On the same day he took office, the mayor of a Mexican town was allegedly shot to death Tuesday in a gunfire attack that left four others injured, according to reports.
The Associated Press reported the death of Tlaxiaco Mayor Alejandro Aparicio Santiago, citing a tweet by Gov. Alejandro Murat. Tlaxiaco is a town located in the southern region of the state of Oaxaca.
Condeno enérgicamente el ataque contra el Presidente Municipal de Tlaxiaco. Solicité una exhaustiva investigación al Fiscal General y éste me informa que ya tiene detenido al probable autor del homicidio. Expreso mi pésame a los familiares y al pueblo de Tlaxiaco.
— Alejandro Murat (@alejandromurat) January 1, 2019
In a statement to the news outlet, the state’s prosecuting office said the mayor was on his way to a city hall meeting shortly after being sworn in when he was shot by a group of armed men. Aparicio was taken to a hospital for treatment, where he succumbed to the injuries sustained.
The victim “was a member of Mexico’s National Regeneration Movement, MORENA, the party of newly-elected President Andrés Manuel López Obrador,” according to NPR. Members of the movement reportedly urged officials “to punish those responsible.”
Holding office in the country apparently comes with serious safety risks. In the span of under a year, from September 2017 to October 2018, 175 elected officials were killed in Mexico, consulting firm Etellekt reported, as translated by the media outlet.
According to a study by the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, “violence against local officials in Mexico, in particular against mayors (alcaldes), made its presence felt for the first time in Mexico in 2004.”
The New York Post, citing a probe by the Economist, reported that attacks aimed at mayors are associated with such factors as land discrepancies, and “corruption and local crime, or because they [the mayors] sided with drug cartels at times and were pursued by rivals.”
Four other people were purportedly wounded in the gunfire, though their identities and the extent of their injuries remain unclear. While it isn’t known how many men were involved in the attack, the governor said one unidentified suspect was in custody at the time of publishing. An investigation into the slaying is ongoing.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide updates as information becomes available.
[Feature Photo: Alejandro Aparicio Santiago/Facebook]