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20 shot dead by drug gang in attack on city hall in Southern Mexico – National

A drug gang shot to loss of life 20 individuals, together with a mayor and his father, within the mountains of the southern Mexico state of Guerrero, officers mentioned Thursday.

Residents started burying the victims whilst a video posted on social media confirmed males who recognized themselves because the Tequileros gang claiming duty for the mass capturing.


A forensics investigator works the scene of an enormous shootout in San Miguel Totolapan, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. A drug gang burst into the city corridor and shot to loss of life 20 individuals, together with a mayor and his father, officers mentioned Thursday.


(AP Picture/Eduardo Verdugo)

The Guerrero state safety council mentioned gunmen burst into the city corridor within the village of San Miguel Totolapan Wednesday and opened hearth on a gathering the mayor was holding with different officers.

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Among the many lifeless have been Mayor Conrado Mendoza and his father, Juan Mendoza Acosta, a former mayor of the city. A lot of the different victims have been believed to be native officers.

The partitions of the city corridor, which have been surrounded by kids’s honest rides on the time, have been left riddled with bullets. Nonetheless, residents mentioned the assault that killed the mayor occurred just a few blocks away.

Totolapan is geographically massive however sparsely populated mountainous township in a area referred to as Tierra Caliente, one in every of Mexico’s most conflict-ridden areas.

There have been so many victims {that a} backhoe was introduced into the city’s cemetery to scoop out graves as residents started burying their lifeless Thursday. By noon, two our bodies had already been buried and 10 extra empty pits stood ready.

A procession of about 100 residents singing hymns walked solemnly behind a truck carrying the coffin of 1 man killed within the capturing. As soon as they neared the cemetery, a number of males hoisted the coffin out of the truck and walked with it the ready grave. Dozens of troopers have been posted on the entrance to the city.

Ricardo Mejia, Mexico’s assistant secretary of public security, mentioned the Tequileros are preventing the Familia Michoacana gang within the area and that the authenticity of the video was being verified.

“This act occurred within the context of a dispute between felony gangs,” Mejia mentioned. “A bunch referred to as the Tequileros dominated the area for a while; it was a gaggle that primarily smuggled and distributed opium, but in addition engaged in kidnapping, extortion and a number of other killings within the area.”

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Totolapan was managed for years by drug gang boss Raybel Jacobo de Almonte, identified by his nickname as “El Tequilero” (“The Tequila Drinker”).

In his solely identified public look, de Almonte was captured on video consuming with the elder Mendoza, who was then the city’s mayor-elect, in 2015. It was not clear if the elder Mendoza was there of his personal free will, or had been compelled to attend the assembly.

In that video, de Almonte appeared so drunk he mumbled inaudibly and needed to be held up in a sitting place by one in every of his henchmen.

In 2016, Totolapan locals acquired so fed up with abductions by the Tequileros that they kidnapped the gang chief’s mom to leverage the discharge of others.

Whereas the Tequileros lengthy relied on trafficking opium paste from native poppy growers, the rising use of the artificial opioid fentanyl had diminished the demand for opium paste and lowered the extent of violence in Guerrero.

Additionally Wednesday, within the neighboring state of Morelos, a state lawmaker was shot to loss of life within the metropolis of Cuernavaca, south of Mexico Metropolis.

Two armed males touring on a bike fatally shot state Deputy Gabriela Marin as she exited a automobile outdoors a pharmacy. An individual with Marin was reportedly wounded within the assault.

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“Primarily based on the knowledge now we have, we can not rule out a motive associated to politics,” Mejia mentioned of that killing. “The deceased, Gabriela Marin, had simply taken workplace as a legislator in July, after one other member of the legislature died, and there have been a number of authorized disputes regarding the seat.”

The killing of Mendoza dropped at 18 the variety of mayors slain in the course of the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and the variety of state lawmakers to eight, in keeping with knowledge from Etellekt Consultores.

Mexico’s Congress this week is debating the president’s proposal to increase the army’s policing duties to 2028. Final month, lawmakers authorized Lopez Obrador’s push to switch the ostensibly civilian Nationwide Guard to army management.

Whereas assaults on public officers are usually not unusual in Mexico, these come at a time when the Lopez Obrador’s safety technique is being sharply debated. The president has positioned super duty within the armed forces relatively than civilian police for reining in Mexico’s persistently excessive ranges of violence. He pledged to proceed, saying “now we have to go on doing the identical issues, as a result of it has introduced outcomes.”

Lopez Obrador sought responsible earlier administrations for Mexico’s persistent downside of violence.

“These are (felony) organizations which have been there for a very long time, that didn’t spring up on this administration,” Lopez Obrador mentioned. He additionally blamed native individuals within the Tierra Caliente area for supporting the gangs – and generally even electing them to workplace.

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“There are nonetheless communities that defend these teams, and even vote them into workplace as authorities,” the president mentioned.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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