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Mexico mayor found murdered
The body of Santiago's mayor found days after he was abducted by suspected drug hitmen.
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2010 20:24 GMT
Cavazos was known for his tough stance
against organised crime [File: Reuters]

The mayor of the northern Mexican town of Santiago has been found dead, days after he was abducted by suspected drug hitmen.

Security forces in Nuevo Leon state found the body of Edelmiro Cavazos dumped on a rural road early on Wednesday, blindfolded with his hands tied.

He was the fifth Mexican mayor to be killed this year, and officials said he was targeted for his efforts to fight corruption within his city's police force.

The attorney general in Nuevo Leon said drug cartels were behind the killing.

Cavazos had been forced from his home by armed men wearing out-of-date federal police uniforms on Sunday.

His bodyguard, the only witness to the abduction, was later found bruised but otherwise unhurt, locked in the boot of a car.

'Cowardly assassination'

Felipe Calderon, the president, who has staked his reputation on tackling the drug cartels, condemned the "cowardly assassination."

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"The murder of Edelmiro is an outrage and forces us to redouble our efforts to fight these cowardly criminals," Calderon wrote in an update on the microblogging service Twitter.

Santiago has become a staging post for drug gangs smuggling narcotics north into the United States.

The town is at the outskirts of the city of Monterrey, where drug violence has surged as a dispute between the powerful Gulf cartel and its former armed wing, the Zetas, turned into all-out war since the start of this year.

Leading local business groups published a full-page statement in Mexican newspapers on Wednesday urging Calderon to send more troops to Monterrey and called on local, state and the federal government to stop blaming one another for the violence and do more to stop it.

More than 28,000 people have died in suspected drug violence since the end of 2006, when Calderon launched a controversial military crackdown on organised crime.

Source:
Agencies
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