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2 Jan, 2019 04:33

Mexican mayor killed in broad daylight less than 2 hours after taking office

Mexican mayor killed in broad daylight less than 2 hours after taking office

The newly-sworn-in mayor of Tlaxiaco, a town in Oaxaca state, was on his first assignment when he and four other people were attacked by gunmen. The mayor died in the hospital. A perpetrator has been arrested.

Alejandro Aparicio served in his new capacity as the president of Tlaxiaco municipality for a mere hour and a half before he was assaulted with a deadly weapon while heading to his first inspection as the head of the local government.

The state general prosecutor's office reported that the attack took place around noon as the mayor, along with his advisers and staff, was walking down the street after the swearing-in ceremony.

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It was reported that Aparicio suffered a wound to his chest and was rushed to the local hospital. However, the doctors were unable to save his life and he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Aside from Aparicio, four officials were injured, including one very seriously.

Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat condemned the attack on the mayor, demanding "a thorough investigation" by the attorney general. Murat confirmed that one of the alleged perpetrators had been taken into custody.

There have been conflicting reports as to the number of assailants. Initial reports suggested that two men opened fire on the mayor and members of his entourage. There have also been reports that one of the attackers was apprehended by locals who almost lynched him to avenge the death of Aparicio.

The slain mayor represented the National Regeneration Movement of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (MORENA), who himself was sworn in just a month ago.

MORENA's President and General Secretary Yeidckol Polevnsky called the mayor's murder a "cowardly attack against governments elected by the people."

While Aparicio's killing sent shockwaves across the Mexican political establishment, prompting an outpouring of condolences, it's not the first time the life of a newly-elected official has been taken shortly after their inauguration.

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Maria Asuncion Torres Cruz, an alderwoman-elect in the central municipality of Mazatepec, was shot dead on Sunday hours before she was to take office. Cruz was also a member of Obrador's MORENA party. The woman was killed outside her home, with authorities saying that it is unclear whether her murder was politically-motivated.

Exactly three years ago, Gisela Mota, mayor of the city of Temixco, was killed just a day after taking office by a group of hitmen linked to organized crime.

There has been a surge in political violence in Mexico, which has a long history of politically-motivated crimes. According to an Indicator of Political Violence in Mexico provided by Etellekt consultancy, from September 2017 to August 2018, 850 politicians were attacked and 175 killed across the country.

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