Photo: Lt. Colonel Julian Leyzaola escaped an assassination attempt in Juarez, Mexico
A Juarez police chief is relatively safe after an assassination attempt against him failed.
Thursday, Lt. Colonel Julian Leyzaola was on patrol when in a neighborhood near downtown Juarez when he came across men carrying out an extortion attempt on a local business. When the offenders saw Leyzaola’s patrol they opened fire.
Leyzaola was not injured, but one of the attackers was wounded by one of the lieutenant colonel’s bodyguards. The other gunmen managed to get away.
Ciudad Juarez is a drug violence hotspot in Mexico, and gun fights between police and drug traffickers had become common. In 2010, 15,273 people were killed in drug-related murders according to the Mexican government, making it the bloodiest 2010 the most deadly year so far.
“The municipal police is still standing ... and will continue fighting,” Juarez Mayor Hector “Teto” Murguia said. “The municipal police, particularly the lieutenant colonel, confirm that they will clean up this historic city.”
Leyzaola has only been the chief in Ciudad Juarez since March of this year, and earlier this month told CNN, “If the criminals resist giving up ... well then there will be incidents of confrontation. Until what point? As long as necessary.”