Former Jalisco governor Aristóteles Sandoval was shot dead in a Puerto Vallarta restaurant/bar early Friday, state authorities said.
“With deep pain I inform you that the ex-governor of our state, Aristóteles Sandoval, was the victim of a direct attack in Puerto Vallarta a few moments ago. Unfortunately he has died. My solidarity with his family in these very difficult moments,” Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro wrote on Twitter shortly after 3:00 a.m.
The attack occurred at about 1:40 a.m. at the Distrito 5 restaurant/bar, located on a main avenue in the Puerto Vallarta hotel zone.
State Attorney General Octavío Solís said that Sandoval, Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) governor from 2013 to 2018, was shot in his back while in the restaurant’s washroom. The ex-governor was taken to a local hospital but was dead upon arrival.
Solís said on social media that the 46-year-old ex-governor was on vacation with his family in Puerto Vallarta and arrived at the restaurant with another man at about 10:00 p.m. The pair were later joined by a third man and a woman, he said.
“About 1:40 a.m. is when the attack occurred. The ex-governor got up from his place and headed for the washroom. It was in the washroom where he was attacked directly in the back by apparently one individual with a firearm,” Solís said.
The suspect then presumably fled the venue. His identity and the motive for the attack were unclear.
The attorney general said that restaurant staff cleaned up the scene of the crime, hindering the work of forensic investigators.
Jalisco Security Minister Agustín Pacheco said that a 15-man bodyguard had been assigned to Sandoval and that the ex-governor had access to armored vehicles. However, none of the bodyguards was with Sandoval at Distrito 5.
Governor Alfaro said he had instructed members of his security cabinet to travel to Puerto Vallarta to lead the investigation into the murder.
Sandoval, who prior to becoming governor served as mayor of Guadalajara and as a state lawmaker, had recently reengaged in politics two years after leaving office, the newspaper Reforma reported.
Source: Reforma (sp)