The fearless former mayor, Maria Santos Gorrostieta, was reportedly kidnapped in broad daylight in front of her young daughter. Maria had served as the mayor of the drug plagued district Tichquicheo in the western state of Michoacan in Mexico. She was driving the child to school when she was ambushed by a car in the city of Morella. The 36-year old was hauled from her vehicle and physically assaulted. She begged for her child to be left alone and then got into her abductors’ car willingly.
After a few days of her abduction, her body was found by the side of the road in the southern part of the state. It is believed that she was tortured before she was brutally killed. Maria had previously survived two assassination attempts. The first, in 2009, had claimed the life of her husband, Jose Sanchez, another former mayor of the town, while the second one that occurred just three months later left her badly injured.
Maria was hailed as the ‘heroine of Mexico’ due to her strong stance against drug traffickers. She had denounced traffickers at every stage and even after repeated assassination attempts was determined to confront drug cartels.