At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

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At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

uncle grumpy
(Reuters) - At least 22 suspected gang members were killed southwest of Mexico City early on Monday, the government said, in one of the bloodiest shootouts with security forces since President Enrique Pena Nieto took power.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said the gunfight took place in Tlatlaya on the southern fringes of the State of Mexico, an area that has been plagued by gang violence in the two neighboring states of Guerrero and Michoacan.

A spokesman for federal prosecutors said all the dead were believed to be gang members.

According to Mexican media reports, the shooting started after soldiers came under fire from the suspected gang members, resulting in a gunfight lasting several minutes.

Pena Nieto took office in December 2012 pledging to quell gang violence that has claimed more than 90,000 lives since 2007. Total homicides are down in Mexico since he took over, but the death toll has risen in parts of the country.

The State of Mexico is the country's most populous region and Pena Nieto's home state, and there murders have risen by nearly 14 percent this year from 2013, government data show.

Michoacan has seen a jump in homicides of more than 40 percent this year, in spite of a concerted effort by the government to pacify the state, which was heavily under the control of the Knights Templar drug gang at the start of 2014.

In January, the Mexican government reinforced Michoacan and forged an uneasy alliance with local vigilante groups in a bid to bring the Knights Templar to heel.

However, monthly homicides in Michoacan reached their highest level since 1998 in May of this year, and the government arrested one of the vigilante leaders on Friday.

(Additional reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by James Dalgleish, Bernard Orr)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/30/us-mexico-violence-idUSKBN0F52D920140630

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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

uncle grumpy


(AP) Soldiers in Mexico have killed 22 people at a warehouse in a shootout that also left a soldier injured, the Defence Department has said.

The department said in a brief statement on Monday that soldiers were patrolling the town of Tlataya when they came across a warehouse being guarded by armed men, who opened fire on the troops.

Twenty-one men and one woman were killed in the shootout and soldiers rescued three women who said they had been kidnapped, it said.

Soldiers also seized 22 automatic rifles, two shotguns, 13 handguns, a hand grenade and dozens of round of ammunition.

The town of Tlatlaya is in the mountains near the state of Guerrero, an area known for growing marijuana.

Mexico state, which rings Mexico City, in recent months has seen an increase in killings linked to drug cartels.

Mexican media reported that it was a synthetic drug lab run by the La Familia Michoacana cartel. However, the military did not say if those killed were members of an organised crime group.

Many killed in Mexico shootout
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

elcienporcien
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

Itzli
Majority of the reports say La Familia Michoacana, and based upon the location that is extremely likely. I have seen one statement of Guerrero Unidos however.
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

El Faro
Ya, it looks like Guerrero Unidos.

A clash between Army and suspects yesterday morning left a toll of 22 dead (including one woman) and a wounded soldier (out of danger).The incident occurred in the place Cuadrilla Nueva, Tlatlaya municipality in the southern state of Mexico.

The armed clash occurred when the elements of the Department of National Defense did a ground survey in the area and were attacked by a group that was guarding a building with three kidnapped women inside, who were later released by military personnel.


In a statement, the Department of Defense noted that'' approximately 5:30 am in Tlatlaya, military personnel, to perform ground surveys, found a warehouse that was guarded by armed men, realizing the presence of the troops they opened fire, so the military personnel repelled the aggression.'' He added that 22 of the alleged offenders (21 men and one woman) were killed.

(On site) 25 guns, including 16 AK-47s, 6 AR-15 rifles, rifle brand Calico, 2 shotguns, 13 handguns and 38 special revolver and a fragmentation Grenade, secured 112 Chargers and useful cartridges.

The three women who were abducted were released, which were made available to the relevant authorities.

The incident occurred  just before before six in the morning, when about 50 soldiers advancing on a country road before they were attacked. This town of just 250 inhabitants, is located near the town of San Pedro Limon, about 180 kilometers from Toluca and very close to the border strip of the state of Guerrero and Michoacan Mexico.

The region is part of the so-called Tierra Caliente and its difficult access has become a haven for criminal groups in the states of Michoacan and Guerrero, continually disputed area. According to police sources, the attackers were members of the criminal organization known as Guerreros Unidos.

Also mobilized to the area more than a hundred members of the Mexico Navy and Army to establish a security fence around the scene.

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/07/01/politica/003n1pol
 
 
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

uncle grumpy
In reply to this post by uncle grumpy
I'm not certain, but this story sounds like more information regarding this thread... interesting take on the Mex military.  Did they execute the gang?


In this Thursday, July 3, 2014 photo, a cross and candles left by relatives of the dead mark the ground near bloodstains in an unfinished warehouse that was the site of a shootout between Mexican soldiers and alleged criminals on the outskirts of the village of San Pedro Limon, in Mexico state, Mexico. Mexico’s Defense Department says soldiers were patrolling in one of the most violent, lawless corners of the country on June 30 when they came under fire from a warehouse where a gang of 21 men and one woman were hiding. Mexico's military says one soldier was wounded, and all 22 suspects were killed. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)The Associated Press

(FOXNEWS) SAN PEDRO LIMON, Mexico –  Bullet marks and blood spatters on the walls inside a grain storage warehouse deep in the mountains of southern Mexico tell a grim story of death involving soldiers and alleged criminals. It may not be the same story officials tell, however.

Mexico's Defense Department says soldiers were patrolling in one of the most violent, lawless corners of the country on June 30 when they came under fire from a warehouse where a gang of 21 men and one woman were hiding. One soldier was wounded, but all of the suspects were killed.

The shootout was the most dramatic in a string of battles in which the army says criminals fired first at soldiers who then killed them all, while suffering few or no losses. There have been so many such incidents that human rights groups and analysts have begun to doubt the military's version.

"It raises suspicion, the simple fact that there were 22 dead on one side and one wounded on the other side," said security analyst Alejandro Hope, a former official in Mexico's domestic intelligence service.

In San Pedro Limon, pools of blood and bullet marks observed by Associated Press journalists three days after the shooting raise questions about whether all the suspects died in the gunbattle, or after it was over. The warehouse where many bodies were found showed little evidence of sustained fighting.

One witness who lives near the warehouse said he heard almost two hours of automatic gunfire and loud bangs during the pre-dawn hours of June 30. But he couldn't say if it came from the warehouse or from the forested hillsides around it. The man, who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals, said he saw soldiers searching the hillsides after the shooting stopped.

Despite that heavy gunfire, only about six incoming rounds appeared to have hit the facade of the warehouse, the only part of the building with a window or door where soldiers likely would have been firing at people holed up inside.

There also were also no signs of continuous shooting inside the building, few bullet marks and no casings. But there was ample evidence of death. The floor was stained with pools of drying blood and scattered with pieces of numbered paper left by investigators to mark where cadavers were found.

At least five spots along the warehouse's inside walls showed the same pattern: One or two closely placed bullet pocks, surrounded by a mass of spattered blood, giving the appearance that some of those killed were standing against the wall and were hit by one or two shots at about chest level.

The distance at which the fatal shots were fired has not made public by the Mexico State prosecutor's office, which is carrying out the autopsies. A state official said the office could not release the cause of death because it is a federal case, but a federal official denied that. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

The Mexican Defense Department did not respond to requests for comment.

Two observers of the United Nations' High Commission on Human Rights, who inspected the warehouse just moments before state authorities closed it off with police "no entry" tape, noted that they found no signs of stray bullets of the type that would be left by soldiers shooting automatic weapons from a distance.

Nor did they see signs of outgoing fire from within the warehouse.

"I also find that remarkable," said U.N. observer Tom Haeck, adding that no conclusions had yet been drawn, and that any report would be for U.N. internal use.

Scattered around the earthen floor of the warehouse were notebook paper investigators left to mark where the bodies had been found; most were close to the walls. There were also toothbrushes, medications and empty food containers, suggesting people had camped out there.

Employees of the Mexico State medical examiners' office, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press, said the dead were mostly youths between the ages of 16 and 24, and were from neighboring Guerrero state. It's home to a drug gang known as Guerreros Unidos, which reportedly is battling the Michoacan-state-based La Familia cartel for control of drug routes in the area. Officials have declined to say which gang might have been involved with the warehouse.

The Mexican army's rules of engagement allow soldiers to fire on armed civilians only if the civilians fire first. In some cases there is evidence that heavily armed drug gangs have attacked the military. A convoy of troops and police came under fire on May 16 in Michoacan state; four soldiers were killed and several wounded. The military said two soldiers died in another Michoacan ambush in January. Five soldiers died in a 2007 ambush in the same state.

But far more common of late are cases in which soldiers say they came under fire and only the attackers were killed.

The army reported a May 8 clash in Zacatecas state in which troops killed seven armed men without taking casualties. In four cases in the span of a week in late April, officials said federal forces killed 12 men who attacked them, but suffered no casualties themselves. The army said troops killed 11 other alleged hit men who fired on them in the northern border state of Tamaulipas in 2010.

Hope, the security analyst, said he certainly doesn't want any more dead among the military. But in the case of San Pedro Limon, "it is important for there to be a thorough investigation, to dispel doubts or punish anyone who should be punished. I would prefer that (investigation) be done by a non-military agency."

It is hard to get residents here to speak on the record about the warehouse, because they say they fear the army or drug gangs who carry out kidnappings, extortion and murder and move openly in the area.

Days after the shooting, AP reporters in San Pedro Limon saw two youths dressed in jeans, T-shirts and black ammo belts, with AK-47 rifles at the ready standing guard beside a white SUV with tinted windows, and two more armed men inside, on the main street of San Pedro, just a few hundred yards from where state prosecutors were taping off the warehouse.

After the men drove away, townspeople who had been standing just a few feet away claimed not to even have seen the armed men.

Asked if the road ahead was safe, one truck-taxi driver who lives in the nearby town of Amatepec, noted that travelers were likely to be stopped by armed men on the road.

"They'll ask where you're from and what you're doing here. Tell them you're visiting relatives," said the man, helpfully supplying the name of a relative to back up the story.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/07/08/in-mexico-blood-and-bullet-marks-raise-suspicion-about-army-version/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fworld+%28Internal+-+World+Latest+-+Text%29
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

Itzli
Very interesting information. From the beginning this story seemed odd to me. While not unheard of, the conflicting accounts of if the killed were members of La Familia or Guerreros Unidos was a bit unusual. Elsewhere, I have seen posts mentioning the military in the area being on cartel payroll, though there was arguments as to which side the current patrol is supporting. Taking everything together, I would say there is a good chance that the military acted as a hit squad for one of these two groups and took out a cell of an enemy group.
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

tuSancho
In reply to this post by uncle grumpy
Chivis, you asked, "Did they execute the gang?"

Well, this appeared today....

http://www.sinembargo.mx/11-07-2014/1054362 

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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

uncle grumpy
Chivis didn't post that questions, it was me.... I borrowed the her logo in support of Dr. Mireles.  

What does the article say?

Thanks
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

Pepe
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JMB
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

JMB
In reply to this post by uncle grumpy
Considering how things are going,  we can't be sure those 22  were members of anything.
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

uncle grumpy
I read this in a story about Harry Devert,  

The Mexican daily Excelsior quoted two unnamed state investigators on Devert's case, who said that he was picked up by a local offshoot of the Knights Templar known as Los Guerreros. The report could not be independently confirmed. 

I know this is a stretch, but is the Harry Devert murder directly related to the Los Guerreros executions?

Here is the story I referenced...
Dismembered Body Found in Mexico Is Missing US Traveler Harry Devert
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

aerobie
It is believable on a certain level that 50 trained military person(s) could come under fire by twenty some members of a group (to be named later) guarding the exterior and interior of a warehouse, return fire and eliminate if not exterminate all of those from the lessor trained & lessor organized. -without sustaining losses.
The evidence on the walls of the building interior would not be supportive of this however.
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Re: At least 22 killed in gunfight southwest of Mexico City

uncle grumpy
Exactly.  This was not a battle. They lined them up and killed them.  At least that what it appears like from my biased perspective.  However, I think this is just the tip of this story.  Hopefully others will pick it up.  I'm not a journalist by any means... but there is enough here for suspicion.

~ Grump