Friday, May 14, 2010

Valle Hermoso Mayoral Candidate Gunned Down

Mexican authorities are confirming the slaying of a mayoral candidate in the city of Valle Hermoso.

National Action Party (PAN) candidate Jose Mario Guajardo Varela, 54, and his son of the same name were killed at his business this morning, said Ruben Dario, spokesman for Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office. An employee was also injured and later died.

"Our reports state at around 8:30 a.m. the attorney general was called by the ministerial police in regards to two bodies in a warehouse belonging to Mr. Guajardo," Dario said.

The business is called Agro Industrias Guajardo and is located on the highway to Las Yescas.

According to initial reports, the three people were arriving at the business of the candidate when they were shot.

According to forensic reports, two unidentified men showed up to the warehouse and asked for Guajardo. Upon finding him they pulled out 9mm handguns and began firing at Guajardo.

The driver of the candidate, Fernando Trevino, was also shot after attemting to flee.

Both father and son died at the scene and the employee Fernando Arturo Treviño Martinez was rushed to the local hospital we he later died, Dario said.

Mexico Urged to Protect Candidates After Hopeful’s Slaying.

Ciudad Victoria – Mexico’s governing National Action Party, known as the PAN, asked federal authorities to take a role in protecting election campaigns after Thursday’s murder of the rightist party’s candidate for mayor of a northern border town.


The bodies of Mario Guajardo Varela, son Luis Mario Guajardo Adame and employee Fernando Trevio were found on the premises of the politician’s company, Proveedora Agricola Guajardo, in Valle Hermoso, a town of roughly 70,000 in Tamaulipas state.

Mexico’s interior secretary, Fernando Gomez Mont, condemned the murders and promised federal help in investigating the crime.

“We have already spoken with the state authorities and have promised support,” he said.

Several other PAN candidates in Tamaulipas are facing threats, according to Javier Garza de Coss, the state chairman of the party.

At a press conference in Ciudad Victoria, the state capital, Garza de Coss said he asked the PAN’s national leadership to request federal security assistance for the election campaign in Tamaulipas, where voters will go to the polls July 4 to choose a governor, state legislators and 43 mayors.

He said security problems have kept the PAN from fielding candidates for mayor and city council in the border towns of Nueva Ciudad Guerrero and Mier.

The PAN gubernatorial hopeful, Jose Julian Sacramento, will suspend campaigning and travel to Valle Hermoso to be with Guajardo’s family, Garza de Coss said.

Guajardo, his son and the company employee were apparently killed by two assailants armed with 9 mm pistols, prosecutor Francisco Leon Saldivar said.

Mario Guajardo is the third Tamaulipas politician murdered in the last six years.

The former mayor of the border town of Rio Bravo was gunned down on Nov. 29, 2007, while a mayoral candidate was slain in 2004 in the town of Mendez.

Dozens have died in Tamaulipas in recent weeks amid a battle between the Gulf drug cartel and former allies Los Zetas, a band of Mexican special forces deserters turned outlaws.

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