Mario Lopez Valdez,"Malova", Governor-elect of Sinaloa.
In a recent interview the Governor-elect of Sinaloa, Mario López Valdez, warned that there is a risk that a state governor may be assassinated by organized crime, due to the escalating violence and insecurity plaguing the country.
“In this country they have already killed a presidential candidate (Luis Donaldo Colosio, in March 1994) and a gubernatorial candidate (Rodolfo Torre Cantú, in Tamaulipas, in June 2010). They have also killed several lawmakers and recently the mayor of Santiago, Nuevo León (Edelmiro Cavazos Leal)”.
“It may not be much longer before they kill a sitting governor. As things are going in this country, we cannot dismiss the possibility” said the Governor-elect.
“I’m saying this now to decrease the possibility, for us to remain vigilant”
Lopez Valdez did not rule out an attack against himself but said he would never step down and will assume the governor’s office and confront the upward spiraling levels of violence and insecurity plaguing his state of Sinaloa.
Sinaloa is one of the states most affected by pressure from the drug cartels, along with the states of Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León and Baja California Norte.
At a meeting of local authorities in the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), López Valdez said that the only way officeholders can protect themselves from attacks linked to drug trafficking is to avoid any links to organized crime gangs or to “make promises that cannot be meet later.”
He also admitted that following the assassination of the candidate for governor of Tamaulipas, Rodolfo Torre Cantú, he conceded to protection from a private security detachment that now accompanies him continuously.
The Governor-elect joked about the possibility by saying: "One thing for sure is we're all going to die," and reiterated that he will never resign under pressure from organized crime.
López Valdez stated that, in addition to being one of the most urgent demands of citizens, the issue of security has become in modern times a necessity to maintain good governance.
“Therefore, said it is essential to maintain peace and order in the country and, if necessary, seek the cooperation of federal authorities to guarantee them.”
However, he ruled out that the problem of violence in Mexico is caused only by lack of coordination among municipal, state and federal levels of government.
He acknowledged that the authorities on the street need better material and proposed to work on rebuilding the social fabric as part of the strategy against organized crime.
López Valdez said that those actions should be jointly coordinated and that the cooperation of society will be critical.
He said that in Mexico there are about 600,000 members of organized crime and that "It is impossible that these groups can defeat more than 106 million citizens who seek peace for the country."
He called on society to be more participatory and integrated into social programs that provide opportunities for young people that will serve to steer them away from recruitment in criminal organizations.