Monday, the mayor of a small town and an aide were found stoned to death in a drug-riddled western state. The mayor’s death makes it the fifth city leader to be slain in Mexico since mid-August.
The body of Tancitaro Mayor Gustavo Sanchez and of city adviser Rafael Equihua was found in an abandoned pickup truck on a dirt road outside the city of Uruapan, said Michoacan state Attorney General Jesus Montejano.
Initially, it was said the two victims were killed by repeated slashes of a machete, but the attorney general said they were killed with stones.
A region where 20 meth labs have been destroyed, Tancitaro, a town 26,000 people, is also the sight where suspected drug gang members have killed several police officers.
Last year city council chief Gonzalo Paz was kidnapped, tortured and killed and the mayor and seven other town officials resigned after being threatened by drug traffickers. Local police stopped showing up to work, and shortly after, the department’s entire 60-officer force was fired. They had failed to stop a series of killings and other crimes, and soldiers and Michoacan state police.
Sanchez had been named mayor in January.