Mexico City public security chief hurt in assassination attempt

Three people killed and top security official was hurt in attack in part of the city which typically sees little tumult.

Omar Hamid Garcia Harfuch
Mexico city's mayor said Omar Hamid Garcia Harfuch was 'out of danger' following the early morning attack [File: Edgard Garrido/Reuters]

Mexico City’s chief of police was shot and injured and two of his bodyguards killed in a dramatic assassination attempt early on Friday that he quickly blamed on one of Mexico’s most powerful drug gangs, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

The city’s public security chief Omar Garcia Harfuch suffered three bullet wounds as he and bodyguards came under heavy fire in an upscale Mexico City neighborhood just before dawn.

Some three hours later, apparently from his hospital bed, Garcia on Twitter blamed his injuries and the death of two bodyguards on a “cowardly attack” by the CJNG, a gang renowned as one of the most violent in the country.

A third person, a woman apparently on her way to work, was also killed in the gunfire, city authorities said. Security camera footage shown on Mexican television showed a group of armed men getting off the back of a truck as well separate images of police moving towards heavy gunfire.

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

Ernestina Godoy, attorney general of Mexico City, said 12 people had been arrested over the attack.

Residents said heavy gunfire rang out for several minutes during the attack in Lomas de Chapultepec, which is home to many wealthy people and the location of ambassadorial residences.

Police converged on the area in the west of the city, which is rarely troubled by the violence that in recent years has afflicted many parts of the country, particularly poorer ones.

Source: Reuters