Massacre in Michoacán: hitmen execute 19 people

  • Michoacán and neighboring Guanajuato are two of the most violent states in Mexico
  • Hitmen attacked a cock fight event in the Las Tinajas community, located 50 kilometers from Morelia.
Masacre en Michoacán: 19 personas fueron asesinadas en un palenque clandestino en la comunidad Las Tinajas. Foto: Tomada del Hidrocálido.

Nineteen people have been shot to death in central Mexico this Sunday according to a press release from the Mexican State Attorney General’s Office (FGE). Apparently, the authorities went to the scene of the shooting around 10:30 pm (early morning in Europe) after receiving a complaint about a massacre in a place where cockfights were apparently taking place in the city of Las Tinajas, in the state of Michoacan.

“19 lifeless bodies were found (16 men and three women), who had gunshot wounds,” reported the FGE. It seems that there are multiple wounded who have been transferred to nearby hospitals. The federal authorities are working “with the aim of capturing to those responsible for the violent acts,” reported the Secretary of Public Security of Michoacán. 

The reasons for the shooting that has ended in the massacre are not known. 

But Michoacán and neighboring Guanajuato are two of the most violent states in Mexico, due to turf wars between rival gangs involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities, including trading in stolen fuel.

Michoacán is also the world’s largest avocado-producing region, and death threats against a US federal inspector who worked there led the US to suspend Mexican exports of the fruit for more than a week. Last month it was also reported that an armed attack in the state, as a result of a confrontation between gangs, ended with 17 people killed in a wake. It is believed that the attack was motivated by the “revenge” of one cell of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel against another, said the Vice Minister of Security, Ricardo Mejía.

At the time, the government said it could not confirm the death toll because no bodies were found, although they collected DNA samples from 11 possible victims at the scene.

Drugs, fuel and avocados

The state of Michoacán and neighboring Guanajuato are two of the most violent states in Mexico, due to the war between rival gangs involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities such as trading in stolen fuel.

In 2021, Michoacán registered 2,732 murders, equivalent to just over 8% of the 33,315 intentional homicides that occurred in all of Mexico.

On March 10, the mayor of the municipality of Aguililla in Michoacán, César Valencia, was shot dead while in a city council van.

Mexico has been trapped in a spiral of drug cartel-related violence since 2006 when the government launched a controversial anti-drug operation with federal troops. There have been more than 340,000 murders since then, most attributed to fights between criminals, according to official figures.

Earlier this month, gunmen killed nine people in an attack on a house in central Mexico, in an “execution” of six men and three women that rocked a middle-class area of ​​the peaceful town of Atlixco.

The governor of the state of Puebla, Miguel Barbosa, said that the attack had been in “a place of sale and distribution of drugs” and that the identity of the victims was unknown.

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