Crime & Justice

Death toll from Mexico massacre climbs to 20

Mexico City, Oct 6 (EFE).- Mexico’s government said Thursday the death toll from a massacre targeting government officials in the southern state of Guerrero has risen to 20.

Among those killed in a pair of attacks Wednesday afternoon in San Miguel Totolapan were Mayor Conrado Mendoza Almeda and his father, Juan Mendoza Acosta, a former mayor of that same town, federal Deputy Security Secretary Ricardo Mejia confirmed at President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s daily press conference in this capital.

The state Attorney General’s Office reported earlier Thursday that unidentified gunmen perpetrated two attacks in San Miguel Totolapan on Wednesday: the first on the town hall, which was left riddled with bullets and its windows blown out, and a second at a nearby office where the mayor was presiding over a meeting.

The massacre, one of the deadliest this year in Mexico, “comes in the context of a dispute among criminal gangs” in the region, where “a group known as Los Tequileros had held sway for a period of time,” Mejia said.

“It was a group mainly dedicated to the trafficking and sale of opium poppy, but which also was dedicated to kidnapping and extortion and had perpetrated various homicides and disappearances in the region,” the official added.

Although authorities believe that cartel’s leader – Raybel Jacobo de Almonte, known as “El Tequilero” – died in 2018 and that the outfit was further weakened by several arrests, it has strengthened once again, Mejia said.

“There’s a dispute there with a criminal group known as La Familia Michoacana” that is based in the neighboring state of Michoacan and led in Guerrero by ‘El Pez’ and ‘El Fresa,’ he recalled, noting that investigators are probing both gangs for their potential responsibility for the massacre.

Local lawmakers with the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), of which the mayor and his father were members, called on the federal AG’s office to take over the investigation due to the severity and magnitude of the attacks.

Minutes after the incident, Los Tequileros released a video on social media announcing their return to that region known for the production and trafficking of drugs.

Mendoza Almeda became the 60th municipal leader, including mayors, councilors and other local officials, killed in Mexico since the start of Lopez Obrador’s six-year term in December 2018, according to the consulting firm Etellekt.



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