Mexico City Police Chief Shot in Assassination Attempt, Blames CJNG Drug Cartel

MEXICO CITY – The Mexico City police chief was shot and wounded and two of his bodyguards were killed in a dramatic assassination attempt early Friday that quickly blamed one of Mexico’s most powerful drug gangs, the Cartel de the New Generation of Jalisco (CJNG).

The city’s chief of public security, Omar García Harfuch, suffered three gunshot wounds when he and the bodyguards were fired on at dawn in an exclusive neighborhood in Mexico City, where the attack was captured by security cameras.

About three hours later, apparently from his hospital bed, Garcia sent a message on Twitter blaming his injuries and the death of two bodyguards for a “cowardly attack” by the CJNG, a gang known as one of the most violent in the country. .

A third person, a woman apparently on her way to work, also died in the shooting that devastated the exclusive Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood. The area is home to many wealthy people and the location of ambassadorial residences.

Grainy images from the security camera broadcast on Mexican television showed a group of heavily armed men in an open-back truck and an SUV blocking a highway to open fire on Garcia’s vehicle.

In separate images, the rapidly approaching police could be seen shouting and advancing towards the high-caliber shots that resonated for several minutes just after 6.30 am local time (7:30 am ET).

Television footage of what was apparently Garcia’s armored SUV showed a vehicle riddled with bullets by police.

The shooters fled after the attack, and Mexico City Attorney General Ernestina Godoy said 12 suspects were later arrested.

Mexico City authorities said they had recovered military-grade long weapons from the crime scene.

Led by a former police officer and based in the western state of Jalisco, the CJNG has been accused of fueling record levels of violence in Mexico during its battles to wipe out rivals for control of drug trafficking and criminal scams.

Friday’s attack shocked residents of the western neighborhood, which is rarely affected by the bleeding that has affected many poorer parts of the country.