Photo: Violence Mexico
Mexican authorities arrested 21 suspected killers-for-hire linked to numerous homicides, kidnappings and other crimes in the La Laguna region, which straddles the northern states of Durango and Coahuila, officials said.
Durango state Attorney General Sonia de la Garza told Milenio Television Thursday that the detainees, including two minors, are wanted in connection with a spate of crimes.
They include the murder of a candidate for mayor of the town of Lerdo and attacks on the mayor of Gomez Palacio, Rocio Rebollo, apparently because of her “cooperation with the security operation in Durango.”
According to the prosecutor, the suspects also are implicated in attacks against the offices of the El Siglo de Torreon daily in Coahuila state, and the abduction of five employees to force them to “stop publishing articles about crimes in which they participated.”
“The Siglo de Torreon employees were released,” De la Garza said, but the attacks on the offices have continued and left one dead and two wounded last week.
The detainees also are suspected of abducting and killing police officers in Lerdo and Gomez Palacio who refused to provide information about “Operation Safe Laguna,” a federal anti-crime initiative launched in October 2011.
The suspects allegedly once belonged to a crime group known as Los Dandys or Organizacion del Poniente, but recently branched out on their own or were working for the Sinaloa cartel, headed by notorious fugitive Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, De la Garza said.