A team of at least seven armed men ambushed and killed four Guadalajara police officers Monday, including a high-ranking supervisor of the municipal force.
That same evening, two Zapopan officers were shot to death following a report of a carjacking in the Pinar de la Calma neighborhood of Zapopan.
The killings raised the total number of police officers killed while on duty in Jalisco this year to 13.
Later in the week, Jalisco Governor Aristoteles Sandoval announced that the state and metro-area municipal governments had agreed to introduce police convoys or volantas in the metro area that are authorized to stop and search suspicious vehicles in a bid to identify criminals and seize illegal weapons. The officers involved in the convoys will also be at liberty to set up roadblocks or retenes anywhere in the city to flag down and search vehicles and question drivers and passengers.
The measure has been employed in the past during times of heightened insecurity but is often criticized by civic organizations as anti-constitutional and an infringement of citizens’ rights.
Dozens of rounds were fired during Monday’s attack on the Guadalajara officers, which took place on a street in the Loma Dorada neighborhood of Tonala, close to the home of Eduardo Perez Garcia, commander of agrupaciones in the municipal police department.
Along with Perez Garcia, also killed were Jose Aguilar Flores, Roberto Salcedo Torres and Marcela Guadalupe Maciel Herrera.
The attack occurred in the early morning, moments after Perez Garcia had been picked up by his three subordinates to begin their working day.
The speed at which the attack unfolded allowed Perez Garcia no time to get out of the vehicle or fire off any rounds in response.
The assailants all wore military-style camouflage clothing and were equipped with high-caliber weaponry.
Authorities have not disclosed the name of the criminal organization they believe is responsible for the ambush.
Guadalajara Mayor Enrique Ibarra condemned the ambush, calling it a reaction to “the unwavering work of our corporation.” Other sources suggested that the success Perez Garcia was having in breaking up criminal cells in the city earmarked him as a key target, which was why he always traveled with at least three other officers.
Ibarra added that far from frightening the municipality into a more passive policing strategy, the incident will “only intensify our mission to keep citizens safe.”
In a later incident reported around midnight, two municipal police officers were shot to death following a report of a carjacking in the Pinar de la Calma neighborhood of Zapopan.
The two officials identified the vehicle and gave chase in their patrol car, cornering it at an intersection in Colonia El Mante. At that point, two armed men got out of a pickup that had been following the chase and began to fire on the officers. One died at the scene and the other at a Green Cross clinic a few hours later.
Zapopan Mayor Pablo Lemus announced Tuesday that three arrests had been made in relation to the incident. Another four men were reportedly detained Wednesday.
The detainees allegedly all belong to a criminal gang dedicated to car theft. Newspapers later revealed that one of the detainees had been arrested ten times on suspicion of various crimes but released by judges on each occasion for “irregularities” in the arrest procedure.
Governor Sandoval said that scrupulous care will be taken to ensure that all those detained during the current retenes campaign won’t be able to walk free due to errors committed during their detention.