Posted May 08, 2008 09:30 pm CDT
Edgar Millan Gomez, the national coordinator for Mexico’s anti-drug trafficking enforcement efforts, was assassinated inside his home early this morning.
He was the No. 3 man in Mexico’s Public Safety Secretariat, which oversees law enforcement, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Drug-related violence against law enforcement officials and others has escalated since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2007 and launched a national anti-drug trafficking campaign, but Gomez is the highest-ranking official to be assassinated, according to the New York Times.
The Los Angeles newspaper says Gomez was shot eight times at his Mexico City home at 2:30 a.m., as he was returning from work. Two bodyguards were injured in the attack. The New York Times says he was shot nine times, and that other assailants also were involved. The two newspapers give his age as 42 and 41, respectively.
The bodyguards reportedly arrested a convicted armed robber, Alejandro Ramirez, 34, at the scene, who was wearing latex gloves and carrying a handgun equipped with a silencer.
Police sources told a Mexican newspaper that the Sinaloa Cartel is believed to be responsible for the killing, the Los Angeles Times writes. “The cartel is one of several organized crime groups that have grown rich transporting Colombian cocaine, locally manufactured methamphetamines and other illicit drugs to the United States.”
Calderon responded to Gomez’ death by pledging to strengthen the campaign against drug trafficking, reports Bloomberg.
“Calderon’s approach to drug crime contrasts with that of his predecessor Vicente Fox, who focused on arresting leaders of large drug cartels, a strategy that led to turf wars between the gangs without reducing the flow of drugs into the U.S.,” Bloomberg recounts. The news agency says that Mexican cartels are the biggest supplier of cocaine to the U.S., according to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Additional and related coverage:
Associated Press: “Acting Mexican police chief killed”
ABAJournal.com: “Kidnappings for Ransom in Mexico—and the US—Are Up Significantly”
ABAJournal.com: “6 Slain at Mexican Law Firm, 7th Victim Dies Later”
ABAJournal.com: “Mainstream Musicians Murdered in Mexican Drug Violence”