By Chris Covert
Mexican cartel allied groups which fought each other and Mexican security forces, and died since Saturday, include such groups as the Beltran-Leyva, the Sinaloa and the Los Zetas drug cartels, according to Mexican news accounts.
In a Thursday posting at its website, Vangardia news daily reported unnamed sources saying that the groups which were in the general area of Choix since Saturday include Los Mazatlecos, Los Chapos Isidro Norte, Los Pequeños and Los Zetas, led by Fausto Isidro Meza Flores AKA El Chapo Isidro, against a Sinaloa group called Gente Nueva.
Also included, not surprisingly was an armed group led by a Juarez Cartel operative identified as José Luis Ledezma, AKA El JL, leader of Los Aztecas. The Juarez Cartel makes use of remote mountain communities in far western Chihuahua state ro grow some of the drugs it smuggles into the US. La Linea, the Juarez cartel’s enforcement wing also operated in remote Chihuahua state communities such as Madero, where quantities of Tovex, a commercial grade dynamite was found just after the July, 2010 car bomb in Juarez city.
Prior reports said that two groups had exchanged gunfire initially in Choix municipality, also wound up fighting Mexican Army and Sinaloa state police agents, and have been since then until Wednesday.
The Vangardia report also said that Mexican Army troops have moved further into eastern Choix to make arrests of cartel shooters involved in the fighting since last Saturday.
The total dead state wide, by this author’s account, include 54 gang and cartel affiliated shooters, the latest being in Guasave where 11 armed suspects and two Mexican soldiers were killed early Wednesday morning.
Speaking of the firefight in Guasave, Vangardia said that the Mexican Secretaria de Defensa Nacional, the controlling agency for the Mexican Army, reported large amounts of munitions seized including 31 rifles, 12 handguns, 5,291 rounds of ammunition. 121 weapons magazines, hand grenades and homemade explosive devices. These munitions lists probably also include quantities seized in Choix municipality since last Saturday.
In a Thursday evening post on its website, Noreste news daily reported that 11 armed suspects were killed in the firefight between armed suspects and a Mexican Army road patrol at the Hotel Macurín. Seven suspects died in separate hotel rooms, while two more died attempting to flee the fire zone. Two more died in the court yard of the hotel.
The report also said that 30 local schools were closed down during the two hour long firefight.
Contraband seized in the aftermath of the firefight include 28 rifles and pistols (including two 0.50 caliber Barrett rifles), four vehicles including one armored Jeep Cherokee SUV and 1,600 rounds of ammunition.
According to a post on its website Thursday evening El Debate news daily listed nine of the 11 armed suspects killed in Guasave: Luis Enrique Leon Leyva, José Alberto Rocha Fonseca, Juvenal Parez Encino, Carlos Daniel Velazquez Terraza, Oscar Manuel Montoya Lopez, Omar Adrian Montoya Rubio, Luis Saenz, Jesus Gamez and José Leonardo Lopez Murillo.
In a story posted on its website Thursday Grupo Formula radio said that at least one church, Catedral de Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Culican, the capital of Sinaloa has been vandalized by cartel operatives. The report also said a Catholic priest was stabbed at a Catholic school last week and is in serious condition.
On the website of La Tarde news daily Thursday evening, it was reported that a total of 23 dead had been found in several municipalities of Sinaloa. It is unclear in that report how many are included in the total death toll of 56.
In Culiacan, 10 were reported dead, four in Salvador Alvarado, three in Ahome, two each in San Ignacio and El Fuerte, and one each in Navolato and Mocorito.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
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