Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ex-mayoral candidate and family slain on Veracruz-Xalapa highway

Six people, including two children and their parents, were killed Sunday in an armed attack in the port city of Veracruz.

Gunmen traveling in at least three vehicles opened fire on the Veracruz-Xalapa highway near the Veracruz International Airport, killing five people in a pickup truck and a man in a taxi, according to reports.

The Veracruz Ministry of Public Security (SSP) acknowledged the six deaths in a social media post, noting also that one other person was wounded. It said that state and federal forces were carrying out an operation to apprehend the aggressors and “guarantee order and social peace.”

“… We urge citizens to keep calm,” the SSP added.

Reports have identified Fernando Pérez Vega, his wife and their two children as among the victims of Sunday’s attack. The pickup truck in which they and one other adult were traveling was riddled with scores of bullet holes.

Pérez, known as “El Pino,” ran as a candidate for mayor in the Veracruz municipality of Coxquihui in 2021 and was allegedly a leader in a criminal organization, according to a report by the news website Infobae.

Reveriano Pérez Vega
Reveriano Pérez Vega, the brother of the slain victim Fernando Perez Vega, is said to head a Veracruz-based criminal group known as Los Pelones. He was also mayor of the Veracruz municipality of Coxquihui until he was stripped of his immunity of office in 2017 due to accusations of drug, human and arms trafficking as well as extortion and homicides. (Photo: state of Veracruz)

Extortion, kidnapping and homicides are among the crimes allegedly committed by “El Pino,” who reportedly attended a political event in Boca del Río before he and his family were murdered.

Pérez’s brother, Reveriano Pérez Vega, known as “El Pelón,” served as mayor of Coxquihui on two occasions and has also been accused of being the leader of a crime group Los Pelones, of which Fernando Pérez was also allegedly a leader.

Veracruz Governor Cuitláhuac García said on social media that evidence indicated that Sunday’s attack was a “settling of scores between organized crime groups.”

Those groups have not been formally identified, but reports indicated that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel may have carried out the attack against Pérez.

According to the Defense Ministry (Sedena), Los Pelones are in a war for control of Veracruz with the CJNG and five other criminal groups, including the Sinaloa Cartel.

With reports from Infobae, El Financiero, La Silla Rota and Diario de Xalapa 

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