Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
The government of Morelos made the announcement that the 33-year-old mayor, Gisela Mota Ocampo, had been murdered inside her home in Temixco just hours after she had been sworn in as mayor of the city. Mota had won the election for mayor last June and was sworn in on New Year’s Day.
On Saturday morning around 7:30 a.m., an armed group entered Mota's home, beat her and then shot her in the head. Paramedics arrived at 7:50 a.m. and confirmed she was dead.
Local reports say that after committing the crime, the assailants fled in a vehicle but local police pursued them killing two of the alleged killers in the chase.
The other two involved were arrested.
Morelos authorities announced that in addition to the two dead, there are a total of three detained, among them a minor, for the murder of the mayor of Temixco.
At a press conference, the Commissioner of Public Security in Morelos, Alberto Campella Ibarra, reported that among the three people arrested, there was a minor, an 18 year old man, and a 32 year old woman.
Accompanied by the attorney general of the state, Javier Pérez Durón, the commissioner explained that policemen affiliated with the Mando Único (Unified Command) carried out a search operation and tracked down those responsible.
According to Campella, during the persecution, the cops were attacked by the suspected murderers of Gisela Mota, so the policemen repelled the attack and killed two of the assailants.
Two vehicles, weapons, and cartridges were secured and presented to the attorney general’s office.
In a press release, the government of Morelos reported that a security protocol was implemented for the mayors of the state, including Cuernavaca, after the attack that led to the death of Gisela Mota.
The governor of Morelos, Graco Ramírez, also highlighted the meeting on Saturday afternoon between Graco Ramírez and Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo.
The governor assured the mayor of Cuernavaca that he has the support of the state government in regards to the issue of public safety.
In recent weeks, the governor sustained a confrontation with the mayor of Cuernavaca, Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo, in regards to the police. The state government withdrew weapons and even radios from the security forces of Blanco, after the mayor should terminate the agreement with the Mando Único. Yesterday, even the state governor called the former footballer “arrogant”.
On Saturday, members of the Counicl of Temixco announced three days of mourning for the murder of the municipal mayor and demanded that the government clarify the facts.
Meanwhile, the national leader of the PRD, Agustín Basave, lamented the murder of Gisela Mota, demanded justice, and sent out his condolences to the family of Gisela.
Gisela Mota was a member of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), close to the former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, until he resigned from his party after the defeat at the polls in 2012, and founded his own political group, the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA).
From then on, Mota remained independent from the group of Graco Ramírez, and won the internal election of the PRD candidate for the mayor of Temixco, supported by the governor.
Mota, who was a federal representative from 2012 to 2015, held several positions in the PRD, including Secretary of Youth Affairs in Temixco, Secretary of Political Training in Morelos, Secretary of Democratic Education and Political Training of the National Executive Committee, and national councilor of the PRD party.
She also maintained an active presence in social networks where she promoted various causes, highlighting the need for justice and the reappearance of the 43 normalistas of Ayotzinapa who were disappeared in September 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero.
Gisela Mota’s murder came a day after the so called Operation Delta was launched in various areas of the state, with greater presence in Cuernavaca and Tierra Calienta, in coordination with the Federal Police. The municipality of Temixco, where she was murdered, is part of the metropolitan area governed by Cuauhtémoc Blanco.
Alberto Capella, reported in a video posted on Facebook that the operation began operating on Friday in Cuernavaca and other municipalities in the state.
He also explained that with the start of “Operation Delta, a significant number of forces who were already working in the municipality of Cuernavaca and thanks to the request made to the governor of the state in previous days, there are around 300 Federal Police forces who are circulating throughout the state.”
$500,000 Peso Bounty on Temixco Mayor
One detainee reportedly stated to the authorities that they were paid $500,000 pesos ($29,062 USD) for the assassination of Temixco Mayor, Gisela Mota Ocampo, according to an official with the District Attorney of Morelos who spoke with Reforma.
Meanwhile, other sources claimed to El Universal that members of the criminal group Los Rojos were behind the assassination.
Reforma published this morning that according to initial statements to ministerial agents by one of the detainees, they were paid 500,000 pesos. It is not specified whether the amount was for each sicario or for the entire group.
In addition, the suspect told officers during his transfer from Temixco to Cuernavaca, that the order was to only assassinate the mayor, and there were more than six names, not yet revealed, who were people that planned the attack.
Meanwhile, El Universal detailed that according to data that they had access to, the commando that carried out the attack was made up of members of the cartel “Los Rojos”. They added that the district attorney’s office of the state is analyzing a video which shows the moment that the crime was carried out.
It also indicates that the murder of the mayor is linked to another murder committed on December 31, when a dismembered body was found along the México-Acapulco highway.
Violence in Morelos
The administration governed by Graco Ramírez closed the year with one of the highest homicide rates in the country. According to the figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National System of Public Security, up to November 30, 2015, Morelos registered a 23.17% rate of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, the fourth highest in Mexico. The state is located just below Guerrero, with a rate of 51.12%, Sinaloa with 30.36%, and Chiapas with 23.80%.
In addition, the homicide rate of Morelos registered in November 2015 already exceeded that of 2014, where it registered 21.92%.
Overall, Morelos accounted, from January to November 2015, 45,629 alleged crimes, according to the same figures. That is the 7th highest state with the highest figure, just below the State of Mexico (186,713), the Federal District (155,713), Baja California (96,382), Puebla (59,808), Chihuahua (56,794), and Tabasco (52,866).
The crime with the most victims in Morelos during 2015 was robbery with and without violence, as they accounted for at least 18,820. In addition, 4,311 injuries were reported either by stabbing or by a firearm.
Meanwhile, according to official data, in 11 months in 2015, there were 819 people killed; at least 28 kidnappings, 1,648 cases of fraud, 167 cases of extortion, and at least 375 rapes.
Regarding the extortion rate per 100,000 inhabitants, Morelos was ranked third with 8.70 below 9.01 with Nuevo Leon and Jalisco with 9.78.
Regarding kidnappings, the state was placed in fourth place with 1.46. Guerrero, Tabasco, and Tamaulipas occupied the top places.
A study released in 2015 by the Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice indicated that Cuernavaca had replaced Acapulco as the most violent city in Mexico, and with Morelos, adjacent to Mexico City, has the highest rate of violence among the 31 Mexican States and Federal District.
However, these figures have not dented the state governor from voicing his presidential aspirations for 2018.