María Santos Gorrostieta risked her life despite the murder of her first husband, the disappearance of her second husband, despite two attempted assassinations that left her mutilated to become Mayor of Tiquicheo, a home to vicious drug cartels.
The mother of three small children stepped down as mayor but it was too late to save her after her fierce opposition to the drug cartels. Her security team was withdrawn last year.
She was taking her daughter to school on November 12th when a van blocked her car. She was physically assaulted in front of witnesses and begged for her daughter’s life. She went with them seemingly willingly and was driven off in a van with darkened windows. Her family waited three days for a ransom demand which never came. They reported her missing November 14th and her body showed up three days later.
Her mutilated body was found by the side of the road in San Juan Tararameo, Cuitzeo Township. She had been bound, stabbed, burned, and beaten.
After the second assassination attempt which left her in constant pain and with a colostomy bag, she said:
“I have had to bear losses that I would not wish on anyone, and have had to accept them with resignation and with the knowledge that it is our Lord’s will, and have gone on, even with a wounded soul,” she said.
“Despite that, and despite my own safety and that of my family, what occupies my mind is my responsibility towards my people: the children, the women, the elderly and the men who break their souls every day without rest to find a piece of bread for their children,” Gorrostieta added.
“I will get up however many times God allows me to, to keep on searching,
In spite of being painfully mutilated, the Mayor has kept up with the duties of public office.
scratching, negotiating plans, projects and actions for the benefit of all of society, but in particular, for the vulnerable ones. This is who I am,” she concluded.