Cartel Gunmen Kill 3 — Attack Police Station in Northern Mexico

Sonora state police man a roadblock days after a gunbattle between police and a drug cartel assault force that overran a town last May 16 near the Arizona border that left 23 dead, including five police officers in the town of Cananea, Mexico, Friday May 18, 2007. The nation's top …
AP File Photo/Oman Nevarez

Cartel violence in the border state of Sonora continued late Thursday and early Friday morning as gunmen carried out a series of attacks. The attacks left three people dead. The gunmen went on to riddle a police substation with gunfire.

The violence began on Thursday at approximately 8 p.m. in the tourist port city of Guaymas. Cartel gunmen stormed a residence in colonia Nacionalización del Golfo and killed a 35-year old wheelchair bound male identified as Francisco Javier “N”. The victim died from multiple gunshot wounds.

The second attack occurred in the Linda Vista section, of Guaymas Norte just after midnight. A group of cartel gunmen in a vehicle opened fire on a Hummer which just arrived at a residence. A male later identified as Juan Carlos died instantly in the Hummer after being struck multiple times by gunfire including a shot to the head.

According to witnesses, the victim’s wife exited the house after hearing gunfire and was immediately accosted by cartel gunmen who forced her back into the residence. The attackers beat her with a baseball bat and then killed her execution style with a gunshot to the face before fleeing.

In the third attack at approximately 2 a.m., cartel gunmen in a passing vehicle opened fire on the police substation located in the eastern section of Guaymas in colonia Punta Arena. A police officer later identified as Jesus “N”, 38, sustained a gunshot wound during the attack. The injuries are considered non-life-threatening injuries.  Gunmen reportedly fired approximately 20 rounds at the police station.

Breitbart News reported Thursday that a total of 1,800 Mexican National Guard personnel will deploy to Sonora starting July 1 to help fight the escalating violence attributed to cartel and gang turf wars. The violence in Sonora is attributed to an ongoing territorial dispute between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Beltran Leyva organization’s regionally aligned gangs.

In response to the violence, security personnel in the area launched a joint operation throughout Friday which resulted in the arrest of three suspected cartel gunmen by personnel of the state police (PESP) and Mexican Navy (SEMAR). The arrest took place in the municipality of Empalme where police stopped three men traveling in a red Toyota after receiving reports that the men were armed. A search of the vehicle produced to rifles.

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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