Mexican Mayor Assasinated Less Than A Day After She Takes Office, Authorities Blame Drug Cartels

On Friday, Mexica saw about 58 new mayors being sworn into office without any incident in the city of Oaxaca this week. However, the same could not be said for Temixco, Morelos, a town just south of the capital city in Mexico, where Gisela Mota Ocampo was assassinated yesterday morning, just one day after being sworn into office as the mayor.

The government of Morelos state made the announcement that the 33-year-old mayor, Gisela Mota Ocampo, had been murdered inside her Pueblo Viejo home in Temixco just hours after the woman had been sworn in as mayor of the city. Mota had won the election for mayor last June and was sworn in on New Years Day.

The two men believed to have been a part of the team that assassinated Mota were killed, and three other alleged assailants have been taken into custody by the authorities. The deaths and arrests came after the men attempted to flee in a van that the bodyguards of the assassinated mayor had given pursuit and contacted the authorities. Police then pursued and engaged in a shootout with the suspects. Morelos security commissioner Jesus Alberto Capella advised that the suspects had been firing at the federal police and soldiers after they were chased. The suspects arrested and scheduled for prosecution were two adults and one juvenile. Authorities found in ski masks, a 9-millimeter gun, an Uzi, and an SUV with Mexico State license plates in the suspects’ possession.

Morelos Governor Graco Ramírez tweeted on Saturday morning that the assassination of the mayor was a challenge from organized crime and declared that, “We shall not give in.”

“The government of the State of Morelos states categorically that we will not compromise or give a single step back in building a secure entity, in peace and harmony.”

Morelos Attorney General Javier Perez Duron said that the detained suspects have been tied to a series of other crimes, but he declined to provide further details to the media. There are conflicting reports of just how the men treated the newly sworn in mayor, with reporting that Mota was beaten and then shot while certain other publications have written that the men entered Gisela Mota Ocampo’s home and simply opened fire. Two other occupants were killed along with the Temixco mayor. Morelos state security commissioner gave a press briefing that also revealed Mota had been home with her family members.

The Governor did not name any particular gang or cartel, but cartels that are often aiming to control communities and towns have previously targeted local officials and mayors in Mexico. Mota had been a part of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) from 2012, and the president of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, Agustín Basave, released a statement that honored Mota and her beliefs. They called her “a strong and brave woman who on taking office as mayor, declared that her fight against crime would be frontal and direct.”

According to CNN, Morelos is known for their drug cartel activity. Temixco is a city of nearly 100,000 people and located six kilometers from the capital, Cuernavaca, about 60 miles south of Mexico City. The city of Temixco is plagued by the activities which are alleged to originate in neighboring Cuernavaca. The resort and industrial city has a long history of suffering from kidnappings and extortions, all linked back to organized crime groups and filters into the city of Temixco. A few years back, a 14-year-old assassin for a drug cartel from the city caught the world’s attention for his on camera descriptions of the murders he had committed.

Investigation into Mota’s assassination is ongoing.

[Photo by Tony Rivera/AP Images]