Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Gunmen Dressed as Cops Kill Police Chief in Mexico

At least he wasn't beheaded, like some other unfortunate police chiefs.

CHILPANCINGO, Mexico—Gunmen disguised as federal agents shot dead the head of police in a state capital near Mexico's Acapulco beach resort on Wednesday, the third killing of a senior cop in five days.

Presumed drug gang members in black fatigues shot police chief Artemio Mejia in the back in the dusty town of Chilpancingo after he got out of his pickup truck to question them, town spokesman Reemberto Valdez said.

President Felipe Calderon has sent thousands of troops and federal police to tackle drug cartels across Mexico, but the increased firepower has failed to contain the violence, including a recent wave of attacks on senior officers.

Bodyguards traveling in Mejia's pickup truck returned fire, killing one gunman and wounding another, who was put under heavy guard in a nearby hospital.

Other attackers escaped in a large sports utility vehicle, exchanging gunfire with police as they sped away.

On Saturday, presumed drug hitmen shot dead a police chief in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas as he traveled in his truck. On Tuesday, gunmen killed the head of an anti-kidnapping unit in the northern city of Monterrey.

Chilpancingo, about an hour's drive from Acapulco, is the capital of the state of Guerrero, much of which consists of remote and lawless mountains dominated by drug growers and smugglers.

Narcotics gangs in Mexico occasionally assassinate senior local cops and it is often unclear whether they have been targeted because of involvement with organized criminals or in retribution for trying to catch them.

In the town of Apatzingan in Michoacan state, where soldiers firing grenades and machine guns battled gunmen earlier this week, troops in camouflage swept through a ramshackle neighborhood on Wednesday, searching house-to-house for gang members.

Outside the beach resort of Huatulco in the southern state of Oaxaca, soldiers killed one gunman after a group traveling in sports utility vehicles opened fire on their highway checkpoint, newspapers reported.

Drug-related deaths in Mexico number nearly 800 so far this year. Narcotics-related violence left 2,000 people dead in 2006.

The Epoch Times | Gunmen Dressed as Cops Kill Police Chief in Mexico


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