Mexico charges 3, detains 25 in ambush killing of 13 police

Border Crime

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Investigators have identified three people as the suspected masterminds of last week’s ambush slaying of 13 law enforcement officers in central Mexico, and a drug gang appears to have been involved, authorities said Tuesday.

The prosecutor’s office in the State of Mexico said 25 others have been detained in the case and are suspected of working for the Familia Michoacana drug gang.

Warrants have been issued for the three purported masterminds, but they apparently remain at large. Authorities offered a reward of about $25,000 each for information leading to their arrest.

Eight state police officers and five prosecution investigators died in a hail of gunfire in the March 18 attack on their convoy as they headed to establish a checkpoint. Prosecutors said they found a total of 672 spent shell casings at the scene.

The massacre was the country’s single biggest slaying of law enforcement since October 2019, when gunmen ambushed and killed 14 state police officers in the neighboring state of Michoacan.

The Familia Michoacana cartel moved a decade ago from that state into Guerrero and the State of Mexico, which lies on the outskirts of Mexico City. The gang has shown itself willing to openly attack police and army units in the past.

The attack presented a challenge for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has pursued a strategy of not directly confronting drug cartels in an effort to avoid violence.

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