Ricardo ValenzuelaMore About: Mexican United States Relations
THE MEXICAN OK CORRAL
THE MEXICAN OK CORRAL
Federal police helicopters and ground forces searched the Sierra Madre for fleeing gunmen on Thursday while state police moved in to replace terrified local officers who abandoned the town of
Officials said Thursday that Mexican army troops had joined the fight Wednesday after a powerful drug cartel sent the assailants into town. However, this was an operation which was coordinated by the state police fallowing direct orders from Governor Bours to go after those criminal using all the force of the State.
Armed with assault rifles and riding in 10 to 15 vehicles, this group of professional killers, like a military operation pulled four lightly armed city police officers out of police cars and executed them in a roadside park and kept going terrorizing the town in a way that made remember the movie Tombstone, where those criminals known as “the cowboys” were in charge not the town authorities.
The invasion of Cananea — a town that helped spark the 1910 Mexican Revolution when U.S. forces crossed the border to help put down a miners' strike — showed the brashness and power of Mexico's ruthless organized crime gangs. Cananea is also the town where the Generals from Sonora—Obregon, Calles, de la Huerta, Serrano— in 1920 did write the Agua Prieta Plan which then was proclaimed in that city border with Douglas to march against President Carranza and take over the control of the country in what was known the Sonoran Hegemony.
The first outside authorities to arrive in Cananea on Wednesday found an eerie no man's land where local law enforcement had melted away when this small private army invaded the town. One witness affirmed: “this is understanding because our little police department is not ready nor training to fight what seems to be a professional army of mercenaries.”
"When the state police arrived, there was not a single municipal police officer," Sonora Gov. Eduardo Bours said, noting he previously asked for a federal investigation of the Cananea police force, apparently to determine whether it was infiltrated by
"We had to take over the command. There wasn't anyone there. They had all left." And boy they did to start a fierce counteroffensive using packs of local policemen who know the area, know how to track animals as well as humans, and more importantly, they are descendents of those brave sonorans who, a little bit more than a century ago, use to fight Apaches and Comanches renegades indians.
Five kidnapped city police were found dead and two residents were killed. State and federal police and soldiers rescued four civilians, including two children, as the battle broke out.
Federal Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna blamed a turf battle between the Gulf and Pacific drug gangs.
"The whole adventure started when an armed command first abducted a police patrol then went out on the streets of Cananea ... abducting policemen," Garcia Luna told reporters. "It is a group linked to the Gulf cartel, waging a turf battle with the Pacific people, for control of this territory."
He praised Sonora state officials for their "efficient" response and their skills to fight in that danger area of the Sierra Madre in which not even the army can show that kind of efficient tactics that produced the big defeat for those criminals.
The gunmen tried to hole up in mountainous terrain around the town of
While President Felipe Calderon has dispatched thousands of army troops to fight the cartels, critics say troops trained for battle should not be acting as police officers.
The official National Human Rights Commission said Tuesday there was credible evidence that some of the newly deployed troops committed rapes, illegal searches and other abuses. But I have to insist and repeat, this was an operation executed by the State police fallowing orders from Gov. Eduardo Bours who really understand that the main responsibility of the State is the protection of its citizens.
"Soldiers are not trained to carry out police work," said Jose Luis Soberanes, president of the rights commission. "If you make them do it, they go overboard and we see these type of cases."
But the people from Sonora reacted showing their anger and sending a clear message to Soberanes: "We are feed up with your attitude protecting criminals," and praising Bours for his determination to protect them comparing him with another famous sonoran, Alvaro Obregon, who was one of the main leaders of the Mexican Revolution, president of Mexico in 1924, and always carried the reputation for his boldness and decisiveness.
At this moment the
persecution of the rest of the gang is in progress all over the Arizpe sierra
and the next shootout is about to happen at any moment. But seems that Gov.
Bours is firm about his decision to put an end to this kind of barbaric actions
in our State, when he is trying to build a friendly place for investments.