Querétaro State: an armed commando ambushed and murdered four Pemex security workers. It is presumed that the attackers fled aboard vehicles bound for the state of Hidalgo.
On the Palmillas-Portezuelo highway, near the access to the Cazadero community, in the municipality of San Juan del Río , Querétaro State , the police found four bodies shot on Friday night next to a truck belonging to the parastatal Petróleos Mexicanos , ie Pemex.
The deceased identified as Pemex physical security personnel were conducting a surveillance tour of the Pemex pipelines, when a group of subjects with large-caliber weapons blast them.
During the armed attack on PEMEX’s Physical Security personnel on the Palmillas-Huichapan highway, the aggressors killed them and stripped them of their firearms.
According to the information, there were four PEMEX elements that were moving aboard a double cab pick up truck for a routine tour last night, when at the height of the access bridge to the Cazadero community, they were ambushed by several vehicles which blasted them with high-powered weapons.
Even though he said that PEMEX’s physical security elements repelled the attack, the four were killed, because they were outnumbered and possibly caught by surprise.
The truck shows the gunshot wounds they received, while the bodies of the victims were thrown on one side of the truck and another on the unit’s pan.
It is presumed that once the gun battle ended, the attackers stripped them of their cargo weapons, four long and four short weapons.
The deceased agents were identified as José Guadalupe Pacheco Malagón, group leader, and agents Leopoldo Felipe Guerrero López, Oscar Valentín Reyes Gómez and Eugenio Cruz Mora.
The bodies were picked up by the Forensic Medical Service and transferred to the morgue for legal procedures.
During the proceedings, elements from all the corporations, the Federal Police, the National Guard, the Municipal Police, the State Police and the Mexican Army, as well as the Crime Investigation Police, participated.
At first it was announced that there are four people who lost their lives. It is presumed that the aggressors fled aboard vehicles bound for the state of Hidalgo, for which a strong police deployment was carried out on that road and in the Cazadero area.
Querétaro has always displayed a situation apparently far from violence , and has emphasized that, unlike other entities plagued by conflicts between criminal groups, criminals do not operate in the region.
However, the recent capture of the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, José Antonio Yépez, “El Marro”, —on August 2 — could displace the violence that is raging in the neighboring state of Guanajuato to Querétaro. According to the analyst and advisor on public security issues, David Saucedo, “El Marro” had its origins in criminal life in the state of Querétaro, in drug dealing and car theft. Although he is from Guanajuato, he always kept one foot in the state, expanded his possibilities, developed cells, but he was always in Querétaro.
The Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel is a confederation of groups, with a series of alliances with criminal gangs of municipal impact, which have allowed it to have a presence in the central area of the country. Its establishment in the state of Querétaro, and the alliance with Los Viagras in the state of Michoacán, as well as cells from Los Rojos in the state of Guerrero that support its operations, have influence.
On Friday, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, pointed out that Guanajuato and Querétaro have begun to present rising figures in train robberies, after the Mexican authorities began the fight against fuel theft.
As stealing fuel becomes more difficult, thieves turn to train robbery, this crime has worsened in Guanajuato and Querétaro.
With the government having clamped down on fuel theft, criminals in Guanajuato and Querétaro are increasingly turning to freight trains.
Last year an average of two railcars were robbed each week, but in the first six months of 2020 that number has increased to three per day, the newspaper Reforma reports.
The shift in targets is likely due to the pressure inflicted on the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, notorious for fuel theft in the area. Its leader, José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, alias “El Marro”, was arrested on August 2 on charges of kidnapping, organized crime and fuel theft after an 18-month manhunt.
Freight companies and cargo transportation experts have identified hot spots for train robberies in Mexico’s Bajío central lowlands region: El Ahorcado in the State of Querétaro and Empalme Escobedo and Apaseo El Alto and Apaseo El Grande in the State of Guanajuato. Passage of migrants is also high in these areas and were part of the domain of José Antonio Yépez Ortiz.
The exact number of train robberies that have occurred is unknown, as many go unreported, said security expert Marcos Solórzano Cataño, and the problem is not likely to go away anytime soon. Fuel thieves have the infrastructure and the protection of local residents already in place, making the transition from gas to cargo relatively easy.
Solórzano said thieves mainly target train cars carrying auto parts, grains, seeds, consumer goods and construction material.
Nationally, the number of train robberies has been declining. In 2016, 9,042 train robberies were reported whereas the first three months of 2020 have seen just 1,306.
The majority of train robberies occur in Puebla, Veracruz and Tlaxcala, government officials say.
The affected companies themselves and the specialists on the subject have located the key points for this crime.