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.
- Pizza delivery man 'caught on hidden camera having sex with family dog'
- British girl caught having sex in Virgin aeroplane toilets as her PARENTS sat nearby
- Student posted 'revenge porn' nude pics of his ex-girlfriend because she 'gave evidence to cops about a burglary he was involved in'
- English teacher, 34, arrested for having sex with 17-year-old student seven times
- Sex maniac doctor who used medical images as porn, sent naked selfies to patient ... and sexted DURING C-sections
- Sex-for-drinks scandal called "mamading" rocks Mallorca bars
- Police launch all-out search for amorous couple filmed having sex on public fountain in Russia
- Born into brothels: Behind the scenes of Kolkata's notorious red-light district where thousands of girls are forced into sex work
- Loving Family: Man 'had sex with his sister-in-law so that she could get pregnant rather than getting IVF treatments'
- Dougherty Gang sibling Lee Grace posed naked in XXX photo
- 11-year-old boy beaten by grandmother and mother who then POST VIDEO of abuse on Facebook
- Georgia Governor Nathan Deal finally takes responsibility for winter weather chaos
- Girl, 15, tries to commit suicide after naked picture of her is posted online
- A model fan! Belgian teen lands L'Oreal contract after being photographed at World Cup game
- David Nabhan can 'predict earthquakes' and says next one in US will be on July 12
- California high school asked to abandon 'offensive' Arab mascot
- Neymar takes selfie with girlfriend Gabriella Lenzi after Brazil World Cup win
- 'He started following me - and so did his WIFE': TV presenter reveals how she was stalked for eight years by crazed couple
- Colorado's 9NEWS anchor Kyle Clark News rants at viewers' patio snow pictures
- High school teacher Carly McKinney, 23, 'tweeted nude photos of herself, called her students JAIL BAIT and talked about getting high'
- Terrifying moment woman bungee jumps off a bridge without a harness
- Former college footballer shot dead by robber who demanded he hand over Dr Dre headphones
- Man killed in upscale New Jersey mall parking lot sacrificed himself to protect his wife from armed carjackers, source says
- Subpoenas related to Ga. gov's ethics complaints
- UPDATE: Recorder's Court judge orders Michael Johnson held without bond in Steve Toms' death
- So this is how America now spends its Thanksgiving! Shopping madness starts even earlier as critics say retailers have gone too far
- Lake Charles pastor shot to death during church service
- Scarlett Johansson speaks out over Woody Allen abuse claims ...as she labels Dylan Farrow's open letter 'irresponsible'
- Deputies: Guyton man had sex on video with underage boy and dog
- Two Black Friday shoppers arrested in Virginia after man, 35, is 'sliced to the bone' in a dispute over a Walmart parking spot
- SRS waste worries Gov. Haley
- Newton High School basketball coach James Carter accused of sexting student
- 'Gray Thursday' begins as bargain hunters pile into Kmart on Thanksgiving
- Indian minister: 'Women should not wear bikinis on the beach in Goa'
- Chris Brown reveals new tattoo of a 'beaten woman'... but denies it's his ex Rihanna
- Black Friday: One man is STABBED in row over parking space and 'shoplifter' is SHOT by police
- Serena Williams tops Victoria Azarenka to win U.S. Open title
- It's Fight Friday! The busiest shopping day of the year has begun with chaotic scenes throughout the country and fights breaking out at numerous Walmart stores over discounted electrical goods
- 13-year-old forced into prostitution, nude dancing at South Beach strip club
- From anti-gravity fist fights to dressing up as a woman: Chris Hadfield reveals the bizarre life of an astronaut living on the International Space Station
- Married female judge Joy Oldfield and public defender caught in semi-naked lesbian tryst in back of SUV
- Relatives insist beloved lawyer would NOT have tried to stop carjackers who shot him dead
- Oscar Pistorius shooting: Inside Blade Runner's bedroom - cricket bat, baseball bat, revolver and machine gun
- Video released of purse thieves at Dillards
- Ravel Dixon: Single mother, 22, charged with killing millionaire who was tied up and brutally murdered in his mansion
- Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior ship blocks removal of Costa Concordia from Giglio
- Catholic girls' school teacher admits lesbian affair with student, 17, after plying her with alcohol
- New details of overdose episode at Thomas' NY home
- Bruce Lee didn't drink, but CGI Bruce Lee is in this liquor ad
Rate this article
|PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity||Awkward family photos|
|UPDATED: Faces of Meth||PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter|