Not a good way to begin the high season . . .
*Oct. 17 - Vallarta execution victims were Guadalajara attorneys*
*Oct. 19 - Attorneys were carrying a million pesos in cash*
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco -
Puerto Vallarta's famed Zona Rosa was once again the scene of narco violence early this morning, in a brutal machine gun attack which killed two suburban Guadalajara men and critically injured a companion.
Just after 1:00 a.m. gunmen strafed a Volkswagen in which the three victims were travelling at the corner of Emiliano Zapata and Venustiano Carranza streets. The assault occurred in front of El Tortio, a popular sports bar and restaurant located just blocks from Vallarta's waterfront. The area is part of the city's sprawling tourist zone, which has been rudely awakened to the brutal realities of Mexico's 82 month old drug war in the past year. Puerto Vallarta: tensions linger after brazen narco attack.
All the victims were riddled with AK-47 fire. Two brothers were dead at the scene inside their vehicle, while a third man laid gravely injured on the sidewalk. Graphic photos by NoticiasPV.com are here.
Authorities said the men were from Zapopan, just beyond Guadalajara's city limits, and had gone out for beer in the tourist zone when unidentified gunmen in two vehicles suddenly blocked the path of the Volkswagen, strafing it with automatic weapons fire. The vehicle had 35 bullet holes, and each victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
Iced beer is waiting on every P.V. corner, but merchants wonder whether there will be buyers
Police have not suggested a motive. The survivor told them the men had just arrived in town, but there is no doubt the assault was a well planned ambush. Local witnesses said tourists and employees in adjacent businesses ran and screamed during the prolonged bursts of gunfire. Tourist and municipal police quickly arrived at the scene, assisted by heavily armed Mexican army regulars, who remain at the forefront of the long running drug war.
Los Zetas, one of Mexico's most violent drug cartels, is present in and around Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit, its nearby commercial competitor. Federal Police capture 26 Zetas in Tepic, Nayarit. Hours after an Oct. 15, 2012 hand grenade and machine gun attack on Vallarta's former police chief and his two escorts - committed in broad daylight a few blocks from the city's boardwalk - persons claiming to be Los Zetas took responsibility. The chief resigned five days later and quickly vanished from public view.
But Mexico's Caribbean coast is far more violent than the Pacific shoreline. Quintana Roo prosecutor confirms: expanding Gulf Cartel likely behind three recent Riviera Maya atrocities. Los Zetas were themselves the target of this Mar. 13 machine gun attack on a Cancún tavern which killed seven.
Oct. 17 - Vallarta execution victims were Guadalajara attorneys
Oct. 19 - Guadalajara attorneys were carrying a million pesos in cash when they were executed
Scene of this morning's ambush
June 20 - Puerto Vallarta sweats through the dog days of summer
Aug. 20 - "No clues" a common response with Puerto Vallarta P.D.
Aug. 21 - Poor tourism prognosis concerns Puerto Vallarta official
Aug. 27 - Mexican press: PRI is lying about drug war deaths - the real number is 13,775, in 8 months
Aug. 31: Mexico admits 52 daily drug war deaths in Peña Nieto administration - 12,598 thru July 31
Oct. 10 - Spain again warns its citizens about dangers of Mexico
Oct. 11 - "Zeta killers" behind gun battle which left three Jalisco police officers dead
Oct. 16 - Guadalajara's police force could be slashed in two weeks
"We're going to implement a new drug war strategy, to reduce violence. That's my promise." - 2012 campaign spot by then PRI candidate Peña Nieto, promising changes which have not materialized.
© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.