April 22, 2006

Another policeman killed in violent Mexican state

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Gunmen killed a police chief in
southern Mexico when they sprayed his car with dozens of
bullets on Saturday, officials said, the latest bloodshed to be
reported in the increasingly violent state of Guerrero.

Fidel Arellano, police chief for the city of Ciudad
Altamirano, was shot in his patrol car in the early hours of
the morning. Another police officer with him was wounded.

"They fired a hail of bullets from two cars, there must
have been more than 30 hits," a spokesman for the local
government in Guerrero told Reuters.

The shooting happened two days after suspected drug gang
hit men decapitated two policemen and placed their heads
outside government offices in nearby Acapulco in a gruesome
reprisal for a crackdown on crime.

In both cases, the federal government is investigating
links to drug criminals, Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca
told reporters on Saturday.

Acapulco and Guerrero state are in the middle of a bloody
turf war between two cartels fighting for control of the
lucrative local drug trade.

More than a dozen people have been gunned down in attacks
attributed to organized crime in Acapulco this year. Earlier
this month, a grenade attack wounded five people.

The latest killings came after Guerrero state Gov. Zeferino
Torreblanca this week gave Acapulco police 32 million pesos
($2.9 million) to buy guns, vehicles and uniforms as part of a
statewide crime-fighting package.