World

Mexico's New State Tourism Minister Assassinated

JUAREZ, MEXICO - MARCH 19:  A member of the Mexican Army keeps guard near the site of a recent murder on March 19, 2010 in Juarez, Mexico. The border city of Juarez has been racked by violent drug-related crime, making it among the most dangerous cities in the world. As competing drug cartels fight over lucrative drug corridors along the U.S. border, the murder rate in Juarez has risen to 173 slayings for every 100,000 residents. President Felipe Calderon in 2009 disbanded the corrupt local police force and sent 10,000 soldiers to Juarez, but the violence has raged on. With a population of 1.3 million in Juarez, 2,600 died in drug-related violence last year and 500 so far this year, including two Americans who worked for the U.S. Consulate last weekend as they returned from a children?s party.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

JUAREZ, MEXICO - MARCH 19: A member of the Mexican Army keeps guard near the site of a recent murder on March 19, 2010 in Juarez, Mexico. The border city of Juarez has been racked by violent drug-related crime, making it among the most dangerous cities in the world. As competing drug cartels fight over lucrative drug corridors along the U.S. border, the murder rate in Juarez has risen to 173 slayings for every 100,000 residents. President Felipe Calderon in 2009 disbanded the corrupt local police force and sent 10,000 soldiers to Juarez, but the violence has raged on. With a population of 1.3 million in Juarez, 2,600 died in drug-related violence last year and 500 so far this year, including two Americans who worked for the U.S. Consulate last weekend as they returned from a children?s party. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

The newly appointed tourism minister in western Jalisco state was shot to death Saturday while driving in a suburb of Guadalajara in an attack that may have been related to his business dealings, authorities said.

Jose de Jesus Gallegos Alvarez was shot with a 9-mm pistol during a chase as he drove his Toyota SUV in Zapopan, State Government General Secretary Arturo Zamora said.

He said preliminary investigations indicated the attack was not related to Gallegos' 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, Zamora said.

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

Gallegos was to serve under new Gov. Aristoteles Sandoval, who was just sworn in March 1.

According to profile material, Gallegos, an engineer, was founder and president of Jegal Project and Construction Management, a key developer of the Mayan Resorts and several condominium towers in Guadalajara and resort cities such as Acapulco, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.

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

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

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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