Miss World’s Mexico director killed after pageant

Hugo Ruben Castellanos, the director of the Miss World Mexico pageant, was killed Sunday in Culiacan, Sinaloa after crowning Melissa Lizarrága the winner for the Miss Sinaloa contest.

Castellanos, 39, was abducted late Saturday with three others by several masked gunmen outside of a bar where they had gone after the beauty pageant. The others were freed but Castellanos’ body was found shot dead inside a Cherokee Jeep on Sunday morning, according to Sinaloa prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera.

Castellanos was being accompanied by Rosa Maria Ojeda Cuen, the pageants coordinator, her husband Javier Pineda and another friend of Castellanos named Edgar, according to local media La Pared Noticias.

The motive behind Castellanos murder is still unclear and under investigation.

Abductions and murders are not uncommon in Sinaloa, the birthplace of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s most infamous drug lord, who is currently in custody of authorities.

Mexico’s homicide rate rose last year after the recapture of Guzman with more than 1,000 people being murdered during the past year.

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