Newly-Elected Mexican Mayor Killed By Group Of Gunmen On His First Day In Office

The new mayor of a small Mexican town was murdered after holding office very briefly. Alejandro Aparicio Santiago was shot shortly after his inauguration.

Aparicio had taken the office of the town of Tlaxiaco’s mayor on Tuesday. After being sworn in, he was on his way to his first official meeting at city hall when a group of men fired on him. Aparicio and several bystanders were hit. The mayor died at the hospital.

It’s an unsettling development.

The deceased mayor was a member of the MORENA party, or the MOvimiento REgeneración Nacional (National Regeneration Movement). The same party as Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, it was established in 2011 and has been working to improve human rights and reduce corruption and drug wars in Mexico. This has led to much violence perpetrated against MORENA party members.

The governor of Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat, has tweeted about the attack:

“I strongly condemn the attack on the Municipal President of Tlaxiaco. I requested a thorough investigation from the Attorney General and he informs me that he has already arrested the suspected murderer. I express my condolences to the family and the people of Tlaxiaco.”

Aparicio wasn’t the only MORENA politician killed this week. María Ascención Torres Cruz, the elected councilor of Mazatepec, Morelos, was killed as well.

The Morelos government offered their condolences.

Last year, more than 33,000 homicides occurred in Mexico. An NPR story talked of morgues being so full that bodies were stored in refrigerated trailers. Hundreds of people will come to the morgue looking for missing loved ones.

It’s dangerous to hold public office in parts of Mexico. From September 2017 to August 2018, more than 175 politicians were killed, with 63 attacks in July and August alone. Mayors are often targeted due to their ability to affect local politics, as well as laxer security than national politicians.

But Enrique Vargas wants to change that. The head of Mexico’s association of mayors has asked the government to provide bodyguards for mayors who have been threatened, and an emergency line to the secretary of the interior.