Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The top security official in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon has been found shot dead and burned inside a truck in the city of Monterrey

The governor's office has confirmed the death of Homero Guillermo Salcido Trevino, head of the control, command and communications operations for the state police. He suffered five bullet wounds, and his body was set on fire inside his official truck. Eighteen people have also been killed in Padilla in the neighboring state of Tamaulipas, prosecutors said in a statement. Five Padilla residents were among those killed along with six people traveling in the city. Another seven bodies were dumped in the town square, the prosecutors said. Tamaulipas is in the central northeast of Mexico, bordering Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. The state prosecutors said state and local authorities were working the case and pledged cooperation with federal authorities as well. Northern Mexico has been plagued by a steady stream of violence fueled by the lucrative drug trade in Mexico. According to the government, there have been more than 34,600 drug-related deaths since December 2006. Alejandro Poire, Mexico's national security spokesman, said that half of the more than 15,000 drug-related deaths in 2010 occurred in just three of the country's 32 states -- Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas. Thirty percent of the total is in Chihuahua alone, with most of those in Ciudad Juarez across the border from El Paso, Texas.

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