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Mexican musician decapitated in triple homicide

July 22, 2016

Gunmen in Mexico have beheaded a musician and killed his wife and child, possibly linked to a dispute between rival gangs. The multiple murder was the second in less than a week in Oaxaca state.

An armed policeman
Image: Getty Images/AFP/L. Acosta

An armed group was said to have entered the family's home, in the city of Juchitan, Oaxaca state, at about 2 a.m. local time on Thursday.

A police statement said the gunmen decapitated 30-year-old Victor Sanchez, a singer with the tropical band Sensacion Caribu, and gunned down his wife and 11-year-old son.

The Oaxaca state prosecutor's office said a sign left at the scene suggested the killings were connected to a dispute between rival gangs. The office also said shots had been fired at the family home months earlier, with a note threatening the musician with death.

It was the second multiple slaughter this week in Oaxaca, which normally escapes the worst of Mexico's drug violence.

On Monday, eight shark fishermen from the same family were killed in the beach resort of Puerto Escondido. Authorities said they were looking into the possibility that the fisherman were involved in other activities while at sea, possibly alluding to drug smuggling.

Journalist gunned down

Meanwhile, in the eastern state of Veracruz, local journalist Pedro Tamayo was shot dead outside his home. The 43-year-old was gunned down by two assassins, prosecutors said.

An editorial in the newspaper he worked for, El Pinero de la Cuenca, said Tamayo "documented the acts of violence and social protest in his hometown," as well as reporting extensively on crime.

At least 17 journalists have been murdered in Veracruz since late 2010, while others have disappeared.

The Mexican government on Thursday reported that the rate of homicides had risen by 15.4 percent in the first half of 2016, compared with the last six months of 2015.

The figures remained below those for 2011, the peak year for violence during Mexico's drug wars, but did mark a further increase in violence.

Violent teachers protests in southern Mexico

rc/gsw (AFP AP)