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Yolanda Sánchez Killed Hours After Mexico Elects First Female President

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Yolanda Sánchez Killed Hours After Mexico Elects First Female President

Yolanda Sánchez, the first female mayor of Cotija, Mexico, was brutally assassinated in broad daylight. 

This tragic incident occurred just hours after Mexico celebrated the historic election of Claudia Sheinbaum, the country’s first female president.

Sánchez, who had been governing Cotija since September 2021, was ambushed by unidentified gunmen in the heart of the town on Monday.

The Tragic Assassination of Yolanda Sánchez

According to local reports, she was shot 19 times and succumbed to her injuries shortly after being rushed to the hospital. The attack also claimed the life of her bodyguard.

Despite the ongoing investigation, no arrests have been made in connection with the attack. 

However, it is widely speculated that the assailants were members of an organized crime group. 

Sánchez had previously reported receiving death threats after assuming office and was even kidnapped at gunpoint during a visit to the neighbouring state of Jalisco in 2023. 

She endured three days of “psychological terror” before being released by her captors.

While Sánchez did not identify the criminal group responsible for her kidnapping, local media outlets suggest that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), known for its involvement in drug trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion, is the likely culprit. 

The Dark Shadow of Violence Over Mexico’s Elections

The CJNG has a notorious reputation for targeting public officials who resist their demands.

Sánchez had revealed that her threats came with a demand to relinquish the town’s security to state police officers on behalf of organized crime groups. 

She bravely refused, instead requesting military reinforcement for the town and securing armed bodyguards for her protection.

The assassination of Sánchez is a grim reminder of the widespread violence against politicians that has marred Mexico’s general election. 

Official figures report that over 20 candidates have been murdered since September, but independent surveys suggest the number could be closer to 40.

The presidential race, won by Claudia Sheinbaum, was not immune to this violence. Sheinbaum’s opponent, Xóchitl Gálvez, expressed her concern about the rampant violence and pain she witnessed throughout the campaign. 

Despite conceding defeat, Gálvez criticized the election as an “unequal competition” and hinted at challenging Sheinbaum’s victory.

As Sheinbaum prepares to be sworn in as Mexico’s first female president on October 1, with a lead of over 31 percentage points over Gálvez, the country mourns the loss of another trailblazing woman, Yolanda Sánchez. 

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