By Chris Covert
A total of three armed suspects were shot and killed in a shootout with Nuevo Leon state police agents Saturday in Montemorelos municipality, according to Mexican news accounts.
According to a post on the website of Milenio news daily, the armed group were gunned down around 2020 hrs at a hotel near the village of Bugambilias. The suspects had been ordered to surrender, but instead opened fired on police agents with the Nuevo Leon Agencia Estatal de Investigaciones (AEI) as they attempted to detain them.
The AEI unit involved in the shootout was an anti-kidnapping unit which had been investigating abductions in the area for several weeks. AEI agents found that a local taxi driver was being used to transport the suspects and their victim.
The gang numbered ten total, and presumably the other seven were either not present during the shootout, or had escaped AEI agents.
Execution in San Nicolas de los Garza
In an unrelated shooting, four individuals were shot to death in an encounter with another armed group in San Nicolas de los Garza, Nuevo Leon Friday night, according to a separate report posted on Milenio news daily.
The four suspects were travelling aboard a Nissan X-Terra SUV near the intersection of calles Corregidora and Hercule in Hacienda los Morales colony, when they were intercepted by several armed suspects travelling aboard Ford Crown Victoria and Volkswagen Jetta sedans.
A pursuit was initiated which ended minutes later when the victims in the SUV decided to dismount and make their escape on foot. Three of the victims died at the scene while a fourth died while receiving medical attention.
According to a late report by Milenio by writers Sandra Gonzalez and Nestor Hernandez, two of the shooting victims were the sons of a Jose Santos Ornelas Almaraz, a former Secretaria Seguridad Publica (SSP) for Guadalupe municipality during the term of Cristina Diaz Salazar.
The victims were were identified as Hector Almaraz Salvatore Daniel, 19 and Diego Huerta, 20, Serna Jesus Ivan Gonzalez, 25, and Adam Zapata Mireles, 21.
Milenio reported that Jose Santos Ornelas Almaraz had been detained by the Mexican Army in June 2009 after his name was found on a list in Zuazua municipality of SSP and other officials, which allegedly provided protection for local criminal gangs. The list was found at a Zuazua safe house maintained by a local cartel affiliated gang. Jose Santos Ornelas Almaraz was later released and apparently exonerated for the crime.
Despite that, the records found in the safe house said that several SSP officials had been paid MX $4,500 (US $314.24) every two weeks. Two police commanders and 37 other police agents were detained and then sent to prison for their connections to organized crime.
The mayor of Guadalupe, Cristina Diaz Salazar, went on to become a deputy in both the Nuevo Leon and national Chamber of Deputies, eventually winding up as general secretary to Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). She has served briefly as interim president of PRI just after the resignation of disgraced PRI president Humberto Moreira Valdes last December.
Coppers bust five safe houses
A total of five safe houses used by a local cartel gang were found and dismantled by Escobedo municipal and Nuevo Leon state police agents Friday.
According to a report published in Milenio news daily, Escobedo municipal police officers detained three suspects at a traffic stop near the corner of avenidas Camino Real and Las Torres in Santa Martha colony. A police patrol had observed the three suspects travelling aboard a taxi cab which ran a red light, initiating a pursuit.
Police at the scene also seized two pistols from the suspects, who were identified as Fernando Vela Carlos Carranza, 24, and Joseph Alexander Rosales Tovar, 18.
Information provided by the suspects led police to five different safe houses used by a local criminal group in Escobedo, San Nicolas de los Garza and El Carmen municipalities.
A safe house near the intersection of calles Campollines and Acosia in Rincón del Carmen colony had been used by the group for kidnapping. At that location police found marijuana, explosives, Molotov cocktails, and cash.
In San Nicolas de los Garza three more safe houses were found in Paraje, San José and Balcones colonies. In total police seized firearms, two detonators for explosives, drugs, two vehicles and a payroll for lookouts.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
© Copyright 2012 by Chris Covert
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