- (Photo: Facebook/Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar)
Former Mexican mayor Maria Santos Gorrostieta was killed after surviving two previous assassination attempts. People around the world are mourning the loss and praising Gorrostieta for her courage and willingness to take on the drug cartels in her area.
While the official cause of death was a blow to the head, there was evidence of torture, such as stab wounds, bindings to her legs and hands, and burn marks covering her body.
Gorrostieta was not afraid to go after the drug cartels that turned Mexico into a dangerous country; officials believe her zeal may have led to her death. She survived two assassination attempts; the first was in 2009 when the car she was traveling in came under heavy gunfire. Her husband was killed in the shooting, but Gorrostieta survived.
Then, three months later, another vehicle she was traveling in was hit with at least 30 bullets from assault rifles. Three of those bullets hit Gorrostieta and left her with severe scars and in constant pain.
"I have had to bear losses that I would not wish on anyone, and have had to accept them with resignation and with the knowledge that it is our Lord's will, and have gone on, even with a wounded soul," she said.
People are praising Gorrostieta's efforts to tackle the growing drug problem in Mexico, all while risking her life and losing loved ones. She leaves behind three children, and police have opened an investigation into the events leading up to, and surrounding her death.
"Here's a Person of the Year, TIME … Maria Santos Gorrostieta stood up to the cartels; beaten to death," tweeted Nigel Cameron.
"The life [and] death of this courageous beautiful Mexican Maria Santos Gorrostieta put our anxieties achievements [and] grievances in perspective," added Simon Montefiore.
Bina Shah noted that "courage has no gender: former Mexican mayor tortured, executed because courage has no gender."
Nicholas Kristof described the situation as "so depressing. A brave Mexican politician defies drug lords-and now she is murdered."
Gorrostieta is the 10th official to be murdered in association with drug violence in the country- an astonishing rate that seems to only be growing.