Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Review; Armed Group Kills 4 People

Monday, March 8, 2010 |

Armed Group Kills 4 People in a Bar in Celaya, Guanajuato .
The incident occurred on Friday, around 11 pm in the bar called "La Escondida" when a group of gunmen arrived on the scene and attacked three men and a woman with AK-47s.

Celaya, Guanajuato  - A group armed with automatic rifles gunned down four people, three men and a woman, in a bar in the town of Celaya in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, the state Attorney General’s Office, or PGJE, said Saturday.

It said in a communique that the slaying took place Friday night in a bar located in the Resurreccion suburb of the city of Celaya, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of the Mexican capital.

The PGJE said that preliminary investigations identified the victims as Eduardo Garcia, 35, Rito Gonzalez, 46, Miguel Angel Resendiz, 44, and Maria Dolores Orozco, 21, all residents of that town.

It also said that a youth of 24, Gaspar Peña, was wounded in the shooting and was admitted to a local hospital with injuries that endanger his life.

The PGJE said it has launched an investigation into this multiple homicide and will inform public opinion of the results “at an opportune moment.”

According to reports, two sicarios entered the bar while one more waited outside in an SUV, the sicarios then went directly to the direction of the three men and a women who were sitting in a table (they were described as regular clients.) and shot them with assault weapons.

The gunmen were both armed with AK-47s, also known as "cuernos de chivo."

The killing was apparently another incident in the war between drug-trafficking gangs, above all in the northern part of the country.

This recent incident comes after a week when a criminal group attacked the house of the director of the municipal police in Celaya, Juan Martin Rodriguez Olvera, with fragmentation grenades and a hail of bullets from assault rifles while he slept in a bedroom.

So far this week five people have been executed in just four days of the Major General Miguel Pizarro Azteca taking office of the Ministry of Public Security in the State.

In other news as has reported in Borderland Beat

Three police were killed and a cadet was seriously wounded in an attack by suspected drug cartel hit men in the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, officials said Saturday.

Sources with the AEI investigations agency said the gunmen surprised the four policemen after they had parked their vehicle, disarming them before opening fire.

The attack was carried out early Saturday in the town of San Nicolas, near the Nuevo Leon state capital of Monterrey.

According to witnesses, the gunmen, who were traveling in a red SUV, fired some 50 rounds from AR-15 assault rifles.

In a separate incident early Saturday, authorities said another armed group fired at the police station in that town, causing damage but no casualties.

The attacks touched off a protest by municipal officers outside the station. The hooded demonstrators declared themselves on strike and demanded adequate weapons to protect themselves, full payment of salaries and permission to patrol in groups.

“We want them to support us (by providing us) with rifles and patrols; we want them to understand that there are officers who not only aren’t carrying handguns, but who haven’t been paid their salary,” a spokesman for more than 100 officers protesting outside the building said.

They added that they are also demanding financial assistance for the widows of their fallen comrades and reiterated that they want to serve the community but that, to do so, they need rifles and sufficient ammunition, as well as permission to patrol the streets in groups.

Hundreds of Mexican state and local police have been arrested in recent years on charges of collusion with drug cartels and other organized-crime elements. In some cases, army soldiers have disarmed the local police as part of investigations into alleged illegal activity.

The latter two attacks occurred just hours after a series of e-mails, as well as threatening messages left in different parts of the town, warned of a wave of violence this weekend.

The warning was signed by a group calling itself a “Merger of Mexican Cartels against Los Zetas.”

According to authorities and analysts, the Gulf, Sinaloa and La Familia Michoacana cartels have joined forces to exterminate the Zetas, a band of Mexican special forces deserters that used to work as killers-for-hire for the Gulf mob but which started intruding on the turf of other cartels, provoking a surge in gangland mayhem.

Violence escalated last month in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas and the wave of killings has spread to neighboring Nuevo Leon and is now expected to affect Coahuila, all three in the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Thus far this week, police stations in the Nuevo Leon towns of San Nicolas, Escobedo, Guadalupe, Santiago and Cadereyta have been targeted in grenade attacks.

Mexican marines have been carrying out operations throughout the Monterrey metropolitan area and on Friday captured nine gunmen with the Beltran Leyva cartel.

Nuevo Leon officials say they fear a bitter turf war between the Gulf drug cartel and the Zetas that has left more than 50 dead in Tamaulipas could spread to Monterrey.

That state’s governor, Rodrigo Medina, noted earlier this week that the Zetas are thought to control the illicit drug trade in Greater Monterrey, which is home to nearly 4 million people.

Drug-related violence has claimed more than 17,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the powerful, well-armed cartels.

More than 1,400 people have died in Mexico’s drug war so far this year, according to capital daily El Universal.

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