MEXICO CITY, Mexico – 14 police officers were brutally murdered after they were caught in an ambush Monday in Mexico City. The officers were traveling in a convoy when bullets began flying, the LA Times reported.
The attack was reportedly carried out by one of Mexico’s most violent gangs, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or “CJNG” for short.
In just a matter of a few short moments, more than a dozen officers were targeted and killed by the cartel group. After the hail of gunfire, attackers left handwritten messages taking credit for the slaughter. According to the Times, the violent group was angry with the officers for allegedly working alongside another rival cartel.
While 13 officers had originally been reported dead, the death toll increased to 14.
13 Mexican police officers murdered by suspected cartel gunmen in bloody ambush
A group of armed gunmen believed to be part of a powerful drug cartel in Mexico ambushed a police convoy, killing at least 13 officers and wounding 9.https://t.co/nlQRrOzBMQ https://t.co/zFH5K7rFMc
— Channel News (@Channel__News_) October 15, 2019
Several of the police vehicles were also set ablaze in the aftermath of the horrific assault.
Mexican officials say that this is just the latest attack in a string of violent outbursts in the El Aguaje area. They have pinpointed CJNG as the culprit.
Their horrific manner of killing victims has led the group to be highlighted as the most dangerous cartel group in the country.
In August, the group made headlines when they hung nine bodies from a bridge in Uruapan. Police say that 10 additional victims were dumped right nearby. They took ownership of the act by flying a massive banner from the bridge, which translated to, “Lovely people, carry on with your day.”
The group is also suspected of being part of a strip club slaughter that left 28 people dead, as well as an attack on a party that took the lives of 14.
VIDEO: At least 14 police officers have been killed in an armed attack in the municipality of Aguililla, in the western Mexican state of Michoacán pic.twitter.com/Q7k2QZ42rj
— AFP news agency (@AFP) October 15, 2019
The Times says that this is also the same dangerous cartel group that used rocket-propelled grenades to take down a military helicopter in 2015 and killed 15 officers in a similar ambush that same year.
Photos from the aftermath showed police vehicles on fire and bodies in the street. Officials believe that a convoy of about 20 cartel vehicles staged the ambush while the police were serving a warrant.
Until recently, the Mexican government had attempted to fight back. But that’s changed.
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President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador recently ended the “war” that had been declared on the violent groups, citing the militarized effort as a failure. Obrador says he’s attempting to create a greater solution to help curb the violence throughout the reduction of poverty and creation of more opportunities within the community for at-risk youth.
Though there hasn’t been a change in the violence and crime, Obrador swears his approach is working.
“You can’t fight fire with fire,” he said on Monday. “You can’t fight violence with violence … you have to fight evil by doing good.”
But just minutes after Obrador spoke these words… 14 members of his police force became the vicious cartel’s next victims.
Obrador didn’t comment on the attack, but the Secretary of the Interior reportedly told journalists that these kinds of killings “take place every day, at all hours, in all places in the country.”
Now he’s coming under fire for appearing to ignore the situation in hopes that it will just get better over time, instead of bolstering his police force to properly handle and take dangerous criminal groups off the street.
“He is betting on a long-term solution,” said Falko Ernst, a researcher. “But you also need a short-term solution.”
Michoacan has been called a “geopolitical mess” filled with criminal groups that are reportedly filled with corrupt law enforcement officials who play both sides.
“Nobody is fully in control, and you have all kinds of shades of gray of criminal actors,” Ernst said. “The dividing lines between organized crime and the state are not very clear.”
But the governor of the Mexican state vowed to catch the killers in Monday’s “cowardly” attack.
“I will not tolerate any attack on the police and let it go unpunished,” Silvano Aureoles said.
“Help, man,” one officer can be heard saying. “They knocked almost all of us down.”
“I’m dying,” said another.
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