Two US Embassy employees were shot at and wounded by Mexican police on Friday after they were caught up in a police chase on the outskirts of the capital, a spokesman for Mexico’s Navy said.
Police fired on the vehicle in which the embassy employees, Jesse Hoods Garner and Stan Dove Boss were traveling, which carried diplomatic plates, after the driver veered out of the way but refused to stop when he saw the officers’ weapons. Four Mexican Naval officers were also in the vehicle and received minor injuries.
The embassy employees who were accompanied by a Mexican Naval Captain were enroute to a training session at a military base near Cuernavaca. The assignments and the agency the employees were attached to was not revealed but the DEA stated they were not employees of that agency.
The Mexican Navy released a statement which said in part;
The black SUV bearing a diplomatic license plate had just left the main highway that connects Mexico City with Cuernavaca and were driving on a dirt road that connects the small towns of Tres Marias and Huitzilac when a vehicle approached. When the occupants brandished firearms, the driver of the diplomatic vehicle tried to evade them and return to the main highway. At that point, the occupants sprayed bullets into the black SUV with diplomatic plates.
Moments later, another three vehicles joined the chase and fired shots at the embassy vehicle. The Mexican in the SUV called for help from the Mexican Navy personnel in nearby El Capulin who arrived after the shooting had ended and cordoned off the area.
Federal police, who were in the area working on a criminal investigation, participated in these acts.
Also, in a statement issued Friday, the US Embassy in Mexico City issued the following statement;
The vehicle attempted to escape, was pursued and sustained heavy damage. They called for assistance from the Mexican armed forces, who responded. The two U.S. wounded personnel were taken from the scene, given medical treatment and are in stable condition. The Mexican Navy captain sustained no serious injuries.
The Mexican government said those members of the federal police who fired on the vehicle have been detained.
The Mexican government has stated it will conduct a full and thorough investigation of this incident.
A spokesman for the US State Department also said on Friday;
“We are working with Mexican authorities to investigate an incident this morning in which two employees of our embassy in Mexico City came under attack by unknown assailants. They are receiving appropriate medical care and are in stable condition. We have no further information to share at this time.”
Sylvia Longmire, a friend of Mexico Trucker Online, and like myself, a former Air Force law enforcement specialist who does analysis on the drug war in Mexico was interviewed by CNN and had this to say about the situation.
“The long-term impact of the shooting will depend on how aggressively the Mexican government pursues the investigation.
I’m somewhat skeptical that anyone will be brought to justice in this attack. Remember, nobody knows who shot the Americans. They’re still going to have to do ballistic reports.
Though federal police have a reputation for being among the least corrupt of Mexico’s security forces, I’m concerned that there is a potential for this to get swept under the rug.
Sylvia and I agree on the situation south of the border about 85% of the time, generally in issues where I am here in Mexico seeing one thing, while she is where she is making her analysis from reports and third party accounts.
It seems that at the moment, not so much is the matter being swept under the rug, but a virtual news blackout on the incident has been imposed by both the United States and Mexican governments.
Federal police spokesman Ramon Salinas said he has been asked not to comment or release any new information about the investigation. He said all information would come from Los Pinos, the official residence of President Felipe Calderon.
So far, President Calderon’s office has not responded to requests for additional information.
My question in all of this would be, why does the US Embassy insist on using vehicles that or of the type the TCO’s and other bad boys prefer and why aren’t these vehicles marked in some manner other than with “diplomatic plates” which if you look closely to the photos, could be mistaken for a Mexico registered vehicle, especially in the chaos of a high speed pursuit?
The decision of the Embassy employee or whoever was driving vehicle to dodge and try to evade the gunman who seem to be Federal Police officers, 12 of whom are now being detained and questioned in Mexico City, needs to be looked into.
The incident last Friday, in which an armored Toyota SUV with diplomatic plates was fired on by Federal Police, wounding two U.S. “diplomatic personnel” and slightly injuring a Mexican marine officer, is still under investigation. Despite the apparent attempts to simply blame the nearest suspect (the Federal Police), I tend to believe that they were indeed trying to stop a fleeing kidnapping suspect.
I certainly don’t tend to always believe the police (quite the opposite, living in Mexico) but the undue haste to arrest the officers in what appears to be a communications failure, and a type of incident that has happened to non-diplomatic types in unarmored cars that look a lot less than gangster-mobiles that that SUV did, have been killed in the past.
Someone screwed up here. It would appear the Embassy employees found themselves in the wrong place at the right time and the Federal Police mistook them for some bad guys considering they were traveling in a nondescript for high dollar luxury SUV of the type the narcos favor compounded by the fact the driver of the SUV made moves the Federales considered an attempt to evade, we’ll know more as information is leaked to the media.
For now, two of the Federal Police officers, Rafael Rivera Cordoba and Jorge Alberto Vargas Camacho, that are being detained, have formally declared through their attorney Ricardo Monterroso Cisneros that the incident was not an ambush but an accident occurring during the pursuit of suspected criminals. Under the circumstances and until something is revealed that contradicts that declaration, we can assume the officers are telling the truth.
MORE QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED
Mexfiles also posted this photo taken from a long range lens that begs clarification. Who is the dude in the civilian clothes carrying a sidearm, wearing cowboy boots, a Mexican marine helmet and facemask? He seems to be in charge somewhat.
35 years in the trucking business and living in Mexico for the past 15 years, make me uniquely qualified to offer my insight and opinion into the Mexican trucking industry and other border issues. A contributor to SiriuxXM Road Dog Channel 106 and to the award winning Lockridge Report, Mexico Trucker Online continues to publish the unvarnished truth about the subjects we cover.