Burned body found in central Mexico was kidnapped lawmaker

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 24, 2014 11:45 AM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican state prosecutors said on Wednesday the charred body of a man found in central Mexico this week was that of kidnapped federal congressman Gabriel Gomez.

Arturo Nahle, attorney general of the state of Zacatecas, told local radio that criminal gangs were probably responsible for the killing of Gomez, who was abducted with an aide in Mexico's second largest city of Guadalajara on Monday.

The second of two charred corpses found in Gomez's car on Tuesday has not yet been identified, Nahle said.

Mexican media published a series of pictures from a security camera that they reported showed the kidnapping of the 49-year-old Gomez, a member of President Enrique Pena Nieto's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

In the photos, men are seen taking command of Gomez's car after boxing it in on a highway on the outskirts of Guadalajara, the capital of the western state of Jalisco.

About 90,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since then-President Felipe Calderon sent in the military to crush warring drug cartels at the end of 2006.

A number of local politicians have been killed, but murders of federal lawmakers are rare. Nevertheless, Jalisco has suffered outbreaks of gang violence, and in March 2013 the state's tourism minister was shot dead by gunmen in Guadalajara.

Jalisco is the base of the Jalisco New Generation cartel, a relatively new gang that security experts say has made large inroads in territory controlled by more established groups.

Mexico's murder rate has fallen since Pena Nieto replaced Calderon at the end of 2012. But crimes such as kidnapping and extortion have risen.

(Reporting by Roberto Aguilar; Editing by Dave Graham and Jeffrey Benkoe)