Attack in west Mex­ico kills 15 po­lice of­fi­cers, wounds 5

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY MARK STEVENSON

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.”

AP

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.

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