Pedro "El Mijis" Carrizales. Pedro "El Mijis" Carrizales.

Gang member-turned-politician found dead after car accident

El Mijis gave up a life of drugs, street violence and crime and entered politics

The death of a former gangster who became a state deputy in San Luis Potosí was confirmed this week.

Pedro Carrizales, better known as “El Mijis,” died in a car accident in Tamaulipas on February 3, but his body – which was badly burned – wasn’t identified until Wednesday.

In a statement posted to Carrizales’ Twitter account, his family said they were saddened by the news of his death.

“We don’t have words to describe the difficult time we’re going through,” they said. “To our friends in the media … we apologize in advance, but at this time of mourning, we don’t want to give statements.”

El Mijis, who served as a deputy for the Morena party between 2018 and 2021, had been missing since January 31.

In a joint statement issued Monday in relation to his disappearance, the attorney general’s offices of Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León and Coahuila said that an accident had occurred on the Nuevo Laredo-Piedras Negras highway at 1:00 a.m. on February 3 and that testing was underway to determine the identity of the victim.

President López Obrador on Friday acknowledged the death of the 43-year-old, who gave up a life of drugs, street violence and crime and in 2002 founded a San Luis Potosí organization dedicated to helping troubled youth lead more positive lives.

“Out of respect to his family, we not going to report about this regrettable case,” López Obrador said at his regular news conference.

“I’m just going to send condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. I knew him, he supported our movement. That’s all I can say at the moment.”

El Mijis survived an armed attack on his vehicle in 2019, and a year later revealed he had cancer, although he didn’t say what kind.

In October 2021, Carrizales was allegedly abducted after protesting outside a concert of singer Lalo Mora, who had been accused of sexual assault. He was found 12 hours later tied up and semi-naked, and claimed that he was forced to sing a Lalo Mora song before his captors would release him.

San Luis Potosí Attorney General José Luis Contreras expressed doubts about Carrizales’ abduction claims.

As a deputy, El Mijis made a name for himself as a staunch defender of human rights and society’s most vulnerable. He will also be remembered for his pugnacious attitude, which won him support but also placed him at loggerheads with some of those he came across both in politics and life more broadly.

With reports from El Financiero, Reforma and Milenio

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