09/23/11 — On Tuesday, September 13, unidentified assailants attacked the convoy of Mayor Filiberto Martinez of Solidaridad,Quintano Roo while he was heading to his home in Puerto Morelos. The assailants, who were driving a white Ford S.U.V., allegedly pulled up next to what they thought was Martínez’s car in the convoy sometime between 9 and 11 pm. The attacked vehicle was carrying five of the mayor’s body guards while the mayor himself, unaware of the attack, was in a car further ahead in the line. The bodyguards were quick to react against the attack and assailants retreated not 100 meters from a police security checkpoint along the road, leaving the mayor and his staff unharmed.
According to Fox News Latino, Martínez made the following comments in a press conference the following day: “We were attacked, they targeted my bodyguards. I was in the front vehicle. The attack was on my bodyguard’s vehicle. My S.U.V. can go in front or behind … on this occasion I was in front and the bodyguards’ vehicle was behind and the latter received the aggression.” Although investigations are underway and cartel members are suspected as possible culprits, investigators are not making accusations until all data has been gathered.
The attack on Tuesday took place almost a week after the murder of one of the chiefs of police, Mario Enoc Gómez Frías, in a sector in Solidaridad by the Zetas cartel. Gómez was murdered in the same town as the assassination attempt against the mayor, which took place on a highly frequented highway linking a popular Cancun resort and the international airport. The mayor immediately called Police Chief Rodolfo del Angel Campos after the attack asking him to increase security in Playas del Carmen, which is a popular tourist destination in Solidaridad.
According to the National Federation of Municipalities of Mexico (Federación Nacional de Municipios de México, FENAMM), 27 mayors have been assassinated in the past five years, 19 of which have occurred killed in 2011.
Meraz-Mejorado, Fernando. “Filiberto Martínez, Alcalde de Playa del Carmen, Confirma Atentado.” Milenio. September 14, 2011.
Varillas, Adriana. “Investigan Presunto Ataque a Alcalde en QRoo.” El Universal. September 14, 2011.
“Mexican Mayor’s Convoy Attacked by Gunmen.” Fox News Latino. September 15, 2011.