The killing of a Canadian citizen in this western Mexican city appears to be the work of organized crime, authorities said Monday.
Acting on a tip from the public, police found the body of Salid Abdulacis Sabas before dawn at an intersection in the Tres Rios neighborhood of Culiacan, capital of Sinaloa state.
“The individual’s body presented nine impacts from .45 caliber bullets,” most of them in the head, a technician at the medical examiner’s office told Efe.
While the motive for the murder remains under investigation, authorities suspect the involvement of organized crime, the technician said.
Sinaloa, the birthplace of the first generation of Mexican drug lords, is the bastion of the cartel led by the fugitive Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, whose name appears on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s wealthiest people.
In recent years, however, the Sinaloa cartel has faced challenges even on its home turf.
Separately, two men were found slain in the central city of Leon, where Pope Benedict XVI will stay during his visit to Mexico in March, officials said.
The victims were likely between the ages of 40 and 50 and both bore gunshot wounds to the head, according to the Attorney General’s Office of Guanajuato state, where Leon is located.
The state AG’s office learned about the double homicide in the normally tranquil city shortly before midday Sunday and had the bodies removed from the side of a road.
Municipal authorities said a pedestrian found the slain men lying on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs.
Although the pope also will visit the cities of Guanajuato and Silao during his March 23-26 visit to Mexico, he will spend each night at a convent in Leon.
Mexico is mired in a wave of organized crime-related violence that left 47,515 dead between December 2006 - when President Felipe Calderon took office and militarized the struggle against the country’s heavily armed, well-funded drug mobs - and Sept. 30, 2011, according to official figures.
The federal Attorney General’s Office said last week in announcing the updated death toll that 70 percent of the homicides were concentrated in eight of Mexico’s 31 states.
Guanajuato is not among those eight states.