Recalling his immediate impression of slain mayor Edelmiro Cavazos Leal, Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia remembers "a very well bred, well mannered and smart individual" who seemed to have the citizens of his city very much at heart.
When Cavazos visited Edinburg on March 23 to sign a “sister city” agreement with city officials, Garcia spoke about the cooperation among the two cities even with rising border violence in the region. Now it seems the Mexican mayor has succumbed to the violence has adamantly resisted.
Cavazos was kidnapped at his home in Santiago, about 20 miles south of Monterrey, on Sunday Aug. 15, and then was later found dead near one of the city's most famous landmarks, the "Cola de Caballo" waterfall on Wednesday Aug. 18.
Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina at the time said he believed Cavazos may have been targeted because of his efforts to tackle corruption in the local police force. The men who abducted Cavazos wore uniforms from a police agency that was dissolved years ago.
Cavazos had been “leading the front and showing his face in the fight against organized crime,” according to Mexican officials.
Garcia said he had barely been in contact with Cavazos following the sister city agreement last spring, but was shocked when he heard of Cavazos kidnapping and eventual death.
"Other than the meeting we had during the sister city signing, I really had no personal contact with him as a person. We were very much interested in establishing a relationship for various reasons," Garcia said.
"My personal experience with that city is that it is a very quiet, and very historic picturesque community that very much goes inline with our thoughts about preserving the history of the City of Edinburg," Garcia said. "As far as him personally, I have very little knowledge or information. He is a new mayor, been there a very short time. It's a shocking surprise."