Los Angeles Times - - The World - Tracy Wilkin­son re­port­ing from MEX­ICO CITY wilkin­

Armed as­sas­sins have killed a fourth Mex­i­can mayor in less than six weeks as drug war vi­o­lence con­tin­ues to en­gulf for­merly calm parts of the coun­try, au­thor­i­ties said Fri­day.

As­sailants Thurs­day night am­bushed Priscil­iano Ro­driguez Sali­nas at his ranch home near the in­dus­trial cen­ter of Mon­ter­rey, in the north­ern state of Nuevo Leon. Ro­driguez was mayor of the town of Doc­tor Gon­za­lez, just north­east of Mon­ter­rey.

Also Fri­day, Ri­cardo So­lis, who was to be sworn in as mayor of an­other town in two weeks, was shot in the border state of Chi­huahua, news re­ports from the re­gion said. He was in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

Ro­driguez was killed along with an em­ployee, said Ale­jan­dro Garza, at­tor­ney gen­eral for Nuevo Leon. Garza said the mo­tive for the shoot­ings re­mained un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The govern­ment of Pres­i­dent Felipe Calderon con­demned the “cow­ardly” killings and pledged to con­tinue fight­ing drug car­tels.

Mon­ter­rey, Mex­ico’s third-largest and most af­flu­ent city, was once deemed rel­a­tively safe and tran­quil.

But for the last year or so, ri­val drug car­tels have been fight­ing for con­trol of the area, touch­ing off gun bat­tles in the streets and driv­ing res­i­dents to flee to Mex­ico City or the United States.

An­other mayor of a Mon­ter­rey sub­urb was as­sas­si­nated in mid-Au­gust. Edelmiro Cava­zos of the pop­u­lar tourist town of San­ti­ago was found dead Aug. 18 af­ter sus­pected drug traf­fick­ers had kid­napped him three days ear­lier.

Six po­lice of­fi­cers were ar­rested in con­nec­tion with his slay­ing.

In the days since, a mayor was killed in vi­o­lent Ta­mauli­pas state, and an­other was shot to death by as­sailants who burst into his of­fice in the state of San Luis Po­tosi.

Also Fri­day, New York­based Hu­man Rights Watch re­leased a let­ter ad­dressed to Calderon ac­cus­ing the pres­i­dent of de­liv­er­ing “con­tra­dic­tory mes­sages” in the face of an “alarm­ing” rise in hu­man rights abuses com­mit­ted by fed­eral troops.

The group said Calderon speaks of the cen­tral im­por­tance of hu­man rights pro­tec­tion but then un­der­mines that com­mit­ment by be­lit­tling cases or fail­ing to push for pros­e­cu­tion of sol­diers ac­cused of rape, tor­ture and un­law­ful killings.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.