Photo: Maria Santos, Mayor of a town in Mexico Ambushed and fierd at twice in two years
“One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world will be better for this.”
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
Maria Santos Gorrostieta, Mayor of the town of Tiquicheo in México, knew that by taking the job, she would be undertaking a quixotic task, and would, surely become a target for her town’s share so many thugs and drug-lords plaguing the nation.
Despite being scarred physically and mentally by two different vicious attacks, the unbelievably brave Mrs Santos remains defiant, and faithful to her job.
Mrs. Santos, mother of three, was first ambushed on October 15, 2009.
A group of armed men opened rapid fire on her vehicle, leaving the mayor terribly injured and killing her husband, José Sánchez Chávez.
Learning to live with her loss, and the physical and mental consequences of the episode, she returned to work and had made remarkable progress, until it happened again.
In January of last year, Santos was once again ambushed by armed men wearing ski masks.
This time around, her wounds were even worse. She had to have a colostomy bag and to this day, suffers constant pain.
“I wanted to show you my wounds because I’m not ashamed that my body is mutilated like this,” Santos said.
“These are the result of shameful acts which have marked my life and the lives of my children. But I am not ashamed”
Santos was the objective of some coward remarks by skeptical opposers, who said she made it all up. She released these pictures, and a message to the state citizens stating the reasons why she is still in office.
“There are some that have said I made these attacks up. But I did not and now I show the physical proof to those who have doubted me. Every day I fight and battle in my mind to erase the memories of the terrible things I lived
through,” she said.
Santos is back to work, “I can’t quit, not when I have three children whom I have to teach by example. I must honor the memory of my husband, the father of my children who knew how to teach the value of things and to fight for them.
He is no longer with us but he remains the guiding light for my decisions.”
Violence in México remains rampant and the nation’s mayors as well as women holding office have become targets.