Gunmen kill 12 people in Mexico bar
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A group of gunmen shot dead 11 people before they were gunned down in a busy bar Wednesday in a case of mistaken identity that has raised questions about how Mexican security forces are fighting drug cartels.
The gunmen who opened fire at the bar in the affluent neighborhood of Chapultepec in western Mexico were identified as members of the notorious Zetas Cartel.
But the killers were not identified because the assailants had killed their victims before authorities were able to reach their bodies.
The killings happened about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of the capital, where officials in Mexico’s federal security apparatus are struggling to curb the sway of drug cartels that have been fueled by the country’s vast drug and human smuggling networks.
At a press conference shortly after the attacks late Wednesday, Mexican Interior Ministry spokesman Fernando Selveron said a woman and six men had been shot and killed in the incident.
Selveron said the gunmen were targeting a meeting at the bar and “took advantage of the chaos caused by the first gunshots to escape.”
The minister of public security in the neighboring state of Veracruz, Miguel Benitez Morales, said at the press conference that the attack was an example of how criminal organizations operate.
“I believe that we’re at the turning point of this war,” Benitez said. “The fight against them is becoming increasingly difficult.”
Officials said the gunmen were members of Los Zetas, the Zetas’ former armed wing. Zetas commanders previously were in charge of criminal operations in Mexico’s largest cities, including Guadalajara, Toluca and Morelia.
“People who are responsible for this murder are going to be hunted down,” Benitez said.
Officials said security cameras at the bar had recorded