Forensic workers carry a body from a house in Ajijic, near Guadalajara, Mexico. Picture: Alejandro Acosta


Guadalajara, Mexico - An elderly Canadian couple were beaten and knifed to death when their home in the western Mexican state of Jalisco was raided by thieves, a local official said on Sunday.

Ernesto Robles, chief of police in the municipality of Chapala, identified the victims as a 72-year-old woman and an 84-year-old man, both from the Canadian province of Ontario. No names were released.

The couple arrived in Ajijic, a town popular with foreign retirees, six months ago, Robles said.

“The gardener arrived in the morning and found the door to the home open,” Robles said.

“He went inside, and in the living room he found two bodies with various lesions. The home had been looted.”

Robles, who said a gang of thieves operating in the area may be responsible, also said that two vehicles belonging to the couple were stolen.

Ajijic is a bucolic lakeside town about 50km south of the state capital Guadalajara, Mexico's second most populous city.

About 5 000 foreigners, mostly US retirees, live in the town, according to municipal officials.

Immigration authorities and the state prosecutors are also investigating the case, Robles said.