Gorrostieta served as mayor of the Michoacan town of Tiquicheo from 2008 to 2011 and survived at least two assassination attempts during that time- including a 2009 shooting that killed her then-husband, Jose Sanchez. After the shootings, she displayed her scars to the Mexican press as a symbol of defiance against the cartels that had attempted to silence her.
While serving as mayor, Gorrostetia said she didn't know exactly what she had done to earn the narcos' wrath, but struck a defiant tone after the first attempt on her life.
Earlier this month, Gorrostetia was abducted by gunmen who cut her vehicle off while on her way to drop her daughter off to school in Michoacan's capital of Morelia on November 12. Witnesses say that she got into a vehicle belonging to her assailants after pleading with them to spare her 12 year old daughter. Her body was found on Tuesday and reportedly showed signs of torture. Unnamed media and police sources state the the likely cause of Gorrostetia's death was bludgeoning.
Slightly smaller in total area than West Virginia, Michoacan is a mountainous state along Mexico's central Pacific coast and in recent years has been used to cultivate marijuana and poppies as well as offload chemicals shipped in from Asia for use in the manufacture of methamphetamine. The state was also home to the powerful and cult-like La Familia Michoacana cartel until it began to collapse under the weight of a military assault that saw much of its leadership captured or killed by early 2011. Since then, other organizaitons such as the Knights Templar or New Generation cartels have either reconstituted themselves from the remnants of La Familia or taken over areas previously under the control of La Familia.
Photo- Ricardo RuizCHIHUAHUA- At least 19 bodies have been discovered over the weekend throughout northern Mexico.
Forensic experts say that 11 of the bodies at a ranch about 30 miles southeast of Ciudad Juarez were apprently killed anywhere from four to ten years ago and buried two years ago. The bodies range in age from 18 to 40 years old at the time of death.
Meanwhile eight more bodies were dumped along the side of the road at Rosales, about 130 miles south of the remote Texas border town of Presidio.
According to reports, the bodies in Rosales showed signs of torture and the apparent cause of death ranged from gunshot wound to asphyxiation. Some media reports stated that the eyes on some of the bodies had also been gouged out.
SINALOA- State prosecutors say that a 20 year old beauty queen was among those killed in an hour long running gun battle between cartel gunmen and Mexican soldiers on Monday.
Maria Susana Flores Gamez was reportedly travelling on one of the vehicles whose occupants opened fire on Mexican troops, and after a lengthy pursuit Gamez and two others travelling in the narco convoy were killed in a hail of gunfire in a mountainous region of Sinaloa. An AK-style rifle was found near her body shortly after the shootout and an unkonw number of narcos managed to escape.
An official from the state's Attorney General's office said that Gamez was the first to emerge from the vehicle, brandishing a weapon while the narcos reportedly used her as a human shield. Investigators are conducting a ballistics test to determine if the weapon Gamez was seen brandishing had been fired during the shootout.
Observers have already drawn comparisons to the 2011 Mexican drama Miss Bala in which a Baja California beauty queen gets involved with narcos who use her as a diversion from their criminal dealings. The film highlights how the country's pageants and narco culture can be closely interwoven and the film itself was reportedly inspired by the 2008 arrest of beauty queen Laura Zúñiga and her narco boyfriend in Jalisco with two AR-15 style rifles and three handguns.
Maria Susana Flores Gamez has been incorrectly identified as Miss Sinaloa by a number of international media outlets. Although she reportedly competed for the title, the current Miss Sinaloa is in fact 23 year old Karime Macias.