The beach resort city of Cancun continues to be a hotbed for violence after suspected cartel operatives attacked state police by tossing a grenade at a squad car in traffic.
The attack occurred Wednesday, January 24 at approximately 4 pm local time. The episode marks the fourth in 2018.
According to a press release issued by the office of the State Public Security Director of Quintana Roo, a state police patrol had just left the new command post when a vehicle pulled alongside and a passenger tossed a fragmentation grenade at the cruiser. The device struck the windshield and became embedded–failing to detonate because its position. The patrol immediately pulled over and the area was cordoned off until the arrival of a military explosives expert who secured the grenade by tightly wrapping a plastic bag around it, stabilizing the lever and detonator. The grenade was delivered to military personnel for safe disposal, according to local press reports.
In 2018 thus far, there have been four direct attacks against police in Cancun. On January 3, two ministerial investigators were wounded and one cartel gunman was killed after a confrontation at a gas station near the busy Plaza Outlets—as reported by Breitbart Texas.
On January 17, a state police commander survived an attack near the Plaza Outlets while a policewoman traveling with him escaped unharmed.
On January 23, a Cancun municipal police officer was murdered by gunmen while manning an observation post in the city, according to local media.
Authorities are also investigating a double execution and a policewoman from Puerto Morelos. One victim was the mother and the second, the 16-year-old sister of the policewoman. The two victims were killed when heavily armed gunmen stormed their apartment and fired at point-blank range. At the time of the execution, the policewoman was hiding in an adjacent room with a cousin who is also a Puerto Morelos police officer. Prior to the murder, narcomantas (banners) were left in Puerto Morelos threatening the police chief and his officers for colluding with “Los Pelones”–a criminal group affiliated with the Gulf Cartel and previously affiliated with Sinaloa/Los Beltran Leyva, according to local reports.
Breitbart Texas previously reported that in 2017, the U.S. State Department issued a warning to tourists about the cartel violence spreading to the once calm beach resorts of Mexico. Popular cities like Cancun, Los Cabos, Cozumel, and others are now being fought over by gunmen.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)