A fair question would be why the Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder’s leadership continually appears to be the weakest link whenever it comes to Mexican gun trafficking cases.
How Mexico’s fearless female mayor sacrificed herself to save her daughter’s life as she was abducted by drug gang, tortured and executed
- Maria Santos Gorrostieta had been stabbed, beaten and burned
- She defied Mexico’s powerful drug gangs, who twice tried to gun her down
- She was kidnapped in broad daylight in front of her terrified daughter
- The former mayor leaves behind three children
By Sam Webb
The woman mayor who was kidnapped and murdered by a Mexican drug gang pleaded with her attackers for her young daughter’s life, it emerged today.
Maria Santos Gorrostieta, who had already survived two assassination attempts, was driving the child to school at around 8.30am when she was ambushed by a car in the city of Morelia.
The 36-year-old was hauled from her vehicle and physically assaulted as horrified witnesses watched, according to newspaper El Universal.
They described how she begged for her child to be left alone and then appeared to get into her abductors’ car willingly.
The little girl was left wailing as her mother was driven away on Monday November 12.
For the next week, her frantic family waited by the phone for a ransom call that never came.
Gorrostieta’s body – stabbed, burned, battered and bound at wrist and ankle – would finally be found eight days on dumped by a roadside in San Juan Tararameo, Cuitzeo Township.
She left behind her daughter and two sons as well as her second husband Nereo Delgado Patinoran.
Hailed as a heroine of the 21st century, her death has prompted much soul-searching in a country ravaged by violence.
The decision to withdraw her security team in November last year – and her police escort in January – has come under particular scrutiny.
Gorrostieta was elected as mayor of Tiquicheo, a rural district in Michoacan, west of Mexico City, in 2008.
Almost immediately, she received threats. The first assassination attempt came in October 2009 when the car she was travelling in with her first husband Jose Sanchez came under fire from gunmen in the town of El Limone. The attack claimed his life but Gorrostieta lived.
She battled back from her injuries in the face of overwhelming tragedy, but she was not destined to know peace.
The next attempt on her life was just three months later, when an masked group carrying assault rifles ambushed her on the road between Michoacan and Guerreo state. The van she was traveling in was peppered by 30 bullets. Three hit her.
But with unimaginable courage – and despite being a marked woman – she remained defiant to the very end.
When some doubted that she had been shot, Gorrostieta bared the scars that riddled her flesh and swore she would never give in.
In a statement to the public made at the time, the devout Catholic said: ‘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 children , 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.
She added: ‘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.
‘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.’
‘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.
‘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.’
After her ordeal she remarried and ran for a seat in Mexico’s Congress of the Union, but failed to gain the backing she needed.
She remarried and dropped out of the public eye.
But it was still almost inevitable that she would eventually pay for her bravery with her life
Mexico has been torn apart by murderous drug gangs since President Felipe Calderon launched his drug offensive in 2006.
More than 50,000 people have been killed in clashes between rival drug cartels and security forces and about two dozen mayors have been murdered.
The cartels have ruled the streets with fear for years, enforcing their authority with murders, bribery and torture.
But after decades of using force to combat the gangs, it is U.S. lawmakers who are the criminals’ biggest problem.
Legalisation of marijuana, as recently voted for by Colorado and Washington states, may wipe billions of dollars from the cartels’ annual profits.
And it has left politicians in Mexico with a tough question: How can they continue to justify spending money – and lives – fighting drug distribution to America when it will be legal in some states from next month?
Department of Justice claims of privilege due to ongoing criminal investigations in a gun trafficking case involving Mexican cartels, wiretap applications, smuggled guns showing up at murder scenes, official corruption … it would seem a parallel in many ways to the yet unfolding Fast and Furious debacle. READ THE REST HERE