Seven killed in Mexico violence

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mexico City, Jan 23 (IANS/EFE) At least seven people died in a gun battle between government security forces and suspected drug cartel enforcers in the northern Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, officials said.

The clash occurred on a stretch of the Mexico City-Nuevo Laredo highway and left five suspected mobsters and one police officer dead.

A person held captive by the gunmen apparently had been shot dead before the gun battle.

In a separate incident, two police investigators were killed Friday and another was seriously wounded when they came under attack by several men riding in a vehicle in the northern city of Chihuahua, capital of the like-named northern state.

State police officers were inspecting a vehicle with bloodstains when the gunmen arrived and fired numerous rounds, the spokesman for the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office, Carlos Gonzalez, said.

Mexico is home to seven large drug cartels that are embroiled in fierce turf battles for control of local markets and smuggling routes to the US, including the powerful Sinaloa mob headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, Mexico’s most-wanted fugitive.

The gangs also frequently clash with security forces that try to crack down on their operations.

The drug war has left more than 34,000 dead since late 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office and militarized the struggle against the cartels.


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