On Tuesday, authorities in Michoacán conducted an operation seeking to arrest Heraclio Guerrero Martínez, alias “El Tío Laco,” a leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) in the state. El Tío Laco has an outstanding arrest warrant for his alleged involvement in the September kidnapping of Yolanda Sánchez Figueroa, the mayor of Cotija.
In response to this operation, on Wednesday, armed individuals carried out two highway blockades and set vehicles ablaze in Michoacán.
Blockades and Fires Set by Armed Individuals
According to the Michoacán Public Security Secretariat (SSP), the first blockade occurred in Capula on the Morelia-Quiroga highway. The second took place on the Autopista de Occidente near Huaniqueo.
At both locations, the armed men:
- Set fire to a passenger truck
- Threatened drivers of two cargo trucks to cross the vehicles on the highway
- Forced the drivers out
- Set the trucks ablaze
Authorities Respond, Seek to Reestablish Safety
In response, the Michoacán SSP, the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), and the National Guard (GN) went to reopen the highways and guarantee safety.
The SSP reinforced patrols in Morelia and announced it had repelled armed aggression in Numarán, requesting more aerial police and military presence there.
Videos on social media recorded heavy gunfire during the Numarán confrontation.
So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported from the confrontations or blockades.
Animals Rescued During Operation Targeting El Tío Laco
During Tuesday’s operation searching for El Tío Laco in Tanhuato, authorities rescued several animals being held in captivity, including:
- A lion cub
- A tiger
- A panther
The rescued animals were taken to the Morelia Zoo for quarantine and care by specialists. The zoo director said the animals were not properly fed by their captors, which could cause health disorders.