Monday, March 4, 2024

13 police killed in México state ambush; Familia Michoacana suspected

Gunmen killed 13 police officers in an ambush in México state on Thursday in what was apparently a revenge attack for a security operation against the Familia Michoacana drug cartel two days earlier.

Eight state police and five investigative officers attached to the México state Attorney General’s Office were killed in the attack Thursday afternoon in Coatepec Harinas, a municipality about 120 kilometers southwest of Mexico City.

According to the newspaper Milenio, members of the Familia Michoacana perpetrated the attack in retaliation for a joint state-federal security operation on Tuesday in Zacualpan, a México state municipality 40 kilometers south of Coatepec Harinas.

Intelligence sources told the newspaper that 125 police, 20 soldiers and 28 marines carried out an operation in the community of Gama de Paz and seized three vehicles allegedly stolen by cartel members.

In one of the vehicles, the security forces found a notebook containing information about the location of cartel bases as well where halcones, hawks or lookouts, were deployed.

The security personnel saw alleged Familia Michoacana cartel members in Gama de Paz but the latter fled and there were no arrests or loss of life.

México state Security Minister Rodrigo Martínez-Celis Wogau called Thursday’s ambush an “affront to the Mexican state” and pledged to respond with “total force and the support of the law.”

Members of the National Guard, the army and the navy were deployed to Coatepec Harinas following the ambush.

The attack was the deadliest on police since 14 state officers were killed in the Tierra Caliente region of Michoacán in October 2019.

Ninety-nine police officers have now been killed in Mexico this year, according to a count by Causa en Común, a government watchdog with a particular interest in public security.

At least 524 officers were killed in 2020, making last year the deadliest year for police since the organization began tracking murders of police in 2018.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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