In a gruesome display of drug-related violence, a small town mayor in western Mexico was found dead Monday, apparently "beaten to death with rocks." Mayaor Gustavo Sanchez Cervantes joins a list of four other Mexican mayors killed in the last six weeks. Reporters from around the web provide context to the tragic assassination:

  • He Had Recently Taken Power, reports CNN's Wire Staff: "Mayor Gustavo Sanchez Cervantes had taken over the top post in the city of Tancitaro in December 2009, after Mayor Trinidad Meza Sanchez resigned the post due to pressure from drug traffickers, Notimex said. Sanchez's secretary, Rafael Equihua, also was found dead in the mayor's Ford truck, the news agency said."

  • Background on Sanchez  "Sanchez was not known to have a party affiliation and was a teacher by training before taking the helm of the town of 5,500," reports AFP: "His predecessor resigned under pressure from an organized crime group. In January, Sanchez fired 60 local police who were replaced by federal officers. Some 28,000 people have died in a surge of suspected drug violence since the government launched a military crackdown on organized crime in 2006."
  • This Is Particularly Macabre, says Michoacan state prosecutor Jesus Montejano: "We've had executions of people, a town official, a councilman, but always shot to death … never anything like this... We are worried because this situation is very different from what organized crime usually does."
  • A Deadly Uptick of Violence "Targeting of public officials in Mexico is rising as deaths related to drug trafficking this year are on pace to reach their highest level since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006," note Jens Erik Gould and Jonathan J Levin at Bloomberg. "At least 28,000 people have been killed during Calderon’s administration in violence tied to organized crime... Sanchez was the third Mexican city leader to be attacked in the past five days. The mayor-elect of Gran Morelos, Chihuahua, was shot and injured as he worked at his veterinary office on Sept. 24, and the mayor of the town of Doctor Gonzalez in Nuevo Leon state was killed Sept. 23."
  • Americans Must Pay Attention, writes John Hinderaker at Powerline: "The situation in Mexico is a disaster, and one that directly threatens our national security. For reasons that I don't understand, most Americans don't seem to care, and the Obama administration reflects that apathy. Mexico makes Iraq look like Switzerland. Iraq is, I think, important to our security, but Mexico is much more so. I don't know what the solution is--other than the obvious, a massive application of police/military force to kill the criminals--but at a minimum, we should take notice."