Another Politically Connected Murder in Zacatecas: “Chilo” Murillo, Sombrerete Mayor’s Brother

The article discusses the recent surge in violence in Zacatecas, Mexico, with two politically-connected brothers murdered in separate attacks.

The Mexican state of Zacatecas continues to grapple with surging violence as two politically connected brothers were murdered in separate attacks on the same day.

In the morning hours of November 17th, an armed commando attacked and killed prominent businessman Cecilio “Chilo” Murillo in the municipality of Saín Alto, according to a statement by Rodrigo Reyes Mugüerza, Secretary General of Government of Zacatecas. Murillo was driving along a highway when the attackers opened fire.

Murillo’s brother, Manuel Alan Murillo Murillo, serves as the mayor of Sombrerete municipality in Zacatecas. “Beyond the political differences that we lived, we were united by the affection of brothers, friends, and companions in life,” wrote the mayor in a message confirming his brother’s murder. “This is already the second time that my family is in mourning at the hands of crime.”

The slain businessman twice ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Sombrerete, first as the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 2013 and later for the National Action Party (PAN) in 2021, losing that year to his brother.

Secretary Reyes Mugüerza states, “This has been a complicated day in terms of security. However, our efforts to pacify Zacatecas will continue. I said it and reiterate it: we will not take a single step back.”

Brother-in-law of Senator Ricardo Monreal Shot Dead

Prior to the attack on Murillo, Juan Carlos Pérez Guajardo, the Director of Social Development in Fresnillo municipality, was gunned down while supervising municipal cleanup crews. Pérez Guajardo was the brother of María de Jesús Pérez, wife of prominent federal Senator Ricardo Monreal Ávila.

The municipalities of Fresnillo and the state of Zacatecas are governed by Senator Monreal’s brothers – Saúl Monreal Ávila and David Monreal Ávila. Saúl Monreal is on leave from the governorship while campaigning for a Senate seat.

Both Fresnillo and Zacatecas have seen a major surge in violence and organized crime activity. The brazen killings of two politically connected figures in one day suggest the dire security challenges facing the state.