Mexico lawmaker killed by 'drug cartel'

Gabriel Gomez is the most senior politician to be killed since Rodolfo Torre, a gubernatorial candidate for the violence-wracked northeastern border state of Tamaulipas, was assassinated in 2010.

Mexico lawmaker killed by 'drug cartel'

World Bulletin/News Desk

Mexican federal congressman Gabriel Gomez, the most high-profile politician murdered in recent years, was likely executed by a drug cartel, a state prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Gomez was kidnapped with an aide in Mexico's second-largest city of Guadalajara on Monday. Their charred remains were found in a burned-out pickup truck the following day. The identities of Gomez and his assistant Heriberto Nunez were confirmed on Wednesday.

Authorities have so far given no motive for the murder. Gomez is the most senior politician to be killed since Rodolfo Torre, a gubernatorial candidate for the violence-wracked northeastern border state of Tamaulipas, was assassinated in 2010.

Arturo Nahle, attorney general of the state of Zacatecas where Gomez's body was found, told local radio that the Jalisco New Generation cartel was probably behind the killing due to the nature of the abduction. The cartel is a relatively new gang that security experts say has made large inroads in territory controlled by more established groups.

"This is a classic organized crime execution," said Nahle.

"You only have to see the video, the weapons they're carrying, the number of people involved in the kidnapping," he added, referring to a series of still photos from a video released by Mexican media that showed the kidnapping of 49-year-old Gomez, a member of President Enrique Pena Nieto's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

In the photos, taken from a roadside security camera, men are seen taking command of Gomez's car after boxing it in on a highway on the outskirts of Guadalajara, the capital of the western state of Jalisco.

The fact that the kidnappers did not ask the men's families for a ransom also pointed to a gangland execution, Nahle said.

About 90,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since then-President Felipe Calderon sent in the military to crush warring drug cartels at the end of 2006.

A number of local politicians have been killed, but murders of federal lawmakers are rare. Nevertheless, Jalisco has suffered outbreaks of gang violence, and in March 2013 the state's tourism minister was shot dead by gunmen in Guadalajara.

Mexico's murder rate has fallen since Pena Nieto replaced Calderon at the end of 2012. But crimes such as kidnapping and extortion have risen.

Last Mod: 25 Eylül 2014, 10:53
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