Fourth Mexican mayor killed

2010-09-24 18:00

Monterrer - Gunmen killed a town mayor near the drug-plagued industrial city of Monterrey, authorities said on Friday, the fourth mayor in northern Mexico to be murdered in little more than a month.

Prisciliano Rodriguez Salinas was gunned down along with another employee of the town of Doctor Gonzalez, about 50km east of Monterrey, the Nuevo Leon state Attorney General's Office said.

Though the office provided no details on who was responsible, drug gangs warring for territory and smuggling routes in northern Mexico have increasingly targeted political figures in the region.

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.

It was followed two weeks later by a fatal attack on Mayor Marco Antonio Leal Garcia in Hidalgo, a town in violence-plagued Tamaulipas.

Hooded gunmen shot to death Mayor Alexander Lopez Garcia in the town of El Naranjo in San Luis Potosi state on September 8. The methods used in all three slayings were similar to those used by Mexico's drug cartels.

In June, gunmen killed the leading gubernatorial candidate in Tamaulipas state.

More than 28 000 people have been killed by drug-related violence since Calderon launched his attack on drug cartels in late 2006.