The two drug gangs with ties to the Iguala-Ayotzinapa tragedy of September 26, 2014, have been linked to the murder on Saturday of the mayor of Temixco, Morelos.
Governor Graco Ramírez said in a radio interview this morning that a “very aggressive” cell of the gang Los Rojos, under the leadership of Santiago “El Carrete” Mazari, killed Gisela Mota Ocampo, who had been mayor for less than a day.
He said the information was obtained from the three people arrested in connection with the case. Several more are being sought, along with Mazari, who operates in Guerrero, Estado de México and Morelos.
The governor predicted the cell will have been dismantled over the next two weeks.
He said Mota had received no threats, but there had been pressure and “certain messages” suggesting she not take the municipality into the Single Command, or Mando Unico, system of policing, which replaces local police forces with that of the state.
Many of the state’s mayors, including the new mayor of Cuernavaca, former soccer star Cuauhtémoc Blanco, have refused to go along with the plan. But in the wake of Saturday’s assassination, Ramírez announced that the state would take control of policing in 15 municipalities, including Cuernavaca.
He cited a direct challenge by Los Rojos and Los Guerreros Unidos, rival gangs that wish to control local police forces. Mota’s killing, he said via his Twitter account, was a “clear threat” to newly-elected mayors that they not accept the Single Command system.
Ramírez said other mayors have received threats in recent weeks from both gangs, which are taking advantage of the political situation in which new mayors are taking office to resume their control over municipal police.
“We will not be intimidated by organized crime,” said the governor.
Los Guerreros Unidos have been implicated in the killing and disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014 and according to one theory the gang believed the students were members of Los Rojos.
The 15 municipalities where Single Command will be put into effect are Cuernavaca, Temixco, Jojutla, Zacatepec, Emiliano Zapata, Ayala, Ocuituco, Xochitepec, Huitzilac, Jiutepec, Tlayacapan, Temoac, Jantetelco, Tepalcingo and Tlaquiltenango.
Temixco has been identified as a high-crime area, with kidnapping, robbery with violence and murder being the top crimes. The municipality was No. 31 out of those with populations exceeding 100,000 for the highest number of murders.
It placed 78th on a list of Mexico’s most violent municipalities, sixth for kidnappings and 73rd for robbery with violence.