Saturday, November 17, 2012
4 die in Zacatecas state
A total of four armed suspects were killed in an armed encounter in Zacatecas state Friday afternoon, according on Mexican news accounts.
A news item posted on the website of NTR Zacatecas news daily said that an army patrol from the Mexican 53rd Infantry Battalion, 11th Military Zone was on patrol between General Joaquin Amaro and Tabasco municipalities on Mexico Federal Highway 54 when the gunfight took place.
According to the article armed suspects attempted to spring an ambush on the road patrol, when army counterfire ended the encounter. Presumably more than the four dead had participated in the battle, as no detentions were reported.
Soldiers seized seven rifles, one grenade launcher, an undisclosed quantity of ammunition and two vehicles following the conclusion of the gunfight.
The NTR Zacatecas report also mentioned a news release by the Mexican Secretaria de Defensa Nacional (SEDENA) saying the army had plans to reinforce operations in the northern municipalities of the state, especially around those areas that border Durango state to the northwest and Coahuila state to the north.
SEDENA is the controlling agency for the Mexican Army.
The announcement appears to run counter to an announcement earlier last month that Seguro Laguna, the massive security operation concentrated in the La Laguna area in eastern Coahuila and western Durango state, would end November 30th, the day before the inauguration of president elect Enrique Pena Nieto.
El Universal news daily in a dispatch posted on its website late Friday night, however, said that the new redeployments are intended to protect Mexican families during holiday travel, which means the new deployments are likely temporary. The road between Fresnillo municipality in Zacatecas and Durango city in Durango, Mexico Federal Highway 45, is one of the most dangerous to travel because of instances of highway robbery in the past.
Seguro Laguna began a year ago as an effort of federal and state security forces to create a severe choke point at a major intersection of federal highways used by organized crime to bring product and shooters to the northern border areas of Mexico, especially in Tamaulipas state.
The latest information is that SEDENA maintains at least three rifle battalions in Zacatecas state. Several rifle company sized bases were opened in 2012.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com