U.S. Elected Official Executed

January 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The drug fueled violence on the Mexico border is hitting close to home in Southern California this weekend, a popular educator died this week after a drug gang kidnapped the man and killed him execution style.

Bobby was a Ph.D. student at UCLA.

Carlos Salcedo grieves for his brother, 33-year-old Augustin "Bobby" Salcedo, Vice President of the El Monte City School District, abducted and killed Wednesday night from a restaurant party in the Northern Mexico City of Gomez Palacio, along with five other men.

Their bodies were found Thursday, all executed with gunshots to the head by men believed to be a drug gang.

"You know, I'm not gonna comment on any kind of speculation. They were abducted and killed," said Carlos Salcedo, the victim's brother.

Salcedo, who rose to become an El Monte Youth Community Leader, was dining with his wife Betzy, a mexican doctor, and her friends when the gunmen came in.

He'd been working on his Ph.D. at UCLA and she's been testing to practice medicine in California.

"We talk about terrorism in the Middle East. There's terrorism in our backyard, right here in Mexico, and people should not be living in that fear. No one deserves to live that way," said Andre Quintero, El Monte Mayor.

Bobby Salcedo and Maria Muniz have been best friends all through school.

"I was lucky enough to have a friend for life. And now, a guardian angel."

When asked how long they had been friends, she replied, "Since we were five. So, what .. 28 years?"

Above all, Bobby Salcedo was an educator. Most recently at El Monte High School. Two of his former students told us about how he inspired them.

"He just changed so many lives and inspired so many of us. When I got into UCLA, he was there pushing me," said one student. "You're expecting him to walk through those doors and see him. It still hasn't hit us."

Funeral plans are pending while Salcedo's wife arranges to return from Mexico with his body. The Los Angeles Times was reporting Saturday morning that Bobby Salcedo is believed to be the first U.S. elected official killed in ongoing Mexico drug violence.

Salcedo's family tells the Times he had no ties to narcotics trafficking.