Shootout, 3 bodies found raise fears in Mexico City
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A violent attempted jailbreak and the discovery of three hacked-up bodies on a train are raising new fears that provincial drug cartel violence is finding its way into Mexico City.
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said Monday that three men got into a police station over the weekend posing as relatives and the lawyer of a detainee, who has been identified as Carlos Esquivel Orozco.
The gang then opened fire inside the police station and fled with the suspect, who had been caught with an assault rifle.
One assailant was killed in the Sunday shootout at the police station. And the suspect and another one of the other gunmen were later captured.
Mancera said he did not know if the suspect was linked to the hyper-violent Jalisco New Generation cartel. A federal official said that was one theory under investigation.
The cartel shocked Mexico on May 1 with coordinated attacks in the western state of Jalisco that forced down a military helicopter and killed 18 people. The death toll rose over the weekend after another army officer died, bring the death toll to eight soldiers, two police officers and eight suspected gunmen. Four soldiers and a federal police officer are still being treated for injuries suffered after the chopper was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Separately, Mexico City police chief Hiram Almeida said that employees at a freight rail station in the capital over the weekend discovered three hacked-up bodies in 11 bags on a train that had passed through Colima and Michoacan, other states where Jalisco New Generation is active.
Later Monday, Mexico City's government released a statement saying that human remains had also been found on the tracks of a stretch of railway known as Lecheria in Mexico State, which neighbors the capital. It provided no further details. Lecheria is the point where freight trains proceeding from the north and west come together, including trains from Mexico's Pacific coast states.
Mancera said the violence does not mean the Jalisco cartel is extending its area of operations into the nation's capital.
"Mexico City is in no way an area where this type of operation is easy" for the cartels, Mancera said. In the past, the city has largely been spared the grisly drug violence hitting other states, even though officials have acknowledged that drug capos do use the city as a point of transit and place of residence.