Gunmen apparently from a drug gang ambushed a police convoy Thursday in central Mexico, killing 13 police officers and prosecutors in a hail of gunfire, authorities said, the Associated Press reported.
The slaying of the 13 law enforcement officers in the State of Mexico was the country’s single largest massacre of law enforcement since October 2019, when cartel gunmen ambushed and murdered 14 state police officers in the neighboring state of Michoacan, according to the AP.
Eight state police officers and five prosecution investigators died in the ambush, authorities said, per the AP.
The Thursday ambush prompted a massive search for the perpetrators in a rural, gang-plagued area southwest of Mexico City, which is surrounded on three sides by Mexico State, according to the AP. The deceased law enforcement officers worked for the state.
Rodrigo Martínez Celis Wogau, the head of the Mexico State Public Safety Department, said soldiers, marines, and National Guard troops were searching the area by land and from the air looking for the killers.
“The convoy was carrying out patrols in the region, precisely to fight the criminal groups that operate in the area,” Martínez Celis said, per the AP. “This aggression is an attack on the Mexican government.”
“We will respond with all force,” he added.
The convoy on Thursday was patrolling in Coatepec Harinas, about 40 miles southwest of Mexico City, to “combat criminal groups who operate in that zone,” Martínez added in a video statement posted on Twitter, per The New York Times.
Martínez, per The Times, blamed “organized crime.”
There was no immediate indication as to what gang or cartel the gunmen might have been part of, according to the AP. A number of them operate in the area around Coatepec Harinas, where the ambush happened.
The town is near a hot springs resort called as Ixtapan de la Sal. However, it is also relatively close to cities such as Taxco, where authorities have reported activities by the Guerreros Unidos gang apparently allied with the Jalisco cartel and by the Arcelia gang, dominated by the Familia Michoacán crime organization, according to the AP.
Thursday’s slayings in central Mexico added to the 86 police officers who had been killed already this year, according to Causa en Común, a Mexican anti-corruption group that focuses on public security, as The Times noted.
Last year was the deadliest year for Mexican police since the group began tracking deaths in 2018, with at least 524 officers killed.
Thursday’s attack, the AP wrote, appears to present a challenge for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has pursued a strategy of not directly confronting drug cartels in an effort to avoid violence.
On Friday, López Obrador promised to bring the murderers to justice, according to Reuters.
“We are filled with sorrow about what happened in the State of Mexico,” he said at a regular news conference.
There would not be “impunity” for anyone, he added.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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