Cuauhtemoc Blanco, former Mexican international, former Chicago Fire striker, and current mayor of Cuernavaca, has been accused of ordering a gunman to kill a man at the start of the town’s annual fair on April 6, according to reports.
As Proceso.com has it, during the traditional parade to kick off the town’s spring fair, a man named Juan Manuel García Bejarano was gunned down. The alleged killer was apprehended and said Blanco had ordered the shooting, according to El Financiero. ESPN reported that Blanco’s political rival Graco Ramirez, who is the governor of the Morelos, just south of Mexico City, said both the victim and the killer were involved with cartels.
Blanco denies that he was involved. On Tuesday when he returned to Cuernavaca, a town in the Mexican state of Morelos, just south of Mexico City, he told reporters, “I don’t like to talk about what happened. I do have heart and feelings. [Garcia] is a man, he was a man.”
He added: “Yes, I’m afraid for my life, for my family, but I’m still staying here. I’m still strong. This, on the contrary, gives me still more strength to continue fighting these injustices that are an aberration and a disease.”
Blanco has been dogged by allegations of corruption since he was elected last year. He staged a brief hunger strike in December when his opposition tried to impeach him. During his MLS days, he was also a sometimes controversial figure; as the Washington Post reported in 2008, he was banned from the U.S. Open Cup for two years after he headbutted an official.