MEXICO CITY (AP) — Officials say they have killed two people and arrested three others linked to the slaying of a Mexico mayor who had taken office only a day earlier. The state’s governor said organized crime was behind the attack.
Gunmen killed Mayor Gisela Mota Saturday at her house in Temixco, one of several cities around Cuernavaca that have been struggling with kidnappings and extortions by organized crime gangs.
Police quickly located a car of presumed assailants who opened fire on officers, the Morelos state government said in a statement.
In a separate car, officials said they found two guns, one of them a semiautomatic, and ski masks.
Three people were detained — a 32-year-old woman, an 18-year-old and a minor. Morelos Attorney General Javier Perez Duron said the suspects have been tied to other crimes, but declined to provide more details.
On his Twitter account, Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez attributed Mota’s killing to organized crime, without citing a particular cartel or gang. He later announced state officials were establishing special security measures for all off Morelos’ mayors.
One organization representing mayors in the country, the Association of Local Authorities of Mexico, issued a statement saying nearly 100 mayors have been killed across Mexico over the past decade, “principally at the hands of organized crime.”
Mota, who had been a federal congresswoman, had been sworn into office on New Year’s Day.
Her center-left Democratic Revolution Party released a statement describing her as “a strong and brave woman who on taking office as mayor, declared that her fight against crime would be frontal and direct.”
Temixco, with about 100,000 people, is a suburb of Cuernavaca, a city famed among tourists for its colonial center, gardens and jacaranda-decked streets. “The city of eternal spring” was long a favorite weekend getaway for people from nearby Mexico City.
Drug and extortion gangs have plagued the state in recent years, driving away some tourists and residents. On its southwest border is the gang-plagued state of Guerrero, whose Pacific Coast resort of Acapulco has seen a sharp increase in murders.