Four individuals, both armed suspects and civilians were killed Wednesday and Thursday in several incidents in the La Laguna region of Mexico as Mexican Army units filtered into the region Wednesday night, according to Mexican news accounts.
According to a news account posted on yacuinac.com Thursday one armed suspect was killed and another unidentified youth was detained Wednesday evening when a Mexican Army road patrol attempted a traffic stop of a driver and passenger aboard a Nissan Versa SUV.
The incident took place on Bulevar Ejercito Mexicano in Chapala colony in Gomez Palacio, Durango where the military patrol intercepted the vehicle. According to the translation, one of the two suspects opened fire on the unit prompting a pursuit, which ended on Calle Geminis in Morelos colony.
The driver was identified as Raul Jimenez De La Torre, 21, who died as the scene. The other detainee was said to be a youth, but his age was not disclosed in press reports.
In Torreon, according to a news account posted on the website of El Diario de Coahuila news daily, the offices of El Siglo de Torreon newspaper has been attacked three times in the last three days, the last costing the life of one individual.
The first attack was a small arms attack that took place Monday near the intersection of Calle Rodriguez and Avenida Allende against a Policia Federal unit assigned to protect the newspaper offices, No one was reported hurt in the incident.
The second attack took place a day later and late at night near the intersection of Avenida Matamoros and Calle Acuña where armed suspects shot at the building and hit it 30 times. Apparently no security unit was present in Tuesday night's attack.
The third and most deadly attack took place Thursday afternoon against a Policia Federal unit tasked to guard the newspaper offices. That incident took place near the intersection of calles Rodriguez and Acuña. One man identified as Geraldo T. Carrera, 37 was was shot to death. A second victim, a pregnant female was evacuated from the area, but was not wounded in the incident.
In a separate incident this time in Torreon Coahuila, two unidentified construction workers were shot to death Thursday evening.
A Facebook posting by Codigo Rojo de Laguna said the incident took place near the intersection of calles Mexico and Emilio Carranza in Aviacion colony.
The Aviacion colony incident was possibly the result of an extortion and theft attempts by organized crime groups against construction companies in Durango, including in La Laguna.
According to a report posted on the website of El Siglo de Durango, Durango state Comunicaciones y Obras Publicas del Estado (SECOPE), Guillermo Rodriguez Salazar said the organized crime has been focused on stealing bagged concrete and fuel as well as other construction materiel.
The translation said that companies involved in public works construction projects have been targeted so far.
According to a separate news account posted on the website of yancuic.com, the Mexican Secretaria de Defensa Nacional (SEDENA) has moved 700 troops into the region with 350 to be deployed in Gomez Palacio and the rest, 350 in Torreon. The reinforcement was made pursuant to a request early in February in security meetings between Coahuila and Durango state officials and federal government officials, or around the time Operativo Laguna was formally begun.
The reinforcement is equivalent to an entire Mexican Military Zone or a rifle regiment. Since the security operation began earlier in February, Mexican Army as well as Mexican Naval Infantry units have been involved in security operations in La Laguna, but in unknown strength.
The previous SEDENA, General Guillermo Galvin Galvin preferred a system of constant troop rotation from every corner of Mexico as a security precaution, sometimes moving troops into troubled areas such as La Laguna from as far away as Chiapas, and rotating other units back out for reassignment or rest. It is unclear by either news account or by any official announcements if these new troops are an actual reinforcement or are part of a troop rotation.
Meanwhile presumed organized crime groups have been adding their own unique take on the security situation in La Laguna by putting up narcopintas or blankets painted with messages charging Durango Governor Jorge Herrera Caldera and Policia Federal troops for trying to deliver La Laguna to organized crime.
According to a news account posted on the website of Milenio news daily, narcopintas have appeared in Gomez Palacio where the violence and fighting has been the worst since the start of the year.
Narcopintas are a nearly constant feature in Mexico's drug war, and sometimes mean very little. Local drug gangs are known to put up narcopintas as a false flag operation, or claiming to be from one group when they have been put up by the other. In a few instances local police have been known to put up false narcopintas.
The narcopintas were quickly brought down by local officials.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com