A Guanajuato police officer was killed and one National Guardsman was wounded after gunmen believed to belong to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) made five separate attacks on state and federal law enforcement officials Monday in the municipalities of Villagrán and Celaya.
In total, eight of the aggressors were killed and one other presumed gang member was later found dead inside a truck on the road between Celaya and Salamanca.
Three were arrested in the conflicts.
Although some of the gunfights reached as far as Santa Rosa de Lima, a stronghold of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel led until last year by jailed leader José Antonio “El Marro” Yépez Ortiz, authorities attributed the attack to the CJNG.
Yépez was arrested by federal authorities in August, spawning fears that the power vacuum would prompt bloody turf wars between the two gangs in Santa Rosa de Lima territory, which includes Celaya, Irapuato and Villagrán, as well as adjacent zones in the north and south.
In the final tally after the five firefights, authorities confiscated 10 vehicles and several weapons, including guns, grenades — some fragmentation grenades and some improvised — and Molotov cocktails. They also discovered 47 doses of crystal methamphetamine and cardboard signs with messages targeted at an unidentified criminal group.
The first attack on law enforcement occurred at dawn on the road between Santa Rosa de Lima and San José de Guanajuato, authorities said. There, officers ended up in a gunfight with armed men aboard several vehicles, resulting in five of the latter being killed. The police officer who died was injured in that conflict and died in a hospital in Celaya.
After the first attack, authorities brought in reinforcements, who were also attacked on three separate occasions near San Salvador Torrecillas in Villagrán.
After the first of those attacks was staved off, the armed civilians jumped off the pickup truck from which they had staged the firefight and fled into nearby farmland, evading arrest. The second attack, which came from a different vehicle in a different location, resulted in the attackers fleeing the scene without any arrests.
In the third attack, state officers killed one of the aggressors.
The National Guard were also attacked by gunmen in two SUVs in a separate incident between Santa Rosa de Lima and San José de Guanajuato. In that battle, one officer sustained mild injuries, one attacker was killed and a second attacker was wounded and later died. A minor was arrested.
Two other people were also detained on the highway between Celaya and Villagrán after their truck was stopped and they were found to be in possession of drugs and weapons.
Source: Reforma (sp)