Tags: mexico drug war mayor

Mexican Police Help Murder Their Own Mayor

Saturday, 21 Aug 2010 04:21 PM


The murder scarred a part of Mexico that was supposed to be reasonably safe from violence and crime, Time magazine reports.

Santiago is a picturesque town of waterfalls, colonial churches and holiday homes for the rich. Its mayor Edelmiro Cavazos was a blue-eyed 38-year old, educated in the United States. But it seems that no corner of the country is shielded from the relentless rain of drug-related bloodshed.

The killers came for Mayor Cavazos in the early hours of Aug. 16 when seven SUV's rolled up and men in police uniforms descended on his palatial home. Servants stood back terrified, as their boss was forced away at gunpoint. On Aug. 18, his corpse was dumped on a nearby road. There was a mercy of sorts in the manner of his killing — shot dead with two bullets in the head and one in the chest, and spared the mutilation and rape inflicted on so many other victims.

The following day, hundreds of residents wept over his coffin in Santiago's central plaza, lining the stairs up to the church with candles and holding signs calling for peace.


Then on Aug. 20, more disturbing news broke. State agents arrested six of the mayor's own police officers and said they confessed to involvement in the murder. The suspects had been working for a drug cartel that is fighting a bloody turf war with its rival throughout northeast Mexico, state prosecutors said. Another four alleged gunmen were arrested with automatic rifles and grenade launchers in their possession and accused of being involved in the plot. The revelation had very concerning implications: in Mexico's drug war, officials are now killing officials.

Cavazos — a member of President Felipe Calderon's conservative National Action Party — was the latest in a series of politicians who have been killed or kidnapped this year. In June, a commando group of gunmen assassinated the front-running gubernatorial candidate in the neighboring state of Tamaulipas. In May, a former presidential candidate was kidnapped from his ranch in Central Mexico and is still missing. A mayoral candidate and state legislator have also been murdered. Following the latest slaying, President Calderon said that Mexico's very democracy is under threat. "The death of Edelmiro, makes us angry and obliges us to double our efforts in the struggle against these criminal cowards that attack citizens," he said.

But despite calls for national unity to face this challenge, Mexico's politicians keep slinging mud and trading mutual recriminations over who is to blame. Opposition deputies say that Calderon's policy of sending the entire army after cartels has been catastrophic, inflaming turf wars and shoot-outs. Since Calderon took office in December 2006, there have been an incredible 28,000 drug-related killings, it was recently revealed. Calderon has answered back, challenging the opposition to come up with a better idea.

Read the entire story at time.com





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