Four police officers were shot dead after they were ambushed in an ambush in western Mexico, and eight suspected assailants were killed in a gunfight with other police rushing to the scene, authorities said on Thursday.
Luis Joaquín Méndez, the attorney general for the western state of Jalisco, said four municipal police in the city of El Salto responded to a call about gunmen at a home late Wednesday.
When they arrived, a woman opened the door and told them it was okay. However, the prosecutor said the gunmen inside later opened fire on the police officers, and some were killed by being dragged into the house.
Officials said police reinforcements appeared and clashed with the suspects, killing eight people and wounding three others.
The prosecution later said that nine bodies were found in the home, including four police officers and five suspected gunmen. They said three more bodies, two men and a woman, were found on a nearby property.
Prosecutors said the dead were likely members of a gang that kept the abducted victims on one of the properties. Investigators also found the mutilated remains of another man in plastic bags.
Officials said that two people held hostage in the building were rescued after reports that gunmen were bringing people with gagged people into the house.
While many people were detained, weapons and ammunition were seized.
El Salto police chief Ricardo Santillán described the shooting as a “cowardly act”.
The Roman Catholic Council of Bishops of Mexico released an open letter Thursday, urging the government to change course on security and commented three days later.By a drug lord leader in their church in a remote town in northern Mexico.
The bishops called for “national dialogue” to find solutions, saying “it is time to review failed security policies.”
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has announced that his government is no longer focused on arresting drug cartel leaders, and in 2019 ordered the release of a captured leader of the Sinaloa cartel to prevent bloodshed.
López Obrador employed a strategy he called “hugs, not bullets,” and appeared to sometimes tolerate gangs, even praising them for not meddling in the elections at one point.
When asked if he would like to change his strategies at the daily morning news briefing, López Obrador replied, “No, it’s the opposite, that’s the right way.”
He was faced with questions about the fact that more murders had been committed than during President Felipe Calderón’s six-year tenure in 2006-2012, which López Obrador often accused of being responsible for unnecessary bloodshed.
“We just got a peak murder rate, it’s so high, and that’s not how Calderón was delivered to the country. He stepped it up,” López Obrador said.
Ten police officers have been killed this year in Jalisco, one of Mexico’s most violent states due to the presence of criminal gangs, according to official figures.
One of the wealthiest areas in the country, the western region is the cradle of the powerful Jalisco Next Generation Cartel, which authorities blame for countless deaths and disappearances. Ministry of Justice thinker The Jalisco cartel will become “one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world.”
Its leader, Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera, is one of the most wanted drug lords in the world, with the US Drug Enforcement Administration offering $10 million for his arrest.
“He is the number one priority for the DEA, and frankly for federal law enforcement in the United States,” said DEA agent Matthew Donahue.in 2019.
Last month, Mexican authorities Suspicious leader of the Jalisco cartel – Francisco Javier Rodriguez Hernandez, known as “El Señorón” or “XL”.