Gangs rob at least five buses in Durango
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By Chris Covert
At least five buses have been robbed at gunpoint near a northeast Durango municipality near La Laguna since last Sunday, according to Mexican enws accounts.
A news report which appeared last Monday on the website of El Mexicano news daily said that a group of athletes from Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ) were stopped by armed suspects in Cuencame de Ceniceros municipality, and stripped of cell phones and cash.
Cuencame de Ceniceros is on Mexico Federal Highway 40 about 40 kilometers southwest of La Laguna. In the Sunday attack, armed suspects riding aboard a truck forced the three buses carrying the students to stop. One of the bus drivers was reported hurt.
A news report by Richard Ibarra which appeared on Yancuic news website said that the attacks began last Tuesday, which does not line up with the El Mexicano account, which said one attack took place on Sunday
In the Yancuic account, the office of the Durango Fiscalia General del Estado (FGE) or state attorney general said one of the attacks took place near the village of Chocolate early Tuesday morning.
When Mexican federal security forces arrived at the Chocolate location, they found five vehicles, an abandoned truck, passengers and a driver. The Yancuic account also said another two public buses were robbed as well.
Additionally, a truck was attacked with small arms in Gomez Palacio Thursday, but no one was reported hurt in that attack.
Meanwhile in Torreon, Coahuila, four more dead were found, bringing the total murdered in Torreon to 42.
According to several news reports posted on the website of El Diario de Coahuila news daily, three individuals were found shot to death near the intersection of Calle Joaquin Moreno and Avenida Juarez in Torreon. The dead were identified as Jesus Humberto Martinez Escarcega, 25, Alexis, 17, and Claudia Berenice Guzman Reyes, 30.
In other news, in perhaps the most stark statement to date of the security situation, the Durango FGE was forced to admit that security operations on the Durango side of La Laguna are no longer under the control of her office.
A press report brief which appeared on the website of El Siglo de Torreon news daily reported the remarks of Lt. Adelaido Flores Diaz, director of Torreon Direccion de Seguridad Publica Municipal, as saying Seguro Laguna was now in operation.
Seguro Laguna was the name of the now cancelled security program which operated in the region between October 2011 and November 30th 2012. The then Secretaria de Gobernacion (SEGOB) or interior minister Alejandro Poire cancelled the operation when violent crime fell in the area.
The decision to cancel Seguro Laguna left Durango governor Jorge Herrera Caldera practically screaming in the press for federal security assistance. The only federal response since last December was to close Centro de Readaptcion Social Numero 2 in Gomez Palacio, before a decision was made to reintroduce federal security forces, such as army, naval infantry and Policia Federal units to the region. The decision to close the CERESO, made by new SEGOB Miguel Osorio Chong, has complicated state security efforts, now that detainees must be taken to the Durango state capital 150 kilometers away.
In a brief statement to the press, Durango FGE Sonia Yadira Garza Fragoso said that Seguro Laguna was no longer in operation and that the Mexican Army now solely controls security operations in the region.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
Posted by: badanov 2013-02-01