For a period of time, the Tequileros dominated the region; they primarily smuggled opium but also committed kidnappings, extortions, and murders.
Raybel Jacobo de Almonte controlled Totolapan for years under the nickname “El Tequilero” or “The Tequila Drinker.”
As the town’s mayor-elect at the time, the elder Mendoza was captured on video drinking with de Almonte in 2015. There was no indication whether the elder Mendoza was there of his own accord or was forced to attend by the drug cartel.
De Almonte appeared so drunk in that video that one of his henchmen had to support him in a sitting position while he mumbled inaudibly.
As a result of the frequent abductions by the Tequileros in 2016, Totolapan locals kidnapped the mother of the gang leader in order to get the kidnapping victims freed from the Tequileros.
Growing use of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, which are substitutes for opium paste, has reduced the demand for opium paste, resulting in a decrease in violent crimes in Guerrero. Long the primary contraband smuggled by the Tequileros.
A state lawmaker, on Wednesday, was killed in Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City, in the neighboring state of Morelos.
A state deputy was fatally shot by two armed men on a motorcycle after exiting an automobile outside a pharmacy. According to reports, an escort with Marin was injured in the attack.
Based on the information we have, we cannot rule out a political motive,” Mejia said. “She took office in July after another legislator died, and there were several legal disputes concerning her seat.”
According to Etellekt Consultores, Mendoza’s killing brings the number of mayors slain during the López Obrador administration to 18, and the number of state lawmakers slain to eight.
A proposal by the president to extend the military’s police duties to 2028 is being debated by Mexico’s Congress this week. The National Guard, ostensibly civilian, was transferred to military control last month by lawmakers.
It is not uncommon for Mexican public officials to be attacked, but these attacks come as López Obrador’s security strategy is under sharp scrutiny. For reining in Mexico’s persistently high levels of violence, the president has placed a tremendous amount of responsibility on the armed forces rather than on the civilian police. According to him, “we have to continue doing the same thing because it has worked.”
Mexico’s persistent problem of violence was attributed to previous administrations, according to Lopez Obrador.
“These aren’t new (criminal) groups, they’ve existed for years,” López Obrador said. Tierra Caliente’s residents support the gangs and sometimes even elect them to office, according to him.
The president said that there are still communities that protect these groups and even elect them as authorities.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Mexico mayor among 20 killed in town hall massacre – The Guardian
- Attack in Mexican town kills 20, including mayor, officials say – Al Jazeera English
- Gun attack in Mexico leaves at least 18 dead, including town’s mayor – CBS News
- Mayor and 17 Others Butchered in Town Hall Massacre in Mexico – The Daily Beast