VERACRUZ, Mexico – The mayor-elect of Hidalgotitlan, a city in the Mexican Gulf state of Veracruz, was gunned down in the doorway of his house, prosecutors said.
Santana Cruz Bahena, who won the mayoral election held in June, was murdered on Monday by suspected members of a gang involved in fuel theft, the Veracruz Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.
The gunmen were wearing uniforms similar to those used by army troops and traveling in cargo trucks, eyewitnesses told investigators.
Cruz Bahena, who had served as mayor once before in the past decade, would have taken office on Jan. 1.
Municipal police were called but refused to respond to the shooting.
The state AG’s office is investigating both the murder and police actions in the case.
Investigators are working on the theory that a gang involved in fuel theft killed the politician, the prosecutor’s office in the Coatzacoalcos-south region said in a statement.
Theft of fuel from pipelines belonging to state-owned oil giant Pemex, known in Mexico as “milking,” is common, with both individuals and organized crime groups involved in the illegal activity.