“The convoy was carrying out patrols in the region, precisely to fight the criminal groups that operate in the area,” Martínez Celis said. “This aggression is an attack on the Mexican government. We will respond with all force,” he said.
As of Friday no arrests had been made and no cartel group had claimed responsibility for the killings. Officials were at a loss to say exactly which gang or cartel the gunmen may have belonged to, ABC reported.
Several outlaw groups operate in the area around Coatepec Harinas, where the attack occurred.
The deadly attack could ultimately prove to be problematic for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose nonconfrontational approach to drug cartels hasn’t done enough to curtail violence in the country, ABC said.
In June 2020, Mexico City’s chief of police was shot three times in an assassination attempt that left two of his lieutenants and an innocent woman dead. That ambush was blamed on the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful and violent drug gangs.
In October 2019, cartel gunmen ambushed and killed 14 state police officers in the neighboring state of Michoacan.
The following month, drug cartel gunmen opened fire on a family caravan leaving nine women and children dead near La Mora in northern Mexico. Three American mothers and six of their children were among the dead.