A three-hour gun battle on a ranch on the Ecuandureo-Tanhuato highway in Michoacán Friday morning has taken the lives of 42 presumed crime gang members and a Federal Police officer.
Several more have been reported wounded, and three people are in custody.
National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido told a press conference that soldiers and Federal Police had been heading to a ranch on the Jalisco-Michoacán border near Tinaja de Vargas after receiving an anonymous call that there were armed men on the property.
En route they met a truck carrying gunmen who began firing on police, who returned fire and chased the truck to the Rancho del Sol, where they came under fire from other gunmen, presumably members of the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel.
The federal forces on the scene called for backup, including a Federal Police helicopter, and repelled the attack with gunfights taking place at three different locations on the 112-hectare property.
Police seized eight vehicles, six of which had been set on fire, 36 high-caliber weapons, most of them AR15s, a rocket launcher and ammunition following the shoot-out.
Mayor José Ignacio Cuevas Pérez of nearby Tanhuato said in an interview there was “a tense calm” in the community.
According to an earlier report, federal forces were mounting an operation to detain various suspects in the shooting death last Thursday of Enrique Hernández Salcedo, candidate for mayor of the nearby municipality of Yurécuaro.
Yesterday the state Attorney General revealed that three officers in the Yurécuaro police, including the chief, are wanted in connection with Hernández Salcedo’s death. The town of Yurécuaro is located on the Michoacán-Jalisco border.