Gunmen ambushed and killed a top police commander and then set his car on fire in the northern Mexican border state of Nuevo Leon, authorities said Monday.

Homero Salcido Trevino's body was found Sunday night inside a smoldering car abandoned in downtown Monterrey, the state government said in a statement. Monterrey is the capital of Nuevo Leon and Mexico's third-largest city.

Salcido Trevino was the director of the state's intelligence and security center, a job he had taken in August. He was shot at least five times, said the statement, which offered no additional details.
Local news media reported that Salcido Trevino, who was the nephew of former state Public Safety Secretary Luis Carlos Trevino Berchelmann, had been kidnapped hours earlier as he left his home. Authorities would not comment on the reports.

Nuevo Leon state, which shares a border with Texas, has been hit by a wave of drug-fueled violence in recent years. The area has been traumatized by battles between the Gulf drug cartel and a gang of its former enforcers known as the Zetas.

Nationwide, almost 35,000 people have been killed in drug violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown against drug trafficking shortly after taking office in December 2006.

In the Pacific coast resort city of Acapulco, police discovered three dead men from a car left in the parking lot of a state prison Sunday, authorities said Monday. A fourth man was found alive in the car with bullet wounds in the face and neck, Guerrero state police said.

A dozen people were killed in Acapulco over the weekend, including a prison guard, authorities said.