Wednesday 6 February 2013

Shootout in Bucerias as kidnap victim escapes, gas station attacked

Bucerias is up the road from Jarretaderas
There was a shootout in Bucerias, Nayarit at 8 pm on Wednesday, February 6, as police chased kidnappers and sought a group who had attacked a gas station north of Puerto Vallarta.

About two hours earlier south of Bucerias a young woman who had been kidnapped escaped by jumping out of a second floor window. 

Local authorities received a report that the woman had been injured in Jarretaderas, a neighborhood near the Puerto Vallarta airport, after having fallen from the second floor of a house.  When civil protection officers arrived at the scene the woman said she hadn't fallen: she had jumped so as to escape her kidnappers, who were still inside the building.

She fell from a height of approximately 8 meters – about 26 feet. Three paramedics provided first aid to the young woman, who fell face down and was seriously bruised, but never lost consciousness. She was transferred to hospital and is expected to recover.

A few minutes after the paramedics had arrived the municipal police showed up, and then after that the state police. What then ensued can charitably be described as chaotic.

The police detained one suspect at the building, but two others had fled out back on a motorcycle. The search then extended to Mezcales, San Vicente, Nuevo Vallarta and on to Bucerías. Authorities, acting on new information, put the call out for an armed man, tall and bald, who was travelling in a white Toyota with Jalisco plates.

Municipal and state police raided several homes in Palma Real de San Vicente, where some residents were left beaten (possibly by the officers themselves – it is unclear by whom) and then moved on to Bucerías to support their fellow officers, who were now engaged in a gunfight with several subjects in a Volkswagen Jetta.

This was apparently because an armed assault had taken place on a gas station north of Puerta Vallarta toward Bucerías - one account has it as across from the Flamingos Golf Course in Bucerías.

Finally on the beach near the hotel Decamerón two shirtless suspects were detained. The two men turned out to be from Michoacán, and were taken into custody for the assault on the gas station. The VW Jetta was confiscated, as well as weapons and cash.

So far, authorities have not been able to determine if the assault on the gas station and the events following the kidnapping are related.

But as a result of these two events, the Attorney General’s office in Nayarit has ordered an enhanced police presence in all tourist areas.

Below are two accounts from residents in  Bucerías. They are, as one source put it “some fact, some conjecture, and some hearsay.” For obvious reasons the sources are anonymous and will remain so:

“There was a robbery at the gas station across from the Flamingos Golf Course around 8:00 pm.  Heard the police cars, with sirens on, approaching Bucerías from the south.  At approximately 8:15 pm there was a large amount of gun fire heard by me.  People at the Meson Bay restaurant heard the gun fire and saw several men run through the restaurant onto the beach and into the night.  Apparently, the governor of Nayarit state was at the restaurant and was hustled into the restrooms when gun shots were heard.”

“There was gunfire last night on Lazaro Cardenas and Morelos.  A friend and I were walking north on Lazaro Cardenas at about 8:30 PM.  I think we just missed it because a police car drove really fast around the corner and headed towards the bridge.  A lot of people were standing around.  And then more police cars showed up soon after and headed toward the beach area.  I'm not sure if the person or people were caught.”

If you are interested in the changing nature of organized crime in Jalisco and Michoacán, please see The Crown gang reshapes criminal alliances in Jalisco and Michoacán.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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