Mexican Mayor, Who Vowed To Take On Organized Crime Directly, Shot Dead Within Hours Of Taking Office

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The first woman elected mayor of Temixco, a city in the central Mexican state of Morelos, Gisela Mota, 33, was assassinated less than 24 hours after taking office on January 1.

A Mayor In Mexico Was Killed One Day After She Took OfficeA mayor in Mexico was killed one day after she took office

Posted by NowThis on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

 

The Mexico City newspaper El Universal reported that she was attacked at her home by four armed gunmen. Local police later arrested two suspected attackers, while killing two others. The state prosecutor’s office reported police found “loads of ammunition, a 9mm pistol, an Uzi sub-machine gun, bulletproof vests and balaclavas,” inside the suspect’s vehicle.

Her party released a statement describing her as a “strong and brave woman who on taking office as mayor, declared that her fight against crime would be frontal and direct”.

Morelos has the fourth highest murder rate behind only Sinaloa, Guerrero and Chiapas. According to the NGO Citizen Council for Security and Criminal Justice, it ranks in the top two for kidnaps, extortion and rape.

“The security situation in Morelos is critical. The mayor’s murder was used as an excuse to drive forward the Single Command programme, and divert attention away from the inability or unwillingness of local and federal governments to really do something effective about organized crime,” said Erubiel Tirado, a leading organized crime expert.

According to the governor of Morelos, Graco Ramirez, the detained suspects have disclosed that the group known as Los Rojos was behind Mota’s assassination, and killed her for less than $30,000.

killers

In a radio interview, Ramirez indicated Mota’s assassination might have been linked to a national government effort to replace municipal authorities with a single, unified state command. He added newly elected mayors were under pressure from Los Rojos and its rival Guerreros Unidos not to cede control of local law enforcement to higher authorities. 

Mota is now part of a list of public officials – more than 1,000 municipal officials and nearly 100 mayors have been killed over the last decade – who have been killed since the “war on drugs” intensified in Mexico.


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