For the second time in slightly more than 48 hours the police chief for the municipality of Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, Florencio Santos Hernandez, has been the target of an ambush by gunmen who are more than likely members of Los Zetas.
The first shootout that occurred Sunday resulted in the deaths of four gunmen who reportedly were discovered by the police chief’s security detail while in the process of setting up an ambush on the streets of Guadalupe.
Santos Hernandez, a First Sergeant in the Mexican Army was previously on assignment as a police official in the state of Quintana Roo before being transferred to Guadalupe in early April of this year.
The leadership of many large municipal police forces in Mexico’s most violent and lawless states are being increasingly militarized in an attempt to counter the high degree of corruption and links to organized crime prevalent in those police forces and for closer coordination with Army and Marine units on the streets leading the fight against the drug cartels.
The security details of these police officials connected to the military are often plain clothed active military themselves.
The second attack on the police chief occurred Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 pm when the convoy in which the chief and his security detail were traveling was hit by gunfire at the intersection of Avenida Israel Cavazos and Rincon del Crater.
According to initial reports, armed men aboard three vehicles fired assault weapons against the convoy.
The security detail repelled the attack and killed at least one gunman, but four policemen were injured. A heavily damaged pickup with Texas license plates and tactical gear inside was abandoned at the site of the attack.
The two other vehicles managed to flee the site of the attack.
Minutes after the attack an Army unit arrived and secured the area.
Guadalupe, located in the northern Monterrey metropolitan area, is home to almost three quarters of a million residents and is reported to be a Zeta stronghold with a deeply infiltrated municipal police force.
Police facilities and municipal buildings have suffered several grenade attacks since the beginning of the year as efforts to combat organized crime in Guadalupe gather momentum.
A little over a month ago, on April 6th, Ivonne Alvarez, the mayor of Guadalupe introduced her new security cabinet made up of military men including the new police chief, Santos Hernandez.
The new Public Safety Secretary, retired Colonel Enrique Alberto Sanmiguel Sanchez, promised to immediately implement a “cleansing” operation and promised positive results within four months.
Two other military officers will oversee Guadalupe’s public security command and control (C-4) operations and police training and recruitment.
Since the new security team began operations 56 police officials have been terminated or left voluntarily, including 8 of 10 mid-level “comandantes”.
Tuesday night, eight Guadalupe policemen who were detained during an Army raid and were under arraignment since April 16 for charges of links to organized crime were found guilty by a judge and were re-arrested and transferred to the state “Topo Chico” Cereso prison.
The violence sweeping through the Monterrey metropolitan area led to another attack against policemen on Tuesday, this time in the municipality of Santa Catarina.
Two policeman who had stopped and exited their vehicle were attacked and killed by gunmen travelling in a late model pickup.
The deadly attack occured in the Fama-3 neighborhood. It was reported neighbors and witnesses refused to give any statements to authorities or the media for fear of retribution.
Enfrentamiento deja 4 policias lesionados en Guadalupe.\
Guadalupe renueva se policia
dimiten 8 mandos por militarizacion en Guadalupe
ejecutan a dos policies de Santa Catarina