03/19/13 – José de Jesús Gallegos Álvarez, the recently appointed secretary of tourism (Secretario de Turismo) for the state of Jalisco, was assassinated on Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Zapopan, a suburb of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city and the state capital. Authorities say Gallegos Álvarez was shot multiples times during a car chase involving two other vehicles. The driver for Gallegos Álvarez was unharmed, and the assailants have yet to be identified. This is the first assassination of a state minister in Jalisco since the end of the Mexican revolution.
State Government General Secretary (Secretario General del Gobierno) Arturo Zamora stated in a press conference that the attack was likely unrelated to the governmental work of Gallegos Álvarez, who had taken up the post just nine days before. Tourism officials have not typically been targets in Mexico’s wave of violence; local police and political officials tend to bear the brunt of the drug cartels’ and organized crime groups’ lethal tactics, which include kidnappings, extortion, and brutal killings.
According to Mexican news sources, Gallegos Álvarez was a successful businessman and founder and president of Jegal Project Construction and Management. His business dealings included the development of important tourist, residential, and commercial complexes in Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and other cities and resort towns throughout western Mexico. Gallegos Álvarez also created a security firm called 22 de abril (April 22), after a previous assassination attempt on his life over seven years ago. He had fled to Texas at the time, but returned to Guadalajara where he lived until his death earlier this month.