Published On: Mon, Jan 4th, 2016

Media glares on Mexico as new mayor is killed one day after inauguration

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MEXICO CITY — Worldwide media coverage of the slaying of a newly elected mayor in the state of Morelos has sharpened the focus on Mexico’s security problems.

Publications ranging from The New York Times to El Pais, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and U.S. News & World Report reported that three people, including a minor, were being held by the authorities on Sunday Jan. 3 in the killing of the newly inaugurated mayor in Temixco.

In its article, The New York Times reported that Gov. Graco Ramírez of the state of Morelos, which contains Temixco, blamed organized crime for killing the mayor, Gisela Mota, 33, a former federal lawmaker who had been sworn in as mayor less than a day before she was shot in her home on Saturday Jan. 2.

Mr. Ramírez ordered more security measures for all of the state’s mayors, though he gave no details on what that involved, according to The Times.

The killing of newly inaugurated Mayor Mota has prompted worldwide media coverage. (PHOTO: cbsnews.com)

The killing of newly inaugurated Mayor Mota has prompted worldwide media coverage. (PHOTO: cbsnews.com)

Ms. Mota’s center-left Democratic Revolution Party released a statement describing her as “a strong and brave woman who, on taking office as mayor, declared that her fight against crime would be frontal and direct.” Bishop Ramón Castro Castro of the nearby city of Cuernavaca celebrated Mass at Ms. Mota’s home on Sunday and later spoke critically of a state where some areas are in control of organized crime.

“One theory could be that it was a warning to the other mayors,” Bishop Castro said to reporters. “If you don’t cooperate with organized crime, look at what will happen to you. It’s to scare them.”

Following up on its reportage, The New York Times on Monday Jan. 4 published an editorial criticizing the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto for failures of accountability.

The Times editorial (“Mexico stubbornly resists accountability”) cited issues ranging from questionable personal enrichment (the so-called “White House” scandal), to the second successful prison break-out of drug baron Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman to the still unresolved 16-month-old case of 43 disappeared teachers college students in Guerrero.

“On Mr. Peña Nieto’s watch, the Mexican government has swiftly and systematically whitewashed ugly truths and played down scandals,” The Times said in its editorial.

The Times’s editorial concluded: “It is not too late for the government to acknowledge that its investigation was bungled and to give the international investigators unfettered access to government personnel. That may be too little to salvage Mr. Peña Nieto’s reputation. But it’s the least he can do for the victims of one of Mexico’s worst human rights atrocities in recent history.”

After the assasination of Ms. Mota, two suspects were killed in a clash with the police and three others were arrested, officials said. They were a 32-year-old woman, an 18-year-old man and the minor. The officials gave few other details, though the Morelos state’s attorney general, Javier Pérez Durón, said the suspects had been linked to other crimes.

Temixco, with about 100,000 people, is a suburb of Cuernavaca, a city famed among tourists for its colonial center, gardens and jacaranda-decked streets. “The city of eternal spring” was long a favorite weekend getaway for people from nearby Mexico City. But security issues have caused some residents, including expats and natives, to move away in recent years.

An organization representing mayors in the country, the Association of Local Authorities of Mexico, issued a statement saying nearly 100 mayors had been killed across Mexico over the past decade, “principally at the hands of organized crime.”

Source: TYT Newsroom

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