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Gang violence generates security alert after arrests of criminal leaders

Guadalajara, Jalisco — The Consulate General of the United States in Guadalajara issued a security alert Wednesday due to a day of extreme violence in the state of Jalisco.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reported Wednesday morning that the violent events that began Tuesday afternoon in different parts of Jalisco and Guanajuato were due to the capture of alleged criminal bosses.

According to López Obrador, members of the National Defense were involved in a confrontation between two criminal gangs from two states that lead to several arrests. “This was what caused the protests, the burning of vehicles, not only in Jalisco but also in Guanajuato,” he explained.

“There are already detainees both in Jalisco and in Guanajuato, apparently group leaders which lead to the very strong reaction and burning of vehicles,” he added.

On Tuesday night, criminal gang members protested the arrests with road blocks and by setting fire to vehicles and convenience stores in both Jalisco and Guanajuato.

The governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, said that the violence began after a confrontation that took place in the limits of Ixtlahuacán del Río and Cuquío between the Army and members of organized crime.

In a message he shared on Twitter, the governor pointed out that the criminals set fire to vehicles on the highway to Saltillo at the entrance to the city to try to prevent the passage of authorities.

“Fortunately there are no injuries. The situation is under control and we are working on the issue in coordination with all levels of government,” he said adding later in the day that “the city and its public services were operating normally.”

On Wednesday morning, Alfaro specified that three trucks, two private cars, a beverage company truck and a self-service store were burned and that in the Ixtlahuacán area, seven private vehicles were set on fire.

“The preliminary information is that there were five detainees, one alleged criminal killed and nine vehicles and one armoured monster vehicle seized, as well as 31 long weapons, four machine guns, a short weapon and explosives,” he detailed.

The Governor of Guanajuato, Diego Sinhue confirmed that fires were also registered in different parts of his state for which he asserted that security and operations were reinforced in coordination with the municipalities.

Libia García, Secretary of the State Government, pointed out that the events were recorded as a result of a confrontation in a neighboring state.

The President said that it will be the federal authorities who will release more details about the operation that unleashed these violent events.