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Director of Miss World Mexico killed in targeted attack

JUAREZ, MEXICO - MARCH 25:  Police stand near the car where the body of a 13 year old boy lies dead, one of numerous murders over a 24 hour period, on March 25, 2010 in Juarez, Mexico. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano all visited Mexico on March 23 for discussions centered on Mexico's endemic drug-related violence. The border city of Juarez, Mexico has been racked by violent drug related crime recently and has quickly become one of the most dangerous cities in the world to live. As drug cartels have been fighting over ever lucrative drug corridors along the United States border, the murder rate in Juarez has risen to 173 slayings for every 100,000 residents. President Felipe Calderon's strategy of sending 7000 troops to Juarez has not mitigated the situation. With a population of 1.3 million, 2,600 people died in drug-related violence last year and 500 so far this year, including two Americans recently who worked for the U.S. Consulate and were killed as they returned from a children's party.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

JUAREZ, MEXICO - MARCH 25: Police stand near the car where the body of a 13 year old boy lies dead, one of numerous murders over a 24 hour period, on March 25, 2010 in Juarez, Mexico. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano all visited Mexico on March 23 for discussions centered on Mexico's endemic drug-related violence. The border city of Juarez, Mexico has been racked by violent drug related crime recently and has quickly become one of the most dangerous cities in the world to live. As drug cartels have been fighting over ever lucrative drug corridors along the United States border, the murder rate in Juarez has risen to 173 slayings for every 100,000 residents. President Felipe Calderon's strategy of sending 7000 troops to Juarez has not mitigated the situation. With a population of 1.3 million, 2,600 people died in drug-related violence last year and 500 so far this year, including two Americans recently who worked for the U.S. Consulate and were killed as they returned from a children's party. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

The director of the Miss World Mexico beauty pageant was found murdered on Sunday in what authorities are calling a targeted attack. 

Authorities in northern Mexico said Tuesday the murder of the director of the Miss World Mexico beauty pageant was a targeted killing.

A Sinaloa state official who was not authorized to be quoted by name said that armed men stopped Hugo Castellanos in a vehicle he was travelling in and kidnapped him. They apparently let his companions go and then killed him.

Castellanos' body was found Sunday in a stolen vehicle, along with cash and documents, in the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacán.

The area is known for its drug trade and drug capos have been known to bribe or pressure pageants to award titles to their girlfriends. Prosecutors are investigating possible motives, and the official said they have not ruled out the idea of a link between the killing and the pageant business.

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According to local media, Castellanos had attended a Miss Sinaloa pageant before he was kidnapped and killed.

And in southern Mexico, meanwhile, prosecutors said five men died late Monday in a hail of bullets outside a bar near the Guerrero state capital of Chilpancingo. A total of 123 shell casings from assault rifles were found at the scene of the shootings.

Prosecutors said the motive in the attack is still under investigation. The area is known for drug violence and the cultivation of opium poppies.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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