The grieving widow of a murdered candidate in Mexico's elections is turning her sorrow into action and taking over her husband's campaign to bring peace to her town as mayor.
"There are two types of fear: the one that paralyzes you, and the one that gives you strength," Carmen Ortiz said in an exclusive interview with the BBC.
Her husband, Jose Remedios Aguirre, was one of more than 130 candidates murdered ahead of the general, state and presidential elections slated for July 1.
The 35-year-old mayoral candidate was shot dead at close range in the Ecological Park in Guanajuato on May 11 after a rally. Before entering the race for Apaseo el Alto's mayor, Aguirre had served as director of public security in the same municipality between 2012 and 2015.
Ortiz said: "The first and second mornings after, I did not want to get out of bed, but my children told me they were hungry. That is what made me get up.
"I do feel incomplete, but without a doubt I have discovered that I am very strong, because I never imagined that despite what happened to my husband I would still be here standing today... but now I have taken on his role."
Ortiz said her children's future motivated her to take up her husband's campaign: "My husband wanted the best for his children, that they grow up in peace, but I have discovered that I am very strong. More than anything, I do it for them.
"My husband wanted a safe and peaceful town. And that's why I – as a woman, as his wife – I wanted to finish what he started."
Most of the 136 political murders since September have taken place in rural towns, targeting mayoral and municipal legislators. San Pedro Pochutla's mayoral candidate, Heber Roman Juarez, died Thursday after he being attacked on Tuesday.
"This violence has been concentrated in the local area, at least 71 percent of all these aggressions have been against elected officials and candidates who aspire to positions in the local area," said Ruben Salazar, director of Etellerkt, which is monitoring national violence.
However, the presiding judge of the Electoral Court of the Judicial Power of the Federation (Tepjf), Janine Otalora, said violence isn't expected to prevent people from heading to the polls.
On July 1, Mexico will hold its largest national elections when the people will choose the president, 500 representatives to Congress, 128 senators, nine governors and about 2,700 local authorities in 30 of its 32 states.