6 police officers and 10 suspects killed in shootouts in Guerrero

A total of sixteen people — six police officers and 10 suspects — were killed in two confrontations in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, authorities said Wednesday April 18th.

State security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said the first shootout occurred late Tuesday April 18, when a state police convoy came under attack in Coacuyul, a town near the Pacific coast resort of Zihuatanejo.

He said one policeman was wounded and police returned fire, killing 10 suspected gunmen during a 30-minute battle with assault rifles.

In what Alvarez said may have been retaliation for the first attack, gunmen later ambushed a state police convoy about 20 miles (30 kilometers) north of Zihuatanejo and killed six police officers.

The officers had been visiting nine families in the hamlet of Las Mesillas who were considered at risk because of the drug gang violence that has plagued the area.

Guerrero has Mexico’s third-highest homicide rate, at 64 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. The state has become one of the main opium poppy growing areas in Mexico, and a large number of splintered gangs fight for control of the drug and extortion trade.

Despite being home to once-glamorous resorts like Acapulco, Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa, the U.S. State Department placed Guerrero on its highest, level-four “do not travel” advisories because of the violence there.

TBP Newsroom with information from Animal Político