18 die in wave of violence in southern Mexico

Mexico City, Aug 11 (IANS) At least 13 people were killed in a wave of violence in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero over the weekend and the bodies of five others were found in a mass grave, the media reported.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, a vigilante leader who participated in the search for the 43 education students who disappeared in the city of Iguala last year, was among the victims, reports Efe.

The killings on Saturday and Sunday followed the recent upward trend in the murder rate in Guerrero, which has been governed by Rogelio Ortega since October 2014, the El Sur newspaper said.

Police found a clandestine grave on Sunday in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco that contained the bodies of four men and a woman.

Three of the victims had been dead for at least a month, while the other two were murdered in the past week, the newspaper said, citing prosecutors.

Jimenez, the leader of the UPOEG community self-defence group in Xaltianguis, was gunned down on Saturday while driving his taxi.

The vigilante leader was killed near Xaltianguis, located in a rural area outside Acapulco.

Jimenez “played an important role in the search for the 43 students” who disappeared on Sept. 26 and in turning up dozens of clandestine graves in Iguala, UPOEG member Bruno Placido told EFE.

The vigilante leader received death threats in Iguala and a month ago he noticed that he was being watched, Placido said.

In Iguala, where the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School students disappeared at the hands of municipal police officers acting on orders from corrupt local officials on the payroll of the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, a merchant was gunned down on Saturday night and another was stabbed.

A total of 509 people have been killed this year in the wave of drug-related violence in the state, El Sur said.

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