Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico Jalisco tourism official shot dead

Investigators at the scene of the killing of Jalisco state's tourism minister
Image caption Police said the tourism minister was ambushed by gunmen in Zapopan

A senior state official has been shot dead in central Mexico.

Jose de Jesus Gallegos was named as tourism minister in Jalisco's state government only 10 days ago. The Jalisco authorities said the attack had nothing to do with Mr Gallegos' current job.

Unconfirmed reports say four people have been detained.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has joined state governor Aristoteles Sandoval in condemning the attack.

Police said Mr Gallegos was attacked by gunmen as he drove through Zapopan, which is part of Guadalajara's metropolitan area.

Initial reports said two vehicles had blocked Mr Gallegos as he was driving on the border area between Zapopan and the state capital, Guadalajara.

Several gunmen opened fire when his car stopped.

"It was probably related to his business activities before he took the job as secretary of tourism," said Jalisco's government secretary, Arturo Zamora.

Federal authorities had been instructed to help local police solve the crime, which Mr Zamora said must not go unpunished.

Mr Gallegos had spent most of his life working in Mexico's tourism industry, but not in the public sector.

Jalisco, known for tequila and mariachi music, was recaptured by the president's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 2012 and the new state government took office on 1 March.

The killing happened a day before the president marks his first one 100 days in office.

Since his inauguration, on December 1st, there have been more than 3,150 violent deaths in Mexico.

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