Out of Control

Mexican Mayors Victims of Drug War

Less than a year ago, after his predecessor fled due to the threat of drug violence, Gustavo Sanchez took over as mayor the farming town Tancitaro. Last week, he was found with his skull smashed, the fifth Mexican mayor in six weeks killed as a result of cartel rivalries. Over the last year, at least 11 mayors have been killed, and more than 100 have been threatened or bribed in the past two years. Tancitaro’s town secretary says that a “psychosis of fear” has taken over the town and many city council members aren’t even sure they’ll stay in their posts, threatening to hobble government. “We think the people are biggest losers,” said Rosario Rico, a councilwoman.