Fourteen people were arrested Tuesday after a gun battle between police and armed civilians in southern Mexico City.
Four officers were wounded in the clash, which occurred on the Mexico City-Cuernavaca highway in the borough of Tlalpan. Videos posted online of the shootout — which involved members of the Mexican army, National Guard and the capital’s police force — showed authorities responding in force with armored vehicles and helicopters.
Mexico City police chief Omar García Harfuch reported the confrontation on Twitter shortly after 3 p.m.
In another post at 4:15 p.m., the police chief said he was in San Miguel Topilejo – where the shootout occurred – and that 14 people had been detained. García also said that two “victims” had been freed and that 13 firearms – including a Barrett .50 and a machine gun – 12 grenades, bulletproof vests, drugs and other weapons paraphernalia were seized. “I acknowledge the bravery of the … [police],” he added.
García – who was targeted in an armed attack in 2020 – said in an interview that one officer was seriously wounded. He also said that some of the people arrested were not from Mexico City. The police chief subsequently told a press conference that authorities believe those detained are from Sinaloa, home of the Sinaloa Cartel.
“We believe that it’s a group from Sinaloa, one said he was from Culiacán, others from Sinaloa,” García said.
The gunfight, described as “intense” in one report, shut down the Mexico City-Cuernavaca highway at the 28-kilometer marker. One video posted to social media showed cars lined up near the location where the shootout occurred. As shots ring out, two police officers can be seen sheltering behind their vehicle.
Other videos also captured the sound of gunfire as well as the arrival of additional police cars to the conflict zone. One local described the events as reminiscent of a movie.
The Mexico City Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday night that it had initiated an investigation into the events in San Miguel Topilejo, while Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said Wednesday that security would be beefed up in the area.
“I’ve instructed Security Minister García Harfuch to strengthen the presence [of police] and intelligence work in the entire area in coordination with the National Guard,” she wrote on Twitter. The mayor earlier described the conduct of police involved in the clash as “brave and effective.”