Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mayor-elect shot as hits on Mexico politicos climb

The mayor-elect of a small town near Oaxaca state's Pacific coast has been shot to death, the latest in a string of politicial figures who have been slain in Mexico this year. Antonio Jimenez Banos, 47, who would have taken office in January in Martires de Tacubaya, was killed Friday afternoon by an assailant as he was returning to his farm. He was hit in the head and chest apparently with a shotgun, prosecutors said. Eleven sitting mayors have been killed so far this year in Mexico. Two of them were also in Oaxaca, but most of the killings have been in northern states plagued by drug gang violence. Candidates and representatives-elect have also been assassinated. The most brazen was a deadly ambush of a gubernatorial candidate earlier this year in the border state of Tamaulipas, where two drug cartels are fighting a bloody battle for territory and transit routes to the United States. Mexican drug cartels have increasingly targeted local elected officials as they fight the government and each other. They use isolated, lightly patrolled towns to hide and to stash kidnap victims, weapons and drugs and seek to co-opt or eliminate authorities to assert their control...more

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