Beauty pageant director shot dead in Mexico

Hugo Ruben Castellanos was abducted late Saturday

The director of the Miss World Mexico pageant has been found shot dead after being kidnapped from a bar, officials in the violence-racked northwestern state of Sinaloa said on Monday.

Hugo Ruben Castellanos was abducted late Saturday from a bar in the town of Culiacan by armed men wearing hoods. He had gone there after attending a local beauty contest, officials said.

Sinaloa prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera said Castellanos's body was discovered in a van early Sunday. Two other people who had been kidnapped with him were allowed to go free.

Sinaloa is infamous as the birthplace of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's most notorious drug lord, who is currently in custody and facing possible extradition to the United States.

Mexico saw a rise in the homicide rate last year after three years of declines.

According to official figures, more than 9,400 people were killed between January and June compared to 8,156 during the same period last year.