Mexican Mayor Yolanda Sánchez Figueroa Assassinated Hours after Claudia Sheinbaum's Historic Win as First Female President

Both Sánchez Figueroa and her bodyguard were taken to the hospital, where they later died.

Yolanda Sánchez Figueroa, the mayor of Cotija in Michoacán, was fatally shot on Monday, according to authorities. The attack occurred as she walked home from the gym with her bodyguard. Assailants in a white van opened fire on them. Both Sánchez Figueroa and her bodyguard were taken to the hospital, where they later died.

This tragic event unfolded just hours after Claudia Sheinbaum's historic victory as Mexico's first female president. Sheinbaum's election marks a significant milestone in a country where patriarchal culture and widespread femicide are prevalent. However, her triumph is overshadowed by the bloodiest election season in Mexico's history. Numerous political candidates and applicants were murdered by criminal organizations aiming to sway the vote.

Yolanda Sánchez Figueroa
Woman mayor Yolanda Sánchez Figueroa and her bodyguard shot dead in Mexico just hours after Claudia Sheinbaum's historic victory first female president of the country. X

Sheinbaum will assume the presidency on October 1, succeeding President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Obrador's social welfare programs have lifted many Mexicans out of poverty, solidifying the leftist Morena party's dominance in the polls. However, Sheinbaum inherits a nation grappling with severe gang violence and a crisis of unsolved disappearances.

Mexico's homicide rate ranks among the highest in the world, and the country remains perilous for women, with approximately ten women murdered every day. Over 100,000 people are missing, their fates unknown. The think tank Mexico Evalua reports that around 95% of crimes in Mexico went unsolved in 2022, underscoring the pervasive impunity that plagues the nation.

Sánchez Figueroa's murder is particularly poignant as she had survived a previous kidnapping in September 2023. She was abducted in the city of Zapopan and released after three days. Three men were arrested and charged with her kidnapping, but this prior incident highlights the persistent dangers faced by public officials in Mexico.

Local authorities, including the government of Michoacán, condemned the attack on Sánchez Figueroa and her bodyguard. The state's Ministry of Public Security announced a coordinated security operation with federal agencies to apprehend those responsible for the killings.

The assassination of Sánchez Figueroa underscores the urgent need for enhanced security measures in Mexico. Sheinbaum's upcoming presidency brings hope for progress, but she faces the daunting task of addressing the deep-rooted violence and ensuring justice for countless victims. As Mexico stands at a crossroads, the country looks to its new leadership to bring about meaningful change and restore safety and security for its citizens.