Chicaaaaaa! Soy fabuloso!
Mexico’s first openly gay elected mayor is set to take office in a rough part of Zacatecas state known for cowboy boots, embossed belts and drug gang shootouts.
Benjamin Medrano, a 47-year-old singer and gay bar-owner, says he is proud to be openly gay and rights groups say his victory in the city of Fresnillo’s July 7 election marks a significant point in the fight for gay rights.
They add that it is too early yet to declare victory and Medrano, who takes office in September, acknowledges that he was the target of a malicious phone-calling campaign in which his political rivals “tried to smear me, as if being gay were a crime.”
Zacatecas is a largely rural state with a reputation for cowboy hats and macho swagger, one of last places in Mexico that seemed likely to elect a gay mayor.
“Somewhat? Very machisto, I would say,” Medrano says of his region. “I am going to be mayor of a township (roughly equivalent to a U.S. county) where there are 258 villages full of tough country people, who don’t necessarily have much information on what’s happening elsewhere, and have even less of an automatic sympathy with their gay mayor.”
“But,” he notes,” It’s not like I’m going to paint city hall pink, either.”
Isht is hella real in Fresnillo…
In recent years, a drug turf war has raged around Fresnillo, and bodies have been found hacked to bits, others with their throats slit, some decapitated, some stuffed in wells or shallow graves. Medrano campaigned on a strong public-safety platform, advocating cooperation with state and federal police, and vetting and background checks on the notoriously corrupt local police force.
“I’m not at risk, because I don’t have any relationship with any of the groups,” Medrano said Thursday, referring to the two drug cartels — the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel — that are fighting for control of Fresnillo, a city of 230,000 that has the misfortune to sit on some of the main trafficking routes in northern Mexico.
“Of course, I have the same fear that anybody who lives in Fresnillo has,” Medrano said.
Don’t get too comfortable sir, you know these Mexican gangs have NO problem murdering political figures.