Gisela Mota, a newly-elected Mexican mayor, was gunned down by four men after her second day in office. Mota had just recently become the mayor of the city of Temixco, which is 85 kilometers (52 miles) south of Mexico City.
Police managed to shoot and kill two of the attackers and arrested the other two. Although the motives for the killing are unclear, Mota’s shooting is unsurprising. In the past, other Mexican mayors have been killed by drug traffickers as parts of Mexico’s ongoing struggle with cartels and organized crime.
Mota, a congresswoman in her early thirties, had promised to clean up Texmico, a city whose history is plagued with drug-related crimes. She had returned home after giving her maiden speech on the evening of New Year’s Day, and was asleep when her assailants forcefully barged their way into her house, just before 7 AM. The attackers forced Mota’s entire family to kneel in the lounge, guns pointed at their heads. Meanwhile, the killers kept yelling “where is she?” Mota soon identified herself; she was then dragged towards the front door and shot at least four times before the attackers fled the scene.
Mota’s death, the murder of a young and idealistic politician less than a day after she took office, has shocked the entirety of Mexico, a country that is used to extreme violence, even against elected officials.
Mota’s murder gives foreigners a glimpse into the influence of crime in Mexican public life. There is a shadow of violence that impacts Mexican local politics; relationships are made between lawmakers and criminals in order to gain make money, gain political power, or to stay alive. This particular case will bring these operations to light. Hopefully, Mota’s death will spark some responses from Mexico’s highest officials or from foreign countries.