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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Political Aspirant Murdered in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas; He Was a Local Sports Promoter

"MX" for Borderland Beat

Francisco Gerardo Rocha Chávez ("Batata") was a popular sports promoter in his community and an avid football (soccer) player and coach. He launched his political campaign on Monday and was murdered today.

Francisco Gerardo Rocha Chavez, nicknamed "Batata", the candidate for federal deputy in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, was killed early Saturday morning by unknown assailants.

The report was made at around 3:40 a.m., when the police received a call that a man had been found stuffed inside the trunk of a car. Investigators from the Tamaulipas Attorney General's Office (FGJ) said that Rocha was severely beaten and killed with three gunshots. They have discarded the possibility that this murder was tied to his political aspirations.

"Initial conclusions in our investigation highlight that this murder was not linked to political-electoral issues and may have been personal," officials from the FGJ confirmed.

A Tamaulipas newspaper said that hours before he was killed, Rocha went to a bar with two of his friends, Ruben Ramirez ("El Venado") and another only identified as "El Zurdo".

After spending time at the bar, all of them left to a house party where his wife was. Rocha was said to have gotten into a verbal and physical fight with two men from San Luis Potosi at that party and was followed home when he left. These men are the suspected culprits. 

Early life

Rocha had a long history as a youth and amateur association football (soccer) player.

As a kid he participated in a youth training camp of the Dutch club AFC Ajax in Europe. In Mexico, he played for the youth teams of Chivas and Tigres. He was later drafted to the Correcaminos UAT and Tampico Madero F.C., two teams that currently compete in the second tier division of the Mexican football league system.

Rocha retired from football in 2009, but continued to play in neighborhood teams and helped organized sport events in Ciudad Victoria. He created a children's football school and was the coach for dozens of kids who competed across Tamaulipas.

Rocha heading his children's football (soccer) team in Ciudad Victoria

Background

In February 2021, Rocha decided to run for office under the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM). The announcement was made by Ricardo Gaviño Cardenas, the head of the PVEM in Tamaulipas. Rocha launched his campaign this past Monday. He visited the poorest neighborhoods in Ciudad Victoria and shook hands with people in the streets.

"I am not a politician. I'm from the barrio", Rocha said. 

He was assassinated less than a week later.

Rocha had attended a political event organized by the PVEM's national leader Karen Castrejon the day before. He expressed on social media that it was an honor to have been at that event. As solidarity and respect his death, the PVEM and the Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) Party decided to suspend all political campaigns in Ciudad Victoria on Saturday.

The Mexican June 6 elections are the largest ever held before and which will serve to elect some 20,000 positions among state governors, deputies and mayors.

Since the electoral pre-campaign started in September, the names of the candidates for an election position became known. Mexico has had over 53 candidates and 66 public officials murdered.

Earlier this month, security forces captured Evaristo Cruz Sanchez, alias "El Vaquero," faction boss of the Tamaulipas-based Gulf Cartel. It was revealed that El Vaquero had a growing interest in influencing state elections.

When he was arrested on April 6, he was meeting with a group of criminals who wanted to finance political campaigns in Tamaulipas, authorities said. In addition, one Nuevo Leon politician from the MC, Raúl Cantú de la Garza, was arrested in the same operation. He has since been released.

GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW

 

Rocha was found encajuelado – a word used to describe victims who are stuffed in the trunk (cajuela) of a vehicle.

Sources: Milenio; Infobae; Hoy Tamaulipas (1); (2); (3)El Pais; Periodico Correo

6 comments:

  1. Don’t pick a fight with someone in Mexico. You never know who you’re messing with or what they are willing to do.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lol the potato?

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's a shame that politicians have to side with unsavory characters to see another day.
    These killings of distinguished people probably would have made a difference for Mexico. For the better that is.
    So sad.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dont Drink with Egotisical Men
    Really sorry if the Guy was a good guy But to beat him to death sounds more then an argument Maybe Just Maybe be was fooling around with the kids ??
    Dont want friends like he had

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are normalities leading up to political elections here in Tamaulipas, on both state and local levels...It's customary to just off your rivals here. Things will just get worse in the coming days as always.. Sad because this chavo seemed genuine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true about your comment. Political assassinations in Mexico has increased significantly over the years.
      Some would say. Better to die on ones feet than live on ones knees.

      Delete

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