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Originally published Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 5:43 PM

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New state tourism minister assassinated in Mexico

The recently appointed tourism minister in western Jalisco state was shot to death Saturday while driving in a suburb of Guadalajara in an attack that may have been related to his business dealings, authorities said.

The Associated Press

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico —

The recently appointed tourism minister in western Jalisco state was shot to death Saturday while driving in a suburb of Guadalajara in an attack that may have been related to his business dealings, authorities said.

Jose de Jesus Gallegos Alvarez was shot with a 9-mm pistol during a chase as he drove his Toyota SUV in Zapopan, State Government General Secretary Arturo Zamora said.

He said preliminary investigations indicated the attack was not related to Gallegos' work promoting tourism. Jalisco is home to Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city, as well as such popular Mexican traditions as mariachi music and tequila.

The attack may have had to do with his private business dealings, Zamora said.

"We are working to resolve this case to the ultimate consequences," he said. "The state will not allow such acts."

Gallegos was to serve under new Gov. Aristoteles Sandoval, who was just sworn in March 1.

According to profile material, Gallegos, an engineer, was founder and president of Jegal Project and Construction Management, a key developer of the Mayan Resorts and several condominium towers in Guadalajara and resort cities such as Acapulco, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.

Local political and police officials are often targets of assassinations in Mexico, but rarely tourism officials.

President Enrique Pena Nieto condemned the attack in his Twitter account and said he had ordered a thorough investigation to bring those responsible to justice.

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