Mexican mayor found dead 3 days after kidnapping

The kidnapped mayor of a northern Mexican town was found dead, extending a rash of deadly attacks on political figures in an area besieged by drug gang battles.

Mexican mayor found dead 3 days after kidnapping

The kidnapped mayor of a northern Mexican town was found dead Wednesday, extending a rash of deadly attacks on political figures in an area besieged by drug gang battles.

Santiago Mayor Edelmiro Cavazos' body was found near a waterfall outside his town, a popular weekend getaway for residents of the industrial city of Monterrey, said Nuevo Leon state attorney general Alejandro Garza y Garza.

Police have not determined a motive, but the assassination bore the hallmarks of drug cartels waging vicious turf battles in northeastern Mexico: Cavazos' hands were bound and his head was wrapped in tape.

Heavily armed soldiers patrolled the area and helicopters flew overhead as dozens of residents of the colonial tourist town lit candles, wept and held hands in Santiago's cobblestone square.

Garza, the attorney general in the border state of Nuevo Leon, which includes Santiago and Monterrey, 140 miles (230 km) from Texas, said Cavazos was shot three times and accused drug cartels of being responsible for the killing.

Nuevo Leon Governor Rodrigo Medina urged Calderon to send more troops to Monterrey and surrounding areas, echoing a plea from Mexican business groups published in newspapers across the country.

Medina said this week that Cavazos, who took office last year, was probably targeted for his efforts to clean up Santiago's corrupt police force, part of a nationwide effort to curb endemic police graft.

The mayor of the wealthy San Pedro Garza Garcia municipality, part of Monterrey, said drug gangs had threatened Cavazos directly late last year.

"When the mayor took office, he told me that criminal groups had gone to see him, saying: either you join us or we eliminate you," Mayor Mauricio Fernandez told local radio.

Santiago, a popular weekend getaway for Monterrey residents, has also become a staging post for drug gangs smuggling narcotics north into the United States. Many capos have taken refuge in mansions nestled in surrounding hills.


Agencies

Last Mod: 19 Ağustos 2010, 17:12
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