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Mexican Singer Found Tortured, Shot

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

By LUIS PEREZ, Associated Press Writer

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TIJUANA, Mexico — 

A singer and two members of his staff were found tortured and killed just south of the California border, apparently the latest victims in a string of slayings of Mexican musicians, state prosecutors said Wednesday.

Jesus Rey David Alfaro Pulido, 26, known as "El Gallito," was found strangled and shot in the head last week in Tijuana, said a spokeswoman for the Baja California attorney general's office who wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter. His body was apparently frozen, the spokeswoman said.

Reports had first emerged of the deaths of Alfaro, manager Israel Flores, and his assistant, Jose Guadalupe Topete on Friday. Prosecutors confirmed the deaths on Wednesday.

The killings may have been linked to three others in Tijuana last week, including that of a municipal police officer, the attorney general's office said in a statement.

Many of the bodies bore signs of torture and were left with written notes common in execution-style killings. No arrests have been made in the killings.

Alfaro was the latest Mexican musician killed in a string of murders that include the December death of Sergio Gomez, lead performer for the top-selling group K-Paz de la Sierra, and the November 2006 slaying of Valentin Elizalde.

Some of the dead were singers of so-called "narcocorridos," or drug ballads.

Alfaro mostly sang accordion-based music associated with northern Mexico variously known as "banda" or "grupero" at Tijuana nightclubs. He never made a recording. But he gained local fame for covering some of Elizalde's most famous songs.

Also Wednesday, Mexican authorities said a bus belonging to the grupero band Pesado crashed on a road in Puebla state after its driver fell asleep.

A member of the band's staff was killed and another seriously injured in the Monday night crash, police said. Band members suffered only minor injuries.

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Associated Press writers Istra Pacheco and Jessica Bernstein-Wax in Mexico City and Edmundo Velazquez in Puebla contributed.

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