11/3/11- The mayor of the city of La Piedad, Michoacán, Ricardo Guzmán Romero, was shot dead Wednesday evening while campaigning for National Action Party (PAN) Michoacán gubernatorial candidate Luisa María Calderón, President Felipe Calderón’s sister.
Jonathan Arredondo, spokesman for the Michoacán Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la Justicia del Estado), confirmed Thursday morning that the killing was an assassination executed as Guzmán was on the campaign trail, distributing literature about Calderón’s run for the November 13 governor’s election. Around 7:30pm, Guzmán, accompanied by a security detail, approached a Jeep Liberty with three or four persons in it and was shot in the chest multiple times, the assailants escaping in an unknown direction.
With many witnesses at the scene and surveillance footage of the murder available, the pending investigation of the murder will be able to provide the public with answers soon, authorities said.
Guzmán, called “the reformer” of La Piedad, served two terms as secretary of the city council before his current term as mayor. Fellow PAN city council members sung his praises in El Universal as a humble politician and one of the most involved mayors in promoting city culture.
The Los Angeles Times reported that mayors have been common targets in the intersectionality of political- and narco- violence, with 20 Mexican mayors assassinated in the last two years as cartels continue to exhibit a firm grip on the political process. President Calderón publicly stated that Guzmán’s assassination was a “cowardly murder” and pledged that a thorough investigation into the killing would be conducted.
“Mayor slain while campaigning for Mexican president’s sister in Michoacan governor race.” Washington Post. November 2, 2011.
Gómez Enviado, Ricardo “Asesina comando a alcalde de La Piedad, Michoacán.” El Universal. November 3, 2011.
Gómez Enviado, Ricardo. “Ricardo Guzmán, cercano a “Cocoa”.” El Universal. November 3, 2011.
Wilkinson, Tracy. “Mexican mayor slain while campaigning for Calderon’s sister.” Los Angeles Times. November 3, 2011.