Mexican Ambush Leaves 14 Police Officers Dead

  • "We are in communication and we make available to the state government all our human and technological resources to find the aggressors and bring them to justice.”
  • "No attack on the police will go unpunished, and this was a cowardly attack," state governor Silvano Aureoles told reporters.
  • From January to August there have been 23,063 victims of homicide, a fact that aims to break the record of 33,749 murders in 2018.

At least 14 police officers died in an armed attack in the municipality of Aguililla, in the western Mexican state of Michoacán, authorities said on Monday. The region has been hit by violence linked to organized crime. According to the local press sources, state police were ambushed in the morning by men aboard armored vans when they were on their way to serving a court order in the area.

Aguililla is a city in the Mexican state of Michoacán. It serves as the municipal seat for the surrounding municipality of the same name. The city has a population of roughly 25,000.

The federal Public Security Secretariat said on Twitter that it condemns the attack in which 14 police officers died in Aguililla, Michoacan. “We are in communication and we make available to the state government all our human and technological resources to find the aggressors and bring them to justice.”

Local authorities also regretted the aggression.

“No attack on the police will go unpunished, and this was a cowardly attack,” state governor Silvano Aureoles told reporters. The attackers left messages with threats to the security institutions and set at least two patrol cars on fire. After the attack, the authorities installed review filters to try to locate those responsible.

Struck by violence

Michoacan is a state hit by the presence of various criminal organizations, which caused the emergence of self-defense groups about six years ago.  On August 30, a confrontation between two armed groups left nine dead and 11 wounded in the town of Tepalcatepec, 75 kilometers from Aguililla.

In the same month, the bodies of 19 people were found in the city of Uruapan, in the center of the state. Some of the bodies were hanged from a bridge and others were dismembered. The state attorney general attributed the murders to disputes between rival drug trafficking groups.

The Mexican Drug War (also known as the Mexican War on Drugs) is an ongoing asymmetric low-intensity conflict between the Mexican government and various drug trafficking syndicates. An estimated 115,000 have been killed since the Drug War began in 2006.

This Monday, the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that “there was a turning point in the level of growth” of malicious homicides that are registered in the country. However, from January to August there have been 23,063 victims of homicide, a fact that aims to break the record of 33,749 murders in 2018.  The administration has sought to contain the wave of violence primarily through the deployment of the National Guard. “By putting at the center respect for human rights, the moderate use of force, the way in which progress is made without war, without extermination, without reason, and without massacres. This is very important,” President  Obrador said.

The government of President Felipe Calderón launched a controversial military offensive against organized crime at the end of 2006, that is pointed out by specialists and human rights defenders as one of the main causes of the increase in violence in Mexico. According to official figures, since then more than 250,000 murders have been recorded, although it is not detailed how many cases are linked to the fight against crime.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.


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