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Being mayor in Mexico, a high risk charge

Over the last ten years more than 50 aldermen have been killed in Mexico. On Friday, another one was killed and three were added in the last month. The elections and the relocation of the drug cartels puts them in the Diana

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Being mayor in Mexico, a high risk charge

In widow's dining room The corn, beans, sugar and biscuits that neighbors have brought are accumulated. Despite fact that Huitzilan, an indigenous municipality of 15,000 inhabitants hidden in Sierra de Puebla, is considered "of high marginality", hundreds of people, some with shoes for first time, arrived to dismiss ir mayor with food for wake.

During Novena Lord's Prayer is pronounced in Nahuatl, Spanish and Totonac and under aluminium roof three women-his mor, his sister and his wife-weep at deceased, riddled eight days ago in middle of road.

Manuel Hernández, 35 years old, was waiting for him to come out of a curve. It came "to make errands in Zacapoaxtla", when a car that followed him went through road. He was shot with an R-15 and when he tried to flee, he was killed as if he were an animal, recalls his widow.

When he began to make this report, he was last mayor murdered, but when it is published, Crispin Gutiérrez, riddled Friday a thousand kilometers from re to west, in a town of Colima, occupies his post.

Huitzilan is one more example of rebound of violence that has set its eyes on city councils. Over last ten years more than 50 aldermen have been killed, three of m in last month.

Bety holds Cellularar with image of her husband Shadia Cure

Since Enrique Peña Nieto arrived in power in 2012, 23 municipal presidents have died, according to National Association of Mayors (ANCA). However, phenomenon is not exclusive to Government of Institutional Revolutionary (PRI) and during management of Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), of opponent national action, were assassinated anor 32.

Without escorts, without resources and in a context of violence and impunity of 90%, being mayor is a task of heroes that takes weakest link ahead. Tradition points out that as presidential election approaches within eight months, drip of deaths will increase.

The hunt against mayors adds to reconfiguration that organized crime lives. "Before that, large criminal groups were mainly engaged in exporting drugs to United States." It was a world of narcos, not mobsters. And in that context, municipal governments were basically irrelevant. They are now smaller and predatory bands. Their ability to generate income has to do with ability to provoke violence. I mean mafia gangs like United Warriors, Reds or Guachicoleros (bands dedicated to extraction of petrol from pipelines), says Alejandro Hope, an academic and security expert columnist.

In Mexico re are 2,446 municipalities and of m 600 do not have local police. 80% of 1,800 remaining municipalities have a police force of 20 people or less. According to Hope it is in those places where majority of executions are produced. "They are very cheap murders because y do not provoke reaction in state and refore do not heat square." We carry three dead mayors and several attacks in last month and state has not responded, nor does it have an explicit strategy of protection for m, he adds.

Image of Huitzilan, in Sierra de Puebla Shadia Cure

In last decade, in addition to active mayors, anor 37 former councilmen have been riddled. The largest number of executions has been recorded in Oaxaca and Puebla, which account for almost half of those killed throughout country. According to ANCA, which brings toger mayors of opposition PAN, reasons for violence are " low institutional development, precariousness, lack of resources for security and presence of organized crime", says its last report.

On Friday mayor of Ixtlahuacán, Colima, was killed when he was in his car. A few hours earlier, José Misael González, from Calcomán, Michoacán, was shot in shoulder. González had joined self-defense groups that had been raised in arms in 2013 against Knights Templar until ir expulsion from Michoacán.

"We are weakest part and only with a salary of 9,000 pesos (about 400 euros)," explains Bety González. According to widow, death of her husband is a political crime organized by coffee chieftains of area against organization Torch peasant who led Manuel Hernández. Since in 1984 his organization came to power, to command in this town is more a conviction than a privilege; Three active mayors and two retired have been killed.

However, spreads feeling that re will be justice beyond mountains. "Antorcha Campesina has strength and I feel accompanied because I know that y will mobilize to claim justice, if I would not be alone at home crying," he describes.

Until desire for vengeance is calmed in Huitzilan, ministerial agents of pistol at waist and gold chain arrived from Puebla coexist with silent indigenous of huarache (typical footwear) and white hat. The new mayor, former secretary of education, attends wake and swallows saliva.

Antorcha Campesina, a controversial organization in poorest mountains

Jacobo García

The whole family of assassination Manuel Hernández belonged to AntorchaCampesina, a controversial organization linked to PRI known by susagresivos methods of indoctrination and with strong implantation in Puebla YEstado of Mexico.

Since 1984, his organization came to power in Huitzilan, three active mayors and two retired have been killed. According to organization again coffee chieftains of ACO family, now linked to Brown party, are behind ir assassination.

As a political leader and later as mayor, Hernandez promoted construction of a hospital, several kilometres of road and opposed installation of an open pit mine for extraction of gold and silver. They saw roads, hospital and popular support of organization that is increasingly bigger and influential in region "protestassu wife." Founded in 1974 in Mixteca region of Puebla, organization Controlacinco municipalities of poorest areas where y manage resources and job between collective applause and criticisms of abuse and nepotism of Losvecinos.


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