Mexico names police officers murdered in Monday ambush

11:17, June 16, 2010      

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Mexican authorities on Tuesday named the 12 officers who died in a Monday ambush staged by gangsters in Zitacuaro, a town in the central Mexican state of Michoacan.

Michoacan's State Attorney's Office (PGE) said that army troops had been brought in to patrol rural areas of Michoacan that border the State of Mexico, which borders Mexico City to the north.

The dead in the Monday ambush are all federal police officers, authorities said.

The ambush began when gangsters sealed the Zitacuaro-Toluca Highway and the Zitacuaro-Ciudad Hidalgo Highway. There were two separate clashes, at each of the barricades, which were set up with burning buses, according to a statement from Mexico's Public Security Ministry.

Monday was one of the bloodiest days on record in Mexico, with a total of 42 deaths linked to organized crime. In a separate gruesome incident in Mazatlan, a Pacific coast town in the northern state of Sinaloa, 29 prisoners died in a riot when they attempted a mass jail break.

Since December 2006, at least 22,700 people have died in the conflict to prevent the smuggling of drugs into Mexico's northern neighbor, the United States, according to Mexican government figures.

The fight against drug traffickers has become a central plank of the administration of Mexico's President Felipe Calderon. Michocan's Pacific coast is considered a major entry point for cocaine arriving in Mexico from South America, where it is manufactured.

Source: Xinhua


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