Gunmen killed six unarmed traffic police in Guanajuato yesterday, the state’s Attorney General’s office said.
The attack occurred just after 11:00am in the Salamanca neighborhood of La Gloria, located near a military base where Guanajuato Governor Miguel Márquez was attending a meeting to discuss ways to improve security in the state.
Five officers died at the scene of the crime, while the sixth passed away as he received medical attention.
The police were carrying out routine checks at a roadblock when, according to witnesses, five assailants arrived in a pickup truck and opened fire on the defenseless officers.
Federal Police, local security forces and the army all attended the scene. The motive for the crime is unclear.
The state’s Interior Secretary Gustavo Rodríguez Junquera said that authorities would bolster security in Salamanca following the attack and that “this crime will not go unpunished.”
The newspaper Reforma reported that 34 police officers have now been killed in Guanajuato in 2018.
The latest incident continues a trend of escalating violence in the central Mexican state, where 59 homicides were recorded in just five days last week and an average of more than 11 murders per day were reported in the first quarter of 2018.
The Guanajuato Attorney General said that 85% of last week’s homicides were related “in one way or another” to petroleum pipeline theft.
State oil company Pemex has a refinery in Salamanca, which has also recently been the focus of a federal investigation into alleged fuel theft by company employees.
Beyond Guanajuato, violence also affected several other states yesterday.
A state police officer was shot and killed in Ensenada, Baja California, another officer was killed in La Paz, Baja California Sur, and a municipal inspector was shot dead at a restaurant in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
In Guerrero, a group of armed men killed five people in the municipality of Leonardo Bravo, including a seven-year-old boy.
State security spokesman Roberto Álvarez Heredia said that the attack occurred when the victims — three men, one woman and the minor who are believed to be from the same family — were traveling on a state highway between Filo de Caballos and Puentecillas.
Homicides were also reported in Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Nuevo León and San Luis Potosí.