By Oisin Sweeney • 18 December 2020 • 19:49
THE FORMER governor of Mexico’s violent Jalisco state has been shot dead in the bathroom of a restaurant in a popular tourist resort.
Aristoteles Sandoval was dining with four others in the beach town of Puerto Vallarta when he left his group to use the toilet. An assassin shot him in the back, seriously wounding him, as he entered the bathroom. His bodyguards rushed to evacuate him but were met by more gunmen in front of the restaurant.
After a heavy gun battle in front of terrified diners that left one of his guards seriously wounded, Sandoval was rushed to hospital where he died of his injuries. His term as governor of Jalisco state was marked by the brutal rise of the Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG). During his first week in office, his tourism minister was gunned down in the state capital Guadalajara. Usually flanked by 15 bodyguards, at the time of the attack he was only accompanied by two.
While it is not clear whether the gang of assassins was working for CJNG, it is strongly suspected the cartel was involved in Sandoval’s murder. Jalisco’s attorney general said that staff at the restaurant had “practically swept the place clean” of evidence – cleaning up blood and bullets as well as wiping CCTV footage of the incident.
In recent years the CJNG has become one of Mexico’s fastest-growing and most brazen drug gangs, showing no mercy in targeting rival groups and authorities. They are currently locked in a grisly war with the Sinaloa Cartel which was famously led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman prior to his arrest and incarceration by American authorities.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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