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State police patrol the area of the Thursday attack, State police patrol the area of the Thursday attack.

Guaymas attack kills 3; target was police chief, says navy

A young protester, a bodyguard of the mayor and a suspected cartel hitman lost their lives

Three people were killed in Guaymas, Sonora, in an armed attack Thursday that targeted the city’s police chief, Navy Minister José Rafael Ojeda said Friday.

The attack occurred outside the municipal palace in the northern port city as women were protesting against gender violence.

One of the victims was an 18-year-old protester who Ojeda identified as the daughter of a member of the navy. The other two victims, both men, were a member of the Guaymas mayor’s security team and a wanted criminal suspect, the navy chief said.

Two other people, another young protester and a municipal official, were wounded and taken to hospital for treatment.

Speaking at President López Obrador’s morning press conference, Ojeda said municipal police Chief Andrés Humberto Cano Ahuir, who is also a navy captain, was the target of the attack, perpetrated by unidentified gunmen. He described the three fatalities as “collateral damage.”

Navy Minister José Rafael Ojeda speaks at the president's Friday morning press conference.
Navy Minister José Rafael Ojeda speaks at the president’s Friday morning press conference. Presidencia de la República

The minister ruled out the possibility that the gunmen intended to kill Morena party Mayor Karla Córdova. She and Cano had come out of the municipal palace to speak with protesters, Ojeda said.

“It was not an attack directed at the mayor … they were going for the captain,” he said.

Ojeda said an arrest warrant had previously been issued for the slain suspect, believed to be a sicario (cartel hitman), but he had avoided capture.

“… We’re going to try to obtain intelligence information to go after this group that is in the region,” Ojeda said, without identifying the organization.

Sonora Attorney General Claudia Indira Contreras Córdova said in a video message early Friday that state authorities were considering the possibility that the attack targeted Cano, a 33-year veteran of the navy who became Guaymas police chief in August 2019. She said that the navy captain had been the subject of threats.

“That these attacks occur is unacceptable; we especially regret that it occurred at the end of a protest for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,” Contreras said.

The attorney general said police seized a pickup truck without registration plates that was abandoned near the scene of the crime. Two army-grade firearms and other weapons paraphernalia were found in the Nissan Titan, she said.

Contreras and Sonora Governor Alfonso Durazo vowed to apprehend the perpetrators.

“Let there be no doubt, we’ll find the culprits. An act of violence that offends and hurts society will not go unpunished,” Durazo said.

With reports from Milenio

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