A day after Gisela Raquel Mota Ocampo assumed her role as the mayor of Temixco, Morelos, the 33-year-old was murdered in her home. On Saturday, January 2, armed individuals entered her home at 7:30 a.m. They hit her and then shot her in the head, according to El Economista.
Paramedics arrived at 7:50 a.m. and confirmed that Mota was dead. Morelos governor Graco Ramírez confirmed her death on Twitter. The New York Daily News reports that Mota was the first female mayor of Temixco.
When police arrived on the scene, they had a stand off, which ended in the death of two of the presumed aggressors. The Associated Press reports that three people – a 32-year-old woman, an 18-year-old man and a minor – have been arrested on a charge of killing Mota. On Ramirez’s orders, state buildings had flags flown at half-staff. He has attributed the murder to organized crime – something that has troubled the once popular tourist destination – and he said that there are extra measures in place to keep other state’s mayors safe. The U.S. Department of State asks tourists to “exercise caution … due to the unpredictable nature of organized crime violence” when visiting Morelos, according the NY Daily News.
Ramon Castro Castro, a bishop in Cuernavaca, believes that Mota’s death could be sending a message. “One theory could be that it was a warning to the other mayors,” he said. “If you don’t cooperate with organized crime, look at what will happen to you. It’s to scare them.” In a statement, Mota’s party described her as “a strong and brave woman who on taking office as mayor, declared that her fight against crime would be frontal and direct.”
It has yet to be announced what organized crime group is thought to be involved in Mota’s death.