Mexican former mayor found dead

Published November 17, 2012


A former mayor of a western Mexican town who had survived two earlier attempts on her life since 2009 has been killed by unknown assailants, prosecutors said Saturday.

The Michoacan state Attorney General's Office confirmed the death of the former mayor of Tiquicheo, Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar, noting that she had been reported missing by a family member on Wednesday.

The relative said in the missing-persons report that the former mayor had been seen for the last time on Monday.

Gorrostieta, 36, had served from 2008 until early this year as the mayor of the small town, where several drug gangs, including La Familia Michoacana, are active.

An earlier attack on the politician in October 2009 left her wounded and killed her husband - another former Tiquicheo mayor, Jose Sanchez.

Her body was found near a small road in the town of San Juan Tararameo - in the southern part of Michoacan state - and was identified Friday by her relatives, the AG's office said.

According to local media, Gorrostieta had suffered wounds on her knees and two apparently fatal blows to the back of the neck. She also bore marks indicating she had been handcuffed.

Authorities did not indicate any possible suspects in the homicide, but said it was likely the work of organized crime.

Michoacan's forests and mountains are used by drug traffickers to grow marijuana and produce synthetic drugs. EFE