Saturday. A local march was guarded by the communitarian police organization known as CRAC.

But violence erupted later in the day amid allegations that the election had been annulled in the town of Tixtla following clashes between normalista students and police after ballot boxes and electoral facilities were torched. Citizens also joined the melee against protesters to defended their right to vote. The communitarian policemen did not participate in the violence nor attempted to stop it.

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Mexico's electoral authority (INE) said elections were not suspended in Tixtla and stressed that voting was conducted peacefully at more than 90 percent of voting polls across the country. Oaxaca state governor Gabino Cué told Milenio Noticias that the "scandalous" images of violence making the rounds in the press are not representative of what's really happening in the south of Mexico. He claimed less than 1 percent of voting booths in his state where the subject to violence.

Here's a look at what happened in Guerrero:

Protesters blocking the highway entrance to Tixtla, Guerrero.
Protesters blocking the highway entrance to Tixtla, Guerrero.
A communitarian police commander getting ready to guard the local march.
A communitarian police commander getting ready to guard the local march.
A communitarian police member gets ready to join the march.
A communitarian police member gets ready to join the march.
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Heavily armed communitarian policemen guard the march against the Tixtla elections.
Heavily armed communitarian policemen guard the march against the Tixtla elections.
Illustration for article titled In photos: bouts of electoral violence in Guerrero smear otherwise peaceful Mexican midterms
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Missing 43 Ayotzinapa students supporters and normalistas at the march.
Missing 43 Ayotzinapa students supporters and normalistas at the march.
The storming of a local voting booth takes place.
The storming of a local voting booth takes place.
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Protesters burn ballots in the streets.
Protesters burn ballots in the streets.
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Town residents defend their right to vote by throwing rocks at the protesters and communitarian guards.
Town residents defend their right to vote by throwing rocks at the protesters and communitarian guards.
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Ernesto Alvarez
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Ernesto Alvarez is a freelance journalist in Mexico.

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