Home NewsCrime 6 killed in an ambush in Jalisco, Mexico

6 killed in an ambush in Jalisco, Mexico

by Yucatan Times
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Four police officers and two civilians have been killed by bombs planted in a road in western Mexico that officials said were an ambush set by a drug cartel.

The attack late on Tuesday appeared to mark the first time that Mexican criminals have successfully targeted law-enforcement personnel with improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, in the latest example of the brazen military challenge posed by organized crime groups in the country.

Luis Méndez, the chief prosecutor of Jalisco state, said the blasts in the township of Tlajomulco were so powerful they left craters in the road, destroyed at least four vehicles, and wounded 14 other people.

Jalisco’s state governor, Enrique Alfaro, said the trap was set when an anonymous caller gave a volunteer search group a fake tip-off about a supposed clandestine burial site.

As the police convoy accompanying the search party passed the ambush site, seven devices planted in the road detonated simultaneously. An eighth bomb failed to explode.

Méndez said the two dead civilians were in a vehicle that happened to be passing the spot when the IEDs detonated, and suggested the bombs may have been remotely detonated.

He said 12 of the wounded were also civilians, including three children aged nine, 13 and 14. He said some of the wounded were in serious condition.

“This is a brutal terror attack,” Alfaro said at a news conference on Wednesday, blaming the deaths on an unnamed drug cartel. He said he was temporarily suspending police escorts for volunteer searches for the safety of the civilians.

“This is an unprecedented act that shows what these drug cartels are capable of,” Alfaro wrote earlier on his social media accounts. “This attack also represents an open challenge to the Mexican government on all levels.”

It was unclear if any of the volunteers were among the wounded.

More than 110,000 people have disappeared in Mexico in recent years, with more than 40,000 people reported missing since the current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, took office in 2018.

Attempts to find the missing often fall to volunteer groups composed of relatives of the disappeared, who sometimes receive anonymous tips about possible burial sites. Such groups are often targeted themselves and frequently travel with heavily armed police escorts.

Alfaro did not say who he suspected of setting the bomb, but the Jalisco drug cartel has significant experience in using improvised explosive devices, as well as bomb-dropping drones.

Earlier on Tuesday, a federal official acknowledged that another cartel had used a car bomb to kill a national guard officer in the neighboring state of Guanajuato.

And on Monday in the southwestern state of Guerrero, protesters allied with yet another drug gang battled security forces, commandeered a police armored truck, and used it to ram down the gates of the state legislature building.

The area around Guadalajara has seen bloody battles between factions of the Jalisco cartel, which was blamed for the previous use of IEDs in Mexico.

In February 2022, in the Michoacán township of Aguililla, a roadside mine damaged an army vehicle and injured 10 soldiers.

Related: Battle-scarred ghost town bears mute witness to Mexico’s drug wars

A few days later, another IED killed a farmer when he drove over the device in his pickup truck. The farmer’s son was wounded in the blast, which was apparently fueled by a device containing ammonium nitrate.

Special squads of Mexican army troops equipped with metal detectors and bomb suits were later deployed to the area. Dozens of such devices were found along rural roads and fields in the area around the township of Aguililla.

The IEDs included devices detonated by radio or telephone signal, by pressure – as when someone steps on them – or even by vials that break and combine two chemicals.

The Jalisco cartel has been fighting the local Viagras gang, also known as United Cartels, for control of the area for years. Those battles have featured the use of trenches, pillboxes, homemade armored cars, and drones modified to drop small bombs.

TYT Newsroom

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