Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar; her statement

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 |

Borderland Beat

 
Maria's message translated below is in this video
 

 [After the second attempt on her life, Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar was interviewed by El Universal. She was addressing critics who doubted the severity of her injuries. As a sign of respect, I thought it would be appropriate to translate a letter that she made public in which she explains what kept her going. I decided to translate the entire letter instead of the abridged version most commonly seen in news reports. She was a brave lady. -un vato]

 Message to the citizenry

There is no doubt that life at times lacerates us with sufferings and humiliations that not all of us are able to understand completely, many times we tend to appear arrogant and stubborn before God's will. However, despite everything, I have had to bear losses that I would not wish on anyone, and have had to accept them with resignation and with the knowledge that it is our Lord's will, and have gone on, even with a wounded soul.

I know... that life surprises us at times, hurts us, makes us complain even about ourselves; it is well known by those around me that my life has not been easy, it has been permeated by sorrows and misfortune.

Despite that, and despite my own safety and that of my family, what occupies my mind is my responsibility towards my people, the children, the women, the elderly and the men who break their souls every day without rest to find a piece of bread for their children.

It is a great burden to know that among my responsibilities as city mayor is that of obtaining the benefits, the programs and the aid that I know will represent great improvements in the economy and in the quality of life of the people of Tiquicheo.

 One of the greatest sorrows that a human being can suffer is that of pain in the soul. This is seldom understood by people around us because they simply have not lived it or are indifferent to the suffering of others.

 My life these past few months has received blows that I sincerely believe I do not deserve, since my efforts have always been focused on leading my people, my city, towards a better quality of life, to provide them the tools that will help them face the difficult economic situation that we are all going through.

Despite that, for some, my efforts and dedication have not been enough and they have regretfully celebrated the misfortunes I have suffered.

The inner strength that has moved me to get up, even when I'm dying, has served to demonstrate and make tangible the great commitment that I have with my ideas, my projects for the future, and, of course for the people who witnessed my birth and for whom I will get up however many times God allows me to, to keep on searching, scratching, negotiating plans, projects and actions for the benefit of all of society, but, in particular, for the vulnerable ones.

This is who I am...

[I have omitted poetry here that Maria Santos Gorrostieta attributes to an anonymous source.-- un vato]

At another stage in my life, perhaps I would have resigned from what I have, my position, my responsibilities as the leader of my Tiquicheo. But today, no; it is not possible for me to surrender when I have three sons, whom I have to educate by setting an example, and also because of the memory of the man of my life, the father of my three little ones, the one who was able to teach me the value of things and to fight for them; and, although he is no longer with us, he continues to be the light that guides my decisions, each of which, it goes without saying, is dedicated to getting my city out of its backwardness.

It's true they have attacked my physically and morally; one can still feel on my body the wounds from the bullets and from the disbelief of some who have doubts about my mutilated body. I struggle day to day to erase from my mind the images of the horror I lived, and that others who did not deserve or expect it also suffered. To them, my recognition, respect and love for the courage with which they faced their troubles and for their unconditional support for myself and my work.

I wanted to show them my wounded, mutilated, humiliated body, because I'm not ashamed of it, because it is the product of the great misfortunes that have scarred my life, that of my children and my family.

It is a living witness to the fact that I am a woman of strength and integrity, and that, despite my wounds, both physical and mental, I am still standing and still in the constant struggle to become a better person and a better leader of a city that still trusts me and expects results from its mayor.

You may ask, what is it that so attracts Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar today? Where does the power of her integrity reside, this public and political figure, from Tiquicheo, from Michoacan, Mexican and universal: in her works, in her life, or in her wounded body and her serene face? It is difficult to answer you from this hemisphere of my life, however, I would point out that transgression and resistance are conjugated in perfect harmony in my being.

Many persons have mistakenly doubted the severity of my injuries; today, the proof is in their hands, my mutilated body speaks for itself, evidence of how vulnerable we are, of our life's fragility and of God's wishes, which are always present in our daily sorrows.

To many, it may seem an act of insolence to show my wounds such as they are, but it was necessary because I had to give my version of the facts, what it really meant to be attacked like that and the traces that these attacks left on me and my people. Because everybody else could say, unsay, talk, invent, defame, except me; and now is the time and place to do so.

What you can see doesn't need much of an explanation; I simply want your understanding, support and consideration, because despite the fact that I show myself as somebody strong and unbreakable, inside of me, I am still a woman, fragile, a dreamer, a romantic, a mother, but one thing for sure, with an unquenchable determination to continue with my mission of service as head of this administration to which I was elected, and to help those who have less and that still live in a state of great vulnerability.

I firmly believe, in fact, I am certain, that my conduct during my term as mayor has been correct, since every one of the decisions I've made has been focused on serving my people. If the opposite had been true, it would undoubtedly have already been noticed. This is why I make available for anybody who wants to look at what has been done up to now. The accounting and my conscience are clean, the projects and actions are in plain view.

A year after a bloody incident

Throughout this year, I am here with an open mind and a quiet heart, several memories come to mind that no doubt history will judge me on; all I want to say is that walking on this rocky path has not been easy, that it has been permeated with disappointment and despair. I'll tell you that whatever trench I get, I will defend it with sword and cape, I am faithful to my ideals and to achieve my conviction and my objectives, always convinced that truth and authenticity will set us free. I am grateful with all my heart to those persons who have trusted in my work, to my children, my mother, my brothers, friends, collaborators and to the city that has given its unconditional support.

 I have walked a long road towards freedom, and I have tried not to hesitate. I've stumbled along the way, but I've discovered that great secret; that after climbing a hill, one finds that there are many more behind that. I've given myself a moment of rest to look at the glorious landscape that surrounds me, the view back towards the road I've traveled. But I can only rest for a moment, because freedom brings with it responsibilities and I don't dare fall behind. My long road is not yet finished; the footprint that we leave behind in our country depends on the battle that we lose and the loyalty we put into it. Today, it is a privilege to be part of the history of Tiquicheo.

With love,

Dr. Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar

Below is an uplifting video of her in life conducting her duties as mayor

Sources: youtube videos-video at bottom contributed by Magic

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26 Borderland Beat Comments:

Buggs said...

Thanks for doing this, bastards finally managed to get her! RIP Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar

Anonymous said...

What a brave and beautiful person.

wayne said...

F@*# all of the cartels. I dont respect any of you low lifes.

Anonymous said...

id say these guys were severely motivated, but for what?? because of some type of corruption, or, simply because she was an attractive woman with a bit of power. for some macho men, that is too much to bear..

Anonymous said...

what a great lady and a wonderful human being. it is regrettable that she did not call out and request outside assistance - if she knew that her life was once more in danger. May God hold her in His arms.

Chivis said...

Thanks Vato, excellent decision to translated her message!

Anonymous said...

Wow sad she knew she was going to die it was a matter of time after everything she's been thru I assume her attitude from her poem saying god will whatever will be will be no more running, her kids now without mother or father mexico really messed up to go after women trying to stand up for people to have a better life. Where are the peoples saviors.

Anonymous said...

I like what I read and respect what she did and stood for. Rest in peace.


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Anonymous said...

Article from El Diario de Coahuila :


No descansaron hasta terminar con ex alcaldesa. Una de sus canciones favoritas era "La Valentina". La cantaba siempre a la menor provocación y casi como un himno personal, con su voz desentonada, pero con sentimiento, que ponía especial énfasis en la última estrofa que dice: "…si me han de matar mañana que me maten de una vez".


El cuerpo de la ex alcaldesa María Santos Gorrostieta Salazar fue hallado el martes por unos campesinos.


domingo, 18 de noviembre de 2012
MORELIA, MICH. (El Universal).-
La ex alcaldesa de Tiquicheo, Michoacán, María Santos Gorrostieta Salazar, encontrada muerta esta semana, sabía de su destino fatal desde el momento mismo en que decidió tomar las riendas de su vida, luego de sobrevivir a dos atentados.
El lunes que desapareció, salió de su casa temprano para llevar a su pequeña al colegio, poco antes de las 8:30 de la mañana. Subió a la niña a la camioneta blanca que utilizaba y manejaba personalmente.
Sus otros dos hijos ya se habían ido a la escuela. En el trayecto de una transitada avenida del norte de la ciudad de Morelia, se le cerró otro vehículo y ahí, a la vista de los transeúntes, la bajaron dos sujetos a empellones y patadas.


CONMOCIÓN
Alcanzó a suplicar que dejaran tranquila a su hija y accedió casi voluntariamente a subirse a un auto color negro de vidrios polarizados. Nadie pudo hacer nada para ayudarla.
Su pequeña se quedó llorando en la camioneta, observando por última vez a su madre con vida, aquel frío lunes 12 de noviembre. Después, todo fue conmoción en el seno de la familia Gorrostieta.
Pasaron las horas esperando una llamada, suponiendo que era un secuestro. Cuando las horas se convirtieron en días silenciosos, decidieron acudir a la policía a reportar su desaparición.
Después de la denuncia, la búsqueda fue eficiente y en menos de 24 horas reportaron su paradero. Unos campesinos, encontraron el pasado martes, el cuerpo de la ex alcaldesa de Tiquicheo, que sobrevivió a dos ataques violentos del crimen organizado en Tierra Caliente.
El primero, ocurrido en octubre del 2008 cobró la vida de su primer esposo, José Sánchez Chávez.
Después de eso, la vida para la mujer que desde muy joven se destacó por su carácter determinante para conseguir lo que quería sin una pizca de temor, fue un torbellino que terminó por llevársela.
En enero del 2010 María Santos Gorrostiesta Salazar, sufrió un nuevo atentado del que salió con vida, pero no ilesa.


DECISIONES
Por ello, no tuvo inconveniente en mostrar a los medios de comunicación fotografías explícitas de las heridas que le dejó el segundo embate y publicar una carta abierta en la que se lamentaba: "Es cierto que se me han atacado física y moralmente, en mi cuerpo se palpan aún las heridas de las balas y del descrédito de algunos que dudan de mi cuerpo mutilado; lucho día a día para que de mi mente se borren las imágenes de horror que he vivido, y que otros, sin merecerlo ni esperarlo, han padecido también…"
Gorrostieta Salazar entonces tomó una de las decisiones más trascendentales de su vida pública.
Renunció a principios del 2011 al PRI, el partido que la llevó al poder municipal en el 2007 y se pasó al PRD, desde donde intentó llegar a una diputación plurinominal en el pasado proceso electoral del 2011.
Desde septiembre de 2011 su vida pública se restringió luego de contraer segundas nupcias con Nereo Patiño Delgado, su ex escolta que le fue asignado por el ex gobernador perredista Leonel Godoy, a raíz del segundo atentado que sufrió.
Sin embargo, a la fecha enfrentaba un nuevo bache en su vida personal a raíz de que había decidido separarse de su actual marido.
De hecho, fuentes familiares confirmaron que hace menos de 15 días tuvo una fuerte discusión con Patiño Delgado.
Será enterrada en su natal Tiquicheo al lado de su primer esposo, en el panteón de la Tenencia de El Limón de Papatzindán.
María Santos Gorrostieta Salazar, fue asesinada de un "golpe severo" en la cabeza, confirmó la Procuraduría General de Justicia de Michoacán.

Anonymous said...

I can't won't speak for what Mexicans in Mexico must do but as for the USA take revenge on these cartel every chance you have. turn in all drug activities and anything related to cartel activity here in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Who killed her?....was it the Zzzzss

Anonymous said...

Politics? Cartel? Or second husband? From what the family is commenting it just may have been her husband who had her murdered...

Anonymous said...

I honestly hope that the Mexican government get this animals. We the Mexican people need to make some examples and give them capital punishment.

Anonymous said...

Can someone post a link to the original Spanish statement from Dr. Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar? I would like to share it. RIP Maria.

Anonymous said...

And where are the caballeros templarios, ( so called protectors of michoacan citizens)?

Anonymous said...

Easier said than done.. anyone from a cartel , in the US or Mexico find out your running your mouth , you and your family are done.. People can say what they want about cartels not running shit in the US, but that's not true.. Cartels are in the US commiting crimes also.. We just don't hear it as much.. the media keeps everyone nice and cozy..

Anonymous said...

When I get to heaven, I want to give her a big HUG !!!

Anonymous said...

freekn assholes...one of the decent,beautiful,people of mexico gone..she had balls to stay and lead...now if only people see,admire and honor her courage they can say enough!we are not living in fear no more cartels

Anonymous said...

Chivis ... this is a personal message. I left another personal comment earlier.

Thanks for taking the time to talk more about the life of Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar. She was a fine lady and in some ways she becomes an ambassador (in her death) for all the good people who are victims of violence in Mexico.

Here is something that I want you to think about. Since you are undergoing treatment in the USA - you have some time to think. These moments when you step back to really consider things - they may be the most important.

It is good to write articles about people like Maria Salazar - but unfortunately it does not save their lives. How many more must die? It seems clear that she did know that there was immediate danger. Why did she just not escape?? Even if she had changed her location for a while, and gone to stay anonymously with friends in another part of Mexico ... it could well have saved her. Could it be that she just did not know a way to do this?

Give some thought to the idea of finding some pathways to keep people safe. It does not have to involve a lot of drama. It could just mean letting someone go quietly to a different place, perhaps travelling quietly in the car of a friend, and staying in a safe home. It may mean that they travel for a brief period to the USA, before going back to Mexico. Whatever the option - it is better then the terrible alternative that happened to Ms. Salazar.

This is not something you have to do alone. There will be others who can help. Not all people are intimidated by the narco's. Good people should not keep dying in this way. I am not talking about providing safety to people who have crossed the cartels in bad deals. But for honestly good people who are threatened just because they have integrity - an option should exist.

I think that if Ms. Salazar could leave a legacy - it might be that others like her could find a refuge when they need to. Keep this message private. Think and pray.
Pablo, California

Chivis said...

Vtao took the statement from the video...it is at the very end of the video at the top of the post

Anonymous said...

Who knows what you have killed?Who knows what she could have achieved?One things for a fact,she would've inspired other young women with the brains and drive to do the things that is needed in Mexico,that the stupid ass macho men won't.These are your women?Wasn't she worth saving and protecting,if she was a good person you all fucked up didn't you?

Anonymous said...

Sorrow also means Satan.

Anonymous said...

CT meth head bastards & the coward puto La Tuta killed her.

jenna said...

God Rest Her Soul and bring healing to her surviving family members. He life was for a reason and she is a hero.

"Whatever deeds they do-good or evil-of such they will be the heirs. And wherever the beings spring into existence, there their deeds will ripen; and wherever their deeds ripen, there they will earn the fruits of those deeds, be it in this life, or be it in the next life, or be it in any other future life." - Gautama Buddha

Anonymous said...

RIP, elegant lady, you are a good person to be admired!

Anonymous said...

I pray for justice

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