Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico mayor shooting: Morelos governor takes over local police

Mexican soldier guards the area where Gisele Mota was killed Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mexican soldiers guarded the area where the mayor was killed

The governor of Mexico's Morelos state, Graco Ramirez, has taken command of police services in 15 towns and cities following the murder of a newly-elected mayor on Saturday.

"The government will not be intimidated by organised crime," he said.

The mayor, Gisele Mota, was shot dead at her home less than 24 hours after taking office in the town of Temixco.

She promised to try to clean up the city, where problems associated with drugs and organised crime are rife.

Her murder "is a message and a clear threat for the mayors who recently took office to not accept the police coordination scheme that we have supported and that is being built at a national level," said Mr Graco.

Ms Mota, a left-of-centre former federal congresswoman, was shot dead on Saturday morning.

Police shot two of the attackers and arrested two others.

Several Mexican mayors were killed last year by alleged drug traffickers.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Gisela Mota was only sworn in one day before she was murdered

'Single command'

Ms Mota was one of many politicians backing the governor's proposals to remove powers from local police.

Temixco, 85km (52 miles) south of the capital Mexico City, is one of the cities included in the "single command" scheme.

Police will also come under the control of the state authorities in the capital, Cuernavaca, and 13 other municipalities.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hundreds of people attended the mayor's funeral on Sunday in Temixco

But many of Morelos's politicians oppose the scheme.

About half of the state's mayors have refused to sign up and will remain in full control of their local police forces.

Drug trafficking and extortion gangs have turned Morelos into one of Mexico's most violent states.

Rival cartels control drug trafficking and extortion rings in different towns, and frequently fight with each other.

Local police forces are often infiltrated by the gangs.

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