A Mexican drug cartel claimed responsibility for the shooting death of a city mayor in Mexico just 10 days after he was inaugurated.

The Daily Mail reported that Benjamin Lopez Palacios, who was sworn in on January 1 as mayor of the Xoxocotla city, was gunned down at his home on January 11.

According to local news, three men visited Palacios' home to seek aid for a bogus project when they opened fire and fled. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

As of Thursday, no arrests have been reported, and a motive has yet to be shared. However, a Mexican drug cartel took responsibility for the mayor's assassination through a "narcomanta" or propaganda banner hanging on a cemetery gate in the municipality of Punte de Ixtla.

The Mexican drug cartel did not identify itself. However, it took credit for killing Palacios and called out local soccer star turned Morelos governor Cuauhtemoc Blanco for his alleged links to other drug cartels.

The leader of the Mexican drug cartel claimed to have "warned" the governor in the past that they would be targeting mayors in Morelos.

"There goes the first one Cuauhtemoc Blanco. Don't send me to talk to fools. Keep playing around and you're going to run out of mayors, I f******* warned you f*****, here's the first one," the narcomanta read in Spanish.

Aside from taking credit for killing Palacios, the Mexican drug cartel also urged Blanco to investigate the alleged participation of former treasurer of the state government Alejandro Villareal in a "meeting" that was not elaborated.

The drug cartel also asked Blanco to investigate the death of former Jalisco New Generation Cartel cell leader Raymundo "El Ray" Castro, who was killed inside his prison cell in October 2019.

Castro is one of the three cartel members who were photographed with Blanco in October 2018 or a few months after the former soccer player won the gubernatorial election.

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Mexico Governor Investigated Over Alleged Links to Mexican Drug Cartels

Apart from "El Ray," the controversial photo that was leaked to the newspaper El Sol de Mexico last week also showed Cuauhtemoc Blanco posing with known drug traffickers Irving Eduardo Solano Vera, alias "El Profe", of the Guerreros Unidos Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel; and Homero Figueroa Meza, alias "La Tripa", of the Tlahuica Command.

The newspaper reported that the photo was found on the telephone of a drug suspect. According to the Independent, the Morelos State Prosecutor's Office on Thursday opened an investigation against Blanco after 11 deputies of the Morelos Congress and the local opposition political party requested the intervention of the justice body.

Blanco has already denied any links to the drug traffickers in the photo, saying he has "nothing to hide." Being a former soccer star, the Morelos governor earlier noted that he would never deny a fan a photo op.

"I have nothing to hide. I take a lot of photos and I'm not going to ask them: 'Hey, who are you and what do you do?'," Blanco said.

He also cited a time when he was seen in a photo with a son of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, noting that he did not even know who he was.

"But because I'm such a good guy, I take photos with everyone," he noted. 

State attorney general Uriel Carmona told local media that the photograph by itself does not constitute a criminal act. However, Carmona assured that they would investigate the matter.

Speaking about the nacromantas that appeared in different parts of Morelos, accusing him of doing various illegal activities, Blanco told El Universal that he believes that these banners, including the photo, came from narco-politicians "who want to destabilize the state and my government."

"Narcomantas make me laugh. Because imagine, they say they even gave me money to buy clothes or that I didn't have money to buy it. These are things that will continue to happen," Blanco noted.

He added: "They're going to keep putting blankets on me and I'm not worried. It's a dirty war, because that's how politics is handled here, but I'm not going to stay silent."

Nacromantas in Mexico

Nacromantas are messages left by a Mexican drug cartel on banners usually containing threats or explanations of criminal activity.

A narcomanta is usually attached to state property in a public place and typically involves many dismembered bodies to attract a lot of attention.

Mexican drug cartels have used narcomantas to attract law enforcement's attention or turf rivals.

These banners are also used to send powerful messages to the public, like who they need to support or avoid certain groups or areas.

This practice was frequent during the major Mexican drug cartel clashes in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

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This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Joshua Summers

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