MORELIA, Mexico – The mayor of a Purepecha Indian town in western Mexico was fatally shot on Friday, authorities in Michoacan state said.
Stalin Sanchez Gonzalez was killed by five men armed with assault rifles who ambushed him outside his home in Paracho, the state Attorney General’s Office said.
The assailants fled the scene in a Ford Ranger pick-up truck, witnesses told police.
The state government says that elements of two rival drug cartels, Jalisco Nueva Generacion and La Nueva Familia Michoacana, are engaged in a battle for control in the region where Paracho is located, known as the Purepecha Plateau.
Sanchez was elected mayor of Paracho in June 2015 as the candidate of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), of which Michoacan Gov. Silvano Aureoles Conejo is also a member.
“I have instructed the State Attorney General’s Office to carry out the procedures to find those responsible and bring them to justice. There will not be impunity!” Aureoles said on Twitter after learning of the murder.
The PRD state chairman, Carlos Torres Piña, likewise demanded justice for the slain mayor.
“Today, not only was there a cowardly attack against a modest, approachable and hardworking person, but also an aggression against the peaceful town of Paracho,” Torres Piña said.