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Mexico Security Summary for August 2017

Date of Report: September 12, 2017

Overview

Public safety in Mexico continues to decline as the major criminal organizations fracture further and compete for territories within Mexico. Official homicide figures for August will not be available for at least another week, but the number from July was reported at 2029 intentional homicides (see Figure 1). The number for July is slightly lower than June and May, but it remains considerably higher than most months of 2016. Also, Semáforo Delictivo reported that the number of homicides related to organized crime has increased 66% in Mexico City in 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016. There were also increases during August in attacks directed against governmental authorities, street battles, attacks on public venues, and kidnappings.

Figure 1: Monthly Trend in Intentional Homicides (January 2016-July 2017)

Source: Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública (SESNSP)

Attacks against Governmental Authority

There were 55 attacks directed against governmental authorities during August. This is the second highest number of attacks since September 2016, and it is 24% higher than the average for the last 31 months. Indeed, this month continued an upward trend in attacks that started in June. There were at least 12 assassinations of elected or administrative officials during August. Although this figure is 33% higher than July, it closely matches the monthly average for 2017.

The former deputy attorney general with the Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) was gunned down outside his office in La Paz, Baja California Sur. A former mayor was kidnapped and murdered in Sahuayo, Michoacán. A former mayor was hacked to death with a machete in Asunción Ocotlán, Oaxaca. A former mayor of Tlalmanalco was found murdered in a vehicle in Chalco, Edomex. A former mayoral candidate was kidnapped and murdered in Zumpango, Guerrero. A city council member was kidnapped in Juchique de Ferrer, Veracruz. The director of the Comisión de Agua Potable, Drenaje y Alcantarillado de Manzanillo (Capdam) was assassinated in Manzanillo, Colima. The municipal secretary was assassinated outside his home in Mazatepec, Morelos. A municipal official was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in Tonayan, Veracruz. A municipal official was kidnapped in Naolinco, Veracruz.

A former leader of the Tamaulipas congress (also former local deputy) was kidnapped while driving along Highway 97 between Reynosa and San Fernando, Tamaulipas. As we have indicated in previous monthly reports, this route nicknamed the “highway of death” should not be driven under any circumstances.

Figure 2: Attacks against Authorities by Month‡ λ

‡ Note: These figures should be considered minimum counts as numerous incidents are not reported by the media orgovernment officials.

λ President Peña Nieto took office on December 1, 2012 (columns in red).

There were also several cases in which the intended target was not assassinated. For example, the mayor and two city council members were attacked while driving in Chiautla de Tapia, Puebla. One of the council members was critically injured in the attack. Gunmen fired on an armored vehicle used by officials of the Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado in Cruillas, Tamaulipas. The agents were able to call back-up support and were uninjured. A former mayor was injured by gunmen during an ambush in San Lucas Ojitlán, Oaxaca. The leader of a union was injured by gunfire in Las Choapas, Veracruz. The leader of the Comisariado Ejidal in Etla (Oaxaca) was shot four times while visiting Oaxaca, Oaxaca. He survived this particular attack.

At least 20 police officers and soldiers were killed in attacks this month. In one incident, the municipal chief of police was gunned down in Nochistlán de Mejía, Zacatecas. Also, gunmen entered the home of the former chief of police in Tihuatlán (Veracruz), and then stripped and executed him.

The higher overall number of attacks on authorities this month may be attributed to an increase in attacks on military patrols in Tamaulipas, coupled with frequent attacks on state police patrols. Seven military patrols were attacked in Chihuahua, Nuevo Léon, and Tamaulipas (5 incidents). Just one federal patrol was reportedly attacked this month in Chihuahua.

Nine state police patrols were attacked in Michoacán and Tamaulipas. In one incident, gunmen fired on state police who were escorting a trailer with stolen fuel in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán. The trailer had recently been confiscated and was being taken to an impound facility. In another incident, a state police officer was killed and two were injured during an attack in San Fernando, Tamaulipas. Three municipal police patrols were attacked in Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Veracruz.

There were also several attacks directed at fixed targets this month. For example, a soldier was killed when gunmen attacked an army installation in Valparaíso, Zacatecas. Two soldiers were also injured in the attack. Elsewhere, gunmen fired on a hotel housing state police officers in González, Tamaulipas. Also, gunmen fired on the municipal palace in Güémez, Tamaulipas. In another attack a fragmentation grenade was detonated outside a police station in Reynosa.

At least fifteen police officers or municipal employees were gunned down while on break/off-duty, or were kidnapped and murdered. These incidents occurred primarily in Veracruz. However, three municipal police officers were kidnapped and murdered in Salamanca, Guanajuato. Also, two municipal workers were kidnapped from a municipal vehicle while working near Santa Maria Colotepec, Oaxaca. A prison guard was gunned down in La Paz, Baja California Sur. A municipal police dispatcher was kidnapped and murdered in Xico, Veracruz. Also, an employee of the Administración Portuaria Integral (API) was kidnapped in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz.

Organized crime continues to target the families of governmental authorities. This month the brother of a municipal secretary was gunned down in Papantla, Veracruz. The wife of a former municipal police commander was gunned down in Reynosa, Tamaulipas. The son of an attorney who had denounced Juan Sabines Guerrero (former mayor of Tuxtla Gutiérrez) to the DEA and Mexican authorities was kidnapped in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.

Assaults on the media continued as well; especially in Veracruz. A journalist who was supposedly in a government protection program was murdered by gunmen at a Pemex station in Hueyapan de Ocampo, Veracruz. Approximately a week earlier he had published a report about corrupt officials in the municipality. A week later shots were fired at the home of another reporter with the Diario de Acayucan. In a separate incident, two assailants entered the home of a local news reporter and stabbed him 15 times in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The reporter, who survived the attack, had published articles on Radiorama about fuel theft operations in the region. The crime reporter with the MS Noticias service was assaulted by unknown assailants in Martínez de la Torre, Veracruz.

Geographic Pattern of Attacks

The attacks this month were reported across 17 states (Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Colima, Edomex, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Michoacán, Morelos, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Zacatecas). This is the second highest number of states impacted since July 2016.

Table 2: States Hit Hardest by Attacks on Authorities

States Number of Attacks
Tamaulipas 16
Veracruz 7
Oaxaca 5
Michoacán 4
Guerrero 3

Progress?

Mexican authorities reported the capture of seven leaders of the major criminal organizations during August. This number is slightly lower than those of June and July, but it is similar to most months in 2016 and early 2017. Among those captured, one of the most important was Guillermo René Escamilla Cabriales, a key leader of the Gulf Cartel, who was arrested in Apodaca, Nuevo León. Two regional leaders of the Zetas were arrested; they are Hernán Martínez Zavaleta “El Comandante H” or “El H”, the regional leader of the Zetas in southern Veracruz, and Adrián Rolando Lopez “El Chivo”, a regional leader of the Cartel del Noreste (Zetas faction). He was captured in Linares, Nuevo León.

Also, there were two leaders of the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). José Antonio Grageda Cortés “El Pollo”, a regional leader of the cartel, was captured in Zamora, Michoacán. Armando “N” or “El Coco”, a regional leader of the same cartel, was captured in Tijuana. Finally, Humberto Léonardo “N”, a regional leader of Los Rojos, was captured in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo.

Mexican authorities seized weapons caches at four sites in Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz. At one site in Río Bravo (Tamaulipas) authorities seized 58 fragmentation grenades, 34 40mm grenades, a grenade launcher, 28 firearms, and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition. A Barrett 50-caliber sniper rifle was found at a site in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

A narco training camp was discovered outside Matamoros, Tamaulipas. The facility had cloned marine and federal police vehicles, two armored vehicles, and weapons and munitions. Fake state police and army vehicles were recovered at a site in José Azueta, Veracruz. The location also had body armor and military uniforms. An armored vehicle was also seized in Culiacán, Sinaloa. An illegal radio antenna operated by the Gulf Cartel was dismantled by authorities in Candela, Coahuila.

Street Battles (Enfrentamientos)

There were 54 battles between sicarios (cartel gunmen) and governmental authorities, or between rival cartels this month. This number is slightly higher than July, and it is 24% higher than the monthly average of the last 3.5 years. These battles occurred in 13 states (Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Guerrero, Mexico City, Michoacán, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Zacatecas). The number of states closely matches most months of 2017.

In one battle, sicarios fleeing an army patrol accidently crashed into the main door of the municipal palace in Río Bravo, Tamaulipas. The gunfire continued for several minutes until several gunmen were arrested or killed. A few minutes later another battle erupted elsewhere in the city. Reports indicate that state police were involved in a major battle with dozens of sicarios in a rural area of Madera, Chihuahua. Also, following one battle, sicarios commandeered an ambulance and forced its crew to attend to a wounded combatant on an ejido outside of Piedras Negras, Coahuila. In another incident, six bystanders were injured during a battle in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

Table 3: States Hit Hardest by Street Battles

States Number of Attacks
Tamaulipas 17
Veracruz 10
Chihuahua 3
Guerrero 3

Hazardous Overland Travel

According to the Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública (SESNSP), the number of highway robberies reported across Mexico surged from 372 in June to 404 in July. The official figures from August are not yet available. However, there were numerous cases reported by the media this month. For example, several gunmen robbed passengers on a bus on the outskirts of Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas. They also kidnapped six people from the bus and drove away. Although the bus driver failed to report the incident to his superiors, passengers called the police. Gunmen robbed passengers on a bus traveling along the Omealca-Yanga highway near San José de Abajo, Veracruz. A similar robbery occurred on a passenger bus traveling along Highway 145D near Isla, Veracruz. Gunmen intercepted a rural bus and robbed passengers near Yunicoco, Oaxaca.

A bus passenger was killed during a robbery in Delegación Iztapalapa of Mexico City. An armed robber shot two passengers on a bus traveling along Highway 85 near Ojo de Agua, Edomex. One of the victims died instantly. As a result, the other passengers overpowered the robber and severely beat him until authorities arrived. Passengers overpowered and beat an armed robber on a bus traveling along Highway 190 in southern Oaxaca. The gunshot body of an individual was tossed from a moving bus in Delegación Gustavo A. Madero of Mexico City. Rival robbers attempted to rob the same commuter bus at the same time in Delegación Gustavo A. Madero of Mexico City.

In the ensuing conflict two of them shot and killed one another. Three individuals drove an urban commuter bus and robbed passengers who boarded the vehicle as it traveled along major streets in Texcoco, Edomex. Municipal police noticed the peculiar behavior and arrested the culprits.

There were also numerous attacks on personal vehicles along Mexican highways this month. For example, a family from Edomex was robbed by several gunmen when they stopped to check their tires while traveling on Highway 180D near Cosoleacaque, Veracruz. Gunmen intercepted a Pemex vehicle and robbed the employees as they traveled to a field site in Agua Dulce, Veracruz. An employee of a telecommunications company was shot and killed while driving a company vehicle in Tijuana.

Armed robbers intercepted a couple driving on Highway 125 near San Pedro Amuzgos, Oaxaca. The victims were injured by gunfire during the incident. Four people were shot and killed while driving along Highway 175 near Candelaria Loxicha, Oaxaca. A woman and her daughter were injured by broken glass when gunmen fired into their vehicle during an apparent carjacking on the Siglo XXI highway near Santa Casilda, Michoacán. Gunmen fired into a taxi and killed the passenger in Tabasco.

Several family members were injured when assailants fired into their vehicle as they traveled along Highway 40 near Mazatlán, Sinaloa. A man was shot in the head by assailants who were attempting to stop his vehicle along Highway 150D near Santa María Moyotzingo, Puebla. A woman was killed when gunmen fired into her vehicle in Zapopan, Jalisco. Four people were killed when gunmen fired into their vehicle in Guanajuato. Gunmen fired into a vehicle traveling along Highway 150D near Santa Rita Tlahuapan, Puebla, killing the driver. A man and his 13- year-old son were killed when gunmen fired into their vehicle in Querétaro, Querétaro. A 5-year-old girl was killed when gunmen fired into the vehicle in which she was traveling with her parents in Córdoba, Veracruz. Her father was also killed.

Narcobloqueos (Illegal Street Blockades)

  • August 3 – Matamoros, Tamaulipas
  • August 15 – Reynosa, Tamaulipas
  • August 22 – Reynosa, Tamaulipas
  • August 22 – Matamoros, Tamaulipas
  • August 22 – Río Bravo, Tamaulipas
  • August 27 – Ciudad Camargo, Tamaulipas

Violence

Later this month we will learn the official number of homicides reported during August. Meanwhile, deadly violence was especially widespread during the month. For example, at least 206 bodies were left in deposits of two or more across 15 states. This is the highest number of victims’ bodies reported since June 2016, and it is 22% higher than the monthly average of the last 31 months. Also, these bodies were left at 77 distinct sites; the highest number of sites since July 2016. These sites were located in Baja California, Campeche, Colima, Edomex, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Zacatecas). By far, most of these were in Veracruz, followed by Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Tamaulipas. In late August authorities reported that as many as 26 additional bodies have been removed from mass graves in Valparaíso, Zacatecas. Also, the remains of at least 200 additional victims were left singly at many sites across the country.

It appears criminal groups have again found delight in prominently displaying their victims as well. For example, a body was hung from a bridge over Highway 57 in Matehuala, San Luis Potosí. The following week another body was hung from a different highway bridge in San Luis Potosí. At least 24 people were decapitated or dismembered in Edomex, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz.

In addition to the abovementioned kidnap-murder of rivals, organized criminal groups launched numerous attacks on civilians in public venues. This month at least 51 people were killed in attacks on bars, restaurants, shopping areas, a bus terminal, a birthday party, and on the beach. In a widely-publicized case, gunmen shot five people on a public beach in San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur. Three people were killed in the attack. Several assailants used bats to severely beat two women and two young girls (2 and 6 year old) inside a beauty salon in Reynosa. There were 36 such incidents reported in August. The number of attacks is a slight decline when compared to July, but is on par with the monthly average for 2017. The number of fatalities is also lower than the previous two months. These incidents occurred in Michoacán, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz. Most of the attacks were in Veracruz.

Apart from public venues, there were numerous armed attacks against individuals or families inside their homes. For example, four gunmen stormed a residence and killed a man and woman in Guanajuato, Guanajuato. Gunmen entered a home and killed a woman in Colima, Colima. Gunmen entered a home and killed a man and woman in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas. Two men were killed and a woman was injured when gunmen burst into their home in Mazatlán, Sinaloa. A woman was killed during a home invasion in Ixtlán de Los Hervores, Michoacán. Three people were pulled from their home in Huatusco, Veracruz. The woman and a child were later found murdered, while the condition of the male is not yet known. At least six people were killed when sicarios attacked residents in Heliodoro Castillo, Guerrero. The gunmen also cut electrical and telephone lines during the confrontation.

Other victims were killed in broad daylight on often busy streets in front of witnesses. For example, a mother was gunned down while walking to pick up her children at an elementary school in Minatitlán, Veracruz. A 24-year-old woman was killed by gunmen in a drive-by shooting in Misantla, Veracruz. A woman was gunned down on a street in Orizaba, Veracruz. A similar fate met another woman along a street in Acapulco. A woman was shot and killed on a busy street in Delegación Iztapalapa in Mexico City. A mother and her son escaped injury when gunmen fired at them from a passing motorcycle in Tantoyuca, Veracruz.

A prominent radiologist was injured when gunmen fired on his vehicle in Martínez de la Torre, Veracruz. Several assailants entered a clinic and stabbed a gynecologist to death in the same city. Also, in Martínez de la Torre an odonatologist was kidnapped from her clinic. A businessman was gunned down in Poza Rica, Veracruz. Several gunmen chased a businessman down a street and executed him in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. A commercial citrus farmer was murdered in Martinez de la Torre, Veracruz. A Pemex security officer was injured during an ambush while inspecting reports of illegal fuel taps near Matamoros, Tamaulipas. In a separate incident, a Pemex employee was gunned down outside his home in Poza Rica, Veracruz. Another Pemex worker was kidnapped and murdered in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. A private detective was murdered in Tihuatlán, Veracruz.

At least 35 taxi drivers were killed in August. This figure exceeds the extremely high number recorded during June; making August the deadliest month for taxi drivers in Mexico’s history. These murders occurred in Guerrero, Mexico City, Michoacán, Oaxaca (4 drivers killed), and Veracruz (26 killed). In one day four taxi drivers were gunned down in Cuitláhuac, Veracruz. In an apparent attempted attack on a taxi driver in Tuxpan (Veracruz), the assailants killed his passenger instead. Also, of note is that five bus drivers were murdered in the course of their duties. These attacks occurred in Oaxaca, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz.

Selected Vigilante Incidents

  • August 1 – residents threatened to lynch an accused thief in Veracruz, Veracruz.
  • August 1 – residents attempted to hang two accused thieves in Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca. Authorities intervened.
  • August 1 – a bus passenger shot and killed two would-be robbers in Tlalnepantla, Edomex.
  • August 6 – residents detained an accused thief in Delegación Gustvo A. Madero of Mexico City.
  • August 6 – an armed robber was killed by his intended victim in Piedras Negras, Coahuila.
  • August 8 – residents detained an accused thief in Oaxaca, Oaxaca.
  • August 10 -residents threatened to lynch an individual they found robbing homes and businesses in Xalapa, Veracruz.
  • August 15 – residents attempted to burn alive a woman they found robbing people in Amatlán de los Reyes, Veracruz. She was rescued by local police. Her accomplice had already escaped.
  • August 16 – residents stripped an accused thief and paraded him in front of their church in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca.
  • August 23 – residents protested against the high levels of organized crime in their neighborhood of Naolinco, Veracruz.
  • August 28 – residents trapped individuals who had just collected an extortion payment in San José Tlacuitlapan, Puebla. The residents eventually lynched three of the accused individuals, and severely beat the other offenders.
  • Reported in early August – several communities have formed autodefensa groups in Jilotepec de Abasolo, Edomex.

Extortion, Kidnapping, and Armed Robbery

Extortion

Official data published by the Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública (SESNSP) suggests that the number of reported extortions declined 21% in July when compared to June. However, despite these rosy figures, it is apparent that the crime is widespread and well entrenched.

There were 10 fatal extortion-related attacks reported during August. This figure marks a significant reduction when compared to the monthly average for the last three years. However, it is important to note that this number merely applies to the number of reported fatal attacks, and the actual number is likely higher. These incidents occurred in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz (7 incidents). Among the victims were the owners or employees of several bars, small stores, a construction business, and a taxi office. Also, a bus driver was killed for failing to meet extortion demands in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas. A bus company employee was injured by gunmen in Morelia, Michoacán.

Authorities arrested two extortionists in Coatzacoalcos who had in their possession a list with more than 100 names and businesses and quotas. The suspects are also believed to have been responsible for the murder of a bar owner in the city earlier in the month (his name was on their list).

Another incident did not result in fatalities, but it had the potential to do so. Assailants locked several employees of a pawn shop in a store room and set fire to the business in Coatzacoalcos. The employees were rescued by firefighters. In another incident, gunmen fired on the offices of a tow truck company in Acayucan, Veracruz. A fragmentation grenade thrown during the attack failed to detonate.

Kidnapping

Mexican authorities reported the disruption of 14 kidnapping operations this month. This is the highest number since December 2016. These operations were focused in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Tamaulipas (4 operations), Tlaxcala, and Veracruz (6). Twenty-one people were rescued from a kidnap safe house in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. Three kidnap victims were rescued by authorities in Tenancingo, Tlaxcala. Five victims were rescued at a “safe house” in Reynosa. The victims included a local businessman and two teenagers. Other victims were rescued by authorities in Catemaco, Veracruz.

Also, there were more than a dozen additional reports of rescues and/or escapes of victims this month. For example, the grandson of the regional leader of the Sindicato de Trabajadores Petroleros de la República Mexicana (STPRM) was rescued by authorities after being kidnapped for a month in Minatitlán, Veracruz. State police rescued a kidnap victim following a chase of a suspicious vehicle in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas.

A patrol of Mexican marines and state police stopped a suspicious vehicle and rescued a woman who had just been kidnapped in Coatzacoalcos. The following evening state police intercepted a vehicle and rescued another woman in Xalapa, Veracruz. Federal police intercepted a vehicle and rescued two kidnap victims in Santa María Mixtequilla, Oaxaca. State police rescued two individuals in Coatzacoalcos. A citizen followed a vehicle involved in the kidnapping of a 7-year-old girl in Chalco, Edomex. Using this information authorities were able to rescue the girl and arrest four suspects.

A Pemex employee escaped his kidnappers in Coatzintla, Veracruz. Another kidnap victim was able to escape from the trunk of a vehicle at a busy street intersection in Monterrey, Nuevo Léon. The 61-year-old victim had been kidnapped from a car lot in Santiago (30 km south). A shopkeeper shot an assailant who was attempting to kidnap his wife in Coatzacoalcos. Two men attempted to kidnap the owner of a small bakery in San Pedro Mixtepec, Oaxaca. While she was resisting their attempt, one of the kidnappers accidently shot and killed his accomplice, and then fled the scene.

A woman and her 2-year-old baby were kidnapped when gunmen intercepted her vehicle in Reynosa. They were released a few hours later in what appears to have been a case of express kidnapping. A man and woman were released after being kidnapped in Cárdenas, Tabasco. They were found alongside a highway with gunshot injuries, but still alive. A commercial farmer was kidnapped while driving near Córdoba, Veracruz. He was beaten and later released.

There were several dozen additional kidnapping incidents reported in the media. For example, an odonatologist with Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF) was kidnapped by several assailants in Coatzacoalcos. A physician was kidnapped and murdered in Huixquilucan de Degollado, Edomex. In separate incidents two physicians were kidnapped in Papantla, Veracruz. The daughter of a physician was kidnapped in Tantoyuca, Veracruz. The owner of an optical business was kidnapped in Jáltipan, Veracruz.

A business man was kidnapped and murdered in Veracruz. A business woman was kidnapped in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. The owner of a liquor store was kidnapped in Agua Dulce, Veracruz. His kidnappers have demanded a multi-million peso ransom. A maritime radio communications technician who worked at the Port of Coatzacoalcos was kidnapped. Several employees were kidnapped from a Subway sandwich shop in San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo Léon. The business was in disarray and empty, and several purses were found tossed on the floor.

As we have discussed in several reports over the last few years, there is strong evidence that sexual predators are taking advantage of the elevated crime levels in the country to cover their activities. Indeed, Pablo Piccato, a wellknown scholar, recently commented that there is likely widespread cases of serial murders of young women in Mexico, but that the true extent of these crimes is masked by the overwhelming number of murders related to organized crime. He argued that the perpetrators are sufficiently astute and have expanded their activities as the overall murder rate has grown.

Indeed, at least 61 women were killed in August in 56 separate incidents. These occurred across 16 states (Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Colima, Edomex, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Jalisco, Mexico City, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Zacatecas). Most of the victims were in Veracruz. Many more were reported kidnapped or missing.

A 16-year-old girl was kidnapped and murdered in Ixhuatlancillo, Veracruz. She was apparently killed because her parents had been unable to pay the 500,000 peso ransom. A woman was kidnapped and murdered in Venustiano Carranza, Puebla. Two nurses were kidnapped and murdered in Mazatlán, Sinaloa. Three teenagers (including a 14-year-old girl) were kidnapped and murdered in Chilpancingo, Guerrero. Two assailants entered a dentist office and kidnapped a pregnant woman from the facility in Veracruz, Veracruz. A 6-year-old girl was kidnapped and murdered in Celaya, Guanajuato. A woman was kidnaped, tortured, and murdered in Culiacán. A teenage girl was kidnapped by individuals in a vehicle in Las Choapas, Veracruz. Two men traveling in a Nissan kidnapped a 12- year-old girl off a street in Asunción Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca.

Armed Robbery

In addition to highway robberies committed against travelers, there were numerous reports of robberies directed at commercial cargo operations. For example, a large group of gunmen and other masked individuals blocked a railroad track near Acultzingo, Veracruz. After forcing the train to stop they proceeded to rob the cargo. Four municipal police officers attempted to prevent the robbery and were ultimately overwhelmed by a large number of residents intending to rob the cargo. The police officers were disarmed, and severely beaten. This incident follows a series of similar crimes against trains in that general region.

A truck driver was killed while resisting a robbery in Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas. A truck driver was kidnapped while driving on Highway 145 near Tierra Blanca, Veracruz. A driver’s assistant was killed when gunmen attempted to rob a beer delivery truck in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz. The truck driver was injured in the attack. A truck driver was found murdered along the side of Highway 150D between Córdoba and Veracruz. Another driver was murdered in Nanchital, Veracruz.

Four individuals dressed as police officers attempted to drive off with a trailer from a shipping company parking lot near Orizaba, Veracruz. State police arrived before they were able to escape. Elsewhere, federal police intervened and prevented the hijacking of a tractor-trailer rig near Amatlán, Veracruz.

Other notable incidents this month include several gunmen who robbed patrons inside the Cine Tonalá in Colonia Roma of Mexico City. A similar robbery of patrons occurred inside an ice cream shop in Delegacion Coyoacán of Mexico City. Authorities have reported an increase in armed robbery of passengers outside the bus terminal in Reynosa. Several gunmen robbed the ticket booth of a bus station in Ciudad Cardel, Veracruz. Gunmen stole 28,000 pesos from a church in Las Choapas, Veracruz.

Two gunmen forced their way into an elementary school and stole the tuition fees. The incident occurred in Coatzacoalcos and occurred while students were in attendance. There were also several reported cases in Oaxaca, Tabasco, and Veracruz in which gunmen robbed bank customers just outside of banks. At least six banks were robbed in Puebla and Veracruz.

Finally, a 16-year-old boy used an air rifle to defend against a home intruder in Mexicali, Baja California. The pellet perforated the robber’s lung and he died at the scene. Elsewhere, a shopkeeper ducked at the moment a robber fired a shot at his head. As a result, the bullet struck the shooter’s unlucky accomplice.

Attacks on Authorities (August 2017)


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