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Mexico's leading presidential candidate stopped by masked men who ask for help in stemming violence

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Mexico's leading presidential candidate stopped by masked men who ask for help in stemming violence
News

News

Mexico's leading presidential candidate stopped by masked men who ask for help in stemming violence

2024-04-22 12:56 Last Updated At:13:00

TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — Masked men stopped a vehicle carrying Mexico’s leading presidential candidate while she was traveling between campaign stops Sunday to ask that she address the violence in the southern state of Chiapas if she wins the June 2 election.

Former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, the governing Morena party’s candidate, remained in the front passenger seat of the vehicle listening calmly with her window down. Masked men filmed the interaction on their cell phones and one shook her hand before letting her move on.

The men, who identified themselves as local residents, said they felt “powerless” because the government has not done enough to provide security. They asked her to take action as president so that their township, Motozintla, along Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, does not become a “disaster” like other communities in the region.

During her campaign swing through Chiapas, Sheinbaum was escorted by the army and national guard.

The border area of Chiapas has been plagued by violence as the rival Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels battle for territory. Thousands of people have been displaced as the cartels work to control migrant, drug and weapons smuggling routes and forcibly recruit locals.

Later Sunday, Sheinbaum confirmed the incident had occurred, but downplayed it and said she did not believe the men were part of an organized crime group. She described the encounter as “very strange” because she said a media outlet critical of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration first published it. Sheinbaum has maintained a comfortable lead in the presidential race, according to polls.

A federal lawmaker from López Obrador’s party who was traveling with Sheinbaum had earlier described the encounter on the social platform X. Federal deputy Carmen Patricia Armendáriz wrote that they had been stopped by masked men from one of the cartels battling for the area’s control, but she later deleted it.

FILE - Presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum greets supporters during her opening campaign rally at the Zocalo in Mexico City, March 1, 2024. Masked men stopped a vehicle carrying Sheinbaum, Mexico’s leading presidential candidate, while she was traveling between campaign stops Sunday, April 21, to ask that she address the violence in the southern state of Chiapas if she wins the June 2 election. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario, File)

FILE - Presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum greets supporters during her opening campaign rally at the Zocalo in Mexico City, March 1, 2024. Masked men stopped a vehicle carrying Sheinbaum, Mexico’s leading presidential candidate, while she was traveling between campaign stops Sunday, April 21, to ask that she address the violence in the southern state of Chiapas if she wins the June 2 election. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario, File)

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Archer's return gives England wary optimism of retaining the T20 World Cup title

2024-05-22 10:59 Last Updated At:11:00

LONDON (AP) — Fingers crossed.

That was the common expression used about Jofra Archer by Rob Key, the managing director of England's men’s cricket, when he announced the squad for the Twenty20 World Cup.

Key spoke for Archer, England and it supporters as he hoped the sleek paceman capable of bowling speeds of 95 mph (152 kph) will not only make the starting line of the tournament in the Caribbean and the U.S., but also stay fit for however long England's title defense lasts.

Following his stunning international debut in the summer of 2019, Archer has spent long and regular stints on the injured list.

England changed its eligibility rules in time for the Barbados-born Archer to help the team in 2019 win its first Cricket World Cup in the 50-over format and draw the Ashes test series at home against Australia.

Then elbow and back issues limited his appearances.

He missed the next two Ashes series and hasn't played a test in three years; since the 2019 World Cup final he's played only seven one-day internationals; and he hasn't played a Twenty20 in more than a year. He has missed the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups and the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

Archer's health issues wore him down so much he questioned his desire to keep playing. But he was extra motivated by the thought of playing in front of family, friends and his dogs in Barbados, which hosts England's first two T20 World Cup games against Scotland on June 4 and Australia on June 8.

Initial fitness deadlines set by England didn't work for Archer, or made things worse, so team management has taken a cautious approach to getting him right and giving him a shot at a lengthy career. At 29, there's still plenty of cricket in him.

Archer was permitted to return to Barbados to get fit. His first action in England this year wasn't until last week; six brisk overs for the Sussex Second XI.

From there it was straight into this week's Twenty20 series against Pakistan, marking his first England appearance at home since September 2020. Archer will return with a managed workload and expectations.

“Don't expect too much, too soon,” captain Jos Buttler said. “The great success would be him coming through this series with a big smile on his face and his body holding up.”

The main aim is to get Archer primed for the T20 World Cup.

England, too.

The Cricket World Cup crown in the 50-over format was surrendered without much resistance in India last November due in large part to England being too busy to come together until the last minute.

Lesson learned, the eight players in the Indian Premier League were brought home before this week's playoffs — even if their teams qualified — to settle into their national team roles in the crucial Pakistan series.

Some had profitable IPL seasons. Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Will Jacks scored centuries, allrounder Sam Curran averaged 27 and took 16 wickets, and wicketkeeper-batter Phil Salt scored four half-centuries and averaged 39.54 at a strike rate of 182.00.

Among Buttler's provisional 15-man squad, 10 were at the 2022 World Cup, but not left-arm fast bowler Reece Topley. Just three days before England's 2022 opening match, Topley stood on a boundary cushion in practice, damaged ankle ligaments, and returned home. When he's not injured, Topley's bowling has shone in the power play and death overs.

Ben Stokes hit the winning run against Pakistan in the 2022 final in Melbourne, but the test captain ruled himself out of this T20 World Cup to rehab his knee.

Still, England's batting appears stronger than its bowling.

But Archer will offer a fear factor for opposing teams.

“As always with Jofra, it's fingers crossed until he's out there playing,” Key says. “You don't quite believe it until he's there.”

AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket

FILE - England celebrate with their trophy after defeating Pakistan in the final of the T20 World Cup cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. The return of fast bowler Jofra Archer has boosted England's chances of becoming the first team to win consecutive Twenty20 World Cups.(AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

FILE - England celebrate with their trophy after defeating Pakistan in the final of the T20 World Cup cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. The return of fast bowler Jofra Archer has boosted England's chances of becoming the first team to win consecutive Twenty20 World Cups.(AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

FILE - England's Jofra Archer participates in a training session ahead of their second T20 cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 11, 2023. The return of fast bowler Jofra Archer has boosted England's chances of becoming the first team to win consecutive Twenty20 World Cups. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi, File)

FILE - England's Jofra Archer participates in a training session ahead of their second T20 cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 11, 2023. The return of fast bowler Jofra Archer has boosted England's chances of becoming the first team to win consecutive Twenty20 World Cups. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi, File)

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