Three police officers and a suspect were killed and seven drug cartel members were arrested Friday after a dramatic gun battle on the eastern edge of Mexico City.
It was a glimpse of drug cartel violence rarely seen in the nation’s capital, but one that has become frequent in the northern and western parts of the country.
Police said two officers were killed in a town east of the capital early Friday when they approached a house where a kidnapping and murder gang is believed to be hiding, according to police in the state of Mexico, which borders the capital. They said suspects were being sought for the murders.
Four kidnapped victims were found in the house before the shooting broke out. The initial fighting took place near the town of San Antonio Laisla, about 35 miles east of the capital.
The suspects then fled in a car to Mexico City, and continued shooting at the pursuing officers, killing a D.C. police officer. The suspects then crashed their car into a lamppost. Some were injured in the accident and some escaped on foot but were detained.
The FBI said a US citizen was ‘kidnapped from her home’ in Mexico
Among the detainees was one woman. The weapons found at the crime scene included a number of high-powered rifles.
The city’s police chief, Omar García Harfuch, said the suspects appeared to have worked for a highly violent Jalisco cartel. “They say they belong to a group in Jalisco,” Garcia Harfuch said. “They were carrying insignia associated with the Jalisco cartel.”
He said the suspects were trying to get to a hideout the gang apparently operated in Mexico City.
Mexico City officials have long acknowledged that the country’s major drug cartels have some presence in the capital. But they claimed that the sheer size of Mexico City’s police force—about 90,000 officers by some counts—and terrible traffic jams prevented the cartel militants from operating openly in the city as they do elsewhere.
García Harfuch himself was targeted by the Jalisco cartel in a 2020 attack on a Mexico City street.
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In the 2020 attack, about two dozen gunmen ambushed García Harvuc’s armored vehicle before dawn on a main street in the capital. The brazen attack resulted in him being hit by three bullets and killing two of his bodyguards and a bystander.
Prominent Mexican journalist Ciro Gomez Leyva escaped shaken but unharmed from an attack last December, when two gunmen on a motorbike tried to kill him in a late-night attack on a Mexico City street. He was saved because his four-wheel drive vehicle was bulletproof.
In raids and searches that led to the arrest of 11 suspects, police found a cap with the letters CJNG on it, the initials of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
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