Mexico: hitmen take out federal police, army jefes

Gunmen fatally shot a high-ranking Mexican intelligence official as he drove to work at the federal Prosecutor General’s office in Mexico City May 14. Jose Nemesio Lugo, who investigated drug trafficking and illegal migration, was shot several times. The assailants fled and no arrests were made. US Ambassador Tony Garza expressed his condolences and praised Lugo as “a principled and tireless crime fighter.” Lugo last month was named general coordinator of the Prosecutor General’s National Center of Planning, Analysis and Information for the Combat of Delinquency. Under former President Vicente Fox, Lugo was director of border operations for the federal Public Security Department. He also served as director of a Federal Preventative Police unit investigating trafficking of drugs, contraband, migrants and minors. (Notimex, AP, May 14)

Also May 14, Jorge Alatriste, Baja California chief for the Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI), was found shot dead in a poor barrio of Tijuana. His body showed signs of torture, a spokesman said. (Reuters, EFE, May 14)

On May 13, federal army Capt. Jacinto Pablo Granda was found dead, his body dumped on the shoulder of the Mexico-Acapulco highway in Guerrero state. He had been kidnapped several hours earlier as he and his wife left a nightclub in downtown Chilpancingo. Granda was assigned to a military base in Zapopan, in the western state of Jalisco, and had been vacationing in Guerrero.

Elsewhere in Guerrero, unidentified attackers tossed a hand grenade May 12 at a police station in the city of Tecpan, damaging two patrol cars. During the past week, Guerrero has seen more than 20 shooting deaths.

A police commander in Acolman, Mexico state, was also killed the night of May 12 as he played a game of soccer. He was gunned down by two men who fled on a motorcycle. (El Universal, May 14)

See our last posts on Mexico’s drug war, Guerrero and the border zone.