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Mayor Ríos, whose body was found on Wednesday. Mayor Ríos, whose body was found on Wednesday.

Slain mayor had appealed for help before her murder

Tales of intrigue and corruption in Jamapa, Veracruz

Authorities on Wednesday found the body of Jamapa, Veracruz, Mayor Florisel Ríos Delfin, who was shot and killed execution-style and her body left in an empty lot in the municipality of Medellín de Bravo.

It is the latest incident in a series that raises more questions than answers about criminality and corruption in this coastal community that is part of the city of Veracruz metropolitan area.

The newspaper Reforma reported that it had a recording of Ríos claiming that she knew her life was in danger and that her requests for help were ignored by Government Secretary Eric Cisneros, who she also claimed had recently disarmed her police force, leaving her defenseless.

She also said that Jamapa was the target of “harassment” by state authorities and claimed that she had done everything she could to comply with their demands following the arrests of city officials on corruption charges last week. She also claimed that Cisneros had told her that until her husband turned himself in to state authorities, Jamapa’s police force would remain disarmed.

“If your husband doesn’t surrender himself, I’m not going to give back your police force’s weapons,” Ríos claims Cisneros told her. “If you don’t know how your police force is, then you are the rotten one. That’s why they killed your police chief, because your police force is evil.”

The mayor's husband: he expects to be next.
The mayor’s husband: he expects to be next.

Said the mayor in the video, “I walk alone. I have no budget to pay anyone to protect me.”

Jamapa Police Chief Miguel de Jesús Castillo Hernández was killed in July. Hours before his murder, a video surfaced in which he accused the mayor and her husband of ordering kidnappings and murders in complicity with the police.

Rios’s husband, Fernando Hernández Terán, was one of the targets of the anti-corruption sweep, in which state authorities arrested the city’s former treasurer and former director of public works but were unable to apprehend Hernández, who is ex-director of the city’s DIF family services agency.

Hernández himself was targeted for attack in March, when the Jamapa municipal council told the state Attorney General’s Office that at least eight armed men had appeared in city offices on March 5, demanding Hernández turn himself over and taking city employees hostage for about 10 minutes, threatening them if Hernández did not appear. However, they eventually left after taking the hostages’ cell phones.

Hernández proclaimed his innocence on Facebook Wednesday, saying that he was sure Ríos’s killers were now “coming for me.”

“We are in a Mexico that, if we try to do the right thing, we are evil. And it’s all the fault of organized crime,” he said. He said of Ríos, “They have taken away a great woman and exemplary matriarch.”

Sources: Reforma (sp), Animal Político (sp), La Silla Rota (sp)

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