CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico (AP) — The Mexican government dispatched troops, federal police and criminal investigators to a violence-torn state on the U.S. border on Thursday after the assassination of the governor's nephew sent tremors through one of Coahuila's most powerful political families.
Jose Eduardo Moreira, a 25-year-old state employee, was found shot to death Wednesday night on a rural road outside the town of Ciudad Acuna, across the border from Del Rio, Texas. The victim's father, Humberto, was the state's previous governor and also served as head of the party that won this year's presidential elections, though he was forced out last year amid accusations of mismanaging Coahuila's finances.
Coahuila has been hit by waves of drug cartel-related violence, some of which has targeted state and local officials. The state has been dominated by the ultra-violent, paramilitary Zetas cartel, but the powerful Sinaloa criminal organization is trying to wrest control of key smuggling routes in some areas.
State and federal officials declined to say why Jose Eduardo Moreira may have been killed, but the federal government appeared to be treating the case with a high degree of urgency.
President Felipe Calderon said he had offered his condolences to Coahuila Gov. Ruben Moreira, and "promised him all necessary help from the federal government to launch an efficient, dependable investigation that will allow us to bring the authors of this cowardly act to justice."
Attorney-general Marisela Morales said she was sending a team of federal investigators to help local officials, and Coahuila state prosecutor Homero Ramos said he had been informed that soldiers, marines and federal police were being deployed to his state in reaction to the crime.