By Chris Covert
A total of four unidentified individuals were killed in a gunfight between a Policia Federal (PF) road patrol and armed suspects in Zacatecas state Monday afternoon, according to Mexican news sources.
A news article posted on the website of El Sol de Zacatecas news daily, a Policia Federal road patrol was fired on in General Panfilo Natera municipality by armed suspects.
One PF operative and three armed suspects were killed in the firefight. Another PF operative was wounded, as well as one unidentified female passerby and a taxi driver, who had been caught in the crossfire.
In the aftermath PF agents seized one AR-15 and one AK-47 assault rifles, one 40mm grenade launcher, ammunition and tactical and communications gear. Three vehicles were also seized.
General Panfilo Natera municipality has recently been the site of several armed confrontations between rival criminal groups. The fear of gunfights between rival gangs had forced some parents to keep children away from schools, according to a separate article posted at the website of El Sol de Zacatecas.
At least one gunfight had taken place last week in General Panfilo Natera municipality. The threat of armed confrontation was so severe that the Procuraduria General de Justicia de Estado (PGJE), Arturo Nahle Garcia, had ordered at curfew beginning at 1500 hrs a week ago.
General Panfilo Natera is near Mexico Federal highway 49 which connects San Luis Potosi and Durango.
Four days ago shootouts between rival gangs were reported in Villa Gonzalez Ortega municipality, which is less than five kilometers southeast of General Panfilo Natera municipality. One of the criminal groups in the gunfight left the head of an unidentified man and a message, which contents were not disclosed. No one was reported hit by gunfire in those gunfights.
Zacatecas up until this past summer was generally considered a Los Zetas stronghold, but has recently experienced encroachment by rival criminal group affiliate with the Sinaloa and Nueva Generacion Jalisco cartels.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com