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Mexican authorities have confirmed that a mayor in western Mexico was assassinated on Monday, coinciding with the election of the country’s first female president.

Yolanda Sánchez Figueroa, the mayor of Cotija in Michoacán state, was ambushed while walking home from a gym with her bodyguard. The attackers, driving a white van, opened fire, according to a statement from the state attorney general. Both Sánchez Figueroa and her bodyguard died from their injuries at the hospital, prompting an immediate investigation.


This is not the first time Sánchez Figueroa faced danger; she was kidnapped in Zapopan in September 2023 and released three days later. Three individuals afilliated with the CJNG cartel were subsequently arrested and charged with her abduction.

The news of Sánchez Figueroa’s death followed the electoral victory of Claudia Sheinbaum, who became the first woman to hold Mexico’s presidential office. This milestone comes in a nation grappling with unprecedented violence that has led to numerous political candidates and politicians being killed as cartels continue to influence the vote.

Set to take office on October 1, Sheinbaum will succeed President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose social programs have significantly reduced poverty. However, she faces daunting challenges, including rampant gang violence and widespread disappearances. Mexico’s homicide rates rank among the highest globally. Additionally, over 100,000 people remain missing and 95% of crimes went unsolved in 2022.


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