Thursday, March 20, 2014
Seven drug traffickers ambushed near Arizona border
Sonora state police have reported seven persons dead and four others injured after drug traffickers were ambushed in rugged Caborca county, about 100 miles southwest of Nogales, Arizona. They said the assailants were probably members of a competing narcotics gang.
The gun battle occurred Tuesday evening, but police did not stumble upon the scene until yesterday afternoon. The region is remote and lightly populated, and secondary roads are poor.
The area is a major U.S. bound route for traffickers dealing in cocaine and marijuana. On April 30, 2013, Inés Coronel Barrera, the father-in-law of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán and a major cannabis producer, was captured in Sonora by Mexican Federal Police. He remains in custody awaiting trial.
Four of the Caborca dead were identified by documents on their bodies. They ranged in age from 22 to 29. All of the victims were traveling in the same vehicle when they were intercepted and fired upon by unidentified persons who were heavily armed.
A survivor told police that the group had just made a drug delivery and were returning home when the ambush occurred.
Caborca is southeast of Puerto Peñasco, a tourist location long popular with Arizonans. Often called "Rocky Point" in English, Puerto Peñasco has a lengthy history and offers state residents an access to the Gulf of California.
Gangs are increasingly participating in Mexico's 87 month old drug war, sometimes in their own right as the mega cartels splinter and factionalize. In other instances they work as local agents and narco tiradores, or distributors, of the merchandise, and perform organized crime tasks such as kidnapping and collecting payments from extortion victims. The trend towards gang activity was predicted two years ago on both sides of the border, and is expected to continue.
In January 2013 the U.S. Justice Dept. reported that Mexican drug cartels were operating in 1,286 American cities, assisted by an estimated 33,000 local gangs.
Mar. 1, 2014 - At 14 months of PRI administration, 21,258 drug war dead
July 10, 2013 - In Guadalajara, 20 local gangs work with organized crime
Oct. 23, 2012 - Mexican analysts agree: crime gangs which are replacing drug cartels will be difficult to track and fight
June 22, 2012 - Mexican drug cartels will likely morph into "super gangs," says U.S. security firm
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