Thursday, July 7, 2011
Fighting reported in Michoacan: Governor's house attacked.
Thursday did not begin well in Michoacan. At approximately 11:00am a group of gunmen attacked the offices of Governor Leonel Godoy but were routed and captured by state ministerial police guarding the installation.
It was unknown if Governor Godoy was in his offices at during the attack.
By late Thursday afternoon armed confrontations between Federal forces and gunmen and the appearance of “narco” blockades were reported in at least ten municipalities of Michoacan. The fighting and blockades, which began at 5:00pm, were the result of the violent reaction of Caballeros Templarios to a Federal Police operations in the municipalities of Apatzingan, Aguillia and Paracuaro.
The heaviest fighting was reported in the Apatzingan valley and blockades thrown up to impede movement by the authorities were reported in the municipalities of Morelia, Apatzingan Parácuaro, Uruapan, Aguililla, Los Reyes, Pátzcuaro, Zinapécuaro, Quiroga and Maravatío.
Many of the blockades involved burning automobiles, buses and tractor-trailor rigs.
In Apatzingan, Army and Marine troops were called in to reinforce the Federal Police. The official death toll was four Caballeros Templarios gunmen killed and one wounded, and four Federal Police officers wounded, none seriously. Unofficial reports attributed to military sources at the scene reported approximately 38 deaths in the Apatzingan area alone.
The emergency landing of one Federal Police helicopter was reported.
Other rumors, more than likely false, spread that Servando Gomez Martinez “La Tuta” had been captured.
In Morelia, the state capitol, vehicles were set on fire at three of the five entrances to the city, on the highways to Zinapécuaro, Quiroga and Patzcuaro.
Highways into and out of Apatzingan and Uruapan were also blocked by burning vehicles.
While Apatzingán blockades were set ablaze with trailers, one in October 22nd Avenue and another in front of the colony's Sunflowers, which closed the road to Cuatro Caminos.
The first fighting was reported at 5:00pm in the city center of Apatzingan, which then spread to the colonia Infonavit Los Limones, the highway to Cuatro Caminos and the community of La Nopalera, where the fighting was intense and involved Federal Police and Marine helicopters.
Simultaneously, heavy fighting was reported near the community of Úspero in the municipality of Parácuaro, and the hijacking and burning of vehicles by groups of hooded and armed individuals in the other affected municipalities was reported.
The most intense hostilities were largely over by 7:00pm. However, intercity bus and taxi service was still suspended as of Thursday night. There were complaints from media outlets in Michoacan that authorities had hacked into and blocked their internet sites to sabotage the flow of information. All the sites were back up by late Thursday night.