Cancun killings linked to cartels
The three, who were found dead in the back of a truck, were part of a protection team for Cancun’s mayor.
Authorities say they think the men were intercepted on a road near Cancun, then taken to a remote forest, tortured, and killed with a shot to the head.
Drug-related violence claimed more than 5,000 lives in Mexico last year.
Brig Gen Mauro Enrique Tello had only just become a security consultant, having retired from the army on 1 January.
The investigation is ongoing, but Cancun’s local prosecutor has already said that the nature of the murders and the
identity of the victims points to a contract killing by a drug cartel, the BBC’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Mexico City.
The Mexican government, which depends on tourism income, will be determined to ensure that this is an isolated case, he says.
Drug-related violence in Mexico is soaring, as criminal gangs fight both each other and federal forces as they battle to control the immensely lucrative routes trafficking cocaine and other drugs from Colombia to the US.
But most of the violence has been to date been concentrated in Mexico’s Northern border cities.
Cancun, which attracts millions of tourists every year, has largely been spared.
President Felipe Calderon has vowed to destroy the cartels that make billions of dollars trafficking cocaine and other drugs to the United States.
Warrior in Drug Fight Soon Becomes a Victim
Mexican General Seized, Slain in Cancun
Tello, 63, along with his bodyguard and a driver, were kidnapped in downtown Cancun last Monday evening, taken to a hidden location, methodically tortured, then driven out to the jungle and shot in the head. Their bodies were found Tuesday in the cab of a pickup truck on the side of a highway leading out of town. An autopsy revealed that both the general's arms and legs had been broken.
The audacious kidnapping and killing of one of the highest-ranking military officers in Mexico drew immediate expressions of outrage from the top echelons of the Mexican government, which pledged to continue the fight against organized crime that took the lives of more than 5,300 people last year. Military leaders, who are increasingly at the front lines of the war against the cartels, vowed not to let Tello's death go unsolved or unpunished.