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Another Violent Day: Six Dead, Failed Attack on Police Chief

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 14 May, 2011

(Acapulco, ElSur 14 May) Yesterday’s death toll in the so-called “narco-wars” ratcheted up by six more. Traffic was snarled for hours along Avenida Cuahutémoc, between La Progreso and the Municipal building (in front of Home Depot). Around 3:20 pm yesterday, the chief of the transit police, Miguel Ángel Hernández Albarrán, was traveling down Michoacán Street in the Progreso neighborhood, heading towards Cuahutémoc, when his bodyguards noticed armed men in pursuit, and more armed men at the corner of the main thoroughfare, closing off access and firing automatic rifles at the police vehicles. The incident occurred less than 100 meters from the city’s main transit office. The bodyguards returned the fire, causing the gunmen in front of the vehicle to flee. The group pursuing the police chief from behind opened fire as well, and the two vehicles continued down Cuauhtémoc a few hundred yards, as far as the steps going up to the new municipal offices in Parque Papagayo. Then the second group of gunmen abandoned their vehicle and fled.

As a result of the exchange of weapon fire, one person was killed, evidently an innocent bystander. He was the driver of a yellow “colectivo” taxi. The car crashed into another colectivo, destroying the trunk, and then into a second taxi that was painted with “No Taxi,” and finally a semi-trailer. The gunmen´s vehicles were found abandoned, one in Progreso and the other in the median of Cuauhtémoc, near the municipal building. Both had been reported stolen.

The official statement from the Municipal Government expresses condolences to the family of the victim of the incident and regret about the violence of criminal gangs. It says the motives of the criminals are unknown, as well as their identities, but surmises that the firefight was a territorial conflict between two criminal groups, one behind the chief, and the other in front, and that he had evidently just been caught in the cross-fire. Whenever local police are the subject of mob “hits,” it always raises a suspicion about their independence from organized crime, something the City was careful to avoid in the case of the Chief of the Transit Police.

About three hours earlier, two federal police were murdered by armed gunmen outside of Acapulco proper, in the road between Coloso and Llano Largo, an area notorious for mob violence. In the yet more remote area of Xaltianguis, an employee of the federal electrical utility (CFE), his wife and his 12-year-old daughter were all murdered by automatic weapons fire in an attack from a hit squad. Another victim of organized crime was killed at his home in Tecpan de Galeana, in the Costa Grande, also with multiple impacts of heavy caliber weapons, and others fell victim to organized crime violence near Coyuca and at other points on the road towards Zihuatanejo. In all, the death toll in Guerrero was 14 persons, two of them women and one 12-year-old child. Eight of the murders took place outside Acapulco, either in the area to the east and south, or west and north of town in the Costa Grande, where turf battles between rival criminal groups have been unusually bloody in the last month.

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