Police are coming under attack by organized crime in the latest wave of violence in the central state of Zacatecas.
Armed civilians kidnapped a municipal police director and two officers, following which another armed group attacked state police.
The kidnappings occurred early Monday after an attack on the municipal police station in Loreto, a town on Zacatecas’ border with Aguascalientes. The attackers stole the police director’s vehicle and took captive the two officers who were standing guard at the station before driving to the police director’s home, where he was also taken prisoner.
State police initiated a search for the missing officials and set up road checkpoints. The search effort took them to Villa García, where they were attacked by another armed group. One officer was injured, while seven of the attackers were arrested and had their weapons seized.
The attacks prompted state police in Aguascalientes on Wednesday to conduct security checkpoints in border communities with Zacatecas.
No hay policías en Villa Hidalgo, #Zacatecas. Ningún elemento se presentó a trabajar porque el domingo un comando baleó la Dirección de Seguridad Pública. Ante la poca vigilancia, un grupo de hombres atacó anoche la cabecera municipal y hasta se grabaron celebrando: pic.twitter.com/1WyEIn5ib4
— Ciro Gómez Leyva (@CiroGomezL) November 12, 2021
Thursday morning, two bodies were found dumped on a federal highway near the municipality of Enrique Estrada farther north but they remain unidentified, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.
Later that same day, gangsters held a party in the town of Villa Hidalgo, apparently celebrating the closure of the police station after it was attacked last weekend.
Video footage showed armed civilians shouting and playing music in the town’s central plaza.
El Universal reported that the municipal police force had slowly resigned in the face of mounting threats and fears of reprisals. The police station closed on Wednesday due to lack of personnel.
There were reports of state police patrolling in the municipality but none appeared during Thursday’s nights festivities.
Before the events of this week, the police of Loreto, Villa García and Villa Hildalgo had all received threats from criminal groups.