Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexico's First Openly Gay Mayor says Fighting Cartels is a Priority

Sunday, September 15, 2013 |

The first openly gay mayor in Mexico's history has been sworn in at a ceremony in city of Fresnillo.

Benjamin Medrano said his sexuality only became an issue in the electoral campaign when the opposition tried to use it against him in conservative Zacatecas state.

The city has been caught up in a turf war between drug cartels operating in central and northern Mexico.

Mr Medrano says he hopes to make a difference for the people of Fresnillo.He posted a message on his Twitter account soon after the ceremony: "The time has come to listen to your demands and address your problems. I have a commitment with you."

 Two of Mexico's biggest criminal organizations - Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel - have been fighting for control of drug trafficking routes leading north towards the American border.

Mr Medrano said the fact that he has no involvement with criminal organisations would enable him to do a good job for the people of Fresnillo.

"What matters the least for the people is who you may sleep with, what you do in your private life. What they want is good results from their politicians," he told BBC Mundo.

Gay marriage
Mr Medrano comes from a very poor background in Zacatecas state. He went to the United States aged six, as part of an "artistic caravan."

He returned to Mexico after many years to finish school and to read law at university.  He began a professional career as a singer and opened Fresnillo's first gay nightclub.

A Roman Catholic in a very conservative part of Mexico, he says he has no intention of getting married.

He denied being against gay marriage, but hinted that what is acceptable in the capital, Mexico City, and other regions of the country may not be acceptable in Zacatecas.

"My agenda is based on achieving human and social development for all of us who live in Fresnillo, regardless of sexual orientation," he told BBC Mundo. Security is the main concern of the population of Fresnillo, a city of some 200,000 inhabitants.

Security is the main concern of the population of Fresnillo, a city of some 200,000 inhabitants. "First, we need to get our police better equipped and better trained, so they don't become accomplices of the criminal gangs," said Mr Medrano.

He was elected mayor for the centre-right Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) of President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December promising to review the "war on drugs" policy of his predecessor.


BBC

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71 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

I never thought that would happen in Mexico but they have a closeted President who fights cartels- maybe fights them or pretends to.

Anonymous said...

VIVA MEXICO!

Anonymous said...

Maybe he can take some tilps from Reno 911 to help his police force.

Anonymous said...

Well lots of luck to him is what I say!

Anonymous said...

Is that like wearing a target on his back being a gay crime fighting mayor? What do you think? Does he have good body guards.

SandyTokk said...

Tu Vida privada nada tiene que ver con tu profession. NADA
Solo cumple a tu pueblo con tu palabra de honor la que te llevo a done est as ahorita. Mis
Desos son Exito , que Dios te cuide ante ta to monstros de carteles.

Anonymous said...

Hey my phone is all black but the story shows up fine on my computer but i can see it in reader on my Iphone. Strange huh?

Anonymous said...

wow gay agenda pushed in Mexico also ! fucking USA it is Babylon soon will be destroyed !

Anonymous said...

Dont know what it said as i cant read it on my phone but a gay man is better than a damn narco or someone paid for by them.

Anonymous said...

this guy says against cartels,... you missing what he means between the lines,... he ment go after the zetas cartel.... not the rest......

Chivis said...

exactamente

Anonymous said...

@6:25 p.m u gotta be an idiot to think mexico never had gays or a gay agenda till the u.s.gays have always been around and in every corner of the earth since the beginning.at least they arent as evil as the narcos but i guess any excuse for ppl like u to hate on the u.s is as good as any!!

Anonymous said...

Go Benjamin!

Anonymous said...

ok let´s set the record straight, it´s a good thing seeing signs of México distancing itself from the machista stereotype and showing more tolerance, BUT don´t pay this guy that much attention, please, being gay doesn´t make him better or worse than other mayors out there, it only makes him gay, something that has nothing to do with his public position, moreover, he has been switching parties at will getting closer to whoever would offer him a better position, this guy used to be with PRD, then PT, now PRI because the PRI offered him support to go for mayor in Fresnillo, that´s it, so don´t buy the whole image of a brave gay politician fighting for his principles somewhere in the deep México, if you look at how the elections when he won last July 7 went in Fresnillo you would be shocked, as dirty as can be, including diffferet police corporations fighting with each other, the usual vote buying and narcos cotrolling voting places, and as far as fight against organized crime...I´ll have to see it to believe it,

Anonymous said...

¡Viva Mexico! ¡Feliz día de la independencia de México Mexicanos y Mexicanas!

Anonymous said...

Maybe this gay guy will really take on crime since mexican "macho men" seem incapable of acomplishing anything, other than that M
NOTHING TO CELEBRATE!

What are you gonna celebrate? Independence from what exactly, you would most likely be better off if mexico was still under spanish rule or better yet french, you guys would be speaking french fancy that! therefore maybe just maybe that horrible narco corrido music wouldn't exist, among many other things, main thing mexico is in the shitter there is nothing to celebrate but an excuse to get shit faced drunk

el gallo de tijuana said...

chapo you got this one pertty eazy you know what to do boo ha ha ha i think chapo will enjoy this treaty with a BONUS!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Se lo va ganar el chapo cuando se lo coja.

Don2010 said...

I give this man another month on this planet if he's lucky

Don2010 said...

I give this man another month on this planet if he's lucky. I have nothin against gay people but I bet the zetas or the CDG will. Good luck u will need it.

Anonymous said...

chivas, so you're a lesbian huh? blocked my comment about what I think about gays? huh? hey it's your site, no freedom of speech here

Havana Pura said...

I entered the story all over again two additional times to try to make it show up on phones.

Well, seems third time is the charm Arrrrrgh! Honestly, I don't know what the deal is here. Sorry for the inconvenience. Viva México!

Anonymous said...

" fucking USA it is Babylon soon will be destroyed"
Are you fuckin cracked or what?If you hate the US so much fuck off out of it?What are you ranting about the US for?Gays are born you fuckin cretin,they have no choice in the matter,,fuckin neanderthal man here.

Anonymous said...

That works now, Havana. Now you can do it to the narco banners in Zacatecas that one is blind as well. Oh and i'm happy there's an open gay mayor with guts. No one should care about another's sex life unless they're a bunch of backward perverts. This is 2013, we have more important things to worry about-you would think. Long, Prosperous Life and Buena Suerte Mayor Benjamin, Con Cuidado! Viva Mexico!

Anonymous said...

Fabulouso !!

Chivis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

the priiztaz,out of power,used the sicarios to stick it to the people till they could take it no more,now the priiztaz,back in power are trying to stick it to their former associates...who do you think is worse?

Chivis said...

@ 7:50

I blocked your comment for obvious reasons, it was vile and bigoted and I have the delete button.

Grow up.

Chivis said...

Mexico has long accepted gays, in big cities especially. Acuna Coahuila was the first city to have same sex unions.

This man is brave to live openly in a world that is still filled with hate. Ask yourself what the hell does his being gay take away from you? Same with gay marriage?

I don't know why anyone would subject themselves to the scorn and hate from people like you. over ones sexuality.

You want to think I am lesbian because I support the rights of gays and feel this man is braver than your pitiful ass will ever be? SOBEIT lil boy.

And BTW another brave soul is Robert Pitman, US Atty in the Zetas Money Laundering and Bribery cases. He is the first openly gay federal atty in Texas. and very admired.

To come out is a personal choice, but I doubt if I could do so if I were gay, while there are ignorant, hateful scumbags like you in the world.

Anonymous said...

the monreal brothers are the worst of the zetas who greatly fluorished when ricardo monreal became president of the city of fresnillo,went on to be z govenor of the state and federal z senator,now a federal congressman,tight with the priizta manlio fabio beltronez(ex governor, ex senator,now federal congressman, but always in carlos salinas de gortari's small pocket,the moreiras,the yarrington and all the other corrupt priiztaz don't give me much hope...

Anonymous said...

don't worry Havana,it's nice to have a person of the third generation doing the effort,just don't give up,thank you!

Sacale Los Ojos said...

I dont got anything against gays but i guarantee you this guy wont last a month if that.if the government cant stop the cartels whats a damn mayor suppose to do?

Anonymous said...

he is said to have given his word of honor at different times to all the different organizations, way to survive long enough to fall into rico mac pato's money room,we will see how it works out,it is the only thing that doesn't fail,a real estadista would know beforehand,we will have to wait 100 days...maybe start a communitary police?

Anonymous said...

Pay the bill,then turn on the phone,that is usually all it takes for a Mexican phone... art. hi-tech.

Feynman said...

@ September 16, 2013 at 7:50 AM
Freedom of speech is fair to ask for (and I didn't see your deleted comment) but there's also freedom of forum admins to censor free speech that doesn't serve a constructive purpose other than being offensive. So on one hand, there's your right to say "Chivis you're a lesbian huh" but on the other hand there's the fact that readers here, whether or not they feel offended by your comments, are here to read meaningful discussions.

As well, your right to free speech doesn't mean you can just lash out meaningless insults. You wouldn't swear at a defenceless child, so please do try and draw a similar line with respect to this forum and don't cross it.

You're free to say anything you want on the playground, but it has no place here, so please give the forum the respect its hardworking contributors have earned and keep your comments civil.

Feynman

Anonymous said...

Paris was worth going to mass,fresnillo can be worth saying one thing while meaning another.the only way to know is to watch this guy closely for results,every second...

Anonymous said...

10:16 cual independencia? What independence?mexico is so much in debt that it is not worth taking over,except for the Chinese who are getting there as a strategic point too close to the us? ???!!! what???!!! damn!!! @#$%&*!!

Anonymous said...

your musical appreciation needs help,I don't do drugs,but there are beautiful corridors, I recently found and recommend UNA CRUZ DE MARIHUANA,con Las aguilas del norte(YouTube) and mi ultimo contrabando con BETO QUINTANILLA,look for the good and bypass the rest...

Anonymous said...

Brilliant plan ,Turn everyone gay ,NO MORE KIDS
Hahah

Anonymous said...

If you didnt have us lil boys ,you wouldnt have anything to post on your little site about the life we live
You computer nerds lives evolve around us PENDEJOSsssssssss

Anonymous said...

Well, everyone knows that those pathetic 'macho' mayors, who are the definition of corruption and everything that is wrong with Mexico, haven't been able to do anything but line their pockets and get themselves killed, maybe this guy will be able to make a difference. But that profile picture of him is……gay. So gay that it would be impossible for anyone who voted for him not to know. Hopefully gay mayors don't have roosters engraved on everything they own.

Anonymous said...

Gay isn't a qualification for mayor, but it is as a human being born with the same inherent dignity we each possess. In 2013, there are far more pressing, horrific matters to concern ourselves with than who's-doin'-who-how between consenting adults. All the best to Benjamen in his mayoral mission to protect & serve the citizens who've put their trust in him. VIVA MEXICO!

Anonymous said...

Maybe he's an astute negotiator with a magic touch and highly tuned people skills. I just hope he'll be safe. Even if he was Rocky and wanted to fight cartels, I would want him safe. Uncorrupted officials deserve to be safe.

Anonymous said...

How come all those PRD mayors were getting killed last week. Does PRI have anything to do with them. Being a mayor in Mexico is risky, death wish business. No denying that.

Anonymous said...

I know. It is painful to even skim that nonsense!

Anonymous said...

Do you think CDG and Los Zetas are certified homophobes? Never thought about that!

Anonymous said...

Who cares what color or sex your phone is. You should judge by the quality of its ouput or you'll seem like a bigoted tecnophobe.

Anonymous said...

Reno 911 was one of the funniest programs with the cop in hot pants scaring the public. See it, you'll laugh your ass off.

Anonymous said...

U go Chivis our beloved no-nonsense lesbian moderator. We adore you whatever color, age, sex, or sexual preferences you prefer. We'll even tolerate you right wings because you aren't nasty most of the time and mean well all the time.

Anonymous said...

Most gays are cool. Some of my best friends are gay. And I have a Black friend too. So I'm tolerant like Chivis. My black friend won the lottery twice. Google him. Then image goggke him. That's me smiling in the background. Just so you know.

Anonymous said...

I am happy this post is on here. It lets me see how cool Borderland Beat readers are. Not as much of a bunch of red neck retards as I imagined. I'm glad! Thanks Chivis.

Anonymous said...

I still say he's flaunting it and asking for troble by not playing sexuality as totally not important and not addressing it as a big deal

Anonymous said...

pero,but,acuna guauhuila,is all zetas and pri,all over the state,how can that be? will you check again? not that it matters all that much,but that was supposed to only happen in jalisco were all the machos have been tested and tried,I guess they have been tested and tried even much much more...

Anonymous said...

Claiming your homosexuality in Mexico is like calling for death, isn't it ?

Chivis said...


In 2007 Coahuila became the first state in Mexico to offer Pacto Civil de Solidaridad (same sex unions)

Anonymous said...

Chivis for president

Chivis said...

Hey...Buggs fixed the cell phone issue..:)


and to the readers saying this man must have hid he was gay until he was elected. Don't you read the post or only look at the images and read titles?

His opponent attempted making his sexuality an issue during the campaign, the mayor has always been open about his sexuality..

it was not an issue with the voters.

Anonymous said...

7:50 probably is a closeted one.u know the ones that are married for 20 yrs and walla out of the closet they come.ive seen that plenty before lol.who cares if the man is gay lets just hope he can truly make a difference!!

Anonymous said...

I think everyone is missing the point here. I believe they are just saying that this man is "gay", as in happy, like in the old Flintstones theme song, "we'll have a gay old time".

I mean the smile on his face easily gives it away. He's just happy. He's basically saying that he isn't going to let any cartel bring any negativity around him.

That's what this is. Get your minds out of the gutter.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of gay Mexicans over here, I actually know a few, you guys will survive. But I have to ask, who in their right mind wants to be a mayor in Mexico? He needs his head examined - the on on his shoulders.

Anonymous said...

I read it- I just didn't believe him, Chivis. Who can believe a Mexican mayor

Anonymous said...

if said phone is too big it is harder to "hide" it over"there"when they arrest you...

Anonymous said...

Havana you fucked,up OUR site,it was more artistic with black background maybe we will have options later...

Anonymous said...

let's see,coahuila, gay marriage,/jalisco,machos calados/michoacan,mariposas "monarcas"con unas alototas como las de Walter Mercado...next! in zeta inglish: guauhuila gay marriage for the zetas and priiztaz/in jalisco,tried and tested men/michoacan,the land of the"monarch"butterflies with wings bigger than Walter Mercado's...next! come on guys,help! let's have fun,are you man enough?

Chivis said...

come on people! first of all it was not Havana, she was actually trying to correct it for the readers who could not read the post because of the black background...it was the boss who fixed it.

and now quite a few are complaining about the white background being hard on the eyes. I liked the black also, but now everyone can see the text

BTW only one BB viejita- Havana is young and very, pretty ....over/out

Anonymous said...

@3:22p.m the only one down there that would scare the public in a pair of hot pants would be ester gordillo aka la chucky! Lol

Anonymous said...

arriba juaareezzz!

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with asking,but it should be in private,if there were some intimacy,anyway those who know don't need to ask,asking in a public forum like here is quite rude,certainly malicious, and none of your business! chivis,we love you,no matter what

Anonymous said...

we love Havana too,no matter how old she is,and Texas gramma say hey! hi!

Anonymous said...

Forget the prefrence of sex, hes the mayor of Frezzznillo, this mayor has balls

Anonymous said...

@ September 16, 2013 at 5:30 PM
May not be quite a death sentence, but you'll draw a lot of hatred for sure. Mexicans (on average) aren't known for their willingness to step out of their traditional comfort zones...unless it's to get their kids married even younger than usual.

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