A fuel-theft gang leader in Mexico has been gunned down while visiting a hospital to undergo plastic surgery that would change his appearance. Puebla state prosecutors say members of his own gang shot Jesus Martin and three others to death at a hospital Monday.
The killings are another surge of violence in a larger dispute between pipeline thieves in the state with 16 deaths already this week.
Recently, four victims met their end on a rural road Tuesday in Palmar de Bravo, the township where the fuel-thieves congregate.
Police attribute the fighting to a crackdown making it harder for the thieves to tap into the pipeline and steal fuel. The Mexican authorities believe the suspect behind Martin's killing is the same who killed another five people in the neighboring town of Tlaltenango, another base where the thieves are known to gather.
The assassination of Jesus Martin is reminiscent of the death of drug lord Amado Carrillo Fuentes in 1997 who also died while having plastic surgery to change his appearance. The drug lord's associates suspected the doctors intentionally killed him.
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