The Wounded Eagle: Volume 3 by Chris Covert by Chris Covert - Read Online

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Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents the third volume of his non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico. Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years. The work contains news articles which were summarized, translated and rewritten along with original reporting for a detailed snapshot of one of the most violent periods in Mexican history.

Published: Chris Covert on
ISBN: 9781310216299
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Mexico.

Part One: Mexican Mayhem, Massacres, Shootouts and Busts

July, 2011

July 2nd, 2011

Zacatecas: Fighting Erupts in Fresnillo, 15 Die

Source: Esmas.com, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

http://noticierostelevisa.esmas.com/nacional/305078/sicarios-atacan-marinos-fresnillo-zacatecas

(Accessed July 2nd, 2011)

By Chris Covert

Mexican Marines killed 17 armed suspects presumed to be Los Zetas operatives and detained 17 more, according to Mexican news reports.

Elements of a Mexican Marine unit left the village of San Jose de Lourdes in Fresnillo municipality mid Friday afternoon after conducting sweeps in the area following the early morning firefight.

Official reports say the gun battle in Fresnillo started around 0600 hrs and ended around 1200 hrs.

The marine unit was on patrol on Mexican Federal highway 45 when they were attacked by armed suspects aboard several vehicles.

Several suspects fled the scene to a safe house where the main part of the battle took place. Weapons and vehicles were seized in the aftermath.

A total of 15 armed suspects died in gun battles around the area of San Jose de Lourdes. Seventeen were detained. Six marines were wounded in the firefights.

Later in the morning several roads around San Josede Lourdes were blocked using heavy vehicles presumably hijacked by armed suspects. Some were set afire. Blocked roads included Paseo del Mineral, and Avenida Plateros and Bulevar Hombres Ilustres, and near a grocery store.

Streets in the area were emptied, and schools and other institutions were closed.

Mexican Marines began house to house searches in the area following the battle at the safe house and seized a number of vehicles.

Confirmed reports as of 1743 hrs say fighting continues near the western border with Durango state, near Jerez north of Fresnillo and in Plateros in the south.

Last May, Mexican press reported as many as 200 Marine effectives were deployed along the main road between Durango city and Zacatecas state and had set up checkpoints.

Although Zacatecas is considered a Los Zetas stronghold, the criminal gang has suffered a number of setbacks from Mexican security forces counternarcotics operations, and from shootouts with rival gangs.

For example in Florencia de Benito Juarez municipality May 18th, as many as 20 Los Zetas died in a firefight with Carteles Unidos. With the Los Zetas practice of retrieving their dead it is likely the death toll was much higher.

Carteles Unidos is a criminal group which included members of the Gulf, Sinaloa and La Familia Michoacana cartels, all of which have major beefs with Los Zetas.

A subsequent firefight between Los Zetas and the Los Valencias Sinaloa faction in San Cristobal de la Barranca municipality in nearby Jalisco state cost Los Zetas 20 more and probably more dead.

July 4th, 2011

Bad Guys Attack Federales in Northern Michoacan

Source: El Sol de Morelia, Moerilia, Michoacan

http://www.oem.com.mx/elsoldemorelia/notas/n2131044.htm

(Accessed July 4th, 2011)

A force of 50 armed suspects traveling aboard ten trucks attacked a Policia Federal inspector early Saturday morning in northern Michoacan, where Policia Federal agents killed three armed suspects, according to Mexican news reports.

The attack took place at a former Procuraduria General de la Republica (national attorney general) facility building in La Piedad municipality where Miguel Angel Rosas Perez and 30 other Mexican Policia Federal agents kept their billets.

Rosas Perez and the assisting agents fought a gun battle against an estimated 50 armed suspects for nearly 30 minutes where 3,474 each AK-47, 1,904 each AR-15, and at least one Barrett .50 caliber BMG spent casings were found.

The attackers also used 40mm grenades. Reports say at least six grenades total were detonated against the facade of the building.

The building at the corner of Bulevar Heriberto Jara and Lazaro Cardenas was shot so many times it was described as a strainer.

Rosas Perez took over as Director of Municipal Public Security (Seguridad Publica Municipa) (Police Chief) March 24th following the murder of the former police chief, Jose Luis Guerrero Morales.

Although English language reports continue to make much of the establishment of Los Caballeros de Templarios (Knights Templars) supplanting La Familia Michoacana in Michoacan, and a purported rivalry between the groups, La Familia is not considered much of a factor in Michoacan, especially since the devastating raids by the Policia Federal last January which virtually completely beheaded the group.

Three vehicles were abandoned and seized by security forces.

July 4th Badanov's Buzzkill Bulletin

Source: Secretaria de Defensa Nacional, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

http://www.sedena.gob.mx/index.php/sala-de-prensa/comunicados-de-prensa/6709-6-de-julio-de-2011-lomas-de-sotelo-df

(Accessed July 4th, 2011)

Mexican Army units have seized since June 28th 6,811.9 kilograms of marijuana, 182.16 kilograms of cocaine, 50 kilograms of opium, 57.36 kilograms of glass methamphetamine and USD $9,500.00 in cash.

*-- A Mexican Army unit arrested a top Los Zetas commander in Veracruz state June 28th. Abraham Barrios Caporal, AKA Erasmo and three other unidentified individuals were detained in an apparent traffic stop in Coatzacoalcos. The four were guarding a person who was being held hostage. Seized in the arrest were two rifles and two pistols. Barrios Caporal is wanted in connection with the mass murders that took place in San Fernando, Tamaulipas from September 2010 to April, 2011, particularly about the bus hijacking campaign that took place in March. A total of 193 individuals were discovered in a number of graves in and around San Fernando.

*-- A detachment of the Mexican 8th Military Zone seized almost three tons of marijuana in Tamaulipas state June 30th. The find was made in the village of Guardados de Abajo in Miguel Aleman where soldiers found an underground storage vessel containing 2,910 kilograms of marijuana in 371 packages.

*-- A unit of the Mexican 2nd Military Zone seized a quantity of cocaine in Baja California state July 1st. The seizure took place in the ejido Merida in Mexicali municipality where soldiers made a traffic stop of two vehicles. Soldiers found 179 kilograms of cocaine, and they arrested three individuals.

*-- A detachment of the Mexican 8th Military Zone discovered a large amount of marijuana in Tamaulipas state July 3rd. The drugs were found in an underground vessel next to a latrine near Camargo municipality. A total of 3,894 kilograms of marijuana in 876 packages were seized.

*-- A unit of the Mexican 13th Military Zone seized a quantity of opium and weapons at a traffic stop in Nayarit state July 3rd. The stop took place on the Mesa del Nayar-Santa Teresa highway in the Nayar municipality, where soldiers detained three individuals and seized 50 kilograms of opium. Weapons seized included two rifles, a handgun, two weapons magazines and 15 rounds of ammunition. A truck was also seized.

*-- A detachment of the Mexican 4th Military Zone discovered a quantity of various drugs and weapons July 5th. The discovery was made in Hermosillo, Sonora in the Cuatro Olivas colony, where soldiers seized 29.1 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, two kilograms of cocaine and 7.9 kilograms of marijuana. Weapons seized included one rifle, three handguns, 11 weapons magazines and 70 rounds of ammunition.

*-- A unit of the Mexican 2nd Military Zone detained two individuals in Baja California state in an apparent traffic stop July 5th, seizing a quantity of drug and guns. The arrests took place in the Monte Carlo colony of Mexicali municipality. Drugs seized included 28.26 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 1.16 kilograms of cocaine. Weapons taken included one rifle, two handguns, 751 rounds of ammunition, three weapons magazines, USD $9,500.00 in cash and a vehicle.

July 8th, 2011

Six Die, 1 Missing in San Dimas, Durango

Source: Proceso, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

http://www.proceso.com.mx/%3Fp%3D275155

(Accessed July 8th, 2011)

Six of seven individuals kidnapped Wednesday in San Dimas municipality in Durango were found shot to death in two separate locations, according to Mexican press accounts.

Armando Villanueva Nuñez, Jesus Eloy Ayon Perez, 16, and Hipolito Ayon Perez, 35, were found in El Patillo which is an area directly adjacent to the village of El Muerto in San Dimas. Reports say about 20 armed suspects came to El Muerto, took their victims then murdered them shortly afterward.

All three victims lived and were born in El Muerto.

The suspects then drove to Carbonera, and abducted four individuals.

Jose Ramon Martinez Lozano, 32, Martin Romero Martinez, 35, and Pedro Romero Mata, 65, were all found nearby a short time later shot to death. The fourth kidnapping victim is still missing.

San Dimas municipality has been the location of violence a few weeks ago.

In late April, 2011, four men were found bound and gagged and shot to death in the village of Flechas.

Three weeks before that, several homes in the village of El Zapote de Buena Vista were torched by armed suspects.

Native Americans comprise the great majority of those who live in the Mexican Sierra Madres, many of them descendants of the Aztecs.

Drug cartels, such as the Sinaloa Cartel and the Gulf Cartel all operate drug growing and drug laboratories in the western Sierras, and treat the inhabitants as serfs. The criminal gangs use threats and intimidation to get rural communities to grow drugs for sale.

July 9th, 2011

Mexican Federales Kill 11 Bad Guys

Source: Secretaria Seguidad Publica, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

http://www.ssp.gob.mx/portalWebApp/appmanager/portal/desk;jsessionid=774ZTX3G5jpG1LQLNLXvx2z1P1tGQvVPpLC2ypQrKJ50GXFk32zh%21804274595?_nfpb=true&_windowLabel=portlet_1_1&portlet_1_1_actionOverride=%2Fboletines%2FDetalleBoletin&portlet_1_1id=848021

(Accessed July 9th, 2011)

A total of 11 armed suspects were killed by Mexican Policia Federal units in two separate battles Thursday, according to Mexican news sources.

Reports are the suspects attacked Policia Federales on road patrol in Apatzingan at around 1640 hrs. Two separate ensuing firefights killed 11 armed suspects and wounded another. Three Federal agents were wounded.

Fighting was also reported in Morelia, Patzcuaro, Zinapacuaro Mugica, Zitacuaro, Lazaro Cardenas and Maravatio.

The attackers were said to be part of the Caballeros de los Templarios (Knights Templars) a breakaway group of La Familia headed by Servando Gomez Martinez, AKA Tuta and Enrique Plancarte, AKA El Kike.

Members of the group at roughly the same time as the attack moved to block roads in Uruapan, on the Morelia-Salamanca road and Apatzingan by hijacking, and disabling or destroying by fire several heavy vehicles. The blocks served to prevent Policia Federal and Mexican Army units from reinforcing Apatzingan.

A total of 11 vehicles were destroyed in the blocking actions, seven of them in Apatzingan.

Two Policia Federal helicopters were flying in support of federal forces. Apparently one bird was damaged in the fighting.

Unconfirmed published reports also said three civilians were killed in the blocking actions.

Early Friday morning several narcopintas blankets appeared in Morelia, the capital of Michoacan and in Apatzingan which accused Policia Federal agents of rape and theft. Such graffiti is one of the primary means drug gangs in Mexico use to communicate with the public without filtering their messages through news agencies.

Security forces seized six rifles and two handguns, six grenades, 32 weapons magazines and 200 rounds of ammunition at one location. An overturned Chevrolet Suburban was found with tactical gear, police uniforms, brochures and an undisclosed number of weapons.

July 10th, 2011

21 Die in Bar Massacre in Monterrey

Source: Milenio, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon

http://monterrey.milenio.com/cdb/doc/noticias2011/1f0be4d9e23a53caf2e89d68de95666a

(Accessed July 10th, 2011)

By Chris Covert

A total of 21 individuals were shot to death as a large group of armed suspects attacked a bar in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon late Friday night.

The shooting took place at around 2200 hrs at the El Sabino Gordo bar near the intersection of calles Villagran and Carlos Salazar in the Zona Centro of Monterrey.

Reports say 14 were killed inside the bar while another five were killed outside. Two more presumably wounded in the shooting died later while receiving medical attention. One other unidentified individual is said to have been seriously wounded in the shooting.

The suspects emerged from two vehicles, and entered the bar shouting for waiters. As some on the wait staff attempted to hide from that attack, the shooters opened fire. Most of the dead were wait staff. AK-47 and AR-15 rifles were used in the attack.

Milenio reports that the bar was a known venue for selling drugs, but reports were unclear as to which cartel benefited from drug sales.

The initiating event was a decision by the club managers to stop selling of drugs inside the bar entirely, after they received threats about one of the rivals being allowed to sell drugs.

Other reports say that a cartel federation, dubbed Nueva Federacion operating in Nuevo Leon and comprising the Sinaloa, Gulf and La Familia cartels was involved in the shooting. Friday's shooting as described as a settling of accounts.

The Sinaloa and Gulf cartels are known to have joined forces in northeastern Mexico from Mexican published reports last fall. At that time the announcement of the new group came with no formal identifying name, but was an apparent response to Los Zetas kidnapping and extortion operations in Nuevo Leon. The announcement followed a car bomb in General Zuazua, Nuevo Leon, and was faxed to several national publications including Proceso, the Mexican leftist weekly.

Sinaloa cartel cocaine operations have moved to the east coast in states such as Tabasco and points north, in an apparent alliance with the Gulf Cartel.

Both the Gulf and Los Zetas criminal groups have suffered heavy losses in fighting each other over last summer and fall, especially in the border cities of Matamoros and Reynosa, so the additional help of the Sinaloa cartel is seen as a counterbalance to Los Zetas operations in the same area.

The attack took place less than five blocks from the Monterrey quarters for the Mexican Policia Federal detachment in Monterrey.

Federal agents went to two other nearby bars later that night, Infinito and Givengis, to conduct searches of the premises. In the same area, Federal agents located a vehicle with bullet holes.

A report by Milenio described a second shooting as the shooters exited the bar, and it is possible one or more armed suspects were waiting outside the bar. However, no accounts have been released detailing any return fire against the shooters.

July 11th, 2011

Mexican Federales Reinforce Michoacan With 1,800 Troops

Source: Secretarian de Seguridad Publica, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

http://www.ssp.gob.mx/portalWebApp/appmanager/portal/desk;jsessionid=psKwTZppBRsjSmhdpyKgdVxrVz9prS4jzhb9g1HDQy58J2GB1DbJ%21-1910284462?_nfpb=true&_windowLabel=portlet_1_1&portlet_1_1_actionOverride=%2Fboletines%2FDetalleBoletin&portlet_1_1id=854032

(Accessed July 11th, 2011)

By Chris Covert

A total of 1,800 Mexican Policia Federal (PF) troops have been deployed to Michoacan in the largest build-up of PF troops in Mexico so far this year, according an announcement in the Secretaria de Seguridad Publica (SSP) website Saturday afternoon.

The news bulletin also mentioned similar additional troops are being deployed to Michoacan, but none of the other Mexican defense agencies have thus far released any information about their specific deployments.

The PF reinforcement includes about 170 vehicles including armored cars, 15 ambulances and four helicopters, including US made Blackhawk utility and Russian made MI-17Sh helicopters.

Although no specifics have been announced about the build-up, SSP officials must be concerned about the increasing number and power of attacks by Los Zetas and Caballeros Templarios drug cartel against against Mexican security forces as well as rival drug gangs in the past month.

At least three attacks have come on the heels of the conclusion of a major counternarcotics offensive in June in the nearby state of Jalisco and in Zacatecas where Mexican Army and Marine units seized drugs and weapons, and disrupted drug cartel activities in the area.

*-- On June 19th on the eve of a FIFA Under 17 soccer tournament in Morelia, nine individuals were found tortured and shot to death, and several roads in and around Morelia were blocked by 15 hijacked heavy vehicles. The murders and the blocks were initiated by the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel.

*-- On July 2nd, a Policia Federal group housed in an office building in La Piedad in far northern Michoacan was attacked by as many as 50 armed suspects aboard 10 vehicles. The ensuing firefight lasted for 30 minutes and cost three armed suspects their lives. The attack was said to be the work of Los Zetas.

*-- On July 6th, 11 armed suspects were killed by Policia Federal units in two firefights near Apatzingan. Shortly after the conclusion of the gunfights, several roads in central Michoacan were blocked using hijacked heavy vehicles. As many as three civilians may have been killed in the blocking campaign. The criminal action was credited to the Caballeros de los Templarios drug cartel.

Policia Federal deployments in metropolitan areas in Mexico such as the La Laguna region of Mexico which includes Torreon, Coahuila-Gomez Palacio, Durango and in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon typically includes troops numbering as many as 300. PF has in the past rotated whole deployments of PF effectives in and out of metropolitan areas when they have suffered sharp reverses or are under stress.

For example in Juarez, Chihuahua last year, an entire deployment of 300 Mexican Federal agents were rotated out and replaced by another unit following a near mutiny led by subordinate commanders last August.

The last known full deployment of PF troops in northern Mexico took place in the summer of 2010 when 300 Policia Federal troops were deployed to Torreon, Coahuila.

The largest last known deployment of any security forces occurred last May when more than 1,000 Mexican soldiers were deployed to Torreon, Coahuila by land and air.

National politics may have played a role in such a massive reinforcement. The Michoacan 2011 gubernatorial elections take place in November to replace current Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD) Leonel Godoy Rangel, whose terms ends this year.

The candidate for Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) is Luisa Calderon Hinojosa, the sister of Mexican president Felipe Calderon.

The PRD has held the governor's seat for six years, but while a PAN pickup here would be a shot in the arm for PAN's flagging fortunes, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), fresh from gubernatorial, legislative and municipal electoral sweeps of Nayarit, Mexico state and Coahuila, is regarded as more likely to take control with a win.

The PRI candidate for Michoacan governor is Victor Manuel Silva Tejeda, while the PRD candidate is Raul Moron Orozco.

July 15th, 2011

Mayhem in Monterrey: 22 Die

Source: Milenio, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon

http://monterrey.milenio.com/cdb/doc/noticias2011/656e4720754e563186d387a278d92bcf

(Accessed July 15th, 2011)

A total of 22 individuals were killed in and around Monterrey, Neuvo Leon Wednesday and Thursday, including five armed suspects who died in a firefight with the Mexican Army in Cadereyta.

A Mexican Army unit shot and killed five armed suspects in Cadereyta Jimenez Wednesday night. The unit was on patrol on Kilometer 2 of the Cadereyta-Allende bypass in the Bella Vista colony when a suspicious vehicle was spotted. Instead of stopping when ordered, the suspects aboard the vehicle opened fire on the soldiers. Return fire by the army stuck and killed all five suspects. The driver crashed the vehicle into roadside brush. Seven rifles were seized in the aftermath.

Armed suspects attacked a joint Mexican Army-Policia Federal patrol in Pesqueria, Nuevo Leon Thursday morning, with return fire killing four suspects. The patrol was on the Apodaca-Zacatequitas road when the firefight took place. The suspects were traveling aboard two vehicles when they ran into the security group. One of the vehicles escaped security forces, and despite support from a helicopter, the remaining suspects were not found.

A roadblock was put up presumably by criminal forces on the Agua Fria bridge, as well as Miguel Aleman-Pesqueria and Antiguo Camino-Agua Fria roads. All blocks were reportedly moved by Policia Federal units.

Ten individuals were killed in several incidents in and around Monterrey Wednesday.

*-- An unidentified man was found mutilated at a shopping mall in the Cumbres colony. The victim was beheaded and dismembered. A message was left at the scene, but its content was not disclosed.

*-- An unidentified man was found dead at 0700 hrs in Los Olivios colony of Escobedo. The victim was bound hand and foot, and had been mutilated by dogs.

*-- An unidentified men in his 20s was found shot to death 0730 hrs in the village of El Faisan in Santiago municipality. The victim was bound by his hands and shot five times.

*-- A youth was shot to death in a drive by shooting in northern Monterrey. Oscar Alejandro de la Rosa Vera, 17, was shot by armed suspects near the intersection of calles Julio Camelo and Luis Echeverria in the Francisco Villa colony.

*-- An unidentified woman was found buried in the rubble of a house in Juarez, Nuevo Leon demolished by the Mexican Army. The army unit has just completed the rescue of a hostage and the arrest of a suspect at a residence on Avenida Mexico in the America Unida colony when the house was destroyed.

*--Four armed suspects were killed by a Mexican Army unit in the Cumbres colony at about 1750 hrs. The suspects were apparently changing vehicles when the army unit rolled up on them.

*-- An unidentified man was found shot to death on the National Highway at about 2200 hrs in Santiago municipality.

*-- Two unidentified men were found shot to death in Santa Catarina Thursday. The victims were in Trabajadores colony when they were found.

*-- An unidentified individual was found dismembered in south Monterrey Thursday morning. The remains of the victim were placed in black plastic bags and left near the intersection of calles Alfredo Garza Rio and Bernabe de las Casas in the Arturo B. de la Garza colony.

July 15th, 2011

July 15th Badanov's Buzzkill Bulletin

Source: Secretaria de Defensa Nacional, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

http://www.sedena.gob.mx/index.php/sala-de-prensa/comunicados-de-prensa/7038-14-de-julio-de-2011-lomas-de-sotelo-df

(Accessed July 15th, 2011)

Mexican security forces seized a total of 170 kilograms of cocaine and 25.5 kilograms of opium gum in counternarcotics operations in Mexico since July 7th.

*-- A detachment of the Mexican 36th Military Zone seized an amount of drugs in Chiapas state July 6th. Along with a unit from the Policia Federal, the unit was manning Checkpoint El Hueyate in the Huixtla municipality when when found 20 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside a truck.

*-- A unit of the Mexican 7th Military Zone rescued 20 kidnapping hostages in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon July 9th. The unit was in the Hidalgo colony of the city in response to a citizen's complaint when they rolled up on the safe house where the hostages were held. Two unidentified individuals were arrested. Two rifles, three bulletproof vests and a vehicle were also seized.

*-- A detachment of the Mexican 7th Military Zone detained a Los Zetas operative in Santiago, Nuevo Leon July 10th. Javier Abarte Arreaga, AKA La Jaiba, was arrested at a traffic stop after his identity was established. A .410 gauge shotgun, nine shotgun shells, and a vehicle were seized. Abarte Arreaga was wanted for the August, 2010 murder of Santiago mayor Edelmiro Cavazos Leal.

*-- A unit of the Mexican 42nd Military Zone seized an amount of drugs in Chihuahua state July 13th. The unit was on patrol in the village of Las Carboneras in Guadalupe y Calvo municipality when 13 kilograms of opium gum were found. In addition to the drugs, soldiers seized eight rifles, three handguns, 24 weapons magazines, 480 rounds of ammunition and two vehicles, one of them stolen.

*-- A detachment of the Mexican 34th Military Zone discovered drugs buried on a beach in Quintana Roo state July 10th. The discovery was made in the Benito Juarez municipality where 20 kilograms of cocaine were seized half buried in the sand.

*-- A unit of the 13th Military Zone in Nayarit state seized an amount of drugs July 12th. The unit was on patrol on the Mesa del Nayar-Santa Teresa highway when they rolled up on an abandoned vehicle. Inside soldiers found 12.5 kilograms of opium gum. Other contraband seized included three rifles, three handguns, two weapons magazines and 461 rounds of ammunition.

*-- A detachment of the Mexican 7th Military Zone seized a large amount of drugs in the Monterrey, Nuevo Leon area this morning. The unit was on patrol on Calle Bosques de Canada in the Bosques de Anahuac colony of San Nicolas de los Garza at about 0200 hrs. when it came upon an abandoned vehicle with its doors open and flashers running. Inside was found 130 kilograms of cocaine in 124 packages.

July 16th, 2011

12 Sinaloa State Cops Die in Ambush

Source: Proceso, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

http://www.proceso.com.mx/%3Fp%3D276043

(Accessed July 16th, 2011)

Twelve members of a state police security detail were shot to death in an apparent ambush in Guasave, Sinaloa Friday evening, according to Mexican press reports.

The attack took place at the intersection of Mexican Federal Highway 15 and Sinaloa State Highway 19, where armed suspect intercepted the escorts as they were returning to Culican, the capital of Sinaloa at about 1830 hrs.

Reports say 13 individuals in all died in that attack including one civilian who was caught in the kill zone. The agents were traveling aboard five official vehicles. Three of the vehicles were destroyed by fire at the scene.

Reports say three state police agents were wounded.

The agents had been at an event in Los Mochis with Secretaria Seguridad Publica del Estado (SSPE) Celaya Cordova. Following the event's conclusion, Celaya Cordova opted to return to the capital via a helicopter, citing scheduling problems.

SSPE is a top state police official and a cabinet level position, usually filled by appointment by the state governor.

The dead civilian was identified as Alvaro Gallardo, 29, a commercial food worker.

July 16th Badanov's Buzzkill Bulletin

Source: Secretaria de Defensa Nacional, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

http://www.sedena.gob.mx/index.php/sala-de-prensa/comunicados-de-prensa-de-los-mandos-territoriales/6730-10-de-julio-de-2011-monterrey-n

(Accessed July 16th, 2011)

Mexican security forces seized a total of 959.94 kilograms of marijuana, 100 kilograms of opium gum, MEX $126,850.00 (USD $10,797.66) in cash, 16.7 kilograms of ephedrine and 2 kilograms of marijuana seed nationwide since July 7th.

*-- A unit of the Mexican 13th Military Zone seized an opium processing lab in Nayarit state July 7th. Seized materials included 100 kilograms of opium gum. Chemicals used in processing the opium included 80 liters of an unknown liquid, 100 liters of acetone, 10 kilograms of sodium carbonate, five liters of ammonium hydroxide, 35 kilograms of lime, 10 kilograms of ammonium chloride and various containers.

*-- A detachment of the Mexican II Military Region seized an amount of marijuana and other drugs in a raid in Tijuana, Baja California July 7th. The unit was dispatched via a citizen's complaint to Anexa Roma colony in the Zona Centro delegation where soldiers arrested three individuals and seized 600.5 kilograms of marijuana and a small amount of crystal methamphetamine. Six vehicles were also seized in the raid.

*-- A detachment of the 22nd Motorized Cavalry Regiment, 45th Military Zone conducted a raid on a warehouse in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora July 8th. The warehouse was located at the intersection of the Tamaulipas alley between calles 15th and 16th, where soldiers seized 39.2 kilograms of marijuana in 39 packages. Weapons seized included three rifles, one handgun, three grenade launcher attachments, 133 weapons magazines, 40 rounds of ammunition. A vehicle was also seized in the operation.

*-- A unit of the Mexican 5th Military Zone conducted a search of a railway car in Samalayuca, Chihuahua and found 111.54 kilograms of marijuana hidden inside a false bottom of the car. The train the car was hooked up to was bound for Juarez.

*-- A unit of the Mexican 13th Military Zone seized an amount of marijuana and weapons at a checkpoint on Mexican Federal Highway 15 in Nayarit state July 8th. The checkpoint was set up near Ruiz, where soldiers seized 8.7 kilograms of marijuana, a rifle and a vehicle. One individual was arrested.

*-- A detachment of the Mexican 15th Military Zone seized weapons and arrested three individuals in Jalisco state July 8th. The raid took place at El Rancho El Tecolote in San Juan de los Lagos municipality where a number of weapons and munitions were seized. Included in the raid were nine rifles, one handgun, nine fragmentation grenades, 33 weapons magazines, 878 rounds of ammunition, three scopes for rifles, MEX $25,040.00 (USD $2,131.44) in cash and other contraband and documents. Two vehicles were seized as well.

*-- A unit of the Mexican 35th Military Zone arrested four individuals and seized a quantity of drugs, cash and equipment in Puebla state July 8th. The unit was in pursuit of a vehicle in Juarez municipality with four suspects who attempted to elude the unit. Soldiers stopped the vehicle and found small quantities of marijuana, glass methamphetamine, MEX $82,900.00 (USD $7,056.58) in cash and radio equipment inside the vehicle. The four suspects were arrested and the vehicle and its contents seized.

*-- A detachment of the Mexican 15th Military Zone with Mexican customs officials seized 50,100 ephedrine