A successful and idealistic Mexican lawyer, who became the mayor of Santiago in November 2009, turned into a victim of gruesome killing even before he completed one year in office as he chose 'lead' over 'silver.'
Like police, army troops, innocent bystanders, and many other politicians killed in the country's violent drug war, Cavazos had to choose between silver or lead-- taking a bribe or taking a bullet.
The 38-year-old Edelmiro Cavazos was kidnapped and killed in August 2010 after he chose to take the bullet, or the 'lead', instead of taking a bribe, or the 'silver', in the country's drug war.
Cavazos was killed allegedly with the help of the town's police force. His body was found near a waterfall outside his town, a popular weekend getaway for residents of the industrial city of Monterrey.
The death toll in drug-related violence in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country's drug cartels four years ago has risen to 34,612, according to a report by the Mexican government.
According to the report, the drug-related violence claimed 15,273 lives in 2010 compared to 9,616 deaths reported in 2009, making it the worst year in the country's four-year long war against drug cartels.
On August 15, 2010, Cavazos was in Santiago's town square celebrating International Youth Day. It was the last time people saw him alive. With his family visiting relatives in Texas, Cavazos went back to an empty house. A security camera captured what happened next, CBS News reported.
The video showed the police officer who guarded the house at night approaching a line of cars, which pulled up in the front of the house and armed men got out.
Another camera caught the gunmen threatening Cavazos at the door. He was later pushed into the back seat of the lead vehicle. The police guard walked to the car and got inside. In less than three minutes the kidnapping was done.
The body of Cavazos was found dumped by the side of a road in Santiago two days after his kidnapping.
So far, six city police officers, including the man assigned to protect the Cavazos home, have been arrested in the killing of the mayor.
Cavazos was one of 14 mayors murdered throughout the country during the past year alone. One among the victims was the brother of Alejandro Garza y Garza, attorney general for the state of Nuevo Leon, who is in charge of the Cavazos investigation. His brother was a top criminal investigator who was gunned by a cartel four years ago.
According to media reports, the police officers received $500 per month to cooperate with criminals in different ways and different affairs with some allegedly acting as lookouts.
CBS News also said, quoting Jorge Domene, director of public security in the state of Nuevo Leon, the officers are easily corrupted, since the cartels pay much more than the police force.
We're in a war, all Mexico is in a war against the cartels, Garza y Garza said. But in this war, the bad guys, they don't have any rules.
How many people want to work at the police department in Santiago now? CBS News asked Ramon Garza who has been an investigative journalist in Mexico for 35 years. Garza said Nobody want to be a police anymore here. Why? Because they know if they have to go - they have to go - silver or lead.