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Sunday 18 February 2018

Mayor gunned down one day after being sworn in

Police at the scene where Gisela Mota was shot dead. Photo: Reuters
Police at the scene where Gisela Mota was shot dead. Photo: Reuters
Gisela Mota Photo: Reuters

Maria Verza

The mayor of a city south of Mexico's capital was shot to death on Saturday, less than a day after taking office, according to officials.

Gunmen opened fire on Mayor Gisela Mota at her house in the city of Temixco, said the government of Morelos state.

Two presumed assailants were killed and three others detained following a pursuit, said security commissioner for Morelos, Jesus Alberto Capella.

He said the suspects fired on federal police and soldiers from an SUV.

On his Twitter account, the Governor of Morelos, Graco Ramirez, attributed Ms Mota's killing to organised crime, without citing a particular drug cartel or gang.

Ms Mota's leftist 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".

Though Cuernavaca is the capital of Morelos, Temixco is the seat of several state institutions including the Public Security Commission, which co-ordinates state and local police forces.

Morelos also neighbours Guerrero state, which is plagued by drug cartels.

Ms Mota, who had been a federal congresswoman, was sworn into office on New Year's Day. She was killed the following day.

Governor Ramirez promised that state officials would not cede to the challenge presented by organised crime.

Federal and state forces are deployed in Cuernavaca and municipalities near the Guerrero state border in what is called 'Operation Delta'.

Mr Capella said that when the suspects were detained, authorities found a 9mm gun, an Uzi, ski masks and an SUV with Mexico State license plates.

Irish Independent

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