Wednesday, June 19, 2024

12 killed at Christmas party in Salvatierra, Guanajuato

Gunmen killed 12 people and wounded 11 others in an attack at a Christmas party in the state of Guanajuato early Sunday.

The attack occurred at about 3:30 a.m. at the Ex Hacienda San José del Carmen, a property in the municipality of Salvatierra that is both a tourist attraction and event venue.

Young people at a Christmas party in Sal in vatierra, Guanajuato
A photo posted to social media taken not long before the attack at the Christmas party in Salvatierra, Guanajuato on Sunday morning. (Social media screen capture)

A group of some 50 young people gathered at the property on Saturday night for a Christmas party known as a posada.

Citing survivors of the attack, the Reforma newspaper reported that a group of armed men entered the property via a side entrance and opened fire in the central courtyard.

Eleven people aged 17 to 35 were killed at the scene of the crime, while a 12th person died as he was being driven to a hospital in a private vehicle, Reforma said. That person was reportedly 17 years old.

The municipal government of Salvatierra – a municipality in southern Guanajuato that borders Michoacán – said in a statement that 11 people were killed and 12 people were wounded, but it was apparently counting the aforesaid victim among the injured.

Policeman in Salvatierra, Guanajuato
No one has been arrested yet in connection with the massacre that killed 12 and injured 11. (Cuartoscuro)

The wounded were taken to nearby hospitals and two were reported to be in serious condition.

Both men and women were among the victims, with one identified as a young woman who was crowned “queen” of a local fair in 2017.

The newspaper AM reported that the attack was the 22nd and worst “massacre” of the year in Guanajuato. It considers the murder of four or more people in a single criminal event to be a massacre.

In addition to perpetrating the mass shooting, the gunmen set two cars and two motorcycles on fire at the property, the Salvatierra government said.

The Guanajuato Attorney General’s Office condemned the attack and said that a “multidisciplinary” team would carry out an investigation aimed at detaining the culprits. No arrests were immediately reported.

Citing unnamed federal sources, Reforma reported that the attack may have been perpetrated by the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, a crime group formerly led by José Antonio “El Marro” Yépez Ortiz, who was arrested in August 2020 and sentenced to 60 years imprisonment in January 2022.

The federal sources told Reforma that investigations indicate that one of the posada attendees had links to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which in recent years has been fighting the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel for dominance in Guanajuato, currently Mexico’s most violent state.

In a separate attack in Guanajuato on Saturday night, gunmen killed four people and injured two others when they opened fire at a barber shop in Salamanca, a city about 70 kilometers south of Guanajuato city.

The Guanajuato Attorney General’s Office also condemned that attack and said an investigation would be immediately launched.

With reports from ReformaDebate and AM

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