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GRAPHIC: Nearly 50 Mexican Mayors Executed by Drug Cartels in 13 Years

MONTERREY, Nuevo Leon — In the last 13 years, 47 Mexican mayors have been murdered in Mexico. Most of those executions were under orders of the various drug cartels that operate in the country.

Winning a municipal election and becoming a mayor in Mexico has become a painful experience similar to those seen in high risk jobs like police officers or judges tasked with facing off cartel bosses.


Information released by the National Association of Mayors (ANAC) in Mexico revealed that since 2003, there have been 47 mayors murdered. Most of the executions were carried under orders of drug cartels and firearms were used in the crimes. The statistics include the weekend murders of two mayors from Guerrero and Chiapas, as Breitbart Texas previously reported. 

In total there have been 79 criminal investigations opened by state and federal authorities in connection with the murders of politicians, the figures from ANAC revealed. The risks that come with being a mayor are not lessened by geographic region since the executions can take place in the northern border states or in the southern parts of Mexico. In each of those areas, drug cartels are looking to place “individuals of trust” in key government positions to use them as spies and allies. 

The states that ANAC considers as being the most dangerous for mayors include Chihuahua, Mexico State, Guerrero, Nuevo Leon, Tabasco and Tamaulipas.  In the northern part of Mexico, Los Zetas have used bribery and threats to reach out to elected officials with the phrase “Silver or Lead” in order to get control of local police, transit police and the office tasked with providing liquor licenses. Drug cartels tend to use bars are a front for money laundering, prostitution and street level drug trafficking.

“A large number of police officers and transit cops have become ‘hawks’ for Mexican narcos, that is why society lost faith in mayors and have shied away from reporting robberies, extortion and kidnappings; they fear being a victim of something worse,” said a Mexican federal official tasked with corruption investigation identified only as Carlos during an interview with Breitbart Texas.

One of the most dramatic cases in recent history is the murder of Maria Gorrostieta, the mayor of the town of Tiquicheo, Michoacan, at the hands of cartel members. In 2009 and 2010, the 36-year-old mayor survived two assassination attempts, but her husband perished in one of them.

Gorrostieta gained notoriety in Mexico in 2011 after recovering from the second attempt when she published various photographs revealing various scars throughout her body from the attacks.

Murdered Mayor 1

“My mutilated body speaks for itself,” Gorrostieta said months before she was kidnapped and murdered.

Murdered mayor 2

Another of the executions that shocked Mexico was the cruel murder of Edelmiro Cavazos Leal, the mayor of Santiago, Nuevo Leon. The man was murdered by the Los Zetas cartel.

Murdered mayor 3

In August 2010, Cavazos was kidnapped by a group of hitmen dressed as police officers. A security video shows the convoy of pseudo-cops arrive in five police patrols to kidnap the mayor.

Three days later, the tortured body of the 38-year-old mayor was discovered with two gunshot wounds to the head and one to the midsection. The brutal torture and execution was carried out under orders from a Zeta boss known as “El Caballo.”

Mexican authorities tried to hide the fact that Cavazos had been tortured before being murdered. Citizen journalists on social media and the website Blog Del Narco published photographs that revealed that the mayor had been tortured by Los Zetas.

murdered mayor 4

Authorities then revealed that Cavazos was not working for any drug cartel. The murder appears to be tied to him having suspended various transit police officers believed to be working for cartels and deducting $40 per paycheck from police officers under investigation. The actions by the mayor were enough to present an obstacle to Los Zetas and earn their wrath.

Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities.  The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “Tony Aranda” from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. 

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