Photo: Alma Leticia Reyes
On the same day that she buried her father, Alma Leticia Reyes decided that she would follow in his footsteps and continue his candidacy for mayor of a Mexican town herself, and now - after winning the election - she will have the chance to carry out the plans that he intended to implement in office.
“I’m very happy that the majority supported us. They know it’s going to be a three-year period of a lot of work and fulfilling the commitments my father had made,” the 23-year-old, who graduated with a degree in elementary education with plans to be a teacher, told Efe.
On July 2, the body of Ricardo Reyes, Alma’s father, was found bearing bullet wounds a few hours after he had been kidnapped during a funeral.
He was a candidate in Sunday’s balloting for the leftist Citizens’ Movement for the mayorship of the town of Tayoltita, with 12,000 residents, in the central state of Durango.
“It was difficult from the day I decided (to run) because it was the day of my father’s burial and the close of the campaign. It was a very complicated moment when I was saying goodbye and on the same day I had to replace him” in the campaign, the young mayor-elect said.
Regarding the investigation into her father’s killing, Alma said that so far there is one person in custody but she is going to leave the matter in the hands of the authorities.
Although the young woman had not had any political aspirations before this, she said that she helped her father in his campaign and that since there was no campaign budget they devoted themselves to working directly in the neighborhoods organizing various activities.
Among the plans her father had and which now she wants to bring to fruition was to support education, have a paved road built - “because from Durango to here it’s just a dirt road” - and do something about the fact that “there’s not enough water.”
In addition, she plans to work to have more police officers assigned to the municipality, given that currently there are only a few and they focus mainly on administrative tasks, she said.
According to how Alma described her father, who had already been mayor before and who was also involved with business, “he was not a politician, but rather he liked to help people.”
She added that he never commented on controversial issues such as drug trafficking, and so she does not understand why he was killed.
“Being a candidate could be a political matter, because he had no problems with anyone, no fights or anything,” she said.