By: The Herald Tribune
A municipal commissioner and his son were murdered over the weekend in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, prosecutors said.
Rito Grado Serrano and his son, Rigoberto Grado Villa, were killed at their house in Ciudad Juarez, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, on Saturday night.
Several gunmen went to the house after 8:00 p.m. Saturday and opened fire on the 59-year-old Grado Serrano and his 37-year-old son, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.
Grado Serrano, who served as municipal commissioner in El Porvenir, was shot five times inside his residence, while his son was gunned down in the house’s garage.
Investigators found 22 bullet casings from AK-47 assault rifles, the favorite weapon of Mexican hit men, at the crime scene.
The Government Secretariat condemned the killings in a statement released on Sunday.
“Incidents like this one strengthen the federal government’s commitment to engaging unwaveringly and with the full force of the state the criminal gangs that threaten the peace of Mexican families,” the secretariat said.
Grado Serrano had received death threats in El Porvenir, a community of about 1,000 residents, and moved to Ciudad Juarez, located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of the town, Mexican media reported.
Municipal commissioners serve as a type of intermediary between a mayor and residents of a specific community in Chihuahua’s towns and cities.
Officials in Praxedis G. Guerrero, the city where El Porvenir is located, confirmed to Efe that the victims were a father and son.
“The purging and professionalization of security and justice institutions” will continue to restore citizen safety across the country, the Government Secretariat said.
The wave of drug-related violence in Mexico has left more than 28,000 people dead.
The violence has claimed the lives of 12 mayors and Tamaulipas gubernatorial candidate Rodolfo Torre Cantu this year.
Chihuahua, one of the country’s most dangerous states, is home to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital.
More than 7,000 gangland killings have occurred so far this year in Mexico, according to officials, while the death toll for all of 2009 was 7,724.