Police and the navy have arrested 16 suspected members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) who allegedly committed a series of homicides in Guanajuato.
State Attorney General Carlos Zamarripa told a press conference yesterday that 14 suspects, including two minors, were arrested during an operation Thursday afternoon in Silao and two more people were detained in a separate operation in Irapuato. All the suspects were traveling in vehicles that were stopped by the state and federal security forces.
Zamarripa said the suspects are accused of committing a number of homicides in the state’s industrial corridor in the municipalities of Irapuato, Salamanca and Silao.
Those detained, three of whom are women, are also believed to have been involved in the attack last week on a police station in Valle de Santiago in which five prisoners were killed, the attorney general said.
Security forces seized more than 10 firearms, significant quantities of drugs, tactical equipment including bulletproof vests, armored cars and motorcycles during the two operations.
Zamarripa said that some of those arrested are believed to be the heavily-armed individuals who appeared in a video in which criminal leader Antonio “El Tony” Cervantes Hernández was shown semi-naked and bound to a chair.
His body was found hanging from a highway overpass in Villagrán last Sunday.
The attorney general said authorities believe that some of the suspects also appeared in a similar video featuring Adolfo “El Michoacano” Mendoza Valencia, a high-ranking member of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel whose body was also found hanging from a highway overpass.
“In a preliminary manner, I can tell you that we have a range of evidence that allows us to assert that several of [the suspects] are part of the group that appeared in these videos,” Zamarripa said.
He said that there was no evidence that those detained are linked to the murders of 19 people whose bodies were found Thursday in Uruapan, Michoacán. The CJNG claimed responsibility for the killings.
However, federal Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo said that an investigation is underway to determine whether the alleged criminals arrested in Guanajuato had any involvement in the Michoacán murders.