Attack in west Mexico kills 15 police officers, wounds 5
Gunmen ambushed a police convoy in the western state of Jalisco, killing 15 state police officers and wounding five as bullets riddled their vehicles in the deadliest single attack on Mexican police in recent memory.
The attack happened late Monday as the convoy traveled on a rural road between the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara, the state capital, the Jalisco state prosecutors’ office said. The death toll exceeded that of what had been the largest recent since attack on law enforcement, an assault that killed 12 federal police officers in neighboring Michoacan state in 2010.
Jalisco is home to a drug cartel known as Jalisco New Generation, which experts say is now among Mexico’s most powerful. Prosecutors would not confirm the gang was involved in Monday night’s attack, but it would be unlikely for a rival gang to launch such a large attack on Jalisco’s home turf.
While state Security Commissioner Alejandro Solorio did not say how the attack was carried out, he said the convoy was ambushed in a “cowardly attack.”
Local media reported that a vehicle was hijacked, parked across the two-lane road and set on fire to force the convoy to stop.
“The serious thing about
this attack was that it was very well planned and orchestrated, with a military- style strategy,” said Raul Benitez, a security expert at Mexico’s National Autonomous University. “This was planned. A lot of gunmen were involved. They blocked the highway to surround them (police) and attack with military superiority.”
This picture shows handcuffs, a boot and some keys laying on the ground at the site where a criminal gang ambushed a police convoy near the town of Soyatlan, near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Tuesday, April 7.