Mexican gang leader shot in the head while getting plastic surgery

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Mexican gang leader Jesus Martin, otherwise known as “El Kalimba,” was shot in the head and killed at a hospital in Palmar de Bravo, California, this week, in what authorities are calling a gang-related killing in tandem with increased instances of oil pipeline thievery in the area.

Jesus Martin was shot in the midst of receiving plastic surgery to change his appearance.

A recent police crackdown on the stealing of fuel has led to an upsurge in bloodshed surrounding pipelines, as thieves drill an average of 28 illegal taps into pipelines in Mexico daily, authorities estimate.

Puebla state prosecutors said Jesus Martin, a woman and two other men were killed at the hospital Monday, apparently by members of his own gang.

The killing comes amid an upsurge in bloodshed involving pipeline thieves in the state, where at least 16 people have been slain this week in apparent disputes between gangs. The most recent killings claimed four victims on a rural road Tuesday in Palmar de Bravo, a township known as a center for fuel thieves.

Fuel thieves drill an average of 28 illegal pipeline taps every day in Mexico. State authorities have said the gang fighting has occurred in part because a police crackdown that has made it harder to steal fuel.

The main suspect in Martin’s killing has also been implicated in the slayings of five people in the town of Tlaltenango, in a vacant lot that apparently served as a base for fuel thieves, officials said.

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