Mexican Mayor Killed By Drug Gang One Day After Taking Office

Mexican Mayor Killed By Drug Gang One Day After Taking Office

By McCarton Ackerman 01/06/16

The killing was tied to recent efforts to fight corruption in local police, according to the governor.

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The mayor of the Mexican city Temixco was murdered by a drug gang on Saturday, just one day after taking office.

Gisela Mota, 33, was attacked in her home during an early morning raid by four armed gunmen. El Economista reported that the men beat her and shot her in the head before fleeing. Mota was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived at the scene. Two of the suspects were killed in a shootout with police after fleeing in a van, while the other two were taken into custody.

Morelos state Gov. Graco Ramirez blamed Mota's murder on the Rojos gang. During a news conference following the attack, Ramirez said the gang opposed his efforts to unify state control of police forces in Morelos as a way to combat corruption in local police forces. Mota was largely on board with his plan but said traffic cops should remain under local authority.

"This is a message and clear threat to the mayors who have recently taken office not to accept the coordination plan and police framework that we have been promoting," said Ramirez. The governor insisted that his plan has led to a decline in drug gang murders and kidnappings in recent years, but local newspaper La Union de Morelos accused him of exploiting Mota’s death as a way of promoting his platform.

But according to Ramirez, some mayors in the state reported being threatened and extorted by both the Rojos gang and the Guerreros Unidos gang. The two organizations have been fighting a bloody turf war throughout the neighboring state of Guerrero.

"Some confessed that they had been pressured, some had been kidnapped," said Ramirez. "They (gang members) picked them up and said they wanted three things. They wanted to choose (municipal) police chiefs ... they wanted the public works contracts, and ten percent of the municipal budgets."

But for now, he is focusing on bringing about justice after Mota’s death. He said on Twitter that he intends to have the two suspects prosecuted to the full extent of the law and wrote that, “We will not return to before. There will be no impunity.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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