GUADALAJARA, Mexico – At least three people, including two retired military men, were shot dead in this western Mexican city, spokespersons for the Jalisco state Attorney General’s Office said.
The bodies of Mario Miguel Ibarrola Garcia and Roberto Maceda Pacheco – former members of the Defense Secretariat, which oversees Mexico’s army and air force – were found inside their luxury apartment in the state capital’s upscale Altamira neighborhood.
Investigators also discovered the body of another man, Jesus Jimenez Padilla, next to an AK-47 assault rifle and a bullet-riddled SUV with a Baja California state license plate.
Initial reports said Sunday morning’s shootout stemmed from a military operation in the area, but sources from the 15th Military Region told Efe the troops had merely responded to reports of gunfire and did not participate in the clash.
The state AG’s office thus far has not offered a motive for the gun battle nor indicated whether Jimenez Padilla belonged to an organized crime gang.
Approximately 50 organized crime-related homicides have occurred so far this year in Jalisco, including seven bodies found in clandestine graves and 15 others killed in a series of shootings in different parts of the state in late January.
The Los Zetas cartel, which served as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel until 2010, and the Jalisco Nueva Generacion gang, which was created following the death of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, one of the leaders of the powerful Sinaloa drug mob, operate in that state.
The drug war death toll totaled 47,515 between December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office and militarized the struggle against the country’s heavily armed drug mobs, and Sept. 30, 2011.
The murder total has grown every year since Calderon was inaugurated.
Unofficial tallies published in December by independent daily La Jornada put the death toll from Mexico’s drug war at more than 50,000. EFE