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Gun Battle Between Mexican Army, Suspected Drug Traffickers Leaves 22 Dead

By Cecilia Sanchez, Los Angeles Times

MEXICO CITY — A battle between the Mexican army and suspected drug traffickers about 120 miles south of the capital left 22 people dead and others wounded Monday, officials said.

The army said in a statement that 21 suspected gunmen and a woman were killed in the predawn clash. One soldier was wounded. Officials in the state of Mexico, which abuts the capital and where the clash was reported, confirmed that it took place but did not provide casualty figures.

The state where President Enrique Pena Nieto was governor until 2012 has seen a huge increase in violence. Even so, such a clash is unusual so close to the capital.

Recently, the federal government dispatched military forces to the state in hopes of curtailing killings, kidnappings, and other crime. It has been a priority of recent governments to keep the capital safe even as other parts of the country are out of control.

The clash was reported to have taken place in a small village called Ancon de los Curieles, near the border with Guerrero state.

The army said it came across a warehouse being guarded by gunmen, who opened fire on soldiers. After the shooting, the army said three women who had been kidnapped were rescued.

The state of Mexico is valuable turf for drug traffickers who need the route to transport drugs, reach the airport and serve a growing market of domestic consumers. The state has one of the highest homicide rates in the country.

Sanchez is a news assistant in the Times’ Mexico City bureau.

Photo via WikiCommons

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Mexico Hit By 6.4-Magnitude Earthquake

By Cecilia Sanchez, Los Angeles Times

MEXICO CITY — A shallow earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 rattled Mexico City and other parts of the country Thursday, sending people running into the streets.

The temblor struck near the southwestern Mexican city of Tecpan de Galeana, about 60 miles northwest of Acapulco, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or signs of major damage, Mexican government officials said. Hospitals, airports and public transportation were operating normally.

But a number of people in the capital said they were frightened by the force of the quake.

“What a big scare,” said Rosaura Gomez, 56, who ran out of her home in the Polanco area of Mexico City. “One of my neighbors began crying. … What is going on?

Carmen Lira, a 37-year-old secretary, said everyone in her office also fled the building.

“It was very scary. Some of my colleagues suffered panic attacks because the buildings moved,” Lira said. “It felt very strong. We hope there wasn’t any damage.”

Felipe Sandoval Figueroa, a 44-year-old engineer, said he immediately thought about his wife and children when he felt the quake.

“Fortunately, they’re fine, but when you’re feeling such a powerful earthquake, you think of the worst,” he said. “Thank God, everything’s fine.”

martinluff via Flickr