By Chris Covert
A total of 13 murders in La Laguna region of Mexico in the last five days has Coahuila state security officials pondering a call for more federal reinforcements, according to Mexican news accounts.
A story posted on the website of El Diario de Coahuila news daily quoted Coahuila state security spokesman Sergio Sisbeles, saying Coahuila state officials are considering asking the head of the federal Secretaria de Seguridad Publica (SSP) Genero Garcia Luna for additional reinforcements to the area.
A total of four individuals were found butchered and placed in garbage bags in Torreon in a Toyota pickup truck near the intersection of Calle Piedras Negras and Avenida Arista in Valle Verde colony five days ago. Another six individuals were shot to death in the garage of a residence in Valle Dorado colony later that evening. Two more unidentified individuals were shot to death near the intersection of Paseo de los Azulejos and Diagonal de las Fuentes in Ampliacion La Rosita colony.
Additionally, a couple was shot in Gomez Palacio, Durango Tuesday night.
According to an account published on the website of El Sol de Mexico news daily, Cesar Ruiz Silva, 36 was shot to death while his wife, Irma Carrillo Ivon 35 was critically wounded as the couple travelled board their Ford Lobo (F-150) pickup truck to go grocery shopping at an EXTRA convenience store in Miravelle colony Tueuday night, when they were attacked by armed suspects who were travelling aboard a Dodge Atos SUV.
Another incident which has officials worried is the detention of five alleged gang members affiliated with the Pacifico Cartel.
A separate story posted on the website of El Sol de Mexico reported that Juan David Alejandro Mendez Arizpe AKA El Chaparro and Sergio Gael Rosales Palacios, 18, Juan Manuel Hernandez Reyes, AKA El Talachas, 29, Miguel Ángel Contreras Carrillo, 21, and Paulino Najera Valadez, 49 were detained three days ago for their role in an attack on two Policia Federal agents on the Matamoros-Mazatlan highway at Kilometer 236. Both federal agents were reported safe following the incident.
Mendez Arizpe and Rosales Palacios are being held for murder, while Hernandez Reyes and Contreras Carrillo were detained for kidnapping. Najera Valadez was also detained for his role in keeping safe houses and acting as a lookout for the group.
Police also seized three assault rifles, 11 weapons magazines, 197 rounds of ammunition and a ballistic vest. Vehicles seized included one stolen Volvo S40 sedan, one Mazda B2500 pickup truck, one Volkswagen Jetta, and one Volkswagen Golf.
The La Laguna region, which encompasses Torreon, Coahuila, and Ciudad Lerdo and Gomez Palacio in Durango, has been the focus of a security operation which began last October dubbed Seguro Laguna. That operation is mirrored in a number of other similar operations including Operacion Noreste in Tamaulipas state, Seguro Veracruz in Veracruz state and Seguro Guerrero in Guerrero state. These security operations have been in place since last fall and reflect a change in strategy by the Mexican federal government which focusses on concentrating police and military power in transit choke points used by organized crime to move drugs, guns and immigrants north to the US border.
As of last February, a total of 4,000 federal and state security effectives had been deployed to the La Laguna region.
Last February, a news reports said that Policia Federal units had moved out of Torreon and were redeployed south, specifically to Zacatecas state. The subtext of the rotation was that Policia Federal road patrols in the region had somehow added to the violence in the region and that rotating them out would reduce violence. It is unclear in news reports at the time which entity ordered the units out, the Sixth Military Region or from the federal SSP.
The El Diario de Coahuila article also hinted that requests for federal reinforcements could include Mexican naval infantry units, including special units which have proved effective in eliminating violence in a region. Coahuila state already has a marine company encamped in Ciudad Acuna in far northern Coahuila since last February.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com