Friday, December 1, 2023

Bags of dismembered bodies those of kidnapped Villagrán police

The dismembered bodies of four police officers kidnapped in a raid on a police station in Guanajuato on Wednesday were found in plastic bags on Friday.

The bodies of the Villagrán municipal police were found in bags abandoned on the side of the Salamanca-Celaya highway.

The municipality of Villagrán posted a black ribbon and two death notices with the names of the fallen officers on social media, including three others killed in Wednesday’s attack, and expressions of solidarity for the families of the victims.

A judge who was also kidnapped in the raid was released alive and with minor injuries.

The Villagrán government canceled the town’s Christmas parade as a result of the attack, which was followed up with a photo on social media Friday. It showed four men presumed to have been the four kidnapped officers surrounded by armed civilians.

Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo said that such videos are part of a strategy of criminal groups to cause fear and panic and announced the arrival of more officers of the National Guard to reinforce security in Villagrán.

National Guard chief Luis Rodríguez Bucio arrived in Guanajuato on Friday on orders by President López Obrador to supervise security operations and oversee the deployment of more security forces in the state.

They will be deployed in municipalities with the most security problems, which are Salamanca, Villagrán, Celaya, Cortazar, Juventino Rosas and Los Apaseos.

Guanajuato Security Commissioner Sophia Huett López said the identities of the gunmen who carried out Wednesday’s attack are still unknown.

“That is information that will come through the investigation. What we have to do is keep working together, working hard and trying to contain this phenomenon . . . [which] is part of a fight for territorial control for criminal activities,” she said.

She said that Villagrán authorities waited 10-15 minutes to activate a code red after Wednesday’s attack, letting “valuable time pass.” She acknowledged that some officers have been corrupted by organized crime.

She said her department is aware that Villagrán has become embroiled in the territorial struggle between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel.

The Villagrán officers were among 10 killed in the state in just two days. A total of 64 officers have been murdered this year.

After the murder of an Irapuato officer on his day off on Thursday night, Police Chief Pedro Cortés Zavala said that police officers must be vigilant at all times, even when not on duty.

“We are obviously worried . . . all of the police forces in the state are on alert in the face of this situation and we’re instructing officers to be observant and alert both on duty and off,” he said.

Sources: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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