Mexican mayoral candidate gunned down at campaign event hours after requesting security

Gisela Gaytan, a mayoral candidate for the city of Celaya in Mexico, was gunned down and executed at a campaign event Monday hours after she had requested security protection.

The attack was carried out by gunmen on two motorcycles in Guanajuato and left three others wounded. A spokesperson with the Guanajuato Attorney General's Office told Daily Mail that no arrests had been made as of Wednesday.

Just hours before she was assassinated, Gaytan announced she had met with local business owners in Celaya to promise changes coming to the crime-ridden city which ranked as the world's most dangerous city in 2023 with 109.4 homicides per every 100,000 residents.

The municipality surrounding Celaya has been controlled by the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel which murdered Mayor Javier Mendoza's son in August 2022. Local law enforcement said the attack on Gaytan took place in an area of the city with a high cartel presence.

Gaytan had reportedly been threatened previously by the group for refusing to align herself politically with them.

"Together, with determination and commitment, we will make the change we long for a reality," she said in a post on Facebook hours before the attack. "We want a Celaya where each person has the opportunity to prosper, we want transformation."

After the shooting, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador addressed the attack during his daily press briefing.

"These events are very regrettable, because these are people who are fighting to defend democracy, they're out on the street, face to face," he said.

Although no one has yet claimed responsibility for the assassination, he noted that drug cartels will often try to control who will become mayor in their areas.

"They make an agreement and say, 'this person is going to be mayor; we don't want anyone else to register to run,' and anybody who does, well, they know what to expect," he said.

At least 15 other candidates for Mexico's June 2 elections have been killed since the start of 2024.

Image: Title: gaytan