It’s No Longer Safe to Be a Mayor in Northern Mexico

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Photo: Bernandino Hernandez — AP via Washington Post

Prisciliano Rodriguez Salinas, the mayor of Doctor Gonzalez, a town 30 miles east of Monterrey, was shot seven times and died outside his home Thursday night. He was the fourth mayor to be killed in Northern Mexico in just over a month and the tenth mayor in the country this year. Just a few years ago, Monterrey, the capital city of the state of Nueva Leon, which sits just 140 miles from Texas, was held up as a poster child for industrial development and offered as an model for progress by President George W. Bush. But in the wake of President Felipe Calderon's war on drugs, cartels vying for territory and smuggling routes in northern Mexico have increasingly been targeting political figures, with the violence growing more brazen. Civilians in Monterrey have also been killed in the crossfire, 290 as of July, in the war between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, a former armed wing of the organization. In August, seven police officers were arrested in connection with the kidnapping and killing of another Monterrey-area mayor. Governor Rodrigo Medina said that his administration "will not be intimidated, that we do not give in."

Mexican mayor slain in drug-plagued northern state [WP]