Mexican mayor found dead as violence escalates

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The Independent US

The Mexican security forces found the body of a mayor near Mexico's affluent city of Monterrey yesterday, days after he was abducted by drug hitmen, officials and local media said.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon, in a posting on his Twitter account, said he was sorry about the "cowardly assassination" of Mayor Edelmiro Cavazos, the mayor of a popular tourist town on the outskirts of Monterrey, a major industrial centre with close US business links.

"The murder of Edelmiro is an outrage and forces us to redouble our efforts to fight these cowardly criminals," Mr Calderon wrote.

Monterrey-based daily El Norte and local TV networks said the body of Mr Cavazos was found bound and dumped on a rural road. The attorney general in the border state of Nuevo Leon, which includes Santiago and Monterrey, confirmed the body discovered was that of Mr Cavazos.

The killing of Mr Cavazos, who was taken from his Santiago home on Sunday night, underscores the escalation in violence in Mexico's richest city, which is moving toward the centre of the country's spiralling drug war.

Nuevo Leon Governor Rodrigo Medina said this week Mr Cavazos, a member of Mr Calderon's conservative National Action Party, was probably targeted for his efforts to clean up Santiago's corrupt police force.

The killing marks the first time drug gangs have gone directly after public officials in the state.

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