MONTERREY, Mexico – A singer who was kidnapped in Monterrey, the largest city in northern Mexico, was found dead even though his family paid ransom for his release, state officials said Sunday.
Erick Garza Garza’s family was contacted by the kidnappers, who killed him gangland-style.
The body of the 56-year-old Garza, who founded the band Bronco, was discovered on Friday by the Nuevo Leon State Investigations Agency, or AEI.
The singer’s body was found in the Villas del Poniente section of Garcia, a city in the Monterrey metropolitan area, and positive identification was made on Saturday.
Garza was blindfolded with duct tape and shot once in the head, the AEI said.
The body of the singer, who played keyboards for Bronco, was identified by relatives.
Garza left the successful band in 1986 due to health problems and went into the auto parts business in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon.
The singer was threatened by members of a criminal organization because he refused to pay protection money, relatives said.
The former Bronco member was abducted a week ago as he was leaving his business in the northern part of Monterrey, which has been plagued by drug-related violence in recent years.
The violence has surged in recent weeks despite the presence in the city of federal security forces.
Monterrey and its suburbs have been battered by a wave of drug-related violence that has left about 2,500 people dead since March 2010.
Los Zetas has been battling an alliance of the Gulf, Sinaloa and La Familia drug cartels, known as the Nueva Federacion, for control of the Monterrey metropolitan area and smuggling routes into the United States.