Another Mexican Mayor Shot at; 15 Murdered in Three Years
A group of armed men shot on Sunday at a vehicle, severely injuring the Mayor of San Pedro Tapanatepec and killing two other passengers in the latest attack presumed to have been carried out by organized crime against Mexican officials.
The hospital Parrazales has been admitted to is currently secured by the National Guard, police, and the Oaxaca Prosecutor’s Office.
The attack came a week after the assassination of Enrique Velázquez Orozco, the Mayor of Contepec, Michoacán state. He was found dead in a building on Monday, February 7, with gunshot wounds, according to a statement released on the Prosecution Office’s website.
“The level of insecurity in Michoacán is alarming,” Orozco’s party announced via Twitter. “We deeply regret the assassination of our mayor of Contepec,” the party stated.
Orozco was killed just five months after his inauguration. His relatives later told Mexican authorities that he went missing two days before his body was found. He is the 92nd mayor murdered in Mexico since 2000.
“We express our solidarity with his family and friends,” Governor of Michoacán, Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla, said on Twitter. “The Government of Michoacán state will collaborate with the investigation so that there will be justice, and this unfortunate event does not go unpunished,” he pledged.
Orozco’s party demanded that “the competent authorities solve the murder, investigate and punish with the full weight of the law the person or persons responsible for such acts.”
However, 74.3 percent of Mexicans have little or no confidence in their judicial system, according to the most recent Latinobarómetro survey released in late 2021. This goes hand in hand with the 2020 Global Impunity Index, where Mexico is ranked 60th of 69 analyzed countries. Mexico also kept its sixth place on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) annual list of countries where crimes against journalists go mostly unpunished.
Mexican Interior Secretary Adán Augusto López pledged to improve the security situation after the murder of the mayor of Xoxocotla in early January. Since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office in December 2018, Mexico registered 15 mayors murdered.
The issue of mayor assassinations is deeply entrenched in Mexico, where cartels have fought fiercely inch-by-inch over drug trafficking routes and territorial control.
“Impunity is the rule,” said researchers David Pérez Esparza and Helden de Paz Mancera in an investigation about murders of mayors in Mexico, in which they identified two main reasons.
First, the existence of a direct or indirect connection between mayors and organized crime groups; and second, political violence, when a mayor represents an obstacle for certain interest groups.
Amid this ‘epidemic’ of violence, 11 Mexican mayors launched a coordinated initiative to combat crime and improve security on February 10. They plan to install a wide video surveillance system to detect when gangs cross the borders of Mexican states and cities and launch joint operations to dismantle the criminal cells.