Mexico City's Secretary of Public Security, Omar GarcÃa Harfuch, was the target of a violent attack on the morning of Friday, June 26, at the intersection of Paseo de la Reforma and Monte Blanco, in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood, one of the most luxurious in the capital, when a group of men shot high-powered weapons at the SUV in which he was traveling.
The official, who has been in office since October and is responsible for some of the most notorious operations against drug cartels in Mexico City over the past few months, is hospitalized, injured but out of danger, Chief of Government Claudia Sheinbaum announced on her Twitter account.
"I hereby inform that approximately at 06:38 in the morning the Secretary of Citizen Security of the City suffered an attempt, he is out of danger being treated in a hospital, there were fatalities and several detainees; the corresponding investigations are being carried out. We are gathering information and I will hold a press conference later. I am in coordination with the National Guard, taking the necessary measures to guarantee security in the City," Sheinbaum wrote.
GarcÃa Harfuch and Mexico City's Chief of Government Claudia Sheinbaum.
A truck with the logo of Grupo Carso, a real estate company owned by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, was used in the assault, where a group of men on board - all disguised as road workers - opened fire using 50-caliber Barret M107 rifles, a military-grade weapon capable of penetrating armored vehicles.An intense shoot-out immediately ensued between Garcia Harfuch's bodyguards and the aggressors. There were several wounded and three fatalities, two agents and a female who was in the area.
The Mexico City Attorney General's Office, headed by prosecutor Ernestina Godoy, reported that 21 people related to the attack are already in custody and that they are currently investigating the "intellectual and material" perpetrators of the attack.
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) blocked as many as 127 bank accounts, including those of the 21 alleged perpetrators arrested and their families.
The weapons used by the attackers were confiscated by the police.
Mexican President AndrÃ©s Manuel LÃ³pez Obrador spoke of the incident, assuring that the aggression "without a doubt" responds to the efforts of GarcÃa Harfuch to "restore peace and tranquility" to Mexico City.
"We express our solidarity, our total and absolute support to the head of government, to the members of Public Security. [Omar Garcia Harfuch] is injured and there are people who have died in this attack. All of this has to do, without a doubt, with the work that is underway to restore peace and tranquility to Mexico City," the President said.
On Saturday, Lopez Obrador said that the attack "leads us to move forward, that even in the face of adversity, we have to keep fighting so that things change, so that things get better". The president revealed that the official was given additional police protection because he knew that an attempt on his life might occur.
"It was known that there was this intention and it was reported, the Secretary of Public Security of Mexico City was warned and that's why he was moving in a more resistant vehicle, to face any aggression and he was also more attentive, cautious and bringing additional support," the president said. He also expressed his condolences to the three victims of the attack, two bodyguards and a woman who was caught in the crossfire.
The LÃ³pez Obrador administration, which took office in December 2018, has been characterized by a non-confrontational strategy against drug lords, after 14 years of an open war against the cartels under previous governments that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Mexicans.
The scene of the attack.
The president reiterated that he will not change his security strategy. Although he admitted that he was scared because he is human, he emphasized that he will not be intimidated.
"We are afraid because we are human beings, we are afraid as all human beings are afraid, but there is a difference, we are not cowards, we will not be intimidated.
"We are not going to declare war on anyone, we are not going to make use of these threats, nor are we going to infringe on human rights, massacres are not going to be allowed, but we are going to act and prevent these attacks from being committed. And we're not going to make any agreements with organized crime like they did in the past," LÃ³pez Obrador said.
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