Veracruz (Mexico), April 26 (IANS) The mayor of Mixtla de Altamirano, her husband and her driver were murdered by gunmen in the Mexican Gulf state of Veracruz, officials said.
Maricela Vallejo Orea, a member of the leftist governing National Regeneration Movement (Morena) and her companions were gunned down around 9:00 p.m. (local time) on Wednesday at the Zongolica-Orizaba highway in the Sierra de Zongolica.
Gunmen riding in a vehicle cut off the mayor’s SUV and opened fire, killing the three occupants, officials said.
Municipal, state and federal law enforcement agents responded to the shooting, the Efe news reported.
In January, Vallejo was one of the featured speakers at an event introducing a program to fight violence against women and girls in Veracruz.
The mayor proposed the creation of an agency in each municipality to combat gender violence, assigning specialists to deal with each case.
Two people were killed and three others wounded in clashes between Morena and Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) supporters in Mixtla de Altamirano during the 2017 elections.
In December of that year, Vallejo said she had received death threats and was offered 300,000 pesos (about $15,789) to walk away from the mayoralty.
Vallejo is the second mayor murdered in Mexico this week.
On Tuesday, Nahuatzen Mayor David Otlica Aviles was kidnapped and murdered by gunmen in the southwestern state of Michoacan.
Otlica Aviles, who ran on the ticket of the leftist PRD and the Mexican Green Party (PVEM), took office last September, the Michoacan Attorney General’s Office said.
Investigators have determined that Otlica Aviles was kidnapped in the early morning hours by several gunmen who showed up at his residence in the community of San Isidro, the AG’s office said.
The mayor appears to have been tortured before being killed, AG’s office investigators said.
Investigators are looking into a conflict between Otlica Aviles and indigenous people living in the community of Sevina who wanted to manage their share of the municipal budget directly.
Mexico got off to the bloodiest start to a year ever, with a total of 8,493 murders registered in the first quarter of 2019, the highest number of killings since 1997, when the government started keeping murder statistics.
Last year, 33,369 murders were recorded in Mexico, making it the most violent year since 1997.
On Monday, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he was sticking with his security strategy and vowed that it would yield results this year.