MEXICO CITY (AP) — Gunmen in Mexico killed a mayor in the western state of Colima and wounded another in the neighboring state of Michoacan in separate attacks on Friday, officials said.
There was no immediate information on possible motives in the attacks, but dozens of mayors have been shot to death in Mexico in recent years, often by drug gangs or corrupt police.
The Colima state prosecutors' office said Mayor Crispin Gutierrez Moreno of the town of Ixtlahuacan was shot dead Friday as he drove on a highway.
Police partly shut down the highway in a search for suspects, and Colima Gov. Jose Peralta vowed the crime wouldn't go unpunished.
"This terrible act confirms just how big a challenge that all three levels of government have in law enforcement," Peralta said.
In Michoacan, state police say Jose Misael Gonzalez, mayor of the town of Coalcoman, was shot in the shoulder early Friday. He was in stable condition, but one of his bodyguards was more seriously wounded.
State and federal forces set up checkpoints and conducted aerial patrols in the area to try to find the attackers.
Gonzalez participated in a 2013 vigilante movement that largely kicked the Knights Templar drug cartel out of the state.
Experts say corrupt police have killed mayors who try to clean up local forces, while drug gangs have killed mayors because they resisted attempts to extort money from local government or refused to allow gangs to operate.