At least 22 people have been killed in recent clashes between heavily armed men and police forces in Mexico’s western Michoacan state, the government says.
Mexico’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday announced the latest number of gang - related violence.
" So far, we have two federal police killed, 20 presumed criminals shot dead and another 15 people under arrest, " the interior ministry’s National Security Council said.
According to the reports, the 20 killed were suspected to be members of the powerful Knights Templar drug cartel. The gunmen had reportedly concealed themselves in hills above state checkpoints. Earlier reports said that five people had been killed and seven others wounded after a swarm of gunmen attacked a group of community self-defense members in Michoacan. Michoacan is one of the country’s poorest states and is home to traditional drug routes. It is also a major hub for the production of methamphetamine in Mexico. On July 20, Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam announced the detention of Victor Hugo Delgado Renteria, a prominent leader of the Nueva Generacion drug trafficking organization in the western state of Jalisco. Drug-related violence in Mexico has killed more than 70,000 people since former President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against Mexico’s drug cartels in December 2006. President Enrique Pena Nieto has vowed to fight the violence as he continues the campaign against drug cartels.