Mexico: 18 bodies found after suspected drug cartel gunfight | Mexico News
After an apparent confrontation between suspected cartels, 18 bullet-filled bodies were found in Zacatecas.
Authorities said on Friday that 18 bullet-filled bodies were found after an apparent gun battle between suspected drug cartels in the state of Zacatecas in northern Mexico.
Rocio Aguilar, spokesperson for the Zacatecas State Security Department, said: “There were 18 deaths and the conflict took place in the San Juan Capistrano community in Valparaiso.”
She said there is evidence that the death in the remote town of Valparaiso was caused by a confrontation between the gunmen in Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartel.
Aguilar told Milenio TV that the battle was fought between rival gangs vying for territory.
Since the Mexican government began deploying federal troops to fight cartels as part of its so-called war on drugs in 2006, drug-related violence has caused more than 300,000 deaths in Mexico.
Valparaiso borders the state of Jalisco, which is the stronghold of a new generation of powerful cartels called Jalisco.
The authorities said the group was launching a violent campaign to control drug trafficking routes.
According to the local government coordination team responsible for security affairs in Zacatecas State, three cars were found at the scene, one of which was burned, and “a large number of shells of different calibers.”
Local media have reported a series of shooting incidents since Wednesday, when the bodies of two police officers were found on a bridge in Zacatecas.
But Aguilar said that so far, the authorities have not found a connection between this terrible discovery and the gun battle that took place in Valparaiso on Friday.
Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador admitted on Friday that there are security problems in the area, but said his government is making progress in fighting crime.
“The state has an obligation to guarantee peace and tranquility, as well as the safety of all citizens,” Lopez Obrador said at a routine morning meeting.
He said the government is “making efforts” in Zacatecas and other troubled states.
Zacatecas was once ruled by the old Zetas cartel, and is now being contested by an astonishing number of cartels. Those competing for territory in Zacatecas include Sinaloa, Jalisco, Gulf and Northeast Cartels, and the remnants of Zetas.