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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Bodies of a retired Mexican brigadier general and two other men were found Tuesday in a sport utility vehicle abandoned on a highway outside of Cancun

Bodies of a retired Mexican brigadier general and two other men were found Tuesday in a sport utility vehicle abandoned on a highway outside of Cancun, the resort's mayor said. All had been shot many times.Mayor Gregorio Sanchez identified the victims as retired army Brig. Gen. Mauro Enrique Tello, his assistant Tulio Cesar Roman, an active-duty infantry lieutenant, and civilian Juan Ramirez.Tello had been working as a security consultant to the local government when he was killed.There was speculation that the slayings were intended as a warning to Cancun officials, some of whom have sought to rid the popular beach resort of drug traffickers and other gangsters.Elsewhere in Mexico, 14 people were reported killed between Monday night and late Tuesday afternoon in the border state of Chihuahua. Most of the dead were found in Ciudad Juarez.In one incident, a man and a woman were gunned down in a supermarket parking lot and a third person was killed in the checkout line.
Officials said they had not located any suspects or uncovered any clear motive in the killings, part of a wave of mostly drug-related violence.More than 5,000 homicides linked to organized crime were reported last year amid a battle among the world's most powerful drug cartels for territory and resistance to a two-year government crackdown on the cartels.Also Tuesday, a police station near the port of Lazaro Cardenas came under intense gunfire before dawn, killing officer Jose Cruz Zamorano as he sat in a parked patrol car, state police said in a statement. Another officer inside the station was injured.Authorities set up roadblocks to catch the attackers.In the northern border city of Tijuana on Tuesday, 55 city police officers were fired as part of the government's efforts to fight corruption. Police Chief Julian Leyzaola said the officers were involved in extorsion and often missed work.Tijuana has fired 350 police officers since December 2007, when Mayor Jorge Ramos took office.


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