This is the second time that farmers have attacked the mayor, who said he will press charges for abduction and attempted murder, according to the BBC. His office was trashed four months ago.
Digital newspaper Tabasco Al Minuto tweeted a shaky video that shows a couple of men waiting at the back of a dark Toyota pickup as a gang of men pulled the mayor toward the vehicle.
Some city employees tried to stop the mayor’s capture, but their attempts were unsuccessful against the mob of angry farmers armed with sticks and tubes, according to Mexico newspaper Excélsior.
Media outlet Tinta Fresca Chiapas tweeted a video that showed a dark pickup moving past a nearby security camera as the mayor was dragged behind the vehicle with his hands tied.
Several police officers had to stop the vehicle to pry the mayor from the farmers who had dragged him through the streets of Santa Rita, a part of Las Margaritas, the BBC reported. Some people were hurt during a tussle between police and Escandón’s captors.
The mayor was reportedly unharmed, although he was being examined by medical professionals, according to the state’s attorney general’s office, which says the National Guard and the secretary of security and citizen protection were called to patrol the streets.
Attacks on political figures are not an anomaly in Mexico. Local politicians are frequently targeted by criminal organizations when they don’t comply with gang demands, but it’s less common for local officials to be assaulted because of empty campaign promises, according to the BBC.
Chiapas is the poorest state in Mexico, with nearly 77 percent of its population living in poverty, according to 2018 statistics from Coneval, the official Mexican institution that measures poverty in the country.
In April 2018, 200 Las Margaritas residents kidnapped 24 municipal, state and federal government employees to demand that a road be built by then-Mayor José Domingo Vázquez López, according to Mexico News Daily.
The employees were taken hostage when the upset citizens went to request a meeting with the mayor. Because the mayor was absent, the group captured the employees and damaged the government building.
Months before the kidnapping, Vázquez was held captive for days because of his failure to follow through on an agreement to build a road, according to Vanguardia.
Escandón himself has been arrested for being part of a fracas with supporters of a rival political candidate, but he was later released based on a lack of evidence, the BBC reported.