A leader of the fuel-theft gang in Mexico was shot dead while he was underdoing plastic surgery in an attempt to change his apperance, according to state authorities. Reported by the Associated Press, prosecutors in the Mexican state of Puebla, four people were killed in the gang related shooting namely Jesus Martin, two other men and a woman.

He is believed to have been shot by his own gang members, with the main suspect also being implicated in the murder of five people in Tlatenago - apparently part of an upsurge in violence amongst the fuel-theiving gangs.

Doctors at the hospital are being investigated to determine whether they were complicit, according to prosecutors, who also said that Martin was allegedly attempting to have his finger prints removed.

AP reported that at least 16 people have been killed so far this week, in what is believed to be violence related to gang disputes. On Tuesday (31 October) four were killed in the township of Palmar de Brave, known as a hotspot for the gangs.

As the country has opened up more to private petrol retailers, Mexico has seen a rise in gangs attempting to tap the pipelines and steal the gas. Authorities claim that state crackdowns on the thefts has made the practice more difficult and has been a factor in the increase in inter-gang violence.

In July, a brutal prison riot between two gangs in Acapulco led to the deaths of 28 people. Authorities originally put the body count at five, but that rose as they slowly regained control of the institution after fighting that was said to have started around 4am on 6 July.

A security spokesperson for the state of Guerro said that bodies were found across the prison which holds 2,000 inmates. Many of Mexico's prisons are notoriously unsafe and overcrowded.