GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The former governor of the Pacific state of Colima was shot dead late Sunday morning by a group of armed men, authorities said.
Silverio Cavazos Ceballos, 41, who left office a year ago, was killed outside his home in the capital city also called Colima, the state Attorney General's Office said.
Cavazos was accompanied by Rafael Gutierrez Villalobos, the state's economic development secretary, who was wounded in the attack, though authorities didn't say how gravely.
The suspects fled in a truck after firing on Cavazos and Gutierrez, who were both taken to a clinic where Cavazos later died.
Cavazos took office in 2005 after the previous governor died in plane crash. In 2008, he accompanied President Felipe Calderon on a trip to Los Angeles to meet with political officials and immigrant groups, along with two other governors from Mexican states with heavy migration to the U.S.
He was a former state legislator with a law degree from the University of Colima.
Calderon offered his condolences to Cavazos' family Sunday and instructed his interior minister to help state authorities with the investigation.
The attorney general did not give a motive for Sunday's killing, but organized crime in Mexico has increasingly targeted political figures and their relatives for assassination.
Most recently, the brother of the former state prosecutor in Chihuahua was kidnapped and killed. A video of him, at gunpoint, claiming ties to drug traffickers was posted on the Internet.
A gubernatorial candidate in the northeastern border state of Tamaulipas was murdered earlier this year, and at least a dozen mayors and mayors-elect have been killed so far in 2010.
Colima is a small coastal state south of Guadalajara and is home to the major port of Manzanillo, the scene of many sizable seizures of chemicals and cash believed linked to drug traffic.
Authorities found 200 tons of precursor chemicals for making synthetic drugs at the port in August, the biggest seizure of such chemicals in Mexico. The port's captain was arrested in May and accused of drug-trafficking ties.