Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gunmen Kill 13 People in Oaxaca

Massacre in Oaxaca.
Gunmen kill 13 people in the southern state of Oaxaca.

"When the time comes to die, it happens no matter where it is. I regret the delicate state of my fellow colleagues,"
Solomon Rojas, a Oaxaca police officer.

The Associated Press

Oaxaca - Police forces in Oaxaca and Veracruz were searching for the armed commandos that executed 13 people which included police and civilians in the community of Vicente Camalote, while a commander of the State Preventive Police is missing, according to the regional attorney for Justice Fernando Santiago Hernandez.

Gunmen stormed a rural town of Vicente Camalote in southern Mexico and killed 13 people, while the U.S. government warned Americans against traveling to cities in a northern border state where shootouts have left 19 people dead over three days. This town is located about 40 minutes from the state of Veracruz, which appears to be the place where the "gatilleros" (gunman) came from to target their objective. Besdies the four killed in a ranch, the sicarios also killed 9 others that included state and municipal police officers and humble labor workers. They opened their path while spilling blood with gunfire.

Hooded assailants in several vehicles killed nine police officers at a checkpoint in San Vicente Camalote, a town in southern Oaxaca state, state deputy attorney general Netolin Chavez said Wednesday.

The incident occurred in the community of Vicente Camalote when a group of 30 to 40 sicarios aboard seven trucks type Hummer with license plates from the State of Veracruz arrived at the ranch of the trader and rancher Alfonso Maciel Sosa, the brother of Adán Maciel Sosa, a PAN (National Action Party) candidate for mayor.

Officials say the hooded men travelling in several vehicles stormed the ranch of Alfonso Maciel, killing him and four other people. The other four killed were Alfonso Maciel Hernandez, 16 (son of Alfonso Maciel), Julian Hernandez Mora (brother in law of Alfonos Maciel), and workers from veracruz; Clemente Bautista, Maximino "N" and Carmelo Flores Xoloctle.

Chavez said investigators believe the attack Tuesday night was related to drugs, but he had no other details.

Mexican authorities said that the gunmen then killed five local police officers who tried to fight back. The elements of the State Preventive Police; Luis Ángel Villalobos Juan, Jesús Ramírez Santiago and Francisco Rodríguez Alejandro, responded to the scene finding the sicarios but they were outnumbered and outgunned. It is believed that the officers were also attacked with hand granades. Five other police officers resulted injured during the attack, some with serious injuries. 

"When it's not your turn, even if they put you in a place of danger, nothing will happen to you, but when it's truly your turn, you could die anywhere, death will surprise you even when you sleep and you just don't wake up," said injured police officer Solomon Rojas after the attack.

Sequence of events:

Approximately 1915 hours

The sicarios cross the first village in the community of Tetela. In the lead of the convoy is a SUV Hummer and is followed by at about six to seven other SUVs. All the men inside are carrying long rifles.

Due to the fact that in this place there are police and media, they are required to stop at the command of Acatlan, but continue toward Vicente Camalote or also known as Margarita.

Approximately 19:20 hours.
At a place known as Los Pinos the sicarios execute three policemen who are attempting to set up a roadblock.

Approximately 19:40 hours.
The command enters the Ranch of El Zapote, owned by Alfonso Maciel Sosa, where they kill two laborers and young Alfonso Maciel Hernandez, 16 years of age.

Approximately 19:45 hours.
The command encounters a state police patrol at the intersection of FFCC and a warehouse. The sicarios overtake the police officers because of their superiority in apparent training and the type of firearms they carry. The police officers are disarmed, handcuffed and taken as hostages.

Approximately 20:00 hours.
They violently entered the home of Mrs. Delfina Mora and inside they execute Alfonso Maciel Sosa, his brother in law Julian Hernandez Mora and also execute the state police officers which includes the commander José Escobar Castro.

Approximately 20:30 hours
The convoy leaves the area from the same direction they came from. It is rumored that they have a hostage, but it can never be confirmed.

Approximately 22:30 hours
The military and police forces arrive at both scenes and set up roadblocks to attempt to capture the sicarios, but are unable to locate them.

State police were sent to patrol the town.

Oaxaca, a Pacific coast state with a picturesque colonial capital, ancient Zapotec ruins and pristine beaches, is considered a drug trafficking corridor, although violence has not risen to the levels plaguing Mexico's northern border region.

The Pacific coast state of Oaxaca is considered to be a drug trafficking corridor, although violence has not risen to the levels seen in Mexico's northern border region.

The U.S. Consulate in Monterrey on Wednesday warned American citizens to avoid traveling to Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas, and Reynosa, which faces McAllen.

Mexican security forces have fought gang members in several cities of Tamaulipas state since Sunday, said Hernan de la Garza, the state deputy attorney general.

Among the 19 dead are a soldier and a police officer, both killed in attacks in two different towns Tuesday.

Gunmen also attacked the police headquarters in the town of Miguel Aleman on Tuesday, de la Garza said. Six officers are missing and presumed kidnapped.

As rumors of shootouts spread, residents stayed off the streets and some two dozen schools ended class early Tuesday in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, which lies across from Brownsville, Texas. Reports of fighting spread by e-mail, Twitter and other social network postings.

There were no shootings in either city that day, however. Nuevo Laredo School superintendent Aurelio Uvalle said schools did not have permission to close and teachers who failed to show up for classes could face disciplinary measures.

The massacre in Oaxaca was the second mass killing in Mexico in less than a month.

The incident follows the deaths of 19 people in Tamaulipas state over the past three days in confrontations between police and illegal groups.

On Jan. 30, gunmen killed 15 people in a working-class neighborhood of Ciudad Juarez, a city facing El Paso, Texas, that has become one of the world's deadliest places. Most of the dead were teenagers at a party with no known ties to drug gangs. In that region Ciudad Juarez, by the border with the US, has seen the most deaths. More than 2,600 murders were recorded in Ciudad Juarez during 2009.

Authorities say the gunmen may have been acting on mistaken information — fueling anger over a drug war that has increasingly taken a toll on civilians.

A record 15,000 people have died in drug gang violence since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006 and deployed thousands of troops to root out Mexico's brutal cartels.

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