A police chief was gunned down in front of his wife and children on a road in the southwestern Mexican state of Michoacan.
Sources with that state’s Public Safety Secretariat said the chief of police of the Michoacan town of Taretan, Francisco Aparicio Mendez, was killed Thursday on a road leading to the nearby municipality of Ziracuaretiro.
The assailants, who used a vehicle to intercept the automobile in which Aparicio and his family were riding, shot the police chief at least 40 times.
I a very cruel way the Chief was shot with high power rifles, AR-15's, at close range and left tore apart in the middle of a road.
The gunmen got out of their vehicle wielding AR-15 rifles, prompting the Chief to get out of his vehicle and asked what was going on, but without saying a word, the sicarios shot him at close range, striking him dozen of times, tearing up his head and half of his body from the Waist up, leaving dead in the middle of the road. The gunmen then fled toward the city of Taretan.
The attack was the first slaying of a police chief in 2011, although 12 other homicides attributed to organized crime occurred in the first six days of the new year.
Taretan is located 107 kilometers (65 miles) east of Morelia, Michoacan’s capital, and is contiguous with Uruapan, the state’s second-largest city.
The state is home to the powerful La Familia Michoacana cartel, which has fought a bloody battle with the rival Los Zetas gang for control of the region, where marijuana and opium poppies are widely grown on rural hillsides.
Experts rank La Familia – considered Mexico’s largest trafficker of synthetic drugs and a major source of the crystal meth consumed in the United States – as one of Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking organizations, along with the Sinaloa, Gulf, Juarez and Los Zetas mobs.
President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the drug cartels shortly after taking office in late 2006, deploying tens of thousands of soldiers and Federal Police officers nationwide.
Since then, turf battles and settlings of scores among rival drug gangs, as well as cartel enforcers’ clashes with security forces, have claimed more than 30,000 lives.
The Mexican government has consistently maintained that its war against drug trafficking is necessary to halt the advance of these criminal organizations, but acknowledges that the wave of violence will continue for the foreseeable future.