Guerrero state prosecutors said witnesses told investigators the man was sitting at a table Sunday night inside an Italian restaurant on Acapulco's main tourist thoroughfare when two men approached him, one of whom pulled out a gun and shot him in the back and head.
Prosecutors said in a statement released Monday that they have contacted the Italian Embassy in Mexico City to send the body back to Italy. It said that investigators were working on a police sketch of the two assailants.
Guerrero state authorities didn't identify the victim. But Mexican media identified him as 68-year-old Moreno Gallo, whom Canadian authorities have linked to organized crime circles in Montreal.
Gallo, whose family immigrated from southern Italy's Calabria region to Canada in the 1950s, received a life sentence for the 1973 killing of a Montreal drug dealer, but he was paroled in 1982, according to Canadian media reports. While he was imprisoned, his wife opened a bakery-restaurant in Montreal's Little Italy neighbourhood.
Canadian officials revoked his parole in 2007 and later began deportation proceedings. At the time, Gallo denied being a member of a criminal organization. He was deported in January 2012, and the Canada Border Services Agency said Gallo has an "active implication in organized crime." Instead of returning to his native Italy, Gallo moved to Mexico and launched a challenge of his deportation order in Canadian Federal Court.