Northern Mexico: anti-drug federal prosecutor killed

An anti-drug federal prosecutor was shot and killed while driving in a Monterrey suburb, police said Tuesday. Police said Miguel Esquivel, 42, was shot late Monday in the city of Guadalupe, where he was assigned to a federal task force against organized crime. Witnesses told investigators an unknown number of gunmen had been chasing Esquivel and opened fire from a white car. A man who was riding with Esquivel was being questioned but authorities have made no arrests and have yet to determine a motive for the killing.

In Nuevo Laredo, a 24-year-old man was shot to death Monday while he washed his pickup truck in a downtown neighborhood. Oscar Martinez was shot at least 12 times by a lone gunman who escaped in a car. Martinez died minutes after arriving at a hospital, said Victor Almanza, an investigator for Tamaulipas state, which includes Nuevo Laredo. Since January, more than 130 people have been killed in drug-related violence in the border city across from Laredo, Texas, according to the AP.

The border region in northeast Mexico has seen a sharp increase in drug-related killings after the man alleged to be the area's top drug lord, Osiel Cardenas, was arrested in 2003 during a shootout in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas. AM

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