A Mexican police officer in Chihuahua survived an ambush from five cartel gunmen after at least 50 rounds were fired at him outside a convenience store early Saturday.
The ambush, which occurred in colonia Nombre de Dios, shows the gunmen parked on the street facing away from the store, according to local reports. As the police officer walks to his vehicle and begins to enter, five gunmen armed with four rifles and a handgun, open fire from various positions on the officer–who is now seated in his vehicle. After firing, the gunmen flee. The vehicle was struck numerous times and the unidentified officer sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder–but is expected to survive.
The state police officer was recently transferred to the capital of Chihuahua from Ignacio Zaragoza after receiving death threats from criminal organizations. The unnamed officer was an inspector in charge of 20 police personnel in Ignacio Zaragoza, which in October experienced a deadly confrontation between “La Línea” of the Nuevo Cártel de Juárez and its rivals. This deadly confrontation left at least five dead, including two who were decapitated. Ignacio Zaragoza is in the northwest region of the state and is considered valuable territory for cartels due to its valuable smuggling routes into the United States. The municipality is one that state authorities assumed control of in 2017 due to violent instability.
According to unofficial statistics compiled by local media, a total of 67 state police officers were killed since October of 2016 in Chihuahua. Numerous others were targeted but survived. In April, Breitbart News reported on a series of attacks against police captured on surveillance video.
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.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org