A taxi burns in Guadalajara A taxi burns in Guadalajara during cartel violence in May. milenio

Gunmen hit chopper in Jalisco violence

At least 6 are dead in cartel attack; burning vehicles blocked highways in 23 locations

Three people are dead, 12 are wounded and three more are missing after a military helicopter was fired on in southern Jalisco, capping a morning of aggression in Guadalajara and elsewhere in the state that left at least one other person dead and more wounded.

The helicopter was patrolling in Autlán when it located a convoy of vehicles and gunmen on the Casimiro Castillo-Villa Purificación highway. The gunmen, presumed to be members of the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel, fired on the aircraft, forcing it to make an emergency landing.

There were 11 military personnel, two Federal Police and five crew members on the helicopter, which was participating in an operation called Operación Jalisco in response to at least 29 blockades, four armed confrontations, attacks on 11 banks and another financial institution since about 9:30am.

Nineteen municipalities were affected, six of those in the Guadalajara metropolitan area, where traffic was snarled when at least 13 points were blocked by burning vehicles, many of them near gas stations. Another 10 locations on highways elsewhere in the state were blocked in the same manner.

The state issued a “code red” declaration, mobilizing federal security forces. Citizens were urged to remain in their homes if they had no reason to leave, said the state prosecutor’s office on its Twitter account, adding the assurance that security was being reinforced.

A young woman in Guadalajara described the situation as “terrible.”

“They have burned buses, a hotel.”

In Autlán, a municipal police officer was killed along with an unspecified number of members of the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel, which is believed to have been behind today’s actions. In Zapopan, a state police officer sustained a gunshot wound.

Banks in Ciudad Guzmán and gas stations in Puerto Vallarta were also reported to have been set on fire.

State officials announced at 1:30 that all the blockades had been cleared within the Guadalajara metropolitan area.

At least 15 people have been arrested in connection with the violence, according to reports.

Source: CNN (sp), Milenio (sp)

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