On Saturday, July 23rd, two mayors of Mexican cities, hundreds of miles apart, were shot dead in unrelated incidents.
Domingo Lopez Gonzales, his vice mayor, and four others were killed as he spoke with residents during an early morning demonstration in a town square in San Juan Chamula. Twelve others were wounded.
The town is located in the State of Chiapas in a region of the country that has experienced a lot of tension between the government and indigenous peoples.
Ambrosio Soto Duarte, the mayor of the small town Pungarabato, was shot and killed later that night when he was ambushed while traveling with his bodyguards. He had requested the bodyguards in January amid growing threats on his life.
According to reports, his vehicle was stopped by a pair of pick-up trucks whose occupants exchanged hundreds of bullets with the mayor’s security staff. Two of those officers and one suspect were also killed in the gunfight.
Two weeks before his own murder, just after his brother was murdered, the mayor sent a tweet that read, "They killed my brother, I am being threatened by organized crime. Now it is time to act, Mr. President. Tierra Caliente needs you," the tweet said.
Since a government crackdown on drug cartels was announced a decade ago, 40 mayors have been murdered.