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Jun 23, 6:58 PM EDT

Activist in Mexico disappeared search killed, wife wounded

Drug Lords' Aliases
Mexican cartels reaching farther into U.S.

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- An activist group in Mexico says a member of a civilian search group looking for disappeared relatives has been killed by gunmen and his wife severely wounded.

The National Search Brigade for Disappeared Persons says Jose Jesus Jimenez Gaona was slain in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The state prosecutor's office said Thursday that three gunmen pulled up to the victims' vehicle and opened fire with high-powered weapons.

The couple's daughter Jenny disappeared in 2011 in the Veracruz city of Poza Rica.

Rival cartels are engaged in turf battles, kidnappings and disappearances in Veracruz. As in other parts of Mexico, inadequate police investigation in the state has led relatives to start search groups that in some cases have uncovered clandestine burial grounds.

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