The body of a woman once called a 'heroine of the 21st century' for fearlessly standing up to Mexico's brutal drug cartels has been found raped, stabbed, and beaten to death at the side of a road.
Maria Santos Gorrostieta, 36, was the former mayor of Tiquicheo, a rural district in Michoacan, west of Mexico City.
While, she famously survived two assassination attempts, her first husband was brutally murdered during the 1st of the 2 attempts on her life. In 2009 when the car she was traveling in came under heavy gunfire.
Her husband was killed in the shooting, but Gorrostieta survived.
Then, three months later, another vehicle she was traveling in was hit with at least 30 bullets from assault rifles. Three of those bullets hit Gorrostieta and left her with severe scars and in constant pain. Gorrostieta did not retreat, though, and took photos of her injuries, releasing them to the public.
Maria gave an interview after the 2nd attempt on her life:
"I have had to bear losses that I would not wish on anyone, and have had to accept them with resignation and with the knowledge that it is our Lord's will, and have gone on, even with a wounded soul."
"Despite that, and despite my own safety and that of my family, what occupies my mind is my responsibility towards my people: the children, the women, the elderly and the men who break their souls every day without rest to find a piece of bread for their children."
"I will get up however many times God allows me to, to keep on searching, scratching, negotiating plans, projects and actions for the benefit of all of society, but in particular, for the vulnerable ones. This is who I am."
Both previous attempts on Maria's life were by narcotics gangs who have turned the country into a war zone.
Her brave defiance may have cost the mother-of-three her life. The official cause of death was a blow to the head but she had been stabbed, raped, her legs and hands had been savagely bound and her waist and chest were covered in burns, suggesting she had been tortured for many days before her death.
After a week missing Maria was discovered by residents of the community of San Juan Tararameo, Cuitzeo Township, who were heading to work in the fields.
To the Mexican Drug gang and cowardly men who perpetrated such a foul deed on a helpless woman.
GOD does not sleep and HIS Justice is Eternal.