A delivery truck burns on a Michoacán highway yesterday. A delivery truck burns on a Michoacán highway yesterday.

Arrest attempt sparks Michoacán blockades

29 vehicles were hijacked and set on fire, most in Apatzingán

An attempt to arrest an alleged plaza chief of the Viagras criminal gang triggered over 10 hours of narco-blockades in Michoacán yesterday.

Early reports said that Gabino Sierra Santana, considered a high-priority target by state and federal authorities, was arrested in Apatzingán.

But Attorney General José Martín Godoy Castro clarified today that Sierra eluded capture due to the complex geography of the area.

That did not stop gang members from hijacking as many as 29 vehicles, many of them cargo and delivery trucks, and erecting roadblocks before setting them on fire.

In Uruapan, the fiery roadblocks were set up not only on the periphery but within the city itself.

At least eight municipalities were affected by the gang activity, but 23 of the vehicles torched were in Apatzingán.

As a precautionary measure, the National Chamber of Passenger Transportation ordered the suspension of all overnight bus trips to destinations in the Tierra Caliente region of the state, as well as those that use the Siglo 21 highway, which was blocked earlier in the day.

State security authorities said it was conducting 12 independent investigations, one for each of the roadblocks reported. So far, no arrests have been made.

A joint security operation was deployed in the Apatzingán region by federal and state police and Michoacán’s single command security force to deter any further roadblocks and acts of violence.

Source: Mi Morelia (sp), Milenio (sp)

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