9 die in western Mexico shootout, official slain in south

9 die in western Mexico shootout, official slain in south

Mexico City: A shootout between rival gangs in western Mexico killed at least nine people and wounded four, authorities said Wednesday.

Prosecutors in the state of Michoacan said the confrontation occurred near the city of Uruapan. They did not identify the gangs involved, but the Jalisco cartel and a small gang known as the Viagras have been active in the state.     Assault rifles were found at the scene. Also Wednesday, authorities said gunmen killed a city official in the southern state of Guerrero.

The state prosecutors’ office said in a statement that Simón Gama García was exercising Wednesday morning when two people approached and shot him. He was identified as secretary-general of the town of Coyuca de Catalan. Prosecutors released an image showing forensic investigators examining the scene with evidence markers on the ground near a bicycle.

Killings of Mexican political officials rose in 2018, an election year, and then tapered off, but are still not uncommon. On April 25 a mayor and two others were slain in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The previous day a mayor was kidnapped and killed in Michoacan. Overall homicides in Mexico were up 9.7% in the first quarter, compared with the same period in 2018.


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