08/30/10 – The mayor of Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, Marco Antonio Leal García, was killed by an armed group this past Sunday afternoon. García was driving back home after spending the weekend at his private ranch. A group of individuals traveling in an unidentified vehicle shot at him from a distance with high-powered assault rifles as he slowly approached a crossing. Investigators stated that the driver’s side door had 42 bullet impacts.
The ten year old daughter of García, María Esther Leal Valdez, was also in the truck at the time of the attack. After the shooting, the little girl left the scene and walked to the nearest busy intersection where a local family recognized her and drove her to her house. When she arrived she informed her mother and two uncles of what had occurred. Her mother then rushed her to the hospital meanwhile García’s two brothers drove to where the shooting had taken place.
The two men were able to locate García and proceeded to take him to the hospital. On the way to the hospital they crashed with another vehicle in which a family from Valle de Santa Lucía traveled in. Fortunately, no major injuries or deaths were reported in crash. García had already passed away by the time of the accident.
The state of Tamaulipas has seen a recent increase in high-profiled attacks on political figures in recent months. A candidate for governor in the state of Tamaulipas, Rodolfo Torre Cantú, was killed on June 28th. On the 12th of August, the former mayor of Hidalgo, Cesáreo Rocha Villanueva, was the victim of an attempted assassination.
Following the death of Marco Antonio Leal García, Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón, stated the following, “This cowardly, despicable crime and violent events that have occurred recently in that particular entity of the country reinforces the commitment to continue fighting with all of México’s resources against the criminal gangs that seek to intimidate the families of Tamaulipas.”
Milenio. “Asesinan al alcalde de Hidalgo, Tamaulipas.” Milenio. 30 August, 2010.
El Universal. “Matan a alcalde en Tamaulipas.” El Universal. 30 August, 2010.