Shooting victim Valleja. Shooting victim Valleja.

Veracruz mayor gunned down and killed in Zongolica region

Maricela Valleja was mayor of Mixtla de Altamirano

The mayor of Mixtla de Altamirano, Veracruz, was murdered last night along with her husband and another man when they were traveling on the Zongolica-Orizaba highway in the Zongolica sierra region of the state.

Individuals in another vehicle opened fire on the mayor and her companions in the municipality of Los Reyes at about 10:00pm, killing Maricela Vallejo Orea, her husband Efrén Zopiyactle and their chauffeur.

Governor Cuitláhuac García Jiménez condemned the “cowardly” attack and promised that justice would be served.

He also said he and Vallejo had made great progress together, building a new health center and promoting Mixtla’s indigenous culture.

Vallejo’s term in office got off to a rocky start when threats were made against her if she did not resign her post. She was offered 300,000 pesos (US $15,700) to do so in December 2017, but declined.

She denounced the threats at the same time her uncle was shot and killed in the central Veracruz town of Tlilapan.

Earlier this year, Vallejo was one of the principal speakers at a forum on violence against women and girls and proposed the creation of an agency in every municipality to address violence against women.

Source: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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