Mexico's fearless woman mayor Maria Santos Gorrostieta 'executed' after surviving two assassination attempts
The body of a woman once called a 'heroine of the 21st century' for fearlessly standing up to Mexico's brutal drug cartels has been found beaten to death at the side of a road.
Maria Santos Gorrostieta, 36, was the former mayor of Tiquicheo, a rural district in Michoacan, west of Mexico City.
She famously survived two assassination attempts by narcotics gangs who have turned the country into a war zone.
Her brave defiance may have cost the mother-of-three her life. The official cause of death was a blow to the head but she had been stabbed, her legs and hands had been bound and her waist and chest were covered in burns, suggesting she had been tortured.
She was discovered by residents of the community of San Juan Tararameo, Cuitzeo Township, who were heading to work in the fields.
Her family had reported her missing on November 14, and the disappearance was being investigated by the Anti-Kidnapping and Extortion Institution.
A murder investigation has now been launched.
The first assassination attempt was while in October 2009 when the car she was travelling in with her husband Jose Sanchez came under fire from gunmen in the town of El Limone.
The attack claimed his life but Gorrostieta lived. An attempt had been made on Sanchez's life earlier that year, but he managed to escape the armed mob who came after him.
Gorrostieta, who had been elected in 2008, bravely battled back from her injuries in the face of overwhelming tragedy, but she was not destined to know peace.
The next attempt on her life was just three months later, when an masked group carrying assault rifles ambushed her on the road between Michoacan and Guerreo state. The van she was traveling in was peppered by 30 bullets. Three hit her.
This time Gorrostieta's injuries were more severe, leaving multiple scars and forcing her to wear a colostomy bag. She was left in constant pain.
A reporter was also wounded in the attack, as well as her press officer and brother.
Grim discovery: Residents of the community of San Juan Tararameo found her body as they went to work in the fields
Sickening: Gorrostieta shows the wounds she sustained from the ambushers' gunfire and the subsequent car crash
Wounds: The ex-mayor was lucky to survive the second attack. She was left in constant pain and was forced to use a colostomy bag
In a famous act of defiance, she posed for pictures showing the extent of her horrifying wounds to draw attention to the brutality the drug gangs routinely mete out to their opponents.
Speaking at the time she said: 'I wanted to show you my wounds because I'm not ashamed that my body is mutilated like this.
'It is the result of shameful acts which have marked my life and the lives of my children. But I am not ashamed.
Murder: The corpse of Dr Gorrostieta, found by farm workers from San Juan Tararameo. She had been burned, beaten and stabbed
'There are some that have said I made these attacks up. But I did not and now I show the physical proof to those who have doubted me.'
She added: 'Every day I fight and battle in my mind to erase the memories of the terrible things I lived through.'
'At a different time in my life, maybe I would have resigned from my post, my responsibilities.
'But it is no longer possible now that I have three children whom I have to teach by example.
'Beside that I have the memories of my husband, the father of my children who knew how to teach the value of things and fight for them.'
Icon: Maria was described by a prominent Mexican journalist as 'a heroine of the 21st century'
Casualty of war: Gorrostieta is the latest official murdered by cartels in Mexico's bloody battle over drugs
She added: 'He is no longer with us but he remains the guiding light for my decisions.'
After her ordeal she ran for a seat in Mexico's Congress of the Union but failed to gain the backing she needed.
Mexico has been torn apart by murderous drug gangs since President Felipe Calderon launched his drug offensive in 2006.
More than 50,000 people have been killed in clashes between rival drug cartels and security forces and about two dozen mayors have been murdered.
Tiffany York: Stepfather of girl, 17, killed by soldiers planning to assassinate the President lunges at them in court
A man whose teen step-daughter was allegedly shot dead by three soldiers to protect an anti-government militia group rushed and yelled at one of the ... Full story
- Congressional staffer Dianne Reidy goes on bizarre rant about Freemasons and God
- Miley Cyrus offered $1million to work on porn movie
- Jenny McCarthy is 'terrified' after screwing over Oprah
- Controversial pastor Arthur Allen dies in house fire
- More than $50 million stolen from unguarded van belonging to Libya's Central Bank
- Loving Family: Man 'had sex with his sister-in-law so that she could get pregnant rather than getting IVF treatments'
- English teacher, 34, arrested for having sex with 17-year-old student seven times
- Jennifer Lopez suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction live on German TV
- Dougherty Gang sibling Lee Grace posed naked in XXX photo
- How NOT to dive off a diving board
- Transgender performer Christopher Lynch sentenced to 14 years for pimping teen
- High school teacher Carly McKinney, 23, 'tweeted nude photos of herself, called her students JAIL BAIT and talked about getting high'
- Hot or Not: Rihanna Boatneck Sweater
- Emma Watson suffers wardrobe malfunction night out
- Miss Teen Colorado runner up Kristy Althaus turns porn star
- Glee star Becca Tobin’s boyfriend Matt Bendik found dead in Philadelphia hotel room
- Pregnant teen Brooke Slocum strangled and boyfriend decapitated after Craigslist sex meeting with stranger
- New York teen arrested after 'killing brother, 15, and brutally beating respected doctor mother into a coma'
- Verizon boosts FiOS uploads to match downloads
- Is he a fraud? U.S. marines confront 'fake sergeant major' after military funeral in Florida
- Is Hamas using human shields in Gaza? UN finds TWO stashes of rockets hidden in empty school next to makeshift housing for 3,000 displaced Palestinians
- Scientists invent pure lithium cells that may mean phone batteries last FOUR times longer
- 'Fast-track the Ebola drug': U.S. under pressure to give potentially life-saving medication the green light as experts warn of global pandemic
- Yep, this is Christina Aguilera's baby shower cake...
- Navahcia Edwards: Model 'robbed bank at gunpoint with her ex-boyfriend wearing NUN costumes inspired by the movie The Town'
- Female armed robber stripped, beaten and set alight by angry lynch mob
- Little Rascals star Blake McIver now a buff go-go dancer
- Pilot Michael James Pascal charged after allegedly groping a sleeping 14-year-old girl
- Xbox One turns into 'sex box'
- Homer Simpson tries and fails to get in Oscars selfie
- Pregnant woman Tiffany Robbins, baby dies after Acworth crash
- Twitter discloses diversity numbers — most workers are white or Asian
- Kazakh volleyball player Sabina Altynbekova so attractive nobody watches the sport anymore
- Meriam Ibrahim, put on death row for marrying Christian, learned of rescue plan 2 hours beforehand
- Father of Abigail Hernandez's boyfriend Jimmy Campbell pleads to be told where teen was
- Family of 5 shot dead in Maine, gun recovered
- Phenix City leaders meet for charter review session
- Hundreds of teens have died playing this old, but popular game
- Kari Lynn Bryan: Educator accused of having sex with special needs student
- Jennifer Lawrence Strips Down For GQ, 'X-Men' Director Sings Her Praises (PHOTOS)
- Janet Jackson 'secretly engaged to Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana'
- Barbara Lafleur: arrested after strolling through lumber store... in the nude
- Country musician Abraham Spear tried to have sex with 7 and 9 year old girls while playing in Dallas
- NJ woman Wendy Tucker arrested for flashing breasts to surveillance camera
- Ex-NFL player Larry Roberts arrested in Ga. 400 crash
- Jailed for 40 years, the two teenage boys who executed a 'trusting' classmate.
- 'She's got Tourette's': Lawyer for 'hiccup girl' charged with murder says he'll use syndrome as her defence
- Attorney Reema Bajaj, 25, charged with prostitution for 'performing $50 sex-act on man'
- Guilty Verdict for Hit and Run Driver, Jorida Davidson
- lagos nigeria 23401 ( Nigerian Dating Scam ) 380
- Pastor Samuel Chapman jailed on child sex charges 79
- Asst. Principal’s Son Chandler Brookins Accused Of Rape In School Bathroom 70
- McDonald's Manager Tiffany Allen Accused Of Punching Customer 68
- Mother Of 5 Wazineh Suleiman Missing After Going To Rent Movie 31
- Teacher Ashley Payne fired for posting picture of herself holding beer on Facebook 29
- 15-Year-Old Held In Girlfriend Angel Freeman's Killing; Gun Found In Creek 26
- New Mexico pastor Gregory Griego, woman, two girls and a boy shot dead during Saturday night shooting spree 25
- 'Wrap your legs around my head': Married Fox weatherman Geoff Fox fired after 'inappropriate' sexting chats with female photographer 22
- Teen Alex Dahm charged with drug possession 21
- Marietta Teen James Glover to be Tried as Adult in beating of a 94-year-old man 20
- Syfy's new show 'Defiance' sucks 20
- Dekalb County Teen Marquis Overstreet Found Shot, Killed, Stabbed 30 Times 19
- Joyriding teens Dustin Surrett, Tessa Upton nabbed in stolen Jaguar 19
- 17-year-old Quavante Combs drowns in Lake Lanier 18
- Husband James Felio Killed By Police After Fight With Wife 17
- James Taylor Named By Colleagues As Pilot From Cockpit Rant 17
- Babysitter Loni Bouchard 'had sex with boy, 14, she was hired to look after' 16
- Suspect In Double Homicide Michael Ntiamoah Is Federal Officer 15
- Police: Woman talking on cell caused crash killing 2 15
- Teacher Shannon Schmieder Sentenced to 40 Years for Affair with 14 Year Old 15
- Police: Ex-Substitute Rene Frank Pregnant With Student’s Twins 14
- Colin Kaepernick: Biological mother Heidi Russo wants relationship with quarterback son she gave up 14
- Teens Sarah Riffe, Michael Perry killed by Jeep in east Georgia town 13
- Gwinnett, Forsyth teens Brandon Hodges, Christian Walker, killed in wreck 13
- Tennessee woman Neena Costanza charged in death of her baby girl by her boyfriend 13
- Teen Demarquis Elkins Arrested in Georgia Baby Shooting Death 13
- Emma Watson suffers wardrobe malfunction night out 12
- Fleeing Driver Adam Sides Hits Officer Head-On During Chase 12
- Smyrna Police Officer Curtis Clyde Cook Fired After Drug Bust 12
- 16-Year-Old Son Charged In Crash That Killed His Mother 12
- 3 Pedestrians Hit, 2 Dead near Interstate 675 in Stockbridge 12
- Atlanta Woman Lashawna Threatt Dies after Fall from W Hotel Room 11
- Florida Man Steven Cozzie Held In Slaying of Georgia Teen Courtney Wilkes in Florida 11
- PICTURED: The assistant Melissa Nelson fired by dentist because she was 'irresistably attractive' and 'threat to his marriage' 11
- Teens Jekari Strozier, Antonio Pass, Johnathan Anthony, Kemonta Bonds charged in death of Mableton man 11
- Teen Cheyenne Sauls Killed In Crash; 17-Year-Old Driver Charged With DUI 10
- Daytona Woman Katie Burson Dies After House Party Shooting 10
- Florida woman Danisa Landaeta arrested for drawing picture of bomb on friend's bag at Miami International Airport 10
- Cops: Mableton Woman Chakaya Folborg stabs sister to death with steak knife 9
- Atlanta Woman Crystal Cross Alleges Beating From Ga. State Patrol 9
- UPDATE: Teen Terry Johnson, Charged In Murder of Shakira Hudson 8
- LA Fitness Manager Juhahn Belcher 's Death Ruled Suspicious 8
- Newnan officer Josh Keller shoots girlfriend in abdomen 8
- Off-Duty Officer Shoots Teen In Nightclub Parking Lot 8
- Dunkin' Donuts employee Melissa Redmond busted for prostitution; sold sex out of restaurant 8
- Teenage Boy Cody Riddle Drowns In Boone Lake 8
- Female Driver Priscilla Johnson Charged After Hitting 3 Teens with Car 8
- Pedestrian Latara Worthy run over, killed in Union City 8
- Revealed: Dramatic pictures of Trayvon's lifeless body as new evidence shows Zimmerman bleeding with 'broken nose' 8
World NewsGet the latest World news headlines from Georgia Newsday!. Find breaking World news, including expert analysis, commentaries, videos and opinions.
Rate this article
|PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity||Awkward family photos|
|UPDATED: Faces of Meth||PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter|