Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat EL Debate 12/5-7/2016
Hundreds of people lived firsthand through the terror of four shootouts yesterday evening, Monday Dec 5 and night in the Port city of Mazatlan. Nine men were left dead.
The First Attack
Authorities received the first report at 7:00pm about gunfire in the Colonia Francisco Villa; Ministerial agents were mobilized to the scene and confirmed shortly after the fact: there were three men wounded by bullets and they requested the support of the Veteran Firemen.
Minutes later, the volunteers arrived and reported that the victims were all deceased and they requested the presence of the Apollo Group.
One of the deceased was face up on Lazaro Cardenas Street, while the other two were on Tierra Blanca Street near the corner with Lazaro Cardenas.
Two of the dead
According to witnesses, the occupants of truck traveling at high speed down Tierra Blanca St. opened fire on the three subjects killing two and a third as he tried to escape the assassins. The criminals sped off without a trace. Chase ends in a rain of bullets.
The investigative group had just arrived at the scene to gather evidence when they were notified of another violent incident taking place on Lico Velarde. The Municipal officers went to the site of that report, down Tulip Street near the arroyo Boars, where they confirmed the death of two more victims. Paramedics were not called to this scene, both of the deceased were lying together underneath a tarp.
The mother of one of the dead came forward and tearfully shouted at the officers to let her see her son and painfully said " this is enough to drive me crazy; I had just spoken to him but he ignored me and they ended up killing him. There is no god for me, because I had just told him to calm down, I was just coming to see my children and now this". The mother was inconsolable.
Agents cordoned off the area several meters around the bodies as curious onlookers came to see the lifeless men.
A Third Report
The Security agents had spent two hours in Colonia Francisco Villa when new detonations of firearms went off Colonia Valles del Ejido.
Panic in Mazatlan
It was reported that there were a group of armed men in a another confrontation. Agents of different commands gathered at the site and found three men wounded by bullets and solicited the support of the Red Cross.
Three ambulances from the Benemerita Institution arrived to attend the wounded, but after a few minutes they confirmed the death of two of the men. The third was taken to the hospital for specialized medical attention, but subsequently died within minutes of arrival. Municipal agents as well as Marines guarded the crime scene to avoid contamination of evidence.
According to data collected at this site, and information gathered from witnesses it was reported that there were at least six trucks full of gunmen who came down Higueras Street and began firing at three men, who returned fire and then all the gunmen fled after killing two of them.
After three previous violent events calm seemed to return. Then authorities were surprised by a new confrontation, also apparently between two more armed groups. This time the shooting was taking place on Del Mar St at the corner of Brook Seminar at the Royal Valley Sub-Division.
Detonations of guns were heard for half an hour coming from surrounding areas, some of the explosions are presumed to be grenades. The authorities were once again mobilized to the scene and cordoned off the area for several blocks from where the detonations emanated. Finally the Marines arrived on the scene to take over control of security.
Unofficially, it was said that a group of armed men arrived on the street in search of a subject, they threatened him along with his neighbors, demanding that the man leave the house. The house was later to be described as " a safe house ", allowing rapid movement from one place to another and hiding space. The armed men began firing upon the house but upon realizing the presence of authorities they fled.
It has been said that some people took refuge between the hills and others in houses. Later it was reported and confirmed that there was one dead in a residence and that the authorities arrested two subjects.
Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez, Prosecutor for the Justice of Sinaloa, said that this group of assailants had been at their "safe -house " for a week; and the violent activities are due to a dispute over drug dealing.
Higuera Gomez went on to say that when elements of the Marines observed a man with a " long gun " in his clothing. The man then climbed to the roof of the "safe-house" upon realizing the presence of the Marines and began shooting from there. Other subjects shot at the agents through windows and doors but the Marines repelled the attack. The shooting lasted about 30 minutes.
When it was over, The Marines entered the house and arrested Raul "N" and Christian "N", both of Mazatlán.
Weapons, Firearms and ammunition at "Safe-House"
Fussiles for four fragmentation grenades, three guns .2 caliber 23, a rifle 7.62 for 39, 26 cartridges caliber 7.62 for 39 , 152 .2 nominal caliber shell casings for 23, 4 black tactical bulletproof vests, five black perchers, 10 firearm magazines .2 23, .2 253 cartridges nominal caliber 23, a charger 5.7 x 28 caliber gun and a grey SUV.
The armaments and tactical gear were given to the SSP.
The Attorney General said that the alleged leaders of the four attacks in Mazatlán are already identified. One died at the scene , Two were arrested , and one is a fugitive.
He said the attacks were led by a person known as Martin Rivas Torres aka "Martin de La Zapata" working for the criminal cell of Los Beltranes.
Higuera Gomez has already begun an investigation and also said that the preliminary investigations reveal that the same arms were used in all the attacks.