Mexico’s Obrador faces anger after police killed in cartel ambush
Killing of 13 officers in Michoacan on Monday was followed by another shooting on Tuesday in Guerrero that left 15 dead.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has defended his strategy for fighting the violent crime racking Mexico, after the killing of 13 police officers in an ambush claimed by a powerful drug cartel in the western state of Michoacan.
In a separate incident in Guerrero state late on Tuesday, one soldier and 14 civilians were killed in a shoot-out between the military and suspected organised crime.
In Michoacan, grieving relatives of the officers directed their anger at the government and police commanders they believe sent their loved ones to a certain death.
“The good ones are here,” said the brother of slain officer Marco Antonio González, gesturing at the huge funeral hall.
“And those responsible for this, they are also here,” the brother said just as the Michoacan state police chief and his top brass got out of their cars.
The man and other relatives refused to give their names for fear of reprisals in this western Mexico state where violence blamed on drug gangs has jumped in recent months.
A memorial service later in the day was an angry, raw-nerved affair.
Only eight coffins were present – mourners said the five other families refused to participate because they were so angry their sons and brothers had been sent on the mission.
“Like sheep to the slaughter!” some shouted at Gov Silvano Aureoles.
More than 30 suspected cartel gunmen waylaid the police officers in the town of El Aguaje on Monday as they were travelling in a convoy to serve a warrant. Nine officers were also wounded in the worst attack on Mexican law enforcement in years.
According to reports, the attackers claimed to be from the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, a new group that is seeking to replace the Sinaloa cartel of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, who is now serving a life sentence in the US.
‘Peace with justice’
Lopez Obrador called the attack “regrettable,” but said he remains committed to his security approach emphasising tackling underlying social problems, even though national homicide figures have been setting all-time highs.