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.
What a shame
— C Nino.# singlepayer (@squeak1967) January 2, 2019
Con tristeza e indignación nos enteramos del homicidio del compañero Alejandro Aparicio Santiago, Presidente Municipal de Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca. Nadie puede ser indiferente ante la trágica violencia que vivimos, por eso exigimos justicia y castigo a los responsables. @AlfonsoDurazo
— Adelfo Regino Montes (@DEELAYUUK) January 1, 2019
Rest in Paradise♡, Thank you Sir for your Service against drugs and gang activity..! pic.twitter.com/uS6lyt568i
May he RIP ????go out to his Family.
— Gary (@GaryGSP89) January 2, 2019
— Puck MS (@OJIBAJO) January 2, 2019
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:
Condeno enérgicamente el ataque contra el Presidente Municipal de Tlaxiaco. Solicité una exhaustiva investigación al Fiscal General y éste me informa que ya tiene detenido al probable autor del homicidio. Expreso mi pésame a los familiares y al pueblo de Tlaxiaco.
— Alejandro Murat (@alejandromurat) January 1, 2019
“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.
Gobierno del Estado de Morelos, se une a la pena que embarga a familiares y amigos de María Ascención Torres Cruz. Que en paz descanse. pic.twitter.com/aHMKH4fo6t
— Gobierno de Morelos (@GobiernoMorelos) December 30, 2018
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.
Primeras imágenes del presunto responsable del atentado en contra del presidente municipal de #Tlaxiaco, Alejandro Aparicio Santiago. El edil fue agredido a balazos durante recorrido de entrega-recepción de la admiración municipal. pic.twitter.com/f7lOV5ZrhV
— Los Díaz de Juárez (@LosDiazDeJuarez) January 1, 2019
If you don’t believe our gov’t or our policies had anything to do with this, then you’re blind. When we fail to lead, the world goes to chaos.
— Ray Proietti (@RPBrat) January 2, 2019
I hate seeing this…good people wanting to bring change and help to those who are held hostage in their own towns.
— ????Kelly???? (@Kelly28227) January 1, 2019
And Americans wonder why people are fleeing Mexico.
Although with the shooting rates here we aren't really any better.
— The Cap'n Chronic Girl® (@weplaywithtoys) January 1, 2019
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.