AT LEAST 12 people have been executed by gunmen after they stormed into a bar in central Mexico amid rising gang violence.
According to initial reports, five men and six women were killed and three others injured around 8 p.m. local time in Bar Irapuato, in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, on Saturday.
The region, now one of Mexico’s most dangerous, has become the scene of a blazing dispute between two rival gangs, the Santa Rosa de Lima and Jalisco New Generation cartels.
Both are known for drug trafficking and fuel theft, among other crimes that include murder, kidnapping, and forced amputations.
Local media reported that customers were enjoying their evening together at Bar Texana – also known as El Pantano – when the heavily armed men, with their faces covered, left and opened fire.
Customers and staff tried to escape through the bar’s back door, but many did not survive. Others escaped and ran to get help as loud shots could be heard from terrified neighbors.
In a statement, the city officials confirmed that at least 12 people had died, but did not reveal the identity of the attackers or their motives.
The body of one victim was found outside the bar next to a motorcycle, while the rest of those killed were discovered inside the bar, police said.
State police, army, national guard and prosecutors are now hunting the criminals, the city government said.
This is the second mass shooting in the area in less than a month, authorities said.
In September, gunmen killed 10 people at a swimming pool in the state’s Tarimoro municipality.
At the time, the killers left two cards signed by the Cartel de Santa Rosa de Lima criminal group, which claims responsibility for the massacre.
In May, 11 people were killed in brutal attacks on a hotel and two bars in the city of Celaya, also in Guanajuato state.
Another five were injured when suspected cartel gunmen armed with Molotov cocktails stormed the sites in a coordinated series of hits.
The nearby state of Guerrero is also suffering from an increase in gang violence.
Earlier this month, members of an organized crime group massacred 20 people – including the mayor at San Miguel Totolapan City Hall.
In total, the authorities registered 2,115 homicides in the region between January and August.
Who are the members of the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel?
This group emerged from a power vacuum created after the death of former Sinaloa cartel boss Ignacio Coronel and the capture of friendly ally Oscar Orlando Nava Valencia.
At this point, the Valencia cartel split into two factions, one of which eventually emerged around 2009 as the powerful cartel in the state of Jalisco.
They immediately went to war against the Los Zetas and proudly claimed responsibility for a series of mass murders, including the massacre of 15 Mexican police officers in a single ambush.
During this time it was dubbed the MataZetas, or Zetas Killer, and once dumped the bodies of 35 tortured dead Zetas Cartel members on the side of the road.
For some time it was allied with El Chapo’s Sinaloa, but since his capture, his New Generation Sinaloa cartel has been usurped as the most powerful in Mexico.
In mid-2015, members of the group even used a rocket-propelled grenade to shoot down an Army Black Hawk helicopter, killing nine.
In 2016, his brother, who is said to be the financial mastermind behind the criminal empire, was captured.
Like La Familia Michoacana, this group is said to have forced new members to eat the hearts of murder victims to prove their loyalty.
This practice became public, according to El Pais, when a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old were arrested by police officers and admitted what they had done.
Local prosecutors claimed two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were left unrepentant after being drugged with crack and then forced to eat human flesh by senior cartel bosses.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6454216/drug-cartel-gunmen-shoot-down-bar-mexico/ At least 12 dead after masked drug cartel gunmen burst into a bar and started shooting while customers cowered in fear