Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jalisco prosecutor announces arrest of gang members involved in bar attacks which killed American citizen

Dirty cops linked to gang violence

Guadalajara -
On March 31, U.S. national Jeff Lydell Comer, 45, was killed during coordinated assaults on two Guadalajara bars located a few miles apart. The Easter Sunday evening attacks left eight persons dead and many others injured. The bars had common ownership. Toll in Guadalajara bar attacks rises to eight.

Two weeks later, facilities belonging to Mural, a metropolitan daily, were the subject of an early morning explosive device attack. No one was injured. Guadalajara newspaper hit by grenade attack.

In May police announced the arrest of a suspect in both cases, linking him to a regional gang known as Los Aliados. Drug cartels behind three recent Guadalajara attacks.

Today the Jalisco state prosecutor announced the arrest of 10 persons, including two Colombian woman, and identified them as members of a regional gang responsible for the bar and newspaper attacks, as well as several kidnappings and as many as nine other murders in unrelated events. All of the crimes occurred in Jalisco. The woman are reportedly natives of Medellín, a Colombian city with a long history of drug trafficking activity.

The gang members claimed to be part of a group known as La Corona (the crown). A large stockpile of weapons was seized along with the suspects, including machine guns. Most were detained in the suburban community of Zapopan, which surrounds Guadalajara.

The Milenio news service reported this afternoon that two Jalisco state police investigators were separated from service during the investigation of the gang members, after it was determined they were linked to the group. They made have provided intelligence reports to La Corona's leaders.

The motive for the Easter attacks on the two bars remains unclear. One of the 10 arrested allegedly told investigators that the assaults were intended to "heat up the plaza." The term means to assert a claim for control of drug trafficking and related criminal enterprises in a defined geographical territory. One of the most common affiliated crimes is collection of the derecho de piso - an extortion fee which proprietors large and small must pay to organized crime if they want to stay in business, and to stay alive. There is suspicion the bar owners were the subject of an extortion demand but refused to pay, prompting the attacks. But the owners have denied that.

There is no evidence that Jeff Comer was personally targeted. Other victims included bar personnel and guests, all of whom were Mexican.

Two months ago the Jalisco department of public safety reported that Guadalajara is home to 300 gangs, 20 of which work with organized crime. On April 23, the city's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) mayor, Ramiro Hernández García, told the press, "I'm worried about security. We've not had the results we wanted."

Oct. 11 - "Zeta killers" behind gun battle which killed three Jalisco police officers

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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