Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto met with President Obama at the White House Tuesday to discuss trade, immigration reform and other issues. His visit comes amidst recent grisly reminders of increasing violence in Mexico’s drug war, including the discovery of 19 bodies in a mass grave in the Mexican state of Chihuahua and the death of a Mexican beauty queen killed in an apparent gun battle between soldiers and drug traffickers. In another recent attack, a former mayor who stood up to drug traffickers and survived two previous assassination attempts was murdered in the western state of Michoacán. The body of Maria de los Santos Gorrostieta Salazar was found in a ravine three days after she was reportedly kidnapped in broad daylight. The 36-year-old mother had survived two previous attacks that claimed her husband’s life and left her badly wounded and in pain. Known by some as the “heroine of Mexico,” Gorrostieta published photographs of her scarred body in a local newspaper with a message vowing to “continue fighting, true to my ideals and my convictions, convinced that the truth will make us free.” Earlier this month, she was ambushed while driving her young daughter to school. Mexican reports said she was physically assaulted and begged for her child’s life before appearing to get into the kidnappers’ car willingly. Her body was found days later showing signs she’d been stabbed, burned and bound. Tens of thousands of people, including about two dozen mayors, have been killed since the U.S.-backed war on drugs began in 2006 under outgoing President Felipe Calderón. The incoming president has previously affirmed his commitment to continuing the crackdown.