Friday 20 September 2019

Bar deliberately set on fire by gang, killing 25

Mexico

Police officers guard the scene outside a bar where more than 20 people died in an overnight attack. Photo: Felix Marquez/AP Photo
Police officers guard the scene outside a bar where more than 20 people died in an overnight attack. Photo: Felix Marquez/AP Photo

Tamara Corro

An attack on a bar in Mexico's Gulf coast city of Coatzacoalcos has left 25 people dead.

"The criminals went in, closed the doors, the emergency exits, and set fire to the place," President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said at a morning news conference yesterday.

Veracruz state police said the Tuesday night attack targeted the Bar Caballo Blanco, although the bar's name was in English on a sign outside: 'The White Horse Nightclub'.

"This is the most inhuman thing possible," Mr López Obrador said.

"It is regrettable that organised crime acts in this manner. It is more regrettable that there may be collusion with authorities."

Mr López Obrador said local prosecutors should be investigated because "the alleged perpetrators had been arrested, but they were freed".

Governor Cuitláhuac García identified the chief suspect as a man known as 'La Loca' and gave his name as Ricardo 'N' because officials no longer give the full names of suspects.

Mr García said the man had been detained by marines in July, but was released after being turned over to the state prosecutor's office.

"In Veracruz, criminal gangs are no longer tolerated," Mr García wrote of the attack, adding that police, the armed forces and National Guard are searching for the attackers.

Prosecutors initially said the fire killed eight women and 15 men and injured 13 people.

Mr López Obrador said the death toll had risen to 25.

Irish Independent

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