Saturday 27 May 2017

Mexican gangIand shoot-out: 28 slaughtered

Independent.ie reporters

Twenty eight people have been killed in a shoot-out among rival drug gangs on a highway in the Mexican coast state of Nayarit.

Police found the bodies strewn around 10 abandoned cars at the scene of the shooting on a federal highway, the state prosecutor's office has confirmed.

Four others were wounded.

Police made the grisly find after following up on a reported kidnapping.

As many as 38,000 people have been killed in the country since President Felipe Calderon launched an army-backed crackdown on drug cartels four years ago.

The shoot-out happened after police confirmed the capture of a suspected drug enforcer, blamed for ordering the murder of the son of a prominent poet, which helped prompt national protests against the government's drug strategy.

Federal police caught Julio de Jesus Radilla, 34, known as "El Negro" (The Black One), in the oil port of Coatzacoalcos on the Gulf of Mexico where he was hiding out.

Police said Radilla sent hitmen to kill the son of poet Javier Sicilia and six other young men in March in the tourist town of Cuernavaca.

After the murder, Sicilia slammed the government's campaign to break the drug cartels and launched a campaign to end the deadly violence.

Sicilia has become the face of civilian opposition to the drug war.

Radilla's arrest follows last week's capture of Victor Valdez, known as "El Gordo Varilla" (The Big Stick), in Cuernavaca. He is accused of being the second-in-command in the cartel.

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