Violence in Mexican Town Of Zitacuaro, Michoacán, Leaves 27 Dead; President Calderón Defends Anti-Drug Efforts

The town of Zitacuaro, Mexico.
The town of Zitacuaro, Mexico.
The town of Zitacuaro, Mexico.
The town of Zitacuaro, Mexico.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — A surge of violence swept through Mexico Monday and left 27 people dead, including 10 federal police officers.

In the western town of Zitacuaro in the Michoacán state, unidentified gunmen ambushed a column of federal policemen on their way to Mexico City. The ensuing shootout left ten policemen dead as well as several gunmen.

“The information we have is that there are 10 dead and several wounded,” Michoacán state Public Security Minister Minerva Bautista told a local radio station, according to Reuters.

Mexican soldiers and police began a manhunt for the remaining gunmen after the shootout was over. It is unknown who is behind the ambush, but Michoacán is home to the “La Familia” cartel who recently kidnapped 12 federal police officers, decapitated them and dumped their bodies on a local highway.

Also on Monday, a prison riot in the northwestern city of Mazatlan left 17 inmates dead and wounded two prison guards. After the riot was suppressed, investigators found two pistols and an assault rifle.

The city of Mazatlán has recently become a hotbed of violence, as drug cartels battle for turf. Local media reported that those killed in the riot were members of Los Zetas cartel, which is currently fighting Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón defended the government’s anti-drug efforts on Monday in a 5,000 word statement on the federal government’s Web site.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

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