MONTERREY, Mexico – Gunmen killed a town mayor near the drug-plagued industrial city of Monterrey, authorities said Friday, the fourth mayor in northern Mexico to be murdered in little more than a month.
Prisciliano Rodriguez Salinas was gunned down late Thursday along with one of his personal employees in the town of Doctor Gonzalez, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Monterrey, the Nuevo Leon state Attorney General’s Office said.
Eliseo Lopez Riojas was killed as he was picking up equipment from the mayor’s house, and a white car waiting outside started firing. Investigators found 19 shells from two different weapons at the scene.
Drug gangs warring for territory and smuggling routes in northern Mexico have increasingly targeted political figures in the region, though the attorney general said there were aspects of the crime uncharacteristic of gangs.
“The act, in terms of waiting for the mayor outside his house … is not a very common tactic for organized crime,” state Attorney General Alejandro Garza y Garza. “So we’re not ruling out any line of investigation.”
Garza Y Garza said he was unaware of any threats against the mayor.
Two police officers had been taken in for questioning about the killings, though Garza y Garza said they were not under arrest.
In a short press conference Friday, Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina said soldiers stationed in his state had achieved some successes combating organized crime.
“We will not give up this fight,” Medina said.
President Felipe Calderon condemned the attack and sent his condolences to the family as his government reiterated its commitment to the security of all Mexicans. The government has attributed the spike in violence in the border states of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas to a breakup between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas.
Monterrey-area mayor Edelmiro Cavazos was kidnapped in August and his body dumped three days later. Seven police officers who authorities said were paid monthly salaries by the Zetas gang were arrested in connection with that killing.
Hooded gunmen shot to death Mayor Alexander Lopez Garcia in the town of El Naranjo in San Luis Potosi state on Sept. 8. The methods used in all three slayings were similar to those used by Mexico’s drug cartels.
More than 28,000 people have been killed by drug-related violence since Calderon launched his attack on drug cartels in late 2006.
Nuevo Leon, Mexico: 8 Hours, 13 Executed, 6 Kidnapped from Hotels, and 18 Injured
Cartel Shootout Leaves 7 Dead in Acapulco
Guerrero state investigative police director Fernando Monreal says gunmen used grenades and automatic rifles to attack a house in a residential area of Acapulco on Thursday.
The state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, has become a drug cartel battleground.
Authorities on Wednesday found the decapitated bodies of two men inside a car abandoned in the community of Kilometro 30, near Acapulco.
Nationwide, more than 28,000 people have died in drug violence since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown against drug traffickers.
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