Murder of Mexican Mayor Highlights Culture of Impunity

The Murder of Temixco Mayor Gisela Mota Ocampo, who was part of the left-leaning Democratic Revolutionary Party that had vowed to “combat organized crime frontally and directly”,a day after taking office has shown a glaring spotlight on the culture of impunity that is taken root in Mexico.


As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

On Sunday, the Mexican news website SinEmbargo reported that one of three suspects detained after the shooting told authorities that the perpetrators were paid 500,000 Mexican pesos — about $29,000 — to kill Mota. The newspaper El Universal said the killing was the work of Los Rojos (“the Reds”) drug gang, which has been engaged in a bloody battle for territory against rival groups in the neighboring state of Guerrero.

. . . Mota’s death brings the number of local elected officials killed in Mexico in the last decade to nearly 100, according to the Association of Local Mexican Authorities. In a statement distributed via Twitter, the group said that more than a thousand public municipal servants have been killed since 2006, mainly by organized crime.




Mexico gained attention last July after the torture and murder of photo journalist Rubén Espinosa.   Espinosa had taken an unflattering photograph of Veracruz’s governor, Javier Daurte, which appeared on the cover of Mexico’s leading news magazine.

Espinosa is the 14th journalist from Veracruz to be killed or disappear since Duarte took office in 2010.  Following his murder more than 700 writers signed a letter to President Enrique Peña Nieto calling for the full investigation into crimes against journalists.

From Business Insider:

Espinosa had recently taken an unflattering photo of the state of Veracruz’s governor, Javier Duarte, which appeared on the cover of one of Mexico’s most popular news magazines, Proceso.

Espinosa is the seventh journalist killed this year, making 2015 thus far more deadly than all of 2014 for journalists in Mexico, which is ranked 148 out of 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index.

His death — especially as the first inside the capital city, long considered a safe zone for those fleeing threats — has attracted international attention and raised popular ire to new levels within Mexico.


From Americas Quarterly:

Mexico ranks second to last, after the Philippines, in an international study of impunity in 59 countries that was published yesterday.

. . . . Referring to Mexico, the report states that “Mexico does not need to devote ever more resources to increasing the number of police, but rather to the processes that would guarantee the efficacy of their actions.” Researchers found that while the country’s ratio of police per capita is significantly higher than the global average (355 per 100,000 inhabitants), there were only an average of four judges per 100,000—well below the global average of 17 per 100,000. Croatia, which the study found to have the lowest levels of impunity, had a ratio of 45 judges per 100,000 inhabitants.



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