A mayor in Nuevo León has warned of a possible surge in violence after his term ends in October.
San Pedro Garza García Mayor Mauricio Fernández Garza made the dire prediction despite claiming earlier this year that criminal gangs had been eradicated from the municipality.
Fernández was speaking following Saturday’s discovery of a body wrapped in plastic. Rolando López Salinas, who had been kidnapped September 4, had been tortured before he was assassinated. Found with the body was a message attributed to a drug trafficking organization.
Anonymous government sources told the newspaper Reforma that the victim had ties with two leaders of the Beltrán Leyva cartel, and that he was executed by a rival gang.
Mayor Férnandez’s second and last term at the helm of municipal affairs is scheduled to end on October 31. He stated that his departure could be seen by criminals as creating a power vacuum over which they could fight.
“My stepping down will provoke some changes. There are people that know that things are very strict [in terms of security],” explained the National Action Party mayor.
Fernández has insisted that the Beltrán Leyva cartel does not operate in San Pedro: ” . . . I had a very strong confrontation with them, [but the cartel] has been eliminated from San Pedro for a very long time.”
Still, the mayor said relatives of the cartel’s leaders could still be living in the municipality.
Fernández boasted in July that San Pedro was cartel-free. He also quoted from a survey by the national statistics institute which indicated residents had the lowest perception of insecurity among the country’s municipalities.
The new mayor is Miguel Treviño, who ran in the July 1 election as an independent.
Part of the Monterrey metropolitan area, San Pedro Garza García is one of Mexico’s wealthiest municipalities.