The Morelos mayor who was assassinated Saturday less than 24 hours after taking office sacrificed herself to save her family, says a report by Agence France Presse.
Gisela Mota, mayor of Temixco for less than a day, was murdered in the home where she lived with her parents after seven men stormed the house.
Her mother was about to feed Mota’s newborn nephew when the invasion occurred. The assailants were beating her parents until she “gave herself up,” said her mother, Juanita Ocampo.
But after she did so, the attackers took her into the living room and tied her up before beating her and killing her in front of her parents.
Early reports that two other people were killed and that bodyguards followed the killers were incorrect.
After police were called they located the suspected gunmen and engaged in a gunfight after a car chase. Two of the suspects were killed but three others were arrested.
The newspaper Reforma has reported the assassins were paid US $29,000 to kill the mayor, and that she was just one of half a dozen people on a hit list.
At least one has confessed to belonging to the criminal gang known as Los Rojos and having engaged in extortion and other murders. The newspaper Excélsior has obtained a video presumed to have recorded the confession of a young man who was among the three arrested.
He said he and his accomplices killed the owner of a tire store after he refused to go along with their extortion attempts and buried the body of another victim in a secret grave.
Excélsior reported that the investigation has led to the discovery of five bodies in a grave in the community of Alpuyeca, an area under the control of Los Rojos.
Mota, 33, had made it clear upon election that she would take on criminal elements and that she supported the Mando Unico, or Single Command, initiative, which removes municipal control over local police.
The issue is contentious in Morelos — and other states — and is strongly opposed by several mayors, including the new mayor of Cuernavaca, the capital, located six kilometers from Temixco.
Governor Graco Ramírez has stated that crime gangs such as Los Rojos and Los Guerreros Unidos, which also has a presence in the state, are also opposed to Single Command because it threatens to prevent them from exerting control over municipal police forces.