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Kidnapped Mexican mayor found dead

08-19-2010 10:34 BJT

Edelmiro Cavazos Leal, the mayor of Santiago, had just returned from a public function when he was abducted Security forces in Mexico have found the body of the kidnapped mayor of the northern city of Santiago. His body was found handcuffed and blindfolded outside the nearby city of Monterrey, local media said.

Aug 18, Mexican militants are on guard around the spot. The mayor's body was found handcuffed and blindfolded outside the nearby city of Monterrey, local media said.
Aug 18, Mexican militants are on guard around the spot. The mayor's body was found 
handcuffed and blindfolded outside the nearby city of Monterrey, local media said.
Edelmiro Cavazos was taken from his home by armed men on Sunday night. Nuevo Leon's state attorney, Alejandro Garza Garza, told local broadcasters that the murder was probably conducted by drug traffickers who wanted to challenge authorities.

"But the only thing they will achieve is to make us, the authorities, unite with more strength against organized crime," said the state attorney.

This was the second murder of a high-profile politician in Mexico this year. At the end of June, Rodolfo Torre Cantu, a gubernatorial candidate for the Institutional Revolution Party ( PRI) in Nuevo Leon's neighboring state Tamaulipas, was gunned down along with four bodyguards during his campaign ahead of the nation 's July 4 regional elections.

The wealthy cities are seen as prime targets for gangs who kidnap for ransom. The Monterrey area has also seen a rise in violence blamed on a turf war between rival drug cartels.

Police said Mr Cavazos had just returned from attending a public function on the town's main square on Sunday when 15 gunmen broke into his home and forced him into a car.

State governor Rodrigo Medina said he believed Mr Cavazos may have been targeted because of his efforts to tackle corruption in the local police force.

The abduction followed a weekend of violence in Monterrey, some 430 miles (700km) north of Mexico City.

On Saturday gangs blockaded 13 major streets in the city, Mexico's third largest.

And on Sunday an explosive device went off in front of the studios of Mexico's largest television network, Televisa.

Nuevo Leon, the northern state where both Monterrey and Santiago are located, has seen a sharp increase in crime since one of the country's most violent drug gangs, Los Zetas, extended its operations there.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Wednesday expressed condolences over the death of Edelmiro Cavazos Leal, the mayor of Santiago, a small town in the northern state Nuevo Leon.

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