Mexican Police Commander Kidnapped, Executed by Cartel Gunmen

Mexican police guard a crime scene in Veracruz. (File Photo: ANGEL HERNANDEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
File Photo: ANGEL HERNANDEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Cartel gunmen kidnapped a Mexican police commander in the center of the town he served. The gunmen later executed the police commander.

A team of cartel gunmen reportedly kidnapped the police commander of the municipality of Tezonapa, Veracruz, on Wednesday night. The kidnapping spurred deployment of police and military personnel in an attempt to locate the commander. Officials identified the missing police commander as Comandante José Aurelio Ríos Avendaño, known as “Palma” according to local media reports.

Tezonapa is located approximately 135 miles south of the Veracruz capital city of Xalapa.

During the early morning hours of May 9, day laborers reported the discovery of the lifeless body of a male victim. The body had been dumped along the state highway Omealca-Tezonapa at the 29-kilometer marker. Officials said the male victim was shirtless and lying on his back with visible signs of trauma. Investigative personnel from the state attorney general’s office arrived at the crime scene and identified the victim as the missing Comandante José Aurelio Ríos Avendaño. Reports indicate that the comandante displayed signs of torture and had been shot at close range at least three times.

As Breitbart News reported, Mexico’s Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) declared war on the Veracruz government through a series of banners. The cartel faction then carried out a series of high-profile attacks that spread terror through the state. For several years, CJNG and Los Zetas have been fighting for control of Veracruz and its lucrative shipping ports that provide access to the Gulf of Mexico. Cartel violence has been trending upward for several years as a bloody turf war continues in the Gulf Coast region of Veracruz.

Breitbart News also reported of a massacre which occurred this April in Minatitla, Veracruz. The town is located in the southern part of Veracruz. During the attack, cartel gunmen gunned down 14 victims, including an infant, during a party. The gunmen allegedly tried to kidnap the owner of the business and opened fire after people in attendance tried to intervene. The murder victims included five women, seven men, and the young infant male.

The recent massacre and attacks on local law enforcement mark the latest episodes in a region where cartel gunmen openly challenge Mexico’s government. So far, the cartel appears to surpass the capabilities of police agencies and local government being able to respond adequately.

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.)

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