Four police officers were slain after being lured into an ambush in western Mexico. According to authorities, as many as eight suspects were killed in a gun battle with additional police officers who hurried to the scene.
The top prosecutor of the western state of Jalisco, Luis Joaqun Méndez, stated that four municipal police officers in the city of El Salto responded to a complaint concerning armed individuals at a residence late Wednesday night.
When they arrived, a woman greeted them at the door and assured them everything was OK. The prosecution stated that shooters inside opened fire on the officers, killing some of them as they were carried into the house.
According to officials, police reinforcements arrived and engaged the suspects in gunfire, resulting in eight deaths and three injuries.
The prosecutor's office later said that nine bodies were discovered at the residence, including four police officers and five suspect shooters. They reported that three other dead, two men and a woman, were found on a nearby property.
Prosecutors stated that the deceased were likely members of a group that detained kidnapping victims at one of the residences. The investigators also discovered the dismembered remains of a second male in plastic bags.
Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro posted on Facebook, "At this time Mexico is living in, in Jalisco we are clear that there can be no truce against those who have taken away our peace and tranquility,"
Officials reported that two captives were rescued after receiving information that shooters had been spotted bringing gagged individuals into the residence.
Multiple arrests were made, and firearms and ammo were recovered.
El Salto's police commander, Ricardo Santillán, described the gunshots as "a cowardly act."
Three days after two Jesuit priests were allegedly murdered by a drug gang boss inside their church in a remote village in northern Mexico, the Roman Catholic Mexican Council of Bishops issued an open statement on Thursday urging the government to rethink its security strategy.
"It is time to revise the security policies that are failing," the bishops said, urging a "national dialogue" to find alternatives.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said that his administration is no longer focused on apprehending drug cartel leaders. In 2019, he ordered the release of a captured Sinaloa cartel boss to prevent violence.
López Obrador has executed a tactic he refers to as "hugs, not bullets" and has occasionally looked to tolerate the gangs, even applauding them at one point for not interfering with elections.
When asked at his daily morning news briefing if he planned to change strategies, López Obrador responded, "No, rather the reverse, this is the right path."
In his three and a half years in government, there have been more murders than in the entire six-year term of President Felipe Calderón, whom López Obrador routinely accuses of being responsible for unnecessary violence.
"It's only that the homicide rate was at an all-time high, and Calderón wasn't handed the country in such a state. He raised the stakes, "López Obrador stated.
According to official statistics, ten police officers have been slain in Jalisco, one of the most violent states in Mexico, due to the presence of criminal gangs.
The affluent western region is the birthplace of the formidable Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which officials blame for several homicides and disappearances. According to the Department of Justice, the Jalisco cartel is "one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world."
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is offering $10 million for the capture of its head, Nemesio "El Mencho" Oseguera, who is one of the most sought drug lords in the world.
In 2019, DEA agent Matthew Donahue said to CBS News, "He is the number one priority for DEA and frankly for federal law enforcement in the United States,"
Francisco Javier Rodriguez Hernandez, often known as "El Señorón" or "XL." was arrested by Mexican authorities last month on suspicion of leading the Jalisco cartel.