A confrontation between gangs of fuel thieves, or huachicoleros, left nine people dead Sunday night and early yesterday morning, authorities in Puebla say.
The violence began when a gang of armed men led by a man known as El Cuije entered the town of Ixtlahuacán, in the municipality of Huehuetlán El Grande, at about 10:30pm Sunday.
According to the Attorney General’s office, they were looking for a man known as El Chino, from whom they wished to collect an extortion fee known as derecho de piso.
Whether they were successful the Attorney General’s statement did not say, but they allegedly executed three people in the process and kidnapped six others. The burned bodies of five of those were found later in the neighboring town of Santo Tomás Chautlá.
A police officer was also slain and two more injured after a resident reportedly fired his gun “in confusion.”
Twelve hours later, conditions in Ixtlahuacán returned to what could be considered normal.
Some residents of Ixtlahuacán told the newspaper El Universal that the victims targeted in Sunday night’s attacks were part of a huachicolero gang.
The gang led by El Cuije, for its part, is reportedly dedicated to robberies and to extorting local shop owners and fuel thieves.
Source: El Universal (sp)