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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

13 law enforcement officers killed in ambush in Mexico

Security officials recovering evidence at the site where 13 security officials were killed in an ambush by unidentified assailants in Coyuca de Benítez, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, on Monday.

By Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Emiliano Rodríguez Mega

An armed group ambushed and killed more than a dozen law enforcement officers in southwestern Mexico earlier this week, including a local security secretary and a police chief, adding to a soaring number of deadly attacks against police in the region.

The slaughter, in Coyuca de Benítez in the Mexican state of Guerrero, left 13 security officials dead on Monday, including the municipality’s security secretary, Alfredo Alonso López, and the director of municipal police, Honorio Salinas Garay, according to a spokesperson for the Guerrero state prosecutor’s office.

Guerrero is now the second most dangerous state in Mexico for law enforcement officers, with more than 34 killed in 2023, according to Common Cause, a Mexico-based organization tracking the killings of police officers in the country. The group said more than 340 police officers had been killed this year in the nation, and more than 400 killed last year.

“We demand justice and zero impunity,” Common Cause said in a statement.

While President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office promising to make Mexico safer, he has downplayed the violence in the nation and blamed the problem on his predecessors. But the clashes between rival drug organizations have prompted criticism, including from the United States. López Obrador has said much of the violence in the nation is because of the United States’ inability to prevent guns from being trafficked south into Mexico. Leaders from both countries discussed the roots of such violence during high-profile meetings in Mexico City this month.

Guerrero, a state plagued by turf wars between drug cartel organizations, has particularly been dangerous for law enforcement officers. Alonso López’s predecessor as security secretary in Coyuca de Benítez, David Borja Padilla, survived an assassination attempt in December 2022.

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