Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Tourism minister shot in Mexico

Local political and police officials are often targets of assassinations in Mexico

The recently appointed tourism minister in western Mexican state of Jalisco was fatally shot on Saturday.

The attack on Jose de Jesus Gallegos Alvarez, while he was driving in a suburb of Guadalajara, may have been related to his business dealings, authorities said.

He was shot with a 9-mm pistol during a chase as he drove his car in Zapopan, state government general secretary Arturo Zamora said.

He said preliminary investigations indicated the attack was not related to his work promoting tourism.

Jalisco is home to Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city, as well as such popular Mexican traditions as mariachi music and tequila.

The attack may have had to do with his private business dealings, Mr Zamora said.

"We are working to resolve this case to the ultimate consequences," he said. "The state will not allow such acts."

Mr Gallegos, an engineer, was founder and president of a firm that was a key developer of the Mayan Resorts and several tower blocks in Guadalajara and other resort cities such as Acapulco.

Local political and police officials are often targets of assassinations in Mexico, but rarely tourism officials.

President Enrique Pena Nieto condemned the attack on his Twitter account and said he had ordered a thorough investigation to bring those responsible to justice.

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