13 Prosecutors and Police Officers Killed by Gunmen in Mexico Ambush

Investigators at the scene of the ambush in Coatepec Harinas, Mexico, on Thursday. (Credit…Jose Aguilar/Reuters)

Gunmen on Thursday ambushed a Mexican government convoy conducting a security patrol southwest of the capital, killing 13 prosecutors and police officers in what appeared to be the deadliest assault on Mexican law enforcement in well over a year, officials said.

The attack was a major setback to government security forces and yet another reminder of the severe security challenges facing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The president took office in 2018 promising to make Mexico a safer place, but he has been unable to put a meaningful dent in the violence that has long bloodied the country.

Rodrigo Martínez Celis Wogau, security minister for the State of Mexico, called the ambush “an affront to the Mexican state” and promised to “respond with total force.”

The convoy on Thursday was patrolling in Coatepec Harinas, about 40 miles southwest of Mexico City, the capital, to “combat criminal groups who operate in that zone,” Mr. Martínez added in a video statement posted on Twitter.

The death toll included eight police officers from Mr. Martínez’s department, the Security Secretariat, as well as five representatives of the state’s Attorney General’s office, officials said.

Images apparently taken at the scene of the attack and published by local media showed the bloodied bodies of officers lying on the road and slumped inside police vehicles. Other images showed government vehicles riddled with bullet holes.

The attack appeared to be the deadliest assault on Mexican law enforcement agents since October 2019, when gunmen killed 14 police officers in the state of Michoacán.

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SOURCE: New York Times, Kirk Semple and Oscar Lopez

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