Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2013 12pm

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Four charged in tourism minister murder case

Police have arrested four members of a local drug cartel in connection with the slaying of Jalisco Tourism Secretary Jose de Jesus Gallegos Alvarez on March 9.

Gallegos was gunned down in his car in an upmarket area of Guadalajara just four days after assuming the high-profile cabinet post.

According to Jalisco Attorney General Carlos Najera, the four men worked for the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG), allegedly responsible for a string of violent acts in the state over the past few years.

Najera said the detainees revealed that the motive for the slaying was because Gallegos “gave financial support to a rival cartel,” but did not elaborate any further.  He stressed that state and federal investigators will need to examine the financial accounts of the former tourism secretary to verify if there is any truth to the claim he had links to a drug cartel.

Back in March, the attorney general had stated that the murder was definitely not a “political hit” and suggested Gallegos’ business affairs were behind the crime.

Gallegos was being driven to his home in Puerta de Hierro when he was attacked by gunmen in two vehicles at the intersection of Acueducto and Paseo de los Parques in Colinas de San Javier neighborhood.  Investigators found that 16 shots had been fired from two different nine-millimeter handguns.

Najera said that as many as 15 people are implicated in the crime.

Once the fierce enemies of the Zeta Cartel, the CJNG’s closest rivals are now Los Coroneles, allies of the Federacion de Sinaloa, along with Los Caballeros Templarios and the Gulf Cartel, say sources that study the criminal underworld. 

At a press conference Tuesday, Najera said the four men were also linked to other killings in the metropolitan area, including the murder of Venezuelan model Daisy Ferrer Arenas, who was abducted in Guadalajara’s Colonia Chapalita on December 14 and found several days later in a canal to the north of the metropolitan area.  Authorities have yet to reveal the motive for this crime, although two men, allegedly members of the CJNG, were arrested in connection with the case at the end of February. Those arrests came shortly after the mother of Ferrer filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission, criticizing the slow speed of the investigation and the refusal of authorities to keep her updated on her daughter’s case. search box.)

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