The Guerrero state prosecutor’s office reported that at least six individuals were killed and 13 were injured in what is believed to be a cartel assault in a rural community in southern Mexico’s Guerrero state on Sunday.
According to statements from residents, the individuals who lost their lives were found in a vehicle that had been set on fire. However, before authorities could arrive, the bodies were taken away by locals.
The Guerrero prosecutor’s office reported that they were able to confirm the presence of burned human remains inside a vehicle. Initially, it was reported that five individuals had died, but the death toll was later revised to six.
Reportedly, La Familia Michoacana drug cartel has unleashed drones and armed individuals.
According to Rev. José Filiberto Velázquez, a priest and director of the Minerva Bello Center, six injured individuals sought medical aid in the nearby town of Tetela del Rio.
On Saturday, Velázquez arrived in Buenavista accompanied by soldiers and state prosecutor’s agents. He verified the discovery of a charred vehicle and shared a video showing the vehicle’s remains, which appeared to contain human remains. He also mentioned that locals had removed the remains for burial.
According to the state prosecutor’s office, they proposed to receive grievances from the families of the victims and conduct genetic testing to verify their identities, but the offer was rejected.
According to the statement, interviews with locals did not corroborate any other criminal activity, such as forced disappearances or injuries resulting from the attack.
According to the statement, the altercation involved La Familia Michoacana and a competing criminal organization called Los Tlacos.
According to Velázquez, numerous community members were unaccounted for. His team had been cautioning for several months that the community was caught in the middle of conflicts between rival drug cartels.
The state spokesperson for Guerrero, René Posselt, has acknowledged a clash but denied that it was a targeted attack on the community. He stated that evidence suggests the violence was a result of a conflict between organized crime groups.
Posselt said authorities were investigating a video that circulated on social media platforms Friday that purported to show Familia Michoacana members and bodies of Tlacos members.
According to Reuters, individuals claiming to be part of La Familia Michoacana shared a video showing men with weapons loading corpses onto a red truck with multiple bullet marks.
According to the news agency, several victims were found with severed limbs and one was missing their head. Reuters could not confirm the authenticity of the video, but other sources also shared footage depicting the same truck and charred bodies.
According to Velázquez, the rivalry between the factions resulted in approximately 80 individuals from Buenavista being displaced from their houses and relocating to Tetela del Rio.
On Friday afternoon, around 170 individuals including soldiers, National Guard troopers, state police officers, and state prosecutor’s agents were sent to the location by Posselt to initiate the inquiry.
In August, the Mexican military disclosed statistics indicating a rise in the utilization of roadside bombs or makeshift explosive devices by drug cartels, particularly through the use of drones equipped with bombs.
The state of Guerrero in Mexico is among the most impoverished, and is often utilized by drug syndicates for cultivating marijuana and poppy plants.
The report was contributed by Agence France-Presse.