The Secretary of Public Security in Escobedo, retired Brigadier General Hermelindo Lara Cruz, survived 40 minutes of hail of bullets from sicarios in five SUVs that fired on the vehicle and the C4 municipal police headquarters.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee, with level 5 armor plus, withstood some 100 impacts from gunfire that allowed the chief Lara to take shelter in the headquarters. The rear window that as not bullet proof was totally destroyed.
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon - A soldier and a civilian were wounded in an attack by suspected cartel hit men on a police chief in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, officials said.
A group of assailants on board five SUVs fired gunshots at the vehicle in which Gen. Hermelindo Lara Cruz – the Public Safety secretary in the town of Escobedo, part of the Monterrey metropolitan area – was riding.
The assailants also fired at the city’s police headquarters, but “the general and his guards managed to warn the people who were inside and therefore all the police and civilians were able to run and hide,” an official statement from the Escobedo municipal government read.
Gunmen wielding AR-15 and AK-47 assault rifles wounded a soldier and the driver of a trailer that was parked outside the police station. The hit men also fired at patrol cars and other vehicles that were parked near the building.
Gen. Lara Cruz had received threats a few weeks ago and several people who were acting suspiciously near his home were even arrested.
Members of the Los Zetas drug cartel, which is battling other crime syndicates for control of the region, have established themselves in Escobedo and other towns of the Monterrey metropolitan area, according to military sources.
Cartel gunmen are believed to account for the vast majority of the fatalities since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office and militarized the struggle against the nation’s violent drug mobs.
The deployment of around 65,000 Federal Police officers and army soldiers to cartel battlegrounds nationwide has led to the capture of more than 60,000 suspected criminals, but has not succeeded in stemming the killings.
According to a classified report provided last month to senators, 22,743 people were killed in Mexico from December 2006 – when President Felipe Calderon took office – through early April in turf battles among drug-trafficking organizations and security forces’ efforts to crack down on the cartels.
The classified report estimated the 2010 death toll as of mid-April 2010 at 2,904.