Latin America & Caribbean

Gunmen in Mexico kill former governor of Colima state

File photo of Silverio Cavazos Ceballos from 2006
Image caption Silverio Cavazos Ceballos was governor from 2005 until November 2009

Gunmen have killed the former governor of the Mexican state of Colima, an attack condemned as a "cowardly murder" by President Felipe Calderon.

Silverio Cavazos Ceballos, 41, died in hospital after being shot on the steps of his house in the state capital.

Prosecutors are investigating the motive for the attack on Mr Cavazos, who had left office a year ago.

But regional politicians, including mayors and governors, are increasingly being targeted by Mexico's drug gangs.

A candidate for governor in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas was killed in June as he campaigned for election

More than a dozen mayors and mayors-elect have also been murdered this year.

Mr Cavazos, from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Pri), was hit as he and his wife were leaving their home in the city of Colima. He suffered fatal injuries, while she was also wounded.

He had been state governor from 2005 until November 2009.

Colima, a small state on Mexico's Pacific coast, has been relatively free of the violence suffered by some other parts of the country.

More than 30,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Calderon began deploying troops to crack down on organised crime.

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