By Chris Covert
A total of three individuals were found dead in or near the sierras of western Durango since Wednesday, according to Mexican news accounts.
According to a news report posted on the website of El Siglo de Durango news daily, an unidentified man was found dead in Santiago Papasquiaro shot in the head. The victim was found on a road leading to the village of Canelas.
Near the village of Tayoltita, municipality of San Dimas municipality, Maria de los Angeles Valdez Villanueva, 62, was shot to death Thursday. The press account said the victim was shot in the chest by an unidentified male suspect who fled the scene. El Sol de Durango news daily, however said that Valdez Villanueva was shot in the head.
A Mexican Army counternarcotics operation was concluded just two months ago last February in Tayoltita in San Dimas municipality where soldier seized two AK-47 rifles, three 5.7mm pistols, two 9mm pistols, one 40mm grenade launching attachment, one 40mm grenade, 333 rounds of ammunition and 14 weapons magazines. The seizure included operations in La Lajita in Tamazula as well.
Violence and threats of kidnappings have been plaguing government workers as well in San Dimas, according to a separate account in El Siglo de Durango.
According to the report, Eduardo Matuk Sariñana -- an administrator with the federal Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) -- said his charges have been subject to intimidation including threats of kidnapping by local drug gangs.
Two weeks ago an IMSS ambulance was fired on and heavily damaged by armed suspects in the village of Vencedores in San Dimas municipality.
In El Salto in Pueblo Nuevo last February, another IMSS clinic was surrounded by local armed drug gang members after one of their members died in the clinic while receiving medical attention. Threats forced one local doctor to flee the village.
Meanwhile, a third victim was found immolated on Rancho La Joya near the village of San Francisco de Lajas in Mezquita municipality. The victim was tentatively identified in the El Sol de Durango report as Paula de la Cruz. The case is being treated by Durango state police investigators as a homicide.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com and BorderlandBeat.com