Five police officers and one detainee were ambushed and gunned down in the Estado de Mexico municipality of Ixtapaluca Tuesday afternoon.
At the time of the attack police officers were transporting two detainees that according to the Estado de Mexico Attorney General were members of La Familia Michoacana. One of the detainees survived the attack with critical injuries and is still in custody.
According to Estado de Mexico Attorney General Alfredo Castillo the officers were travelling in two pickups and were attacked by men armed with AR-15's after being stopped by another vehicle and exchanging words with the occupants.
The empty cartridges of at least eighty .223 cal. rounds fired by the gunmen littered the crime scene.
Ixtapaluca, like many of the Estado de Mexico municipalities that surround Mexico City, has been a hotbed of organized criminal activity that includes extortion, automobile thefts, illicit drug dealing, kidnapping and the sale of counterfeit products.
In September, 2011, three federal police officers were killed in Ixtapaluca while attempting to arrest suspected La Familia extortionists, and the Ixtapaluca municipal police chief was murdered that same month.
These municipalities are home to approximately half of the more than 20 million people that live in the Mexico City metropolitan area, from the wealthy suburbs in Huixquilucan to the sprawling urban slums of Ciudad Neza (Nezahualcoyotl).
La Mano con Ojos, Los Zetas, La Familia Michoacana, Los Caballeros Templarios, el Cartel del Centro and the ultaviolent street gangs of Ciudad Neza operate in, and fight for, these municipalities.