Hailed as the “heroine of the 21st century” by thousands, Maria Santos Gorrostieta was fearless in her drug policy against Mexican Cartel. Having survived two assassination attempts, the mother-of-three was beaten to death. Mark Roche of The Daily Shift reports…
Following two previous attempts on her life, the government provided a security team and escort for the 36-year-old former mayor of Tiquicheo, Dr Maria Santos Gorrostieta, in order to protect her from drug cartels whom she relentlessly campaigned to bring down. This security was withdrawn last November and her escort in January of this year; her body was found beaten, burned and stabbed by farm workers by the side of the road.
The town of Tiquicheo is a remote town in the Michoacan region, a farming region firmly under the control of drug cartels
Mrs Gorrostieta’s husband, Nereo Delgado Patinoran is currently missing. Dr Maria was reportedly kidnapped in broad daylight as she drove her young daughter to school on November 12; conflicting reports state that Gorrostieta wasn’t reported missing until a further two days later, November 14. The Daily Mail cites Mexican newspaper El Universal in reprinting a harrowing account of the abduction.
The 36-year old was hauled from her vehicle and physically assaulted as horrified witnesses watched…she begged for her child to be left alone and then appeared to get into her abductors’ car “willingly”.
The first attempt on her life came in 2009, a car in which she was travelling in was fired upon in the town of El Limone. Her husband, Jose Sanchez was fatally wounded but she survived her injuries. Three months later, a masked gang ambushed her van leaving her with multiple scars and an unwavering commitment to continue her war on drugs.
At the time she stated:
“It is not possible for me to surrender when I have three sons whom I have to educate by setting an example and also because of the memory of the man of my life, the father of my three little ones, the one who was able to teach me the value of things and to fight for them”
The Mirror reported that Maria was not alone in her offensive against drugs. In 2006, President Felipe Calderon launched a huge campaign against drug cartels; since, there have been some 50,000 murders and according to the BBC, as well as a further 24 mayors murdered for standing up to cartels.
Allegedly, Mexican authorities are less powerful than the cartels and any disobedience from the authorities results in their untimely death; those who look the other way and participate in the corruption are handsomely rewarded. The only force with any potential of subduing the criminals is the army while Mexico attempts to rid its police ranks of corrupt officials.
While a murder investigation has been launched, establishing her death as related to organised crime, the likelihood of any objective inquiry or indeed bringing those responsible to justice is slim.
Neighbouring America may well be scrutinised for its failure to hinder the multi-billion dollar trade in illegal substances such as cocaine and marijuana imported from South America. However, the recent legalisation of marijuana in Washington and Colorado may indeed even disturb drug cartels profitability.